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26 Good Examples of Problem Solving (Interview Answers)

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good examples of problem solving for job interviews and cover letters

Employers like to hire people who can solve problems and work well under pressure. A job rarely goes 100% according to plan, so hiring managers will be more likely to hire you if you seem like you can handle unexpected challenges while staying calm and logical in your approach.

But how do they measure this?

They’re going to ask you interview questions about these problem solving skills, and they might also look for examples of problem solving on your resume and cover letter. So coming up, I’m going to share a list of examples of problem solving, whether you’re an experienced job seeker or recent graduate.

Then I’ll share sample interview answers to, “Give an example of a time you used logic to solve a problem?”

Examples of Problem Solving Scenarios in the Workplace

Problem Solving Examples for Recent Grads/Entry Level Job Seekers

You can share all of the examples above when you’re asked questions about problem solving in your interview. As you can see, even if you have no professional work experience, it’s possible to think back to problems and unexpected challenges that you faced in your studies and discuss how you solved them.

Interview Answers to “Give an Example of an Occasion When You Used Logic to Solve a Problem”

Now, let’s look at some sample interview answers to, “Give me an example of a time you used logic to solve a problem,” since you’re likely to hear this interview question in all sorts of industries.

Example Answer 1:

At my current job, I recently solved a problem where a client was upset about our software pricing. They had misunderstood the sales representative who explained pricing originally, and when their package renewed for its second month, they called to complain about the invoice. I apologized for the confusion and then spoke to our billing team to see what type of solution we could come up with. We decided that the best course of action was to offer a long-term pricing package that would provide a discount. This not only solved the problem but got the customer to agree to a longer-term contract, which means we’ll keep their business for at least one year now, and they’re happy with the pricing. I feel I got the best possible outcome and the way I chose to solve the problem was effective.

Example Answer 2:

In my last job, I had to do quite a bit of problem solving related to our shift scheduling. We had four people quit within a week and the department was severely understaffed. I coordinated a ramp-up of our hiring efforts, I got approval from the department head to offer bonuses for overtime work, and then I found eight employees who were willing to do overtime this month. I think the key problem solving skills here were taking initiative, communicating clearly, and reacting quickly to solve this problem before it became an even bigger issue.

Example Answer 3:

In my current marketing role, my manager asked me to come up with a solution to our declining social media engagement. I assessed our current strategy and recent results, analyzed what some of our top competitors were doing, and then came up with an exact blueprint we could follow this year to emulate our best competitors but also stand out and develop a unique voice as a brand. I feel this is a good example of using logic to solve a problem because it was based on analysis and observation of competitors, rather than guessing or quickly reacting to the situation without reliable data. I always use logic and data to solve problems when possible. The project turned out to be a success and we increased our social media engagement by an average of 82% by the end of the year.

Answering Questions About Problem Solving with the STAR Method

When you answer interview questions about problem solving scenarios, or if you decide to demonstrate your problem solving skills in a cover letter (which is a good idea any time the job description mention problem solving as a necessary skill), I recommend using the STAR method to tell your story.

STAR stands for:

It’s a simple way of walking the listener or reader through the story in a way that will make sense to them. So before jumping in and talking about the problem that needed solving, make sure to describe the general situation. What job/company were you working at? When was this? Then, you can describe the task at hand and the problem that needed solving. After this, describe the course of action you chose and why. Ideally, show that you evaluated all the information you could given the time you had, and made a decision based on logic and fact.

Finally, describe a positive result you got.

Whether you’re answering interview questions about problem solving or writing a cover letter, you should only choose examples where you got a positive result and successfully solved the issue.

What Are Good Outcomes of Problem Solving?

Whenever you answer interview questions about problem solving or share examples of problem solving in a cover letter, you want to be sure you’re sharing a positive outcome.

Below are good outcomes of problem solving:

Every employer wants to make more money, save money, and save time. If you can assess your problem solving experience and think about how you’ve helped past employers in those three areas, then that’s a great start. That’s where I recommend you begin looking for stories of times you had to solve problems.

Tips to Improve Your Problem Solving Skills

Throughout your career, you’re going to get hired for better jobs and earn more money if you can show employers that you’re a problem solver. So to improve your problem solving skills, I recommend always analyzing a problem and situation before acting. When discussing problem solving with employers, you never want to sound like you rush or make impulsive decisions. They want to see fact-based or data-based decisions when you solve problems. Next, to get better at solving problems, analyze the outcomes of past solutions you came up with. You can recognize what works and what doesn’t. Think about how you can get better at researching and analyzing a situation, but also how you can get better at communicating, deciding the right people in the organization to talk to and “pull in” to help you if needed, etc. Finally, practice staying calm even in stressful situations. Take a few minutes to walk outside if needed. Step away from your phone and computer to clear your head. A work problem is rarely so urgent that you cannot take five minutes to think (with the possible exception of safety problems), and you’ll get better outcomes if you solve problems by acting logically instead of rushing to react in a panic.

You can use all of the ideas above to describe your problem solving skills when asked interview questions about the topic. If you say that you do the things above, employers will be impressed when they assess your problem solving ability.

If you practice the tips above, you’ll be ready to share detailed, impressive stories and problem solving examples that will make hiring managers want to offer you the job. Every employer appreciates a problem solver, whether solving problems is a requirement listed on the job description or not. And you never know which hiring manager or interviewer will ask you about a time you solved a problem, so you should always be ready to discuss this when applying for a job.

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Biron Clark is a former executive recruiter who has worked individually with hundreds of job seekers, reviewed thousands of resumes and LinkedIn profiles, and recruited for top venture-backed startups and Fortune 500 companies. He has been advising job seekers since 2012 to think differently in their job search and land high-paying, competitive positions.

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What Are Problem-Solving Skills?

Definition & examples of problem-solving skills.

Alison Doyle is one of the nation’s foremost career experts.

problem solving skills it examples

Learn more about problem-solving skills and how they work.

Problem-solving skills help you solve issues quickly and effectively. It's one of the  key skills that employers  seek in job applicants, as employees with these skills tend to be self-reliant. Problem-solving skills require quickly identifying the underlying issue and implementing a solution.

Problem-solving is considered a  soft skill  (a personal strength) rather than a hard skill that's learned through education or training. You can improve your problem-solving skills by familiarizing yourself with common issues in your industry and learning from more experienced employees.

How Problem-Solving Skills Work

Problem-solving starts with identifying the issue. For example, a teacher might need to figure out how to improve student performance on a writing proficiency test. To do that, the teacher will review the writing tests looking for areas of improvement. They might see that students can construct simple sentences, but they're struggling with writing paragraphs and organizing those paragraphs into an essay.

To solve the problem, the teacher would work with students on how and when to write compound sentences, how to write paragraphs, and ways to organize an essay.

Theresa Chiechi / The Balance

There are five steps typically used in problem-solving.

1. Analyze Contributing Factors

To solve a problem, you must find out what caused it. This requires you to gather and evaluate data, isolate possible contributing circumstances, and pinpoint what needs to be addressed for a resolution.

To do this, you'll use skills like :

2. Generate Interventions

Once you’ve determined the cause, brainstorm possible solutions. Sometimes this involves teamwork since two (or more) minds are often better than one. A single strategy is rarely the obvious route to solving a complex problem; devising a set of alternatives helps you cover your bases and reduces your risk of exposure should the first strategy you implement fail.

This involves skills like :

3. Evaluate Solutions

Depending on the nature of the problem and your chain of command, evaluating best solutions may be performed by assigned teams, team leads, or forwarded to corporate decision-makers. Whoever makes the decision must evaluate potential costs, required resources, and possible barriers to successful solution implementation.

This requires several skills, including:

4. Implement a Plan

Once a course of action has been decided, it must be implemented along with benchmarks that can quickly and accurately determine whether it’s working. Plan implementation also involves letting personnel know about changes in standard operating procedures.

This requires skills like:

5. Assess the Solution's Effectiveness

Once a solution is implemented, the best problem-solvers have systems in place to evaluate if and how quickly it's working. This way, they know as soon as possible whether the issue has been resolved or whether they’ll have to change their response to the problem mid-stream.

This requires:

Here's an example of showing your problem-solving skills in a cover letter.

When I was first hired as a paralegal, I inherited a backlog of 25 sets of medical records that needed to be summarized, each of which was hundreds of pages long. At the same time, I had to help prepare for three major cases, and there weren’t enough hours in the day. After I explained the problem to my supervisor, she agreed to pay me to come in on Saturday mornings to focus on the backlog. I was able to eliminate the backlog in a month.

Here's another example of how to show your problem-solving skills in a cover letter:

When I joined the team at Great Graphics as Artistic Director, the designers had become uninspired because of a former director who attempted to micro-manage every step in the design process. I used weekly round-table discussions to solicit creative input and ensured that each designer was given full autonomy to do their best work. I also introduced monthly team-based competitions that helped build morale, spark new ideas, and improve collaboration.

Highlighting Problem-Solving Skills

If you're not sure what to include, look to previous roles—whether in academic, work, or volunteer settings—for examples of challenges you met and problems you solved. Highlight relevant examples in your  cover letter and use bullet points in your resume to show how you solved a problem.

During interviews, be ready to describe situations you've encountered in previous roles, the processes you followed to address problems, the skills you applied, and the results of your actions. Potential employers are eager to hear a  coherent narrative of the ways you've used problem-solving skills .

Interviewers may pose hypothetical problems for you to solve. Base your answers on the five steps and refer to similar problems you've resolved, if possible. Here are tips for answering problem-solving interview questions , with examples of the best answers.

Key Takeaways

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What Are Problem-Solving Skills? (Definition, Examples, And How To List On A Resume)

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Types of Problem-Solving Skills

How to improve your problem-solving skills, example answers to problem-solving interview questions, how to show off problem-solving skills on a resume, example resume and cover letter with problem-solving skills, more about problem-solving skills, problem solving skills faqs.

Summary. Problem-solving skills include analysis, creativity, prioritization, organization, and troubleshooting. To solve a problem, you need to use a variety of skills based on the needs of the situation. Most jobs essentially boil down to identifying and solving problems consistently and effectively. That’s why employers value problem-solving skills in job candidates for just about every role. We’ll cover problem-solving methods, ways to improve your problem-solving skills, and examples of showcasing your problem-solving skills during your job search . Key Takeaways: If you can show off your problem-solving skills on your resume , in your cover letter , and during a job interview, you’ll be one step closer to landing a job. Companies rely on employees who can handle unexpected challenges, identify persistent issues, and offer workable solutions in a positive way. It is important to improve problem solving skill because this is a skill that can be cultivated and nurtured so you can become better at dealing with problems over time. What Are Problem Solving Skills?

Problem-solving skills are skills that help you identify and solve problems effectively and efficiently . Your ability to solve problems is one of the main ways that hiring managers and recruiters assess candidates, as those with excellent problem-solving skills are more likely to autonomously carry out their responsibilities.

A true problem solver can look at a situation, find the cause of the problem (or causes, because there are often many issues at play), and then come up with a reasonable solution that effectively fixes the problem or at least remedies most of it.

The ability to solve problems is considered a soft skill , meaning that it’s more of a personality trait than a skill you’ve learned at school, on the job, or through technical training.

That being said, your proficiency with various hard skills will have a direct bearing on your ability to solve problems. For example, it doesn’t matter if you’re a great problem-solver; if you have no experience with astrophysics, you probably won’t be hired as a space station technician .

Problem-solving is considered a skill on its own, but it’s supported by many other skills that can help you be a better problem solver. These skills fall into a few different categories of problem-solving skills.

Problem recognition and analysis. The first step is to recognize that there is a problem and discover what it is or what the root cause of it is.

You can’t begin to solve a problem unless you’re aware of it. Sometimes you’ll see the problem yourself and other times you’ll be told about the problem. Both methods of discovery are very important, but they can require some different skills. The following can be an important part of the process:

Active listening

Data analysis

Historical analysis


Create possible solutions. You know what the problem is, and you might even know the why of it, but then what? Your next step is the come up with some solutions.

Most of the time, the first solution you come up with won’t be the right one. Don’t fall victim to knee-jerk reactions; try some of the following methods to give you solution options.




Topic knowledge/understanding

Process flow

Evaluation of solution options. Now that you have a lot of solution options, it’s time to weed through them and start casting some aside. There might be some ridiculous ones, bad ones, and ones you know could never be implemented. Throw them away and focus on the potentially winning ideas.

This step is probably the one where a true, natural problem solver will shine. They intuitively can put together mental scenarios and try out solutions to see their plusses and minuses. If you’re still working on your skill set — try listing the pros and cons on a sheet of paper.


Evaluating and weighing

Solution implementation. This is your “take action” step. Once you’ve decided which way to go, it’s time to head down that path and see if you were right. This step takes a lot of people and management skills to make it work for you.







Project management

Evaluation of the solution. Was it a good solution? Did your plan work or did it fail miserably? Sometimes the evaluation step takes a lot of work and review to accurately determine effectiveness. The following skills might be essential for a thorough evaluation.

Customer service

Feedback responses


You now have a ton of skills in front of you. Some of them you have naturally and some — not so much. If you want to solve a problem, and you want to be known for doing that well and consistently, then it’s time to sharpen those skills.

Develop industry knowledge. Whether it’s broad-based industry knowledge, on-the-job training , or very specific knowledge about a small sector — knowing all that you can and feeling very confident in your knowledge goes a long way to learning how to solve problems.

Be a part of a solution. Step up and become involved in the problem-solving process. Don’t lead — but follow. Watch an expert solve the problem and, if you pay attention, you’ll learn how to solve a problem, too. Pay attention to the steps and the skills that a person uses.

Practice solving problems. Do some role-playing with a mentor , a professor , co-workers, other students — just start throwing problems out there and coming up with solutions and then detail how those solutions may play out.

Go a step further, find some real-world problems and create your solutions, then find out what they did to solve the problem in actuality.

Identify your weaknesses. If you could easily point out a few of your weaknesses in the list of skills above, then those are the areas you need to focus on improving. How you do it is incredibly varied, so find a method that works for you.

Solve some problems — for real. If the opportunity arises, step in and use your problem-solving skills. You’ll never really know how good (or bad) you are at it until you fail.

That’s right, failing will teach you so much more than succeeding will. You’ll learn how to go back and readdress the problem, find out where you went wrong, learn more from listening even better. Failure will be your best teacher ; it might not make you feel good, but it’ll make you a better problem-solver in the long run.

Once you’ve impressed a hiring manager with top-notch problem-solving skills on your resume and cover letter , you’ll need to continue selling yourself as a problem-solver in the job interview.

There are three main ways that employers can assess your problem-solving skills during an interview:

By asking questions that relate to your past experiences solving problems

Posing hypothetical problems for you to solve

By administering problem-solving tests and exercises

The third method varies wildly depending on what job you’re applying for, so we won’t attempt to cover all the possible problem-solving tests and exercises that may be a part of your application process.

Luckily, interview questions focused on problem-solving are pretty well-known, and most can be answered using the STAR method . STAR stands for situation, task, action, result, and it’s a great way to organize your answers to behavioral interview questions .

Let’s take a look at how to answer some common interview questions built to assess your problem-solving capabilities:

At my current job as an operations analyst at XYZ Inc., my boss set a quarterly goal to cut contractor spending by 25% while maintaining the same level of production and moving more processes in-house. It turned out that achieving this goal required hiring an additional 6 full-time employees, which got stalled due to the pandemic. I suggested that we widen our net and hire remote employees after our initial applicant pool had no solid candidates. I ran the analysis on overhead costs and found that if even 4 of the 6 employees were remote, we’d save 16% annually compared to the contractors’ rates. In the end, all 6 employees we hired were fully remote, and we cut costs by 26% while production rose by a modest amount.
I try to step back and gather research as my first step. For instance, I had a client who needed a graphic designer to work with Crello, which I had never seen before, let alone used. After getting the project details straight, I began meticulously studying the program the YouTube tutorials, and the quick course Crello provides. I also reached out to coworkers who had worked on projects for this same client in the past. Once I felt comfortable with the software, I started work immediately. It was a slower process because I had to be more methodical in my approach, but by putting in some extra hours, I turned in the project ahead of schedule. The client was thrilled with my work and was shocked to hear me joke afterward that it was my first time using Crello.
As a digital marketer , website traffic and conversion rates are my ultimate metrics. However, I also track less visible metrics that can illuminate the story behind the results. For instance, using Google Analytics, I found that 78% of our referral traffic was coming from one affiliate, but that these referrals were only accounting for 5% of our conversions. Another affiliate, who only accounted for about 10% of our referral traffic, was responsible for upwards of 30% of our conversions. I investigated further and found that the second, more effective affiliate was essentially qualifying our leads for us before sending them our way, which made it easier for us to close. I figured out exactly how they were sending us better customers, and reached out to the first, more prolific but less effective affiliate with my understanding of the results. They were able to change their pages that were referring us traffic, and our conversions from that source tripled in just a month. It showed me the importance of digging below the “big picture” metrics to see the mechanics of how revenue was really being generated through digital marketing.

You can bring up your problem-solving skills in your resume summary statement , in your work experience , and under your education section , if you’re a recent graduate. The key is to include items on your resume that speak direclty to your ability to solve problems and generate results.

If you can, quantify your problem-solving accomplishments on your your resume . Hiring managers and recruiters are always more impressed with results that include numbers because they provide much-needed context.

This sample resume for a Customer Service Representative will give you an idea of how you can work problem solving into your resume.

Michelle Beattle 111 Millennial Parkway Chicago, IL 60007 (555) 987-6543 [email protected] Professional Summary Qualified Customer Services Representative with 3 years in a high-pressure customer service environment. Professional, personable, and a true problem solver. Work History ABC Store — Customer Service Representative 01/2015 — 12/2017 Managed in-person and phone relations with customers coming in to pick up purchases, return purchased products, helped find and order items not on store shelves, and explained details and care of merchandise. Became a key player in the customer service department and was promoted to team lead. XYZ Store — Customer Service Representative/Night Manager 01/2018 — 03/2020, released due to Covid-19 layoffs Worked as the night manager of the customer service department and filled in daytime hours when needed. Streamlined a process of moving customers to the right department through an app to ease the burden on the phone lines and reduce customer wait time by 50%. Was working on additional wait time problems when the Covid-19 pandemic caused our stores to close permanently. Education Chicago Tech 2014-2016 Earned an Associate’s Degree in Principles of Customer Care Skills Strong customer service skills Excellent customer complaint resolution Stock record management Order fulfillment New product information Cash register skills and proficiency Leader in problem solving initiatives

You can see how the resume gives you a chance to point out your problem-solving skills and to show where you used them a few times. Your cover letter is your chance to introduce yourself and list a few things that make you stand out from the crowd.

Michelle Beattle 111 Millennial Parkway Chicago, IL 60007 (555) 987-6543 [email protected] Dear Mary McDonald, I am writing in response to your ad on Zippia for a Customer Service Representative . Thank you for taking the time to consider me for this position. Many people believe that a job in customer service is simply listening to people complain all day. I see the job as much more than that. It’s an opportunity to help people solve problems, make their experience with your company more enjoyable, and turn them into life-long advocates of your brand. Through my years of experience and my educational background at Chicago Tech, where I earned an Associate’s Degree in the Principles of Customer Care, I have learned that the customers are the lifeline of the business and without good customer service representatives, a business will falter. I see it as my mission to make each and every customer I come in contact with a fan. I have more than five years of experience in the Customer Services industry and had advanced my role at my last job to Night Manager. I am eager to again prove myself as a hard worker, a dedicated people person, and a problem solver that can be relied upon. I have built a professional reputation as an employee that respects all other employees and customers, as a manager who gets the job done and finds solutions when necessary, and a worker who dives in to learn all she can about the business. Most of my customers have been very satisfied with my resolution ideas and have returned to do business with us again. I believe my expertise would make me a great match for LMNO Store. I have enclosed my resume for your review, and I would appreciate having the opportunity to meet with you to further discuss my qualifications. Thank you again for your time and consideration. Sincerely, Michelle Beattle

You’ve no doubt noticed that many of the skills listed in the problem-solving process are repeated. This is because having these abilities or talents is so important to the entire course of getting a problem solved.

In fact, they’re worthy of a little more attention. Many of them are similar, so we’ll pull them together and discuss how they’re important and how they work together.

Communication, active listening, and customer service skills. No matter where you are in the process of problem-solving, you need to be able to show that you’re listening and engaged and really hearing what the problem is or what a solution may be.

Obviously, the other part of this is being able to communicate effectively so people understand what you’re saying without confusion. Rolled into this are customer service skills , which really are all about listening and responding appropriately — it’s the ultimate in interpersonal communications.

Analysis (data and historical), research, and topic knowledge/understanding. This is how you intellectually grasp the issue and approach it. This can come from studying the topic and the process or it can come from knowledge you’ve gained after years in the business. But the best solutions come from people who thoroughly understand the problem.

Creativity, brainstorming, troubleshooting, and flexibility. All of you creative thinkers will like this area because it’s when your brain is at its best.

Coming up with ideas, collaborating with others, leaping over hurdles, and then being able to change courses immediately, if need be, are all essential. If you’re not creative by nature, then having a team of diverse thinkers can help you in this area.

Dependability, believability, trustworthiness, and follow-through. Think about it, these are all traits a person needs to have to make change happen and to make you comfortable taking that next step with them. Someone who is shifty and shady and never follows through, well, you’re simply not going to do what they ask, are you?

Leadership, teambuilding, decision-making, and project management. These are the skills that someone who is in charge is brimming with. These are the leaders you enjoy working for because you know they’re doing what they can to keep everything in working order. These skills can be learned but they’re often innate.

Prioritizing, prediction, forecasting, evaluating and weighing, and process flow. If you love flow charts, data analysis, prediction modeling, and all of that part of the equation, then you might have some great problem-solving abilities.

These are all great skills because they can help you weed out bad ideas, see flaws, and save massive amounts of time in trial and error.

What is a good example of problem-solving skills?

Good examples of porblem-solving skills include research, analysis, creativity, communciation, and decision-making. Each of these skills build off one another to contribute to the problem solving process. Research and analysis allow you to identify a problem.

Creativity and analysis help you consider different solutions. Meanwhile, communication and decision-making are key to working with others to solve a problem on a large scale.

What are 3 key attributes of a good problem solver?

3 key attributes of a good problem solver are persistence, intellegince, and empathy. Persistence is crucial to remain motivated to work through challenges. Inellegince is needed to make smart, informed choices. Empathy is crucial to maintain positive relationships with others as well as yourself.

What can I say instead of problem-solving skills?

Instead of saying problem-solving skills, you can say the following:

Critical thinker



Using different words is helpful, especially when writing your resume and cover letter.

What is problem-solving in the workplace?

Problem-solving in the workplace is the ability to work through any sort of challenge, conflict, or unexpected situation and still achieve business goals. Though it varies by profession, roblem-solving in the workplace is very important for almost any job, because probelms are inevitable. You need to have the appropriate level of problem-solving skills if you want to succeed in your career, whatever it may be.

Department of Labor – Problem Solving and Critical Thinking

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Kristin Kizer is an award-winning writer, television and documentary producer, and content specialist who has worked on a wide variety of written, broadcast, and electronic publications. A former writer/producer for The Discovery Channel, she is now a freelance writer and delighted to be sharing her talents and time with the wonderful Zippia audience.

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31 examples of problem solving performance review phrases


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Use these practical examples of phrases, sample comments, and templates for your performance review , 360-degree feedback survey, or manager appraisal.

The following examples not only relate to problem-solving but also conflict management , effective solutions, selecting the best alternatives, decision making , problem identification, analyzing effectively, and generally becoming an effective problem-solving strategist. Start using effective performance review questions to help better guide your workforce's development. 



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Madeline Miles

Madeline is a writer, communicator, and storyteller who is passionate about using words to help drive positive change. She holds a bachelor's in English Creative Writing and Communication Studies and lives in Denver, Colorado. In her spare time, she's usually somewhere outside (preferably in the mountains) — and enjoys poetry and fiction.

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10 Problem Solving Skills Examples: How To Improve

Problem-solving skills have suitable examples and are inevitable that employers look for in candidates before and after employment. This process has some effective steps, with examples of every possible skill, and how to demonstrate that you have strong problem-solving skills with examples. When employers talk about analytical and problem-solving skills examples, they often mention the ability to work in difficult places and in complex business challenges to handle difficult or unexpected situations.

Companies can both evaluate and reliably depend on people who can solve the solution by dint of problem-solving examples in the workplace.

Problem-solving skills are what you are capable of doing. Although problem-solving skills are valued by employers, they are also very beneficial in relation to relationships and other areas of lifestyle decisions.

Related: Problem Solving Skills – Definitions, Importance, Steps, and Examples

What are problem-solving skills?

A soft skill (a personal strength, in contrast to the difficult skills, learned through education or training), the competence to solve creative and functional problems, yet, employers are among the most valuable qualities of their job applicants. Problem-solving skills have suitable examples and are inevitable that employers look for in candidates before and after employment.

For example, a cable television technician is trying to solve customer problems with weak signals. A teacher needs to determine how to improve the performance of his students in the writing skills test. A store manager might try to reduce the theft of goods. A computer expert may be looking for a way to speed up a slow program.

The problem-solving skills help you to determine the source of the problem and find effective solutions. Although problem-solving is often identified as its own skill, other skills contribute to problem-solving interview questions and answer examples.

Some important problem-solving skills include:

Problem-solving skills are important in each career at each level. As a result, industrial or work-specific technical skills may be needed to solve the effective problem.

For example, a registered nurse needs active listening and communication skills in interacting with patients, but also requires effective technical knowledge about diseases and medicines. In many cases, a nurse will need to know when consulting a doctor for a patient’s treatment as part of the solution.

Problem-solving skills examples

To solve a problem effectively, you probably need to use a few different skills. Here are some problem-solving skills selection criteria answers you can use to solve problems here:

1. Communication

Problem-solving skills have suitable examples and are inevitable that employers look for in candidates before and after employment. When identifying possible solutions, you need to know how to communicate the problem to others.

If you want help, you need to know which communication channels are most appropriate. Once finding solutions, it will be easy to communicate clearly and reduce confusion and implement the solution.

2. Subsidence

Dependency is one of the most important skills for problem solvers. The problem is solved in a timely manner. Employers can trust both very valuable person to identify and then implement quick and effective solutions.

3. Research

An essential skill related to research problem-solving. As a troubleshooter, you will be able to identify the cause of the problem and fully understand it.

You can begin to gather more information about an issue by consulting with other team members, collecting more experienced information, giving advice to more experienced colleagues, or acquiring knowledge through online research or curriculum.

4. Analysis

The first step to solving the problem is to analyze the situation. Your analytical skills will help you to understand the problem and develop solutions effectively.

You need analytical skills during research to help differentiate between effective and viable solutions. Problem-solving skills have suitable examples and are inevitable that employers look for in candidates before and after employment.

5. Decision making

Finally, you have to decide on the solution to the problems that you solve. At times (and with industry experience), you can be able to make quick decisions and good examples of problem-solving for an interview.

How to show the problem-solving skills

Showing your problem-solving skills in your resume and cover letter can help you understand how Employers can be quick to their team as a part of examples of problem-solving interview questions.

The problem-solving problem for your resume can only be considered if it is particularly relevant to the position you have applied for For example, customer service, engineering, and management positions, with the ability to solve problems, will be good candidates.

Problem-solving skills for resume

In your resume, you can highlight your problem-solving skills in various places: By giving a specific example in the “Skills” section, the “Success” category, troubleshooting solutions in your “Experience” section, and application of life skills and solving the problem in a real-life situation.

In the proficiency section, you can list the key problem-solving skills you have instead of just writing more complicated terms “problem solving”. For example, you can keep certain technical skills with you that will help you solve problems or solve soft skills, such as your research ability or your ability to make decisions.

Remember, stories are powerful. Keep a specific example in mind while you solve a problem. This is useful for your resume but will help you to answer the interview question, “Tell me about the obstruction that you have me.”

problem solving skills it examples

Problem Solving Skills for Cover Letter

Your cover letter is also a great opportunity to expand your problem solving skills. Here, you can give a brief example of the time to successfully solve a problem. Otherwise, you can identify a challenge that this potential employer is trying to solve and explain how you can solve a proactive approach to problem solving examples.

For example, if a job posting mentions that the company is looking for someone to help improve its social media presence, you can identify how to help increase awareness of the brand through various social media platforms.

The steps to solve the problem

Now you’ve made a list of possible issues intelligent, your next step is to think of effective solutions for this problem, to mention the skills needed to solve them. Here are some of the most commonly used steps in solving problems, their related skills, and the different career areas where they are used.

1. Analysis of reasons or reasons contributing to unwanted situations

To solve a problem, you must first determine the reason for this. For this, you have to identify and evaluate the data, detach the potential given situations, and identify the main reasons for resolving the problem as a part of demonstrated analytical and problem-solving skills examples.

Required Skills:

Examples: Determining illness, identifying the causes of social problems, explaining the data to determine the extent of problems, conflicts of marital affidavits, recognition of illegal research models

2. Create a set of alternative interventions to achieve your last goal

Once you are making a problem once, it’s time to come up with possible alternative solutions. Sometimes this involves teamwork, two (or more) minds are often better than one. This is a complex strategy that is the obvious way of solving complex problems; Creating a set of options helps you cover your bases and helps reduce your risk exposure that your first strategy fails.

Examples: Brainstorming Solutions, Development Treatment Plans, Devising and Testing Hypotheses

3. Best solution evaluation

Depending on the nature of the problem and your discipline, the best solutions can be guided by the evaluated teams, parties, or leadership, or may move forward to big corporate decision-makers.

Anyone who decides on possible costs, necessary resources, and possible breakthroughs to implement successful solutions should be evaluated for effective problem-solving skills in nursing examples.

For example: evaluating alternate options to reduce pressure, offering diplomatic solutions in conflict, opting out of employees during business hours, troubleshooting computer goods

4. Implement a plan

Once a decision has been made, it must be applied, with a benchmark that can quickly and accurately determine whether it is working to solve a problem. The implementation of the plan generally involves the workers being careful to change their standard operating system (SOPs).

For example implementation barrier, implementation solution, interpersonal conflict intermediation, repair of retrofitted equipment, as a part of analytical and problem-solving skills selection criteria answers

5. Evaluate the effectiveness of your intervention

Once the solution is implemented, the best problem-solvent system is to determine how quickly and fast its function is, as well as business problem-solving examples. In this way, they will know whether the problem has been solved as soon as possible, or alternatively, they will know whether their reaction to the medium flow is changed.

For example Surveying End Users, Comparing Production Statistics, YYY Sales Statistics Evaluation

problem solving skills it examples

Tips for answering a question about the problem solving interview

You do not have to answer a cookie-cutter. Employers are always interested in people who can think out of the box and present new solutions, especially when older people do not work.

The most important thing is to show your answers to your problem solving skills. If interviews offer a possible problem, share how you would solve it.

When you explain your thinking process, use the steps listed above (from the analysis of the reason for evaluating the effectiveness of your interventions). Or, share an example of the problem you solved in the previous introduction. Explain how and why you solved this problem.

Sample interview answer skills solution skills

Problem solving skills have suitable examples and are inevitable that employers look for in candidates before and after employment and problem-solving skills examples for resume. Here are some examples of how job applicants can describe their problem-solving skills in different occupations:

As a nurse practitioner, my primary responsibility is to use my problem-solving skills to diagnose illnesses and develop treatment plans. With each patient, I can determine whether we can determine whether they can analyze their medical history, their symptoms, and their possible exposure to various diseases, or see immediately if we need blood tests. I then develop a care plan and, if warranted, perform follow-up calls to check the recovery process.

When I first rented as parallel, I inherited a set of 35 backlinks that needed summary summaries, each hundred pages were long. However, at the same time, I had to help in preparing the attorney for three main cases, and there was not enough time just for the day. After explaining the problem to my supervisor, he and the attorney agreed to pay me for the coming Saturday morning to focus on the backlog. I was thus able to extract it in one month.

When I joined Great Graphics as an article director, the designer becomes deficient and unknowable due to being a former director trying to micromanage at every stage of the design process as creative problem-solving examples for interviews.

I used weekly round-table talks to request creative inputs and made sure that every designer was given full autonomy to do their best work. I also introduced the monthly team-based competition that helped build psychology, spread exciting new ideas, and improve cooperation.

Interviews can also provide an example of possible problems and then ask you to outline the steps to address them. To prepare, the problem arising from your case is usually brainstorming.

More problem solving solutions

The list below includes general strategies involved in solving problems. An answer to this problem-solving problem can be useful to include your answers to an interview question.

The solution to the problem is to be reasonable, to imagine, to create a situation, and to bring an intelligent solution. In fact, the best troubleshooter hopes for possible potential future problems and works to prevent them or reduce their effects.

The problem-solving skills are associated with other skills, including:

Problem detection is often an essential component of the new business or product idea – and, for example, the entrepreneur of solving problems. It is an important element of good leadership.

Why all graduates need skills to solve problems at work

Turn around to find some graduate career solutions – for example, engineering, management consulting, scientific research, and technology as a part of analytical and problem-solving skills selection criteria examples.

Meanwhile, other staff graduates may be expected to resolve their growing times of employment: For example, coach managers should deal with operational problems (such as delays in the supply chain) or resolve conflicts between group members.

In fact, the ability to solve the problem is an essential part of an employee’s skill set, even if it is not specific to the job description.

How will employers evaluate your problem-solving skills?

Your problem-solving skills can be evaluated in three ways: before you ask the examples of time to solve a problem; Present certain imaginary scenarios and how you react to them, And see how many experiments and exercises apply to your problem-solving skills.

Interview questions about skill-based application and problem solving

For example, when you solve the problem of an application form – for example, an engineering company’s application form already includes the question ‘Please tell us a problem when using our technical expertise and knowledge’. But more likely to problem-solving interview questions examples include:

problem solving skills it examples

Hypothetical interview questions about problem-solving

Interviewers also want to know how to contact you with problems you might encounter at work. Specific interview questions will vary according to work, but the common ones include:

Examination for problem-solving and undergraduate work

Various tests that employers can determine skills to solve your problem include:

Online skills, captivating, and power test. These are usually taken part in the application stage, although they can be repeated in an evaluation center. The tests for evaluating your problem-solving skills are situational judgment tests and your reasonable assessment or graphical reasoning tests that evaluate your logic.

Video ‘Immersion Experience’, game-based recruitment practice, or virtual reality assessment. These methods are not yet widely used, but they are becoming more common. They are usually interviewed before facing the interview or evaluation center.

Case study exercises. Work on this general evaluation center. You set a business problem, usually associated with the sector you are working in, and it has been asked to recommend separately or in groups to resolve it. You will usually be asked to outline your proposals in your presentation or written form, a task that will verify your ability to interpret your problem-solving process.

In-tray (or e-tray) exercise. These are always set in an evaluation center but can be part of the online testing phase nowadays. In practice, practice your time management skills initially, but assess your ability to identify a potential problem and take steps to solve it.

Job-specific or task-specific exercises are given in an evaluation center or an interview. If set, it will be related to the role you are implementing, and you will need to fix any issues or fix errors with analytical thinking and problem-solving examples.

For example, for Civil and structural engineering candidates, the answers to the client’s short and-answer questions need to be sketched in a design, and the editorial role can be asked to prove the copies or spot errors in the pages of the candidate’s page (publishing fully designed pages).

How to develop your problem-solving skills and showcase

Here are some tips on how to develop problem-solving strategies for employers.

Find opportunities to get a solution

Dealing with any problems in the following situations will help you to get the problem-solving skills, without even realizing it:

You should also have the opportunity to develop problem-solving skills through your research. In many areas such as engineering and computer science, many hiring has evolved to solve the problem in a clear way, for example, there are no article articles in English literature. However, then, English literary students may also face difficulties in determining educational issues such as the best source elements.

Some professional organizations (for example, to build) compete for students, which often advocate solving problems faced by students of the industry; This can provide good evidence of your problem-solving skills.

Sudoku and chess games can strengthen your ability to think strategically and creatively.

Prior to the recruitment practice

Any candidate, a high-flying affair, can be added to an online exam or an assessment center for the first time, so please do whatever you can to practice beforehand. Free and paid-for-us-access links. Contact your carrier service and book a comedic interview or a mock assessment center.

Remember the solution to this problem

If you are available with a scenario or case study during the graduate recruitment process, you can try using the IDEAL model described in Solver, to Brandford and Stein in their book Ideal Problem Solutions. Break the problem you have to solve in order to solve the problem:

Give the details of your answer

Explain how you have identified the problem, solve it, and implement it with examples of problem-solving skills in the workplace.

Quantifiable results are good, and perhaps in more complicated situations, more successful outcomes Qualifications-based interview questions follow the star strategy described in our article.

If you face a problem as part of a team, explain how important your role is to ensure a positive solution, but explain how your group worked together. These may be the opportunity to promote your team working skills as well.

How to Stand Out Your Skills

Highlight your skills in your resume: Your problem-solving skills should show your cover letter, resume, and application materials. Be prepared to discuss phone calls and specific ways of using your skills to solve problems during the interview.

Specify the relevant skills in your cover letter: See the previous roles-whether in academic, work, or volunteer settings-for examples of challenges and for solving your problems while carrying out each function with examples of problem-solving scenarios in the workplace.

You can highlight relevant examples in your cover letter. You can frame bullet points in your resume to show how you can solve the problem.

Be prepared to describe how you can solve the problem: At the time of the interview, the situations that you face in previous roles, to solve the problems, be prepared to describe the procedures you follow, the skills you apply, and the results of your operation. Possible employers are eager to hear a coherent description of the specific ways you’ve used the skills to solve the problem.

problem solving skills it examples

How to Improve skills

Dedicated research and solid analytical skills can facilitate those who have less experience in their field. There may be times when a solution may take some time or it can increase the problem to a person who is able to solve the problem.

There are several useful ways you can be able to improve your problem-solving skills. Whether you are looking for a job or working now, improving your problem-solving skills and related skills will help you to support a strong candidate and employee with examples of problem solving interview answers.

Earn more technical knowledge of your case. Depending on your industry, if you have technical knowledge of powerful work, it can be easier to solve the problem. You can make more technical knowledge through additional coursework, training, or practice.

Practice problems While learning to develop your problem-solving skills, practice, and roles may be useful tools to play. You can find solutions to professional practice books and online troubleshooting solutions for your industry. How you can solve that problem and determine whether your potential solutions are effective.

For example, how do you manage customer service such as “How to manage a gross customer?” Or “How do the customers show their reaction?” Can find a scenario like this. When they get to the job, the industry can help them with quick solutions with problem-solving interview answers examples.

Find solutions to the problem by dint of problem-solving examples for performance review.

By putting yourself in new situations, you are more likely to open up opportunities to solve the problem. In your current role, new projects have the opportunity to be volunteers, outside of the workplace for other organizations or outside the organization.

Observe how others solve the problem. The skilled problem solver who can have your colleagues. How those colleagues solve the problem can help you improve your own skills.

If possible, ask one of your more experienced colleagues if you can follow their strategy. Asking relevant questions can be helpful in applying your own career.

1. Participate in Yoga

The highly effective mixture of body consciousness, breathing, and meditation that’s required throughout yoga observe has been proven to considerably increase cognitive take look at scores.

Other outcomes from a University of Illinois research embrace shorter response times, more accuracy, and increased consideration based on problem-solving skills selection criteria example.

2. Play Some Soccer

A link has been discovered between our mind’s “executive functions” and sports activities’ success with problem solving scenario interview questions.

When in motion, our brains are shortly multitasking between shifting, anticipating, strategizing, reacting, and performing. Doing all these items directly requires an unlimited quantity of mental exercise.

This may be associated with our working world once we plan, motivate, monitor our actions, and problem-solve suddenly. Therefore, it could be concluded that if you play soccer or some other fast-moving sport, you’re rewiring your mind to be quicker at considering, processing, and reacting to issues.

3. Get a Good Night’s Sleep

More than some other sleeping or awake state, Rapid Eye Movement (REM) sleep straight enhances creative processing within the mind with analytical problem solving skills examples.

REM sleep helps “stimulate associative networks, allowing the brain to make new and useful associations between unrelated ideas” and is “not due to selective memory enhancements” equivalent to reminiscence consolidation, which happens when awake.

4. Eat Some Cheerios

The Cheerios Effect is the name physicists have given to the occasion that occurs when the previous few cheerios in a bowl at all times cling to one another. The explanation for this incidence is floor stress with the help of thinking and problem solving soft skills examples.

The takeaway is that in relation to experiencing stress while attempting to resolve an issue, cling to those around you. Rely on others’ experiences and concepts, even these from totally different professional fields. Draw connections. Brainstorm. Work collectively to get the job carried out.

5. Dance Your Heart Out

Did you recognize that dancing has an optimistic effect on neural processing, probably growing new neural pathways to go around dopamine-depleted blockages within the mind?

This signifies that for those who have interaction in ballet or one other type of structured dance, doing so could facilitate convergent considering. In different phrases, it could assist you to discover a single, applicable reply to an issue examples of problem solving skills in administration.

If you need assistance with divergent considering (discovering a number of solutions to an issue), participating in additional improvised kinds of dance equivalent to hip-hop or faucet would possibly just do the trick.

6. Keep an “Idea Journal” with You

Problem solving with a journal you’ll be capable of shortly filing vital ideas, writing down private experiences, making sketches, and discovering concepts if you hold “Idea Journal” with you always with problem solving selection criteria examples.

Working out issues by sorting your ideas on paper after which viewing them more objectively is less complicated than having all of your ideas caught in your head (and can present higher problem-solving methods).

7. Use Mind Maps to Help Visualize the Problem

Mind Maps, a visible snapshot of an issue and its doable options, can assist focus thoughts, stimulate the brain, improve the capability for creative considering, and generate more concepts for options.

Make a Mind Map by drawing your drawback because of the central concept. Add “main branches” consisting of all the explanations for the issue. Use “sub-branches” to discover further particulars.

Next, make a separate Mind Map of all doable options to the central drawback. Add “main branches” exhibiting all of the ways in which your drawback may be solved, equivalent to colleagues that may assist, methods you may apply, and different assets you need to use.

Add “sub-branches” to additional discover the small print. Make a remaining department with essentially the most appropriate resolution for the main drawback. Use “sub-branches” for details for example of fact-finding skills to solve a problem.

8. Create “Psychological Distance”

What is the psychological distance? According to the construal degree theory (CLT), it’s “anything that we do not experience as occurring now, here, and to ourselves.” Some examples include taking one other particular person’s perspective or considering the issue as unlikely.

Scientists have proven that by rising the psychological distance between us and our drawbacks, we’ll have a rise in inventive options such as examples of problem-solving in everyday life.

This occurs as a result of considering more abstractly helps us kind unexpected connections between seemingly unrelated ideas, thus permitting our minds to extend their problem-solving capacity.

problem solving skills it examples

9. Work out to Some Tunes

Research on cardiac rehabilitation sufferers examined verbal fluency after exercising with and without music without problem-solving scenarios in job interviews.

Results confirmed that after they listened to music understanding, members greater than doubled their scores on verbal fluency assessments in distinction to those after they worked out in silence.

According to the research’s lead author, “The combination of music and exercise may stimulate and increase cognitive arousal while helping to organize the cognitive output.”

10. Work out Your Brain with Logic Puzzles or Games

The profitable technique when enjoying chess, Sudoku, a Rubik’s Cube, or different brain-boosting games is definitely to work the issue backward, not ahead. The identical technique can apply to realistic strategic-thinking conditions.

To construct your mind muscle and develop new problem-solving methods, observe some logic puzzles and different games, as an example of problem-solving skills

Problem-solving skills have suitable examples and are inevitable that employers look for in candidates before and after employment. Your problem-solving skills will be an advantage for you at every step of your career and problem-solving skills examples for the interview.

Starting from the application, in job interview interviews, the ability to effectively deal with problems can be very valuable to you after the valuable resources and candidates for the job. Here are some examples of problem-solving scenarios:

Examples of problem-solving scenarios

In almost every career sector, the solution to the problem is that employers are one of the key skills of finding a job applicant. It is difficult to find a blue-collar, administrative, managerial, or professional position, which does not require skill-solving skills.

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10 Best Problem-Solving Therapy Worksheets & Activities

Problem solving therapy

Cognitive science tells us that we regularly face not only well-defined problems but, importantly, many that are ill defined (Eysenck & Keane, 2015).

Sometimes, we find ourselves unable to overcome our daily problems or the inevitable (though hopefully infrequent) life traumas we face.

Problem-Solving Therapy aims to reduce the incidence and impact of mental health disorders and improve wellbeing by helping clients face life’s difficulties (Dobson, 2011).

This article introduces Problem-Solving Therapy and offers techniques, activities, and worksheets that mental health professionals can use with clients.

Before you continue, we thought you might like to download our three Positive Psychology Exercises for free . These science-based exercises explore fundamental aspects of positive psychology, including strengths, values, and self-compassion, and will give you the tools to enhance the wellbeing of your clients, students, or employees.

This Article Contains:

What is problem-solving therapy, 14 steps for problem-solving therapy, 3 best interventions and techniques, 7 activities and worksheets for your session, fascinating books on the topic, resources from, a take-home message.

Problem-Solving Therapy assumes that mental disorders arise in response to ineffective or maladaptive coping. By adopting a more realistic and optimistic view of coping, individuals can understand the role of emotions and develop actions to reduce distress and maintain mental wellbeing (Nezu & Nezu, 2009).

“Problem-solving therapy (PST) is a psychosocial intervention, generally considered to be under a cognitive-behavioral umbrella” (Nezu, Nezu, & D’Zurilla, 2013, p. ix). It aims to encourage the client to cope better with day-to-day problems and traumatic events and reduce their impact on mental and physical wellbeing.

Clinical research, counseling, and health psychology have shown PST to be highly effective in clients of all ages, ranging from children to the elderly, across multiple clinical settings, including schizophrenia, stress, and anxiety disorders (Dobson, 2011).

Can it help with depression?

PST appears particularly helpful in treating clients with depression. A recent analysis of 30 studies found that PST was an effective treatment with a similar degree of success as other successful therapies targeting depression (Cuijpers, Wit, Kleiboer, Karyotaki, & Ebert, 2020).

Other studies confirm the value of PST and its effectiveness at treating depression in multiple age groups and its capacity to combine with other therapies, including drug treatments (Dobson, 2011).

The major concepts

Effective coping varies depending on the situation, and treatment typically focuses on improving the environment and reducing emotional distress (Dobson, 2011).

PST is based on two overlapping models:

Social problem-solving model

This model focuses on solving the problem “as it occurs in the natural social environment,” combined with a general coping strategy and a method of self-control (Dobson, 2011, p. 198).

The model includes three central concepts:

The model is a “self-directed cognitive-behavioral process by which an individual, couple, or group attempts to identify or discover effective solutions for specific problems encountered in everyday living” (Dobson, 2011, p. 199).

Relational problem-solving model

The theory of PST is underpinned by a relational problem-solving model, whereby stress is viewed in terms of the relationships between three factors:

Therefore, when a significant adverse life event occurs, it may require “sweeping readjustments in a person’s life” (Dobson, 2011, p. 202).

problem solving skills it examples

D’Zurilla’s and Nezu’s model includes (modified from Dobson, 2011):

Success in PST depends on the effectiveness of its implementation; using the right approach is crucial (Dobson, 2011).

The following interventions and techniques are helpful when implementing more effective problem-solving approaches in client’s lives.

First, it is essential to consider if PST is the best approach for the client, based on the problems they present.

Is PPT appropriate?

It is vital to consider whether PST is appropriate for the client’s situation. Therapists new to the approach may require additional guidance (Nezu et al., 2013).

Therapists should consider the following questions before beginning PST with a client (modified from Nezu et al., 2013):

All affirmative answers suggest that PST would be a helpful technique to apply in this instance.

Five problem-solving steps

The following five steps are valuable when working with clients to help them cope with and manage their environment (modified from Dobson, 2011).

Ask the client to consider the following points (forming the acronym ADAPT) when confronted by a problem:

If the client is not satisfied with their solution, they can return to step ‘A’ and find a more appropriate solution.

Positive self-statements

When dealing with clients facing negative self-beliefs, it can be helpful for them to use positive self-statements.

Use the following (or add new) self-statements to replace harmful, negative thinking (modified from Dobson, 2011):

Worksheets for problem solving therapy

5 Worksheets and workbooks

Problem-solving self-monitoring form.

Answering the questions in the Problem-Solving Self-Monitoring Form provides the therapist with necessary information regarding the client’s overall and specific problem-solving approaches and reactions (Dobson, 2011).

Ask the client to complete the following:

Reactions to Stress

It can be helpful for the client to recognize their own experiences of stress. Do they react angrily, withdraw, or give up (Dobson, 2011)?

The Reactions to Stress worksheet can be given to the client as homework to capture stressful events and their reactions. By recording how they felt, behaved, and thought, they can recognize repeating patterns.

What Are Your Unique Triggers?

Helping clients capture triggers for their stressful reactions can encourage emotional regulation.

When clients can identify triggers that may lead to a negative response, they can stop the experience or slow down their emotional reaction (Dobson, 2011).

The What Are Your Unique Triggers ? worksheet helps the client identify their triggers (e.g., conflict, relationships, physical environment, etc.).

Problem-Solving worksheet

Imagining an existing or potential problem and working through how to resolve it can be a powerful exercise for the client.

Use the Problem-Solving worksheet to state a problem and goal and consider the obstacles in the way. Then explore options for achieving the goal, along with their pros and cons, to assess the best action plan.

Getting the Facts

Clients can become better equipped to tackle problems and choose the right course of action by recognizing facts versus assumptions and gathering all the necessary information (Dobson, 2011).

Use the Getting the Facts worksheet to answer the following questions clearly and unambiguously:

2 Helpful Group Activities

While therapists can use the worksheets above in group situations, the following two interventions work particularly well with more than one person.

Generating Alternative Solutions and Better Decision-Making

A group setting can provide an ideal opportunity to share a problem and identify potential solutions arising from multiple perspectives.

Use the Generating Alternative Solutions and Better Decision-Making worksheet and ask the client to explain the situation or problem to the group and the obstacles in the way.

Once the approaches are captured and reviewed, the individual can share their decision-making process with the group if they want further feedback.


Visualization can be performed with individuals or in a group setting to help clients solve problems in multiple ways, including (Dobson, 2011):

Guided imagery is particularly valuable for encouraging the group to take a ‘mental vacation’ and let go of stress.

Ask the group to begin with slow, deep breathing that fills the entire diaphragm. Then ask them to visualize a favorite scene (real or imagined) that makes them feel relaxed, perhaps beside a gently flowing river, a summer meadow, or at the beach.

The more the senses are engaged, the more real the experience. Ask the group to think about what they can hear, see, touch, smell, and even taste.

Encourage them to experience the situation as fully as possible, immersing themselves and enjoying their place of safety.

Such feelings of relaxation may be able to help clients fall asleep, relieve stress, and become more ready to solve problems.

We have included three of our favorite books on the subject of Problem-Solving Therapy below.

1. Problem-Solving Therapy: A Treatment Manual – Arthur Nezu, Christine Maguth Nezu, and Thomas D’Zurilla

Problem-Solving Therapy

This is an incredibly valuable book for anyone wishing to understand the principles and practice behind PST.

Written by the co-developers of PST, the manual provides powerful toolkits to overcome cognitive overload, emotional dysregulation, and the barriers to practical problem-solving.

Find the book on Amazon .

2. Emotion-Centered Problem-Solving Therapy: Treatment Guidelines – Arthur Nezu and Christine Maguth Nezu

Emotion-Centered Problem-Solving Therapy

Another, more recent, book from the creators of PST, this text includes important advances in neuroscience underpinning the role of emotion in behavioral treatment.

Along with clinical examples, the book also includes crucial toolkits that form part of a stepped model for the application of PST.

3. Handbook of Cognitive-Behavioral Therapies – Keith Dobson and David Dozois

Handbook of Cognitive-Behavioral Therapies

This is the fourth edition of a hugely popular guide to Cognitive-Behavioral Therapies and includes a valuable and insightful section on Problem-Solving Therapy.

This is an important book for students and more experienced therapists wishing to form a high-level and in-depth understanding of the tools and techniques available to Cognitive-Behavioral Therapists.

For even more tools to help strengthen your clients’ problem-solving skills, check out the following free worksheets from our blog.

While we are born problem-solvers, facing an incredibly diverse set of challenges daily, we sometimes need support.

Problem-Solving Therapy aims to reduce stress and associated mental health disorders and improve wellbeing by improving our ability to cope. PST is valuable in diverse clinical settings, ranging from depression to schizophrenia, with research suggesting it as a highly effective treatment for teaching coping strategies and reducing emotional distress.

Many PST techniques are available to help improve clients’ positive outlook on obstacles while reducing avoidance of problem situations and the tendency to be careless and impulsive.

The PST model typically assesses the client’s strengths, weaknesses, and coping strategies when facing problems before encouraging a healthy experience of and relationship with problem-solving.

Why not use this article to explore the theory behind PST and try out some of our powerful tools and interventions with your clients to help them with their decision-making, coping, and problem-solving?

We hope you enjoyed reading this article. Don’t forget to download our three Positive Psychology Exercises for free .

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Creative Problem Solving Examples | 8 Best Interview Questions & Answers You Need

Creative Problem Solving Examples | 8 Best Interview Questions & Answers You Need

Jane Ng • 06 Mar 2023 • 7 min read

To get a deeper understanding of this skill and prepare for related interview questions, let’s dive into creative problem solving examples in today’s post. 

During unexpected crises or challenging circumstances, individuals demonstrate their strong qualities, including problem-solving abilities. As a result, employers highly value candidates who possess a creative approach to problem solving. 

What Is Creative Problem Solving?

Benefits of having creative problem solving skills, 8 creative problem solving examples – interview questions and answers, tips to improve your creative problem solving skills.

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As the name implies, Creative Problem Solving is a process of creating unique and innovative solutions to problems or challenges. It requires coming up with out-of-the-box ideas instead of the traditional way of doing things. It involves a combination of thinking differently, figuring out what’s best, seeing things from different angles, and seizing new opportunities or generating ideas.

creative problem solving process examples

And remember, the goal of creative problem solving is to find practical, effective, and unique solutions that go beyond conventional (and sometimes risky, of course).

Need more creative problem solving examples? Let’s read more!

As a candidate, having creative problem solving skills can bring several benefits, including:

Here are some creative problem solving examples of interview questions, along with sample answers:

problem solving skills it examples

1/ How do you approach a new problem or challenge? 

This is the time when you should show the interviewer your way of doing, your way of thinking. 

Example answer: “I start by gathering information and understanding the problem thoroughly. I then brainstorm potential solutions and consider which ones have the most potential. I also think about the potential risks and benefits of each solution. From there, I select the best solution and create a plan of action to implement it. I continuously evaluate the situation and make adjustments as needed until the problem is solved.”

2/ What radical new or different ways to approach a challenge?

This question is a harder version of the previous one. It requires innovative and unique solutions to a challenge. The interviewer wants to see if you can have different approaches to problem-solving. It’s important to remember that not necessarily giving the best answer but showing your ability to think creatively and generate new ideas.

Example answer: “A completely different way to approach this challenge could be to collaborate with a company or organization outside of our industry. This could provide a fresh perspective and ideas. Another approach might be to involve employees from different departments in the problem-solving process, which can lead to cross-functional solutions and bring in a wide range of ideas and perspectives and more diverse points.”

3/ Can you give an example of a time when you came up with a creative solution to a problem?

The interviewer needs more concrete proof or examples of your creative problem-solving skills. So answer the question as specifically as possible, and show them specific metrics if available.

Sample answer: “I’m running a marketing campaign, and we’re having a hard time engaging with a certain target audience. I was thinking about this from a different perspective and came up with an idea. The idea was to create a series of interactive events so that the customers could experience our products uniquely and in a fun way. The campaign was a huge success and exceeded its goals in terms of engagement and sales.”

problem solving skills it examples

4/ Can you recall a time you successfully managed a crisis?

Interviewers want to see how you handle high-pressure situations and solve problems effectively.

Example answer: “When I was working on a project, and one of the key members of the team was suddenly unavailable because of an emergency. This put the project at risk of being delayed. I quickly assessed the situation and made a plan to reassign tasks to other team members. I also communicated effectively with the client to ensure they were aware of the situation and that we were still on track to meet our deadline. Through effective crisis management, we were able to complete the project tasks on time and without any major hitches.”

5/ Can you name three common barriers to creativity and how you overcome each of them?

This is how the interviewer gauges your perspective and sets you apart from other candidates.

Example answer:   “Yes, I can identify three common barriers to creativity in problem solving. First, the fear of failure can prevent individuals from taking risks and trying new ideas. I overcome this by accepting failure as a learning opportunity and encouraging myself to experiment with new ideas Second, limited resources such as time and finances can reduce creativity. I overcome this by prioritizing problem-solving in my schedule and finding the best cost-effective tools and methods. Lastly, a lack of inspiration can hinder creativity. To overcome this, I expose myself to new experiences and environments, try new hobbies, travel, and surround myself with people with different perspectives. I also read about new ideas and tools, and keep a journal to record my thoughts and ideas.”

problem solving skills it examples

6/ Have you ever had to solve a problem but didn’t have all the necessary information about it before? And what have you done?

Having to deal with a “sudden” problem is a common situation you will encounter in any work environment. Employers want to know how you deal with this inconvenience reasonably and effectively.

Example answer:   “ In such cases, I proactively reach out and gather information from different sources to better understand the situation. I talk to stakeholders, research online, and use my experience and knowledge to fill in any gaps. I also asked clarifying questions about the problem and what information was missing. This allows me to form a holistic view of the problem and work towards finding a solution, even when complete information is not available.”

7/ What do you do when it seems impossible to find the right solution to a problem?

Employers are looking for candidates problem solving, creativity, and critical thinking skills. The candidate’s answers can also reveal their problem-solving strategies, thinking ability, and resilience in the face of challenges.

Example answer:   “When I have to face a problem that I can’t seem to solve, I take a multi-step approach to overcome this challenge. Firstly, I try to reframe the problem by looking at it from a different angle, which can often lead to new ideas and insights. Secondly, I reach out to my colleagues, mentors, or experts in the field for their perspectives and advice. Collaborating and brainstorming with others can result in new solutions. Thirdly, I take a break, by stepping away from it and doing something completely different to clear my mind and gain a new perspective. Fourthly, I revisit the problem with a fresh mind and renewed focus. Fifthly, I consider alternative solutions or approaches, trying to keep an open mind and explore unconventional options. Finally, I refine the solution and test it to guarantee it meets the requirements and effectively solves the problem. This process allows me to find creative and innovative solutions, even when the problem seems difficult to solve.”

8/ How do you know when to deal with the problem yourself or ask for help? 

In this question, the interviewer wants to get a clearer picture of your ability to assess situations, be flexible when solving problems, and make sure you can work independently as well as in a team.

Example answer: “I would assess the situation and determine if I have the skills, knowledge, and resources needed to solve the problem effectively. If the problem is complex and beyond my ability, I will seek help from a colleague or supervisor. However, if I can afford it and deal with the problem effectively, I’ll take it on and handle it myself. However, my ultimate goal is still to find the best solution to the problem on time. “

problem solving skills it examples

Here are some tips to help your creative problem-solving skills:

Final Thoughts

Hopefully, this article has provided helpful creative problem solving examples and prepared you well to score points with the recruiters. If you want to improve your’s creative problem-solving skills, it’s important to embrace a growth mindset, accept failure, think creatively, and collaborate with others.

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What are soft skills?

At a minimum, employees need role-specific knowledge and abilities to perform their job duties. But, those who usually stand out as high performers need some additional qualities, such as the ability to communicate clearly, the ability to work well with others and the ability to manage their time effectively. These abilities are examples of soft skills.

While it’s difficult to come up with a universal soft skills definition, you can think of them as skills that are not tied to one specific job; they’re general characteristics that help employees thrive in the workplace, no matter their seniority level, role or industry. They’re often called transferable skills or interpersonal skills.

Why are soft skills important?

How do you assess soft skills in candidates, here are 15 soft skills examples that are essential traits among employees:.

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In job ads, it’s common to include requirements such as “communication skills” or “a problem-solving attitude”. That’s because soft skills help you:

How to evaluate soft skills in the workplace

Identifying and assessing soft skills in candidates is no easy feat: those qualities are often intangible and can’t be measured by simply looking at what soft skills each candidate includes in their resume. Besides, candidates will try to present themselves as positively as possible during interviews, so it’s your job to dig deeper to uncover what they can really bring to the table in terms of soft skills.

1. Know what you’re looking for in potential hires beforehand and ask all candidates the same questions.

Before starting your interview process for an open role, consider what kind of soft skills are important in this role and prepare specific questions to assess those skills. This step is important for you to evaluate all candidates objectively. For example, in a sales role, good communication is key. By preparing specific questions that evaluate how candidates use their communication skills on the job, you’re more likely to find someone who can actually communicate with clients effectively, instead of hiring someone who only appears so (e.g. because they’re extroverted).

To help you out, we gathered examples of soft skills questions that test specific skills:

2. Ask behavioral questions to learn how they’ve used soft skills in previous jobs.

Past behaviors indicate how candidates behave in business settings, so they can be used as a soft skill assessment, too. For example, you can ask targeted questions to learn how candidates have resolved conflicts, how they’ve managed time-sensitive tasks or how they’ve worked in group projects.

Here are some ideas:

Check our list of behavioral interview questions for more examples.

3. Use hypothetical scenarios, games and activities that test specific abilities.

Often, it’s useful to simulate job duties to test how candidates would approach regular tasks and challenges. That’s because each job, team and company is different, so you want to find a candidate who fits your unique environment. For example, a role-playing activity can help you assess whether salespeople have the negotiation skills you’re specifically looking for. Or, you can use a game-based exercise to identify candidates who solve problems creatively.

Here are some examples:

For more ideas on using hypothetical scenarios to evaluate candidates, take a look at our situational interview questions .

4. Pay attention to candidates’ answers and reactions during interviews

You can learn a lot about candidates’ soft skills through job-specific questions and assignments. Even if you want to primarily test candidates’ knowledge and hard skills, you can still notice strong and weak points in soft skills, too. For example, one candidate might claim to have excellent attention to detail, but if their written assignment has many typos and errors, then that’s a red flag. Likewise, when a candidate gives you clear, well-structured answers, it’s a hint they’re good communicators.

To form an objective opinion on candidates’ soft skills and abilities, make sure you take everything into consideration: from the way they interact with you during interviews to their performance on job-related tasks. This way, you’ll be more confident you select the most competent employees, but also those who fit well to your work environment.

Want more definitions? See our complete library of HR Terms .

Frequently asked questions

What soft skills should you look for in new employees.

It’s important to find an employee who adds value to your workplace in the form of soft skills. Make sure to ask the right interview questions to determine if your new hires have skills such as: communication, teamwork, critical thinking, adaptability, and leadership, along with many more.

How can you train soft skills?

Encouraging your employees to continue their personal development not only helps them but can improve your business. You can help train their soft skills through coaching and mentoring or holding workshops for your employees.

How can you assess soft skills in new hires?

When interviewing new candidates, you should ask questions that take place in real scenarios to assess their soft skills. Ask for specific examples from them to extract this information.

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What Are Problem-Solving Skills? Definition and Examples

Zoe Kaplan

person sitting at desk with headphones thinking

Why do employers hire employees? To help them solve problems. Whether you’re a financial analyst deciding where to invest your firm’s money, or a marketer trying to figure out which channel to direct your efforts, companies hire people to help them find solutions. Problem-solving is an essential and marketable soft skill in the workplace. 

So, how can you improve your problem-solving and show employers you have this valuable skill? In this guide, we’ll cover:

Problem-Solving Skills Definition

Why are problem-solving skills important, problem-solving skills examples, how to include problem-solving skills in a job application, how to improve problem-solving skills, problem-solving: the bottom line.

Problem-solving skills are the ability to identify problems, brainstorm and analyze answers, and implement the best solutions. An employee with good problem-solving skills is both a self-starter and a collaborative teammate; they are proactive in understanding the root of a problem and work with others to consider a wide range of solutions before deciding how to move forward. 

Examples of using problem-solving skills in the workplace include:

Problem-solving skills are the most sought-after soft skill of 2022. In fact, 86% of employers look for problem-solving skills on student resumes, according to the National Association of Colleges and Employers Job Outlook 2022 survey . 

It’s unsurprising why employers are looking for this skill: companies will always need people to help them find solutions to their problems. Someone proactive and successful at problem-solving is valuable to any team.

“Employers are looking for employees who can make decisions independently, especially with the prevalence of remote/hybrid work and the need to communicate asynchronously,” Eric Mochnacz, senior HR consultant at Red Clover, says. “Employers want to see individuals who can make well-informed decisions that mitigate risk, and they can do so without suffering from analysis paralysis.”

Problem-solving includes three main parts: identifying the problem, analyzing possible solutions, and deciding on the best course of action.

Research is the first step of problem-solving because it helps you understand the context of a problem. Researching a problem enables you to learn why the problem is happening. For example, is revenue down because of a new sales tactic? Or because of seasonality? Is there a problem with who the sales team is reaching out to? 

Research broadens your scope to all possible reasons why the problem could be happening. Then once you figure it out, it helps you narrow your scope to start solving it. 

Analysis is the next step of problem-solving. Now that you’ve identified the problem, analytical skills help you look at what potential solutions there might be.

“The goal of analysis isn’t to solve a problem, actually — it’s to better understand it because that’s where the real solution will be found,” Gretchen Skalka, owner of Career Insights Consulting, says. “Looking at a problem through the lens of impartiality is the only way to get a true understanding of it from all angles.”


Once you’ve figured out where the problem is coming from and what solutions are, it’s time to decide on the best way to go forth. Decision-making skills help you determine what resources are available, what a feasible action plan entails, and what solution is likely to lead to success.

On a Resume

Employers looking for problem-solving skills might include the word “problem-solving” or other synonyms like “critical thinking” or “analytical skills” in the job description.

“I would add ‘buzzwords’ you can find from the job descriptions or LinkedIn endorsements section to filter into your resume to comply with the ATS,” Matthew Warzel, CPRW resume writer, advises. Warzel recommends including these skills on your resume but warns to “leave the soft skills as adjectives in the summary section. That is the only place soft skills should be mentioned.”

On the other hand, you can list hard skills separately in a skills section on your resume .

In a Cover Letter or an Interview

Explaining your problem-solving skills in an interview can seem daunting. You’re required to expand on your process — how you identified a problem, analyzed potential solutions, and made a choice. As long as you can explain your approach, it’s okay if that solution didn’t come from a professional work experience.

“Young professionals shortchange themselves by thinking only paid-for solutions matter to employers,” Skalka says. “People at the genesis of their careers don’t have a wealth of professional experience to pull from, but they do have relevant experience to share.”

Aaron Case, career counselor and CPRW at Resume Genius, agrees and encourages early professionals to share this skill. “If you don’t have any relevant work experience yet, you can still highlight your problem-solving skills in your cover letter,” he says. “Just showcase examples of problems you solved while completing your degree, working at internships, or volunteering. You can even pull examples from completely unrelated part-time jobs, as long as you make it clear how your problem-solving ability transfers to your new line of work.”

Learn How to Identify Problems

Problem-solving doesn’t just require finding solutions to problems that are already there. It’s also about being proactive when something isn’t working as you hoped it would. Practice questioning and getting curious about processes and activities in your everyday life. What could you improve? What would you do if you had more resources for this process? If you had fewer? Challenge yourself to challenge the world around you.

Think Digitally

“Employers in the modern workplace value digital problem-solving skills, like being able to find a technology solution to a traditional issue,” Case says. “For example, when I first started working as a marketing writer, my department didn’t have the budget to hire a professional voice actor for marketing video voiceovers. But I found a perfect solution to the problem with an AI voiceover service that cost a fraction of the price of an actor.”

Being comfortable with new technology — even ones you haven’t used before — is a valuable skill in an increasingly hybrid and remote world. Don’t be afraid to research new and innovative technologies to help automate processes or find a more efficient technological solution.


Problem-solving isn’t done in a silo, and it shouldn’t be. Use your collaboration skills to gather multiple perspectives, help eliminate bias, and listen to alternative solutions. Ask others where they think the problem is coming from and what solutions would help them with your workflow. From there, try to compromise on a solution that can benefit everyone.

If we’ve learned anything from the past few years, it’s that the world of work is constantly changing — which means it’s crucial to know how to adapt . Be comfortable narrowing down a solution, then changing your direction when a colleague provides a new piece of information. Challenge yourself to get out of your comfort zone, whether with your personal routine or trying a new system at work.

Put Yourself in the Middle of Tough Moments

Just like adapting requires you to challenge your routine and tradition, good problem-solving requires you to put yourself in challenging situations — especially ones where you don’t have relevant experience or expertise to find a solution. Because you won’t know how to tackle the problem, you’ll learn new problem-solving skills and how to navigate new challenges. Ask your manager or a peer if you can help them work on a complicated problem, and be proactive about asking them questions along the way.

Companies always need people to help them find solutions — especially proactive employees who have practical analytical skills and can collaborate to decide the best way to move forward. Whether or not you have experience solving problems in a professional workplace, illustrate your problem-solving skills by describing your research, analysis, and decision-making process — and make it clear that you’re the solution to the employer’s current problems. 

Looking to learn more workplace professional skills? Check out Two Sigma’s Professional Skills Development Virtual Experience Program .

Image Credit: Christina Morillo / Pexels 

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What Are Problem-Solving Skills? (Examples Included)

Mike Simpson 0 Comments

problem solving skills it examples

By Mike Simpson

Problem-solving skills are important not just for work. In the words of Karl Popper , “All life is problem-solving.”

What on earth does that mean? Simply that being alive means facing challenges. With problem-solving skills, you can navigate issues with greater ease, making hard times, well, less hard.

But what are problem-solving skills? How do you know if you have them or not? Why do they matter to your job search? And what should you do if you don’t feel yours are up to snuff? Luckily, we’re about to get into all of that.

If you’re curious about the world of problem-solving skills, here’s what you need to know.

What Are Problem-Solving Skills?

Before we dig into any examples, let’s focus first on an important question: what are problem-solving skills.

To answer that question, let’s start with the barebones basics. According to Merriam-Webster , problem-solving is “the process or act of finding a solution to a problem.” Why does that matter? Well, because it gives you insight into what problem-solving skills are.

Any skill that helps you find solutions to problems can qualify. And that means problem-solving skills aren’t just one capability, but a toolbox filled with soft skills and hard skills that come together during your time of need.

The ability to solve problems is relevant to any part of your life. Whether your writing a grocery list or dealing with a car that won’t start, you’re actually problem-solving.

The same is true at work, too. Most tasks actually involve a degree of problem-solving. Really? Really.

Think about it this way; when you’re given an assignment, you’re being asked, “Can you do this thing?” Doing that thing is the problem.

Then, you have to find a path that lets you accomplish what you need to do. That is problem-solving.

Yes, sometimes what you need to handle isn’t “challenging” in the difficulty sense. But that doesn’t mean it doesn’t count.

Besides, some of what you need to do will legitimately be hard. Maybe you’re given a new responsibility, or something goes wrong during a project. When that happens, you’ll have to navigate unfamiliar territory, gather new information, and think outside of the box. That’s problem-solving, too.

That’s why hiring managers favor candidates with problem-solving skills. They make you more effective in your role, increasing the odds that you can find solutions whenever the need arises.

How Are Problem-Solving Skills Relevant to a Job Search?

Alright, you probably have a good idea of what problem-solving skills are. Now, it’s time to talk about why they matter to your job search.

We’ve already touched on one major point: hiring managers prefer candidates with strong problem-solving skills. That alone makes these capabilities a relevant part of the equation. If you don’t show the hiring manager you’ve got what it takes to excel, you may struggle to land a position.

But that isn’t the only reason these skills matter. Problem-solving skills can help you during the entire job search process. After all, what’s a job search but a problem – or a series of problems – that needs an answer.

You need a new job; that’s the core problem you’re solving. But every step is its own unique challenge. Finding an opening that matches your skills, creating a resume that resonates with the hiring manager, nailing the interview, and negotiating a salary … those are all smaller problems that are part of the bigger one.

So, problem-solving skills really are at the core of the job search experience. By having strong capabilities in this area, you may find a new position faster than you’d expect.

Okay, you may be thinking, “If hiring managers prefer candidates with problem-solving skills, which ones are they after? Are certain problem-solving capabilities more important today? Is there something I should be going out of my way to showcase?”

While any related skills are worth highlighting, some may get you further than others. Analysis, research, creativity, collaboration , organization, and decision-making are all biggies. With those skills, you can work through the entire problem-solving process, making them worthwhile additions to your resume.

But that doesn’t mean you have to focus there solely. Don’t shy away from showcasing everything you bring to the table. That way, if a particular hiring manager is looking for a certain capability, you’re more likely to tap on what they’re after.

How to Highlight Problem-Solving Skills for Job Search

At this point, it’s ridiculously clear that problem-solving skills are valuable in the eyes of hiring managers. So, how do you show them that you’ve got all of the capabilities they are after? By using the right approach.

When you’re writing your resume or cover letter , your best bet is to highlight achievements that let you put your problem-solving skills to work. That way, you can “show” the hiring manager you have what it takes.

Showing is always better than telling. Anyone can write down, “I have awesome problem-solving skills.” The thing is, that doesn’t really prove that you do. With a great example, you offer up some context, and that makes a difference.

How do you decide on which skills to highlight on your resume or cover letter? By having a great strategy. With the Tailoring Method , it’s all about relevancy. The technique helps you identify skills that matter to that particular hiring manager, allowing you to speak directly to their needs.

Plus, you can use the Tailoring Method when you answer job interview questions . With that approach, you’re making sure those responses are on-point, too.

But when do you talk about your problem-solving capabilities during an interview? Well, there’s a good chance you’ll get asked problem-solving interview questions during your meeting. Take a look at those to see the kinds of questions that are perfect for mentioning these skills.

However, you don’t have to stop there. If you’re asked about your greatest achievement or your strengths, those could be opportunities, too. Nearly any open-ended question could be the right time to discuss those skills, so keep that in mind as you practice for your interview.

How to Develop Problem-Solving Skills If You Don’t Have Them

Developing problem-solving skills may seem a bit tricky on the surface, especially if you think you don’t have them. The thing is, it doesn’t actually have to be hard. You simply need to use the right strategy.

First, understand that you probably do have problem-solving skills; you simply may not have realized it. After all, life is full of challenges that you have to tackle, so there’s a good chance you’ve developed some abilities along the way.

Now, let’s reframe the question and focus on how to improve your problem-solving skills. Here’s how to go about it.

Understand the Problem-Solving Process

In many cases, problem-solving is all about the process. You:

By understanding the core process, you can apply it more effectively. That way, when you encounter an issue, you’ll know how to approach it, increasing the odds you’ll handle the situation effectively.

Try Puzzles and Games

Any activity that lets you take the steps listed above could help you hone your problem-solving skills. For example, brainteasers, puzzles, and logic-based games can be great places to start.

Whether it’s something as straightforward – but nonetheless challenging – as Sudoku or a Rubik’s Cube, or something as complex as Settlers of Catan, it puts your problem-solving skills to work. Plus, if you enjoy the activity, it makes skill-building fun, making it a win-win.

Look for Daily Opportunities

If you’re looking for a practical approach, you’re in luck. You can also look at the various challenges you face during the day and think about how to overcome them.

For example, if you always experience a mid-day energy slump that hurts your productivity, take a deep dive into that problem. Define what’s happening, think about why it occurs, consider various solutions, pick one to try, and analyze the results.

By using the problem-solving approach more often in your life, you’ll develop those skills further and make using these capabilities a habit. Plus, you may find ways to improve your day-to-day living, which is a nice bonus.

Volunteer for “Stretch” Projects

If you’re currently employed, volunteering for projects that push you slightly outside of your comfort zone can help you develop problem-solving skills, too. You’ll encounter the unknown and have to think outside of the box, both of which can boost critical problem-solving-related skills.

Plus, you may gain other capabilities along the way, like experience with new technologies or tools. That makes the project an even bigger career booster, which is pretty awesome.

List of Problem-Solving Skills

Alright, we’ve taken a pretty deep dive into what problem-solving skills are. Now, it’s time for some problem-solving skills examples.

As we mentioned above, there are a ton of capabilities and traits that can support better problem-solving. By understanding what they are, you can showcase the right abilities during your job search.

So, without further ado, here is a quick list of problem-solving skill examples:

Do you have to showcase all of those skills during your job search individually? No, not necessarily. Instead, you want to highlight a range of capabilities based on what the hiring manager is after. If you’re using the Tailoring Method, you’ll know which ones need to make their way into your resume, cover letter, and interview answers.

Now, are there other skills that support problem-solving? Yes, there certainly can be.

Essentially any skill that helps you go from the problem to the solution can, in its own right, be a problem-solving skill.

All of the skills above can be part of the equation. But, if you have another capability that helps you flourish when you encounter an obstacle, it can count, too.

Reflect on your past experience and consider how you’ve navigated challenges in the past. If a particular skill helped you do that, then it’s worth highlighting during a job search.

If you would like to find out more about skills to put on a resume , we’ve taken a close look at the topic before. Along with problem-solving skills, we dig into a variety of other areas, helping you choose what to highlight so that you can increase your odds of landing your perfect job.

Putting It All Together

Ultimately, problem-solving skills are essential for professionals in any kind of field. By honing your capabilities and showcasing them during your job search, you can become a stronger candidate and employee. In the end, that’s all good stuff, making it easier for you to keep your career on track today, tomorrow, and well into the future.

problem solving skills it examples

Co-Founder and CEO of Mike is a job interview and career expert and the head writer at

His advice and insights have been shared and featured by publications such as Forbes , Entrepreneur , CNBC and more as well as educational institutions such as the University of Michigan , Penn State , Northeastern and others.

Learn more about The Interview Guys on our About Us page .

About The Author

Mike simpson.

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Co-Founder and CEO of Mike is a job interview and career expert and the head writer at His advice and insights have been shared and featured by publications such as Forbes , Entrepreneur , CNBC and more as well as educational institutions such as the University of Michigan , Penn State , Northeastern and others. Learn more about The Interview Guys on our About Us page .

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StandOut CV

Problem solving skills for your CV

Andrew Fennell photo

Problem solving skills are vital in the workplace.

With problems arising all the time, those who can solve them are extremely valuable to employers.

So, check out our list of 53 problem solving skills for all industries and experience levels, to help you get hired and move up the career ladder.

Problem solving skills

Problem solving skills

Problem solving skills can be broken down into 5 categories. 1 for each step of the problem-solving process, from finding problems and identifying their causes , to implementing solutions and evaluating their success .

Finding problems

Finding problems

The first step of the problem-solving process is to locate problems that are having a negative effect on your organisation, which is not always easy as it seems.

CV templates 

Identifying causes

Identifying causes

Being able to identify the causes of problems within an organisation is an invaluable skill for any employer, because it allows them to start working on solutions. Here are some ways you can demonstrate this skill on your CV :

Generating solutions


Being able to come up with solutions to problems, demonstrates to an employer that you’re logical, creative, and able to think and work independently. Here are some ways you can illustrate this skill on your CV:

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Implementing solutions

Implementing solutions

It’s important to have the necessary skills needed to implement solutions when problem solving: here are some examples of implementation skills and how to describe them on your CV:

Evaluating success


Being able to evaluate the success or failure of your solutions is key to being an effective problem solver, while also showing any employer that you’re dedicated to producing positive outcomes. Here are some ways that you can list your evaluation skills on your CV:

What are problem solving skills?

Problem solving skills describe a set of skills that can be used in any work environment to identify problems and come up with effective solutions to fix them. Having good problem-solving skills also means being able to evaluate how effective your solutions have been – this means being able to analyse, monitor, and evaluate your work objectively.

You also need to possess a strong set of implementation skills in order to fix problems in a fast-paced work environment. Skills such as project management , planning, time management , and reporting are all cornerstone skills when it comes to solving problems.

Why are problem solving skills important?

Problem solving skills are important in any job for one simple reason: you’re going to encounter plenty of problems and obstacles in almost any line of work. Having good problem solving skills also reflect on your general competencies: being a good problem solver shows that you’re a self-starter, logical, creative and a helpful addition to any team.

Having a strong set of problem solving skills is also great for your career: you’ll be able to apply these skills in a wide range of roles and thrive in any fast-paced work environment. Put simply, being an effective problem-solver will help you advance in your career while contributing to the success of your organisation.

How to add problem solving skills to your CV

You can add your problem solving skills to your CV in two ways: either by adding a few relevant skills to your opening profile when writing your CV , or by adding examples to your work experience . When writing out your work experience, you can use the “responsibilities” section to demonstrate where you used your problem solving skills throughout your career, and the results you achieved for employers.

By placing some of your key problem-solving skills in your profile , you’re more likely to catch the attention of a recruiter searching for the ideal candidate. You can display your main problem solving skills as follows:

CV profile

Work experience

You can demonstrate your problem solving skills when discussing your former employment by listing your key responsibilities, tasks and achievements. Adding this information will back up the validity of your described skillset with concrete evidence.

CV job

What To Avoid

If you want to demonstrate to a potential employer that you possess the skillset they’re looking for, you have to show, not tell. This means giving concrete examples of your skills in action, rather than offering generic statements such as “Good problem solver” or simply “problem solving skills.”

Employers want to know why you’ll be a valuable asset to their business or organisation, and it’s your job to show them why. Simply writing that you are a “problem solver” will not prove the fact to anyone, you need to show them with solid examples of your past work.

Follow the formula in the examples above to efficiently demonstrate your problem solving skills: the more achievements you can offer, the better.


5 Essential Soft Skills to Develop in Any Job

problem solving skills it examples

You don’t have to be in your dream job to advance your career.

If you’ve been laid off, you might find yourself working in a job outside your industry — for example, in transportation, health care, social assistance, accommodation, food service, etc. — to support yourself and your family. Even if that job’s responsibilities seem far afield from your chosen career path, this is an opportunity to develop or elevate skills that are needed in any industry. The author discusses five soft skills to focus on during your time outside your chosen field — teamwork, influencing without authority, effective communication, problem solving, and leadership — and how to position them on your resume.

Being laid off is a shock — even if you see it coming. If you’re eligible for severance pay, you might feel okay for a while, but there may come a point when you need to take a job outside of your profession to pay the bills (maybe in retail, food service, or hospitality). But landing a job outside of your industry can still move your career forward.

Here are the skills you can practice and learn while working outside of your chosen field, and how to position them on your resume.

Skills to hone when you’re in the role

If possible, look for ways to practice the hard skills from your profession. For example, if you worked in finance at a tech company and are now working as a host or server at a local restaurant, ask if you can do the reconciliation at the end of the night or the financial planning or modeling for ordering food, beverages, and supplies to cut down on waste.

If you can’t use your hard skills, focus on soft skills, which are needed in every job in every industry. Consider how you can develop or improve these five soft skills while working outside of your chosen field:

Effective communication

Working in any industry affords the opportunity to improve your communication skills. Being able to take complex problems and simplify them for all audiences is a critical capability. Use the new job to work on adjusting your communication to each audience you interact with and see how they receive what you say. What worked? What didn’t? For example, some people like direction and some people like to be empowered. For those who like direction, provide guidance in your communication, and for those who like to be empowered, be curious and coach to allow them to come up with their own resonant solutions. Delivering communication to each audience in the way they like to receive it is crucial for success in nearly every business.

Depending on what kind of employment you found, you may have the opportunity to elevate your teamwork capabilities. For example, can you learn and practice new ways to resolve conflicts? Can you advance your ability to align stakeholders? Working with new people who have different personalities and perspectives will always provide opportunities to increase these interpersonal skills.

Influencing without authority

If you take a job in an industry outside your current career path, you may be able to use your experience to influence how the business runs. For example, I once had a client who lost her sales job and worked for her father at his small marketing agency while she continued to job search. Her experience in sales gave her great exposure to which marketing tactics work and which don’t. But her father believed he knew what was best for his company. She had to work incredibly hard to influence him to think in a different way. After two unsuccessful attempts, she worked to see things from her father’s perspective and brought him along on the journey of change at his pace. It worked, and her father encouraged her to try her approach, which increased business by 20%. While she was successful in driving her father’s business, she was also successful in learning how to influence more effectively, and that helped her in her next career move.

Problem solving

Every job has challenges, some more complex than others. Being adept at problem solving — which includes understanding the problem and root cause, then brainstorming solutions and alternatives — shows structured thinking with logic-based reasoning. Look for challenges in the new job and actively work to solve problems in creative and constructive ways. Once you’ve implemented the best solution, determine if adjustments need to be made to ensure long-term success.

Leadership is about guiding and influencing others to maximize their capabilities to achieve a collective goal. Perhaps you want to be a manager in your chosen field and haven’t had the opportunity, or you’ve been a manager before. Either way, you can develop or improve your leadership skills in any job where you want to advance your listening, coaching, and guiding capabilities to align a group of people to move toward the same direction. You can also use any leadership experience you have to help the next generation develop their own leadership skills, which will help them achieve their career goals.

How to translate these skills on your resume

For the first few months after being laid off, you can leave a new job outside your industry off your resume. But if you’re still seeking employment in your chosen field after six months, you’ll want to show you’re keeping relevant skills fresh.

When positioning your job on your resume, tie the experience to your career path. For example, if your career has always been in marketing and you’re working at a retail store, your resume could reflect your current job like this:

Retail Associate [Retail store name]

This language includes keywords from marketing job descriptions and includes the skills needed in the marketing field. It doesn’t include working the cash register or stocking shelves, which may be most of your daily work responsibilities, because those skills aren’t directly relevant to marketing.

To keep your skills fresh, you may also decide to take some professional courses during this time. If you do, be sure to highlight them on your resume as well. For example:

Education University of North Carolina BS, Business Administration

Continuing Education:

Taking a job outside your industry shows work ethic, accountability, and willingness to jump in and do anything to support yourself and your family. It also shows you’re willing to be flexible and can take on work you’ve never done before because you’re determined and resourceful. Don’t underestimate the value of self-motivation and perseverance. Any new employer would be thrilled to have someone who has demonstrated they’re willing to be involved in all areas of a job and do the hard work to persevere.

problem solving skills it examples

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Problem-Solving Skills: Meaning, Examples, & How To Develop

Problem-solving skills are valuable soft skills to have in today’s increasingly competitive and fast-changing workplace. In the workplace, problem-solving skills are about one’s capacity to deal with tough or unexpected challenges and situations.

They are also essential in other aspects of our life, such as building relationships and making decisions. Individuals who can properly assess the situations and offer solutions are in high demand in organizations. And problem-solving skills are abilities that allow you to do so.

In this article, we will discuss what are key problem-solving skills and the skills related to problem-solving. You will also learn about how to conduct a problem-solving process when you encounter a problem.

We will share with you the benefits and importance of key problem-solving skills and how to improve these skills.

What Are Problem-Solving Skills?

Problem-solving is a soft skill (a personal strength), not a hard skill learned from school or specialized training. Problem-solving skills assist you in resolving challenges swiftly and effectively.

It gives you a keen eye to spot underlying problems and put a solution in place. Problem-solving skills are crucial in every profession and at every level. As a result, technical expertise relevant to the sector or role may be required for effective problem-solving.

Problem-solving skills can be improved by familiarizing yourself with common organizational challenges and learning from more experienced employees. Although problem-solving is usually thought of as an independent skill, it depends on a combination of other skills (we will come to this in the next section).

Why is Problem Solving Skill Important in the Workplace & List of 10 Benefits

Having problem-solving skills enable you to be prepared to manage any problems that your employers throw at you. You can analyze, evaluate and act promptly when issues arise.

Furthermore, you are not frightened of the uncertainty because you are confident that you can handle anything that comes your way. Strong problem-solving skills are valuable to organizations that depend on their employees to identify and solve problems.

List of 10 Benefits that an excellent problem solver can contribute to their profession

Skills Required for Problem-Solving

You will adopt a combination of different examples of skills to address a problem effectively.

Here is a list of skills you can leverage to solve a problem:

Research Skills

Problem-solving requires the use of research skills. As a problem solver, you must define the root cause of the issues before addressing them.

You can start by gathering deeper and related information about the topic. To do that, you can discuss with your team members, speak with senior colleagues, conduct online research, or learn from online classes.

Analysis Skills

Decision-making skills.

Problem-solving and decision-making are distinct but interrelated skills. Decision-making is a crucial element of the problem-solving process because you will be presented with many choices and possibilities.

Sometimes you can make a quick decision if you happen to have related industry experience. Having strong research and analytical skills may be beneficial to those with less experience or industry knowledge.

There may be instances when it is necessary to set aside time to develop a solution for a challenging problem. Alternatively, you may decide to refer the situation to someone who is in a better position to tackle the issue.

Communication Skills

Strong communication skills are necessary when you are solving a problem. You will need to know how to explain the problem clearly to others and seek their input.

You will also need to know who to approach or which communication channels to use when asking for help. To eliminate uncertainty and make implementation easier, you will need to present and explain the solution to others.

Listening Skills

In general, active listeners are excellent problem solvers. They will listen to others to get the knowledge that will help them address the challenge at hand.

They value and appreciate other people’s perspectives and experiences. This way, they can understand why an issue happened and devise the best course of action to resolve it.

In most cases, problems are solved either spontaneously or methodically. You tend to use your intuition to solve a problem when no new information is required. You either know what you need to know to make a snap decision, or you use common sense or experience to solve them.

You will need to use a more structured approach to solve more complicated problems or issues that you’ve not encountered before. For such problems, you may also need to tap into your creative thinking.

Risk Management

Problem-solving happens when problems arise or when things do not go as planned, and we need to rectify them. During your initial planning stage, you will carry out risk management to weigh the benefits and risks of your solutions.

This way, you can prevent potential hazards or risks from happening the moment you implement the solution.

How Problem-Solving Skills Work? Solving Process Explained in 5 Steps

1. analyze the factors contributing to the problem.

This step entails identifying the presence of a problem, determining its nature, and articulating the problem. The first phase of problem-solving requires further research and investigation. It involves collecting and analyzing data, isolating potential contributing factors, and determining what has to be addressed for a solution.

What is the nature of the problem? Is there more than one problem? What is the best way to define the problem? Spending time identifying the problem will allow you to not only comprehend it better but also articulate the thought process to others.

2. Generate possible solutions

At this stage, you will start developing several possible solutions. But, you will not spend too much time examining them. Usually, a single approach is rarely the clear way to solve a complicated problem.

Generating a variety of alternatives will help you to protect your interests and decrease your likelihood of failing. You can start brainstorming for solutions in a group setting with your team members.

Such sessions provide each team member with a chance to express their thoughts on potential solutions or ideas. An organization has a diverse group of employees who have different skills in different areas. Thus it is essential to hear the perspectives of all parties involved before deciding on the potential interventions.

3. Evaluate solutions and make decisions

This step is possibly the most difficult aspect of the problem-solving process. This stage comprises conducting a detailed analysis of the many alternative options you brainstormed earlier. Then, you will decide on the most effective solution for execution.

Some alternatives may be difficult to implement because of issues such as time limits or money restrictions. It is critical to evaluate what may happen if nothing is done to remedy the situation.

Sometimes when you are trying to resolve a problem, it could potentially lead to a slew of other issues. Finally, decide on the best solution or approach to take to resolve the problem. When deciding, you must consider the potential expenses, hurdles, and necessary resources for effective solution implementation.

4. Implement a plan

This step involves embracing and executing the decision made in the previous stage. Implementation refers to putting the chosen solution into action. During this stage, more difficulties may arise, particularly if the initial problem identification or structure was not completed thoroughly.

Hence, the plan must be executed with benchmarks that can accurately inform you if it is working or not. Implementing a plan includes communicating to your employees about changes in standard operating procedures.

5. Assess the solution’s effectiveness

The last stage involves evaluating the results after implementing the solution. It includes soliciting feedback from related parties on the effectiveness of the solution in solving the problem.

Once a solution is put in place, you need to have procedures to determine if and how the solution is working. This way, you will know immediately if the problem has been fixed or whether an adjustment is needed.

You should record the feedback, results, and new challenges that you encountered through this entire problem-solving process. It is recommended that you make this step a habit of yours to improve your problem-solving skills.

Problem-Solving Skills for Students

Be curious and put on your investigative hat

Being curious and conducting an in-depth investigation will assist you in finding out the root cause of an issue. When the root cause of a problem is identified, it becomes much easier to address it.

Be open to feedback and suggestions from others

Seeking constructive feedback or suggestions from others is beneficial to the students in the long run. It saves students time, and they can avoid making the mistakes made by others. They will also be able to finetune their solutions to make them more effective. Being open to feedback is also an essential component of problem-solving skills.

Troubleshooting skills

Troubleshooting skills help students to address issues quickly and effectively without any delay. This skill helps students to analyze the problem, develop various solutions, evaluate and choose the best option, and implement the preferred solution.

Problem-Solving Skills for Kids

Growth mindset

Reflecting on the process of solving a problem helps children to build a growth mindset. We should instill a mindset to children that getting a “wrong” answer is not wrong.

It is through these mistakes that we can learn and improve ourselves. What matters most is to encourage children to reflect on the steps they took and how they might handle the problem differently next time.

Emotional intelligence

Children need to be taught that every emotion (positive and negative) that they are experiencing is acceptable. Having high emotional intelligence will help the kids to learn and think differently when faced with problems.

Grappling refers to whatever the kids will do when presented with a problem that lacks a clear answer. They will try to solve the problem first and not think about failing. Even if they fail, they will continue to persevere to find a solution to the problem.

They will think critically, ask questions, and form hypotheses to have a comprehensive understanding of the problem that they encounter. Then, they will use every information and resource that they acquired to find a solution for the problem.

How to Improve Your Problem-Solving Skills in the Workplace

There are various techniques you could consider to develop your problem-solving skills. Whether you are looking for work or already have one, strengthening your problem-solving skills and related competencies can help you stand out among the rest of the group. Here are a few methods you can consider to improve your problem-solving skills:

Strengthen your specialist knowledge in your industry.

Depending on your profession, having deep specialist knowledge may make it easier for you to address problems. Attending an external course, workshop, mentorship, or practicing your skills can help you gain deeper technical knowledge.

Constantly look for opportunities to solve problems.

You can increase your chances of bumping into new opportunities to solve problems by going out of your comfort zone. Start by seeking new opportunities around you. You can volunteer for a new project or task, be it in your existing team, on another team, or on an external group within your field.

Practice! Practice! Practice!

As the saying goes, practice makes perfect. Keeping practicing or performing role-playing will help to strengthen your problem-solving skills. You can search online or go to your local bookshop to look for practice books on problem-solving scenarios.

Through role-playing, you can experiment with different ways to tackle the challenges and see whether your solutions are practical. Practicing how you can solve the common problems prevalent in your field might help you find answers when such problems arise in your job.

How to Improve Your Problem-solving Skills in the Workplace

Watch and learn how others overcome problems.

There are people around you who are excellent problem solvers. These people could be your close friends or colleagues in the workplace. You may improve your problem-solving skills by observing how they develop effective solutions to problems.

You can ask a more experienced colleague and ask if you can shadow them when they are doing problem-solving. Be curious and ask questions that could be useful when you do problem-solving in the future.

How to Highlight Problem-Solving Skills in a Resume

As problem-solving skills are essential to many organizations, you can put this skill at the top of your resume. You can indicate this skill on your resume in various sections, such as “skills” and “achievements” sections.

You can also highlight it in your “experience” section, but remember to provide specific examples of problems you solved. Instead of writing down the word “problem-solving” in the “skills” section, you may want to mention specific skills you have.

It could be your job-specific technical skills or soft skills related to problem-solving, such as analytical skills, communication skills, etc. Storytelling is powerful. During interview questions, you can highlight specific examples of obstacles you faced and how you solved the problems.

The problems you solved may come from your prior roles—whether academic, work, or volunteer. Be prepared to discuss the issues you faced, the methods or skills you used to tackle the problems, and the results you achieved.

Frequently Asked Questions About Problem-Solving Skills

How do you describe problem-solving skills, what are the three key attributes of a good problem solver, what is problem-solving behavior.


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problem solving skills it examples

Teaching Problem Solving

The other day, a physicist friend was working in the lab with her summer research students. They were talking about the work they’d been doing that summer and how there was no manual or instructions of any sort for any of it; no textbook, no lab procedure. It was as if they were making it up as they went along. Laughing about this, one of the students said, ‘You know what we need? We need an entire course with nothing but problems. Just give us one problem after another, and we figure out how to do them. Because that’s what real research is.’ The rest of the students laughed. And then all of them nodded. -Hanstedt, 2018, p. 41

Employers, college presidents, faculty, and students demonstrate remarkable consensus that problem solving is one of the most important outcomes of a college education (Bok, 2017; Hart Research Associates, 2015; Hora, Benbow, Oleson, 2016; Passow & Passow, 2017). At the time of this newsletter, there were 28 courses offered this year that included the words “problem*” and “solving” in [email protected] . Course descriptions ranged from focusing on how to apply techniques or skills, to solving problems, to tackling common problems encountered in the field, and concepts that included “problems” within their title. There are undoubtedly more courses that implicitly and explicitly focus on problem solving across campus. In light of this emphasis, it is important to ask, “What is a problem and what is problem solving?” and “How do I foster problem-solving skills in my course?” and eventually, "How will I be explicit about problem solving in my course and course description?" Although problem solving is often associated with STEM courses, this newsletter offers perspectives and teaching approaches from across the disciplines.

What is a “problem” and problem solving? Problems and problem solving may be context and discipline specific, but the concept and process have overarching components and similarities across contexts. Jonassen (2000, p. 65) defines a problem as an “unknown entity in some situation (the difference between a goal state and a current state)” such that “finding or solving for the unknown must have some social, cultural, or intellectual value.”  Within courses, students may encounter a wide variety of current (e.g., a problem statement) and goal (e.g., a solution) states with different motivations for solving them. Students will be exposed to “well-structured” problems at one end of the spectrum, which have a typical solution path and solution, and “ill-structured” problems, which are highly context dependent and have no one solution path (Jonassen, 2000).

We bring in common case scenarios for students and try to develop the frameworks they need to approach a problem rather than just finding the answer. To help students think about the process, we scaffold scenarios over the years through self-study modules that students can complete on their own. The scenarios stay the same, but students can come back to them with new information and frameworks they have learned, a deeper toolbox to pull from in different clinical settings. This allows students to be lifelong learners and more flexible and adaptable in the future. -Dr. Steven Rougas, Director of the Doctoring Program, Alpert Medical School

Problem solving is a “goal-oriented” process that includes creating and manipulating problems as mental models (Jonassen, 2000). Brown faculty from a variety of disciplines were interviewed by Sheridan staff and asked, “What skills do students need to problem solve effectively?” They responded that students need to be able to do the following:

These skills, among others, target the following problem-solving steps (Pretz, Naples, & Sternbergy, 2003):

Problem solving is an iterative process, and as such, these steps do not necessarily progress in a linear fashion. When creating homework assignments, projects, exams, etc., it is helpful to identify the specific skills you want students to practice, the strategies they should use, and how you will evaluate the solutions they produce.

How do I foster problem-solving skills in my course? Instructors can signpost the problem-solving skills students should develop in their courses by adapting existing problem sets to fit recommendations from the Transparency in Learning and Teaching Project (TILT). The process of increasing transparency in assignments includes communicating the assignment’s purpose, task, and criteria to students (Winkelmes et al., 2016):

In one study, researchers found that in courses where at least two assignments had features of transparent assignments, students self reported increases in their academic confidence, sense of belonging, and mastery of skills, such as problem solving (Winkelmes et al., 2016). Below are examples of different skills needed for problem solving with suggestions on how you can foster these skills through adapted or new assignments and in-class exercises.

Communication A key skill for problem solving is knowing how to define and represent the problem and its solutions. This is true for all students, regardless of discipline. For example, Berkenkotter (1982, p. 33) states, “A writer is a problem solver of a particular kind. Writers’ ‘solutions’ will be determined by how they frame their problems, the goals they set for themselves, and the means or plans they adopt for achieving those goals.” To help students understand and connect to research in their field, instructors can assign short articles and guide students through rhetorical practices to make expert thinking more explicit. Provide students multiple opportunities to refine their writing allows them to learn “how to frame their problems.”

The distant past can seem uncomfortably strange to modern observers. As we discuss our class readings, one thing I like to do with my students is to explore what seems weird or even offensive to them about our texts and the societies that produced them. Thinking about the disconnect between ancient and modern attitudes, outlooks, beliefs, and values can be an incredibly productive way to think about cultural difference over space and time. - Professor Jonathan Conant, History and Classics

Critical Thinking Critical thinking is the “ability to assess your assumptions, beliefs, and actions” (Merriam & Bierema, 2014, p. 222) with the intent to change your actions in the future and is necessary when solving problems. It is a skill required during all steps of the problem-solving process. Fostering critical thinking in your students is one way to create a more inclusive classroom because you are inherently asking students to challenge their assumptions and biases.

Instructors can use the following conditions to promote critical thinking in your classroom (Merriam & Bierema, 2014):

Collaboration/Teamwork Instructors can develop aspects of problem solving by being intentional about team building, connecting students to alternative perspectives, and being explicit about the expectations of teamwork in the field (e.g., as a researcher, industry partner, consultant, etc.). You can create homework assignments using the TILT framework , which asks students to evaluate both their own and peers’ interactions in teams. There are several models or rubrics for how to assess teamwork, such as the AAC&U Teamwork Value Rubric , which focuses on students’ behaviors or the Comprehensive Assessment of Team Member Effectiveness (CATME) , which is a free packaged tool that gathers information from students and groups them into teams.

We use team-based learning exercises and collaborative problem solving. Students are assigned pre-reading to expand their knowledge so they are able to think through different aspects of a scenario before they come to class. In class, the discussion focuses on a team deciding and agreeing on what the next steps in a case will be. The problem-solving skills that this team discussion focuses on are interpersonal communication, being an active listener, and a collaborative team member. It is not high stakes, but together the team will succeed or fail. - Sarita Warrier, Assistant Dean for Medical Education, Alpert Medical School

A jigsaw is another collaborative approach to teach students how to break up a problem into smaller components. For example, in a class on Romanticism and Romantic philosophies, three groups of students would each be given the following questions about five poems: “How does the writer view nature?” (Group 1), “How does the writer view society?” (Group 2), “How does the writer view the purpose of poetry?” (Group 3). After discussion, three new groups, with representatives from each of these three clusters, might discuss a broader question, such as, “Using the information gathered in the first groups [...] what are Romanticism’s goals? What’s the agenda of the Romantic poets?”  (Handstedt, 2018, pp. 121-122).

Reflection Activities or Assignments Expert researchers, practitioners, and educators incorporate reflection and iteration as part of their practice. Key steps of the problem-solving process include being reflective about the process and what is working or not working towards a goal. In a previous newsletter, Promoting Metacognition , the Sheridan Center provided a list of several activities and assignments you could use to help students be reflective in your course. These activities range from short minute papers , to semester-long reflective journals. Think-alouds, or having a student verbally solve a problem with another student, can also help students develop reflective problem-solving skills because it “provides a structure for students to observe both their own and another’s process of learning” (Barkley, 2010, p. 259).

For more strategies on how to engage students in these skills and topics, please see the Sheridan Center’s newsletter, Inclusive Teaching Through Active Learning . It is important to be explicit in how you approach problem solving and convey that information both through your course description, syllabi, and content.

Opportunities at Sheridan for Development of Problem Solving Problem solving is a necessary skill in all disciplines and one that the Sheridan Center is focusing on as part of the Brown Learning Collaborative , which provides students the opportunity to achieve new levels of excellence in six key skills traditionally honed in a liberal arts education ­– critical reading, writing, research, data analysis, oral communication, and problem solving. To help you think through how to integrate opportunities for students to problem solve effectively in your course, the Sheridan Center offers problem solving professional development opportunities for faculty and students in an effort to engage intergenerational, faculty-student teaching teams.

Problem-Solving Course Design Institute Increasing assignment transparency is at the core of Problem-Solving Course Design Institute (PSCDI). PSCDI is a two-day workshop for faculty, staff, postdocs, and graduate student teams to (re)design assignments that engage students in the problem-solving process. Upon successful completion, faculty participants will receive a $2,000 grant to implement their ideas. For more information on PSCDI and past recipents, please see this Sheridan web resource .

Problem-Solving Fellows Program Undergraduate students who are currently or plan to be peer educators (e.g., UTAs, lab TAs, peer mentors, etc.) are encouraged to take the course, UNIV 1110: The Theory and Teaching of Problem Solving. Within this course, we focus on developing effective problem solvers through students’ teaching practices. We discuss reflective practices necessary for teaching and problem solving; theoretical frames for effective learning; how culture, context, and identity impact problem solving and teaching; and the impact of the problem-solving cycle. For more information, please see this Sheridan web resource and contact Dr. Christina Smith, Sheridan Center (via [email protected] ).

Berkenkotter, C. (1982). Writing and problem solving. In T. Fulwiler & A. Young (Eds.), Language connections: Writing and reading across the curriculum (pp. 33-44). Urbana, Illinois: National Council of Teachers of English.

Barkley, E.F. (2010). Student engagement techniques: A handbook for college faculty . San Francisco, CA: Jossey-Bass.

Bok, D. (2017). The struggle to reform our colleges. Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press.

Hanstedt, P. (2018). Creating wicked students: Designing courses for a complex world . Sterling, VA: Stylus.

Hart Research Associates. (2015). Falling short? College learning and career success . Survey carried out for AAC&U. Available:…

Hora, M.T., Benbow, R. J., & Oleson, A. K.. (2016). Beyond the skills gap: Preparing college students for life and work . Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press.

Jonassen, D. H. (2000). Toward a design theory of problem solving. Educational technology research and development , 48(4), 63-85.

Kapur, M. (2016). Examining productive failure, productive success, unproductive failure, and unproductive success in learning. Educational Psychologist , 51(2), 289-299.

Merriam, S. B., & Bierema, L. L. (2014). Adult learning: Linking theory and practice . John Wiley & Sons.

Passow, H.J., & Passow, C.H. (2017). What competencies should undergraduate engineering programs emphasize? A systematic review. Journal of Engineering Education , 106(3): 475-526.

Pretz, J.E., Naples, A. J., & Sternbergy, R. J. (2003). Recognizing, defining, and representing problems. In J. E. Davidson & R. J. Sternberg (Eds.), The psychology of problem solving (pp. 3-30). New York: Cambridge University Press.​

Winkelmes, M.A., Bernacki, M., Butler, J., Zochowski, M., Golanics, J., & Weavil, K. H. (2016). A teaching intervention that increases underserved college students’ success. Peer Review , 18(1/2), 31–36.

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Problem Solving Skills: Definition & Examples for a Resume

Problem Solving Skills: Definition & Examples for a Resume

Maciej Duszyński, CPRW

As seen in:

When you come to think of what problem-solving skills are, the answer is pretty much self-explanatory: they let you solve problems.

The thing is… Employers are literally fighting for candidates with highly developed problem-solving skills. So, here’s the question: are there really such few people who know how to solve issues? Or aren’t others just able to show this on their resumes convincingly?

If you want to find out how to define problem-solving skills, how to highlight them on your resume, and how to improve them—you’re exactly where you need.

This article will show you:

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Problem-Solving Skills: List & Definition

Problem-solving skills consist of a set of skills that help you identify the problem, propose solutions, choose the best one, and implement it.

Here’s a list of skills that may come in handy at each stage of the problem-solving process. As you’re creating your resume, these examples may help you compile a list of problem-solving skills that you have:

Analytical skills

This is pretty self-explanatory. To solve a problem you must be able to analyze it from a couple of angles. Your analytical skills are exactly the ones you need to propose solutions and get to the heart of the matter.

Research skills

As a matter of fact, they tie in nicely with your analytical skills. You must be able to find and use the right resources, dig deep enough to extract the data you need, and find the right people to bounce your ideas off of. Research skills are an essential component of the problem-solving skill set.

Sometimes finding the right solution will require you to step out of your comfort zone, think outside the box, and push the envelope. This is only possible when your creative thinking skills are sharp as razors.

Decision-making skills

Once you narrow down your choices and pinpoint what causes the problem, you need to make the right decision. Remember: you’ll be held accountable for what you decide upon. A bad decision may turn out not to be helpful in finding a solution in the best case. Or may aggravate the problem in the worst.

Critical-thinking skills

The art of problem-solving is correlated with  your ability to think critically . If you have problems with seeing the big picture, you won’t be able to identify all the pros and cons of different avenues you might decide to take.

Rarely is problem-solving a solitary task, especially in the business context. You need to prove you work effectively as part of the team to implement your solutions.

Communication skills

Last but  definitely  not least. No problem would ever be solved if it weren’t communicated effectively. Period. The importance of good communication can never be underestimated. All problem-solving strategies depend on successful communication.

As you can see, problem-solving is related to many other kinds of skill sets. That's because it takes a mastery of more than one skills to  solve a problem.

Let's consider this further—

Recent studies on employability skills suggest that problem-solving skills consist of two main components:

Each of these is as important as the other.

We can define "the problem" as any discrepancy between “what is” and “what we’d like it to be.”

The problem-solving process would involve analyzing the situation, understanding it, and coming up with an action plan.

In fact—

You can come up with several possible action plans based on your assumptions about what the root cause is.

This is when decision-making skills come in handy.

If you have a good understanding of the situation and its implications, you’ll be able to decide on the right course of action more effectively and efficiently. So, when you come to think of it, there’s no such thing as a single problem-solving skill .

Decision-making, analytical, and problem-solving skills are all interrelated.

In fact, we’ll be taking a closer look at this in Section 3 of this article.

But first, we'll take a closer look at how to highlight your problem-solving skills on a resume.

Problem Solving Skills—Resume Examples

Wondering why you should demonstrate problem-solving skills on a resume?

Employers love them.

Studies invariably place problem-solving somewhere at the top of lists of skills in high demand among hiring managers.

What’s more—

It’s hard to find a job offer that doesn’t mention problem-solving skills as part of the employer’s requirements.

So, naturally, the next question is:

How to list problem-solving skills on a resume?


Even though there’s no single best answer to this question—

There’s a good strategy that always works.

It’s called: tailor your resume to the job description.

There are many jobs that require your problem-solving skills to be second to none. For example:

The job ads for such positions include entire lists of problem-solving skills that recruiters want to see on your resume.

Here’s an example of a job description for the position of a business analyst :

By the look of it, you can easily say that a business analyst is a professional problem solver.

Before we move on, you need to know one thing:

Almost  all Fortune 500 companies use the ATS (Applicant Tracking System) to initially screen resumes for keywords.

If your resume doesn’t contain the problem-solving keywords the ATS is looking for, you’re likely to end up in the rejected folder.

To avoid this, you need to—

Use the resume keywords from the job ad in your own job description.

The experience section of your resume could read something like this:

Problem Solving Skills on a Resume—Example

This way you can be sure that:

Pro Tip: Describe your past duties and responsibilities in terms of achievements .

But it doesn’t end here.

You can put your best problem-solving skills in a separate key skills section to make them even more visible.

But don’t put any random soft skills there.

Take another look at your job description, extract the essence, and use some problem-solving skills synonyms to introduce a bit of variety to your resume:

Problem Solving Skills—Resume Example

The problem-solving skills list above is entirely based on the two aforementioned experience bullet points.

The best part?

If the recruiter decides to ask you situational or behavioral problem-solving questions related to any of the skills on the list—

You’ll be able to answer them by referring to a bullet point in your experience section.

So if you hear something like: Tell me about a situation when your data analysis and solution design skills made a difference.

You can focus on telling the recruiter what steps you took specifically to improve process efficiency by 150% and reduce costs by $300K.

We have a series of dedicated guides thanks to which answering any interview question will be a piece of cake:

It may be hard to believe—

But there’s one more section on your resume you might want to populate with some of your problem-solving skills.

The resume objective or summary.

Here’s what it could look like:

Problem Solving—Resume Objective Example

A senior business analyst with 7+ years of experience and excellent communication skills . Eager to join Genentech to support solution lifecycle management and participate in executing strategic initiatives. In previous roles identified a major bottleneck generating a $200K monthly revenue loss, and designed a solution to effectively prevent it .

As you can see in this example, you can call your problem-solving skills by name and put them at the very top of your resume.


Take another look at the job posting to see if the employer is looking for some other key skills as well.

In this particular case, strong communication skills were of utmost importance. So, why not include them in the career summary or objective ?

Need more ideas? Here’s a list of keywords you may find useful when describing your problem-solving skills:

Problem-Solving Skills—Keywords for a Resume

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When you’re done, Zety’s resume builder will score your resume and tell you exactly how to make it better.

How to Improve Problem-Solving Skills

Before we move on to the how part—

Let’s start with why.

Problem-solving skills are vital.

Studies show that if we come up with the wrong solutions we may unknowingly aggravate the problems in the long run.

What's more—

Other research shows that of all employability skills, problem-solving skills are the ones that managers find insufficiently developed among the staff.

The reason for this is that employees are often afraid that the solutions they propose will lead to the problem... becoming worse.

We've come full circle!

This is why candidates and employees with highly developed problem-solving skills are so desirable.

If you're wondering how to improve your problem-solving skills—

The answer is simple.

Practice makes perfect.

But not just any practice.

It's not enough to say: From now on, I'll be solving problems every day to become a master problem-solver.

Truth be told, you’re already doing this.

After all, life is one big problem-solving skill training!

You don't seem to be too happy with the results if you're reading this.

Here's what you need to do:

Adapt a methodical approach to problem-solving .

One of the best methodologies was put forward by the eminent mathematician George Polya back in 1945 in his famous book How to Solve It .

Polya suggested four steps you must take to solve problems effectively.

1. Understand the problem.

Seems obvious, right?

If this was so obvious, why would people have no faith in their problem-solving skills?

A thorough understanding of the challenge you're facing is vital in finding the right solution.

This is why Polya suggests you start with asking yourself these questions:

2. Devise a plan.

Once you understand the nature of the problem—

You must come up with a plan.

Polya suggests a number of strategies you can adopt. Here’s a look at some of them:

Ask yourself more questions:

Coming up with the best strategy comes in time and requires you to think in creative ways.

The more problems you solve, the easier it will be for you to identify the strategies that work for you.

3. Carry out the plan.

After the conceptual stage, implementing the plan may feel like a piece of cake.

As you’re carrying out the plan, keep checking if it brings about the desired results each step of the way.

4. Look back.

Once the problem is solved—

Inspect your solution.

Find out what worked and what didn’t.

Is it possible to reapply your solution to solving a related problem?

And finally—

Check out these simple yet creative tips to improve problem-solving skills, train your brain and learn new strategies:

Your problem-solving skills are just a part of a skill set that turns you into a highly-employable candidate. Plus, a great cover letter that matches your resume will give you an advantage over other candidates. You can write it in our cover letter builder here.  Here's what it may look like:

matching set of resume and cover letter

See more cover letter templates and start writing.

Key Takeaways

Here’s a quick summary of all you need to remember about problem-solving skills:

Do you have any questions about problem-solving skills? Maybe you’d like to share some tips on how to develop them? Give us a shout out in the comments below! We’d love to hear from you!

Maciej Duszyński, CPRW

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Problem-solving skills: what they are and how to improve yours.

Posted by Glassdoor Team

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Last Updated June 29, 2021

Guide Overview

Problem-solving skills in the workplace.

Problem-solving skills are a valuable trait that most employers seek in candidates. Being able to effectively solve problems is beneficial in nearly any position and can support a person's overall career advancement. Here we explore what problem-solving skills are, the most important skills in the workplace, steps to solve problems, and tips for improving this skill set.

Problem-solving skills defined

Problem-solving skills are skills that allow individuals to efficiently and effectively find solutions to issues. This attribute is a primary skill that employers look for in job candidates and is essential in a variety of careers. This skill is considered to be a soft skill, or an individual strength, as opposed to a learned hard skill. Effective problem-solving involves several skills within the problem-solving category, and each career may require specific problem-solving skills. For example, a marketing professional will need good communication, research, and creativity skills, all of which fall under the problem-solving umbrella.

Important problem-solving skills

The following are a few of the most important problem-solving skills in the workplace:

Decision-making skills

Decision-making skills are an important component of problem-solving as most problems require decisions to be made in order to address and resolve the issue. Good decision-making skills help professionals quickly choose between two or more alternatives after evaluating the pros and cons of each. Essential skills that fall under this skill category include intuition, reasoning, creativity, and organization.

Communication skills

In order to be an effective problem solver, you must be able to successfully communicate the problem to others as well as your recommendations for a solution. Proper communication can ensure solutions are effectively carried out and that everyone is on the same page regarding an issue. Good communication skills necessary to solve problems include active listening, verbal communication, written communication, receiving and giving feedback, and respect.


Collaboration skills are essential to solving problems as they allow you to work well with others towards a common goal. Nearly all workplace settings require some level of collaboration, making it an essential skill to have for every professional. Good collaboration skills ensure that communication is open, problems are addressed in a cooperative manner, and group goals are placed ahead of personal goals. Important collaboration skills to have in terms of problem-solving include emotional intelligence, curiosity, conflict resolution, respect, and sensitivity.

Open mindedness

Being open minded is another important component of strong problem-solving skills, as you must be able to look at things from different angles and consider alternatives when necessary. Open mindedness is essentially the willingness to look at things from a different perspective and consider new ideas. Characteristics of an open-minded person include curiosity, acceptance, eagerness to learn, and awareness.

Analytical skills

Nearly all problem-solving requires some level of analysis, whether it be simply analyzing the current situation to form a solution or the analysis of data and research related to the problem. Analytical skills allow an individual to better understand an issue and come up with effective solutions based on evidence and facts. Analytical skills that come in handing during the problem-solving process include critical thinking, research, data analysis, troubleshooting, and forecasting.

Problem-solving steps

The following are the primary steps used in the problem-solving process:

Tips for improving problem-solving skills

There are several ways you can work to improve your ability to solve problems, including:

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Top 60 Business Skills for a Resume

Are you looking to elevate your resume and stand out in the competitive job market? Look no further!

In this article, we will guide you through the top business skills that employers are looking for and provide you with practical tips on how to showcase them in your resume.

From hard skills to soft skills, we have got you covered.

With our expert guidance, you will be able to craft a winning resume that highlights your business skills and catches the eye of potential employers.

Let’s get started!

Top 60 Business Skills for a Resume

Table of Contents

Finance Skills

Finance skills are vital for businesses to effectively manage their financial resources. These skills include budgeting, forecasting, financial analysis, investment analysis, and cash flow management.

They help companies to make informed decisions about their financial future, reduce financial risks, and maximize profits. These skills are valuable for a wide range of roles within a business, from accounting and finance to project management and operations.

The US Bureau of Labor Statistics projects that employment in financial analysis and advising will grow by 15% from 2021 to 2031, faster than the average for all occupations.

Including finance skills on your resume shows your ability to manage financial resources, which is highly valued in the business world.

Budgeting involves creating and managing a financial plan for a business or project.

“Developed and managed a $1 million annual budget for a non-profit organization.”

Financial Forecasting

Financial forecasting is the process of predicting future financial performance based on past and present data.

“Conducted financial forecasting and analysis, resulting in a 15% increase in revenue for a retail company.”

Financial Analysis

Financial analysis involves evaluating financial data to make informed business decisions.

“Created financial analysis and provided recommendations for cost savings, resulting in a 10% reduction in expenses for a manufacturing company.”

Investment Analysis

Investment analysis is about evaluating investment opportunities to determine their potential return and risk.

“Conducted investment analysis and recommended investment opportunities, increasing portfolio value for a financial services company by 20%.”

Cash Flow Management

Cash flow management involves managing the inflow and outflow of cash to ensure the business has enough liquidity.

“Developed and implemented cash flow management strategies, resulting in a 30% increase in cash reserves for a small business.”

Cost Analysis

Cost analysis involves evaluating the costs of a product or service to determine its profitability.

“Developed cost analysis and implemented pricing strategies, increasing profits for a SAAS company by 20%.”

Accounting involves recording, classifying, and summarizing financial transactions to provide accurate financial information.

“Managed all accounting functions, which resulted in accurate and timely financial reporting for a healthcare organization.”

Financial Modeling

Financial modeling involves creating mathematical models to forecast financial performance.

“Developed financial models to support strategic decision-making, resulting in a 10% increase in revenue for a software company.”

Risk Management

Risk management involves identifying and managing potential risks that could impact a business or project.

“Supervised risk management strategies, which reduced project delays for a construction company by 50%.”

Financial Reporting

Financial reporting involves preparing and presenting financial information to stakeholders.

“Prepared financial statements and reports for quarterly board meetings, resulting in informed decision-making for a non-profit organization.”

Project Management Skills

Project management skills are essential for organizations to deliver projects on time, within budget, and with the desired outcomes. They involve the ability to plan, organize, and execute projects effectively.

Project management skills include agile methodology, Scrum framework, project planning, resource management, and more. These skills are valuable for project managers, team leaders, and anyone involved in executing projects.

By 2027, there will be a need for 88 million employees with project management skills, according to PMI.

Including project management skills on your resume shows your ability to manage projects effectively, which is highly valued by employers.

Agile Methodology

Agile methodology refers to a project management approach that emphasizes iterative development and flexibility in responding to changes in requirements. Demonstrating experience with Agile methodology can involve listing specific Agile techniques used, such as user stories or sprint retrospectives.

“Facilitated weekly stand-up meetings to track progress and adjust project’s scope according to Agile principles.”

Scrum Framework

Scrum framework is a specific methodology within Agile that focuses on empowering teams to self-organize and make decisions. Demonstrating Scrum skills can involve listing specific Scrum ceremonies participated in, such as sprint planning or backlog refinement.

“Led daily Scrum ceremonies and facilitated sprint planning sessions to prioritize tasks and ensure team alignment with project goals.”

Project Planning

Project planning involves developing a comprehensive plan for a project, including defining scope, objectives, timelines, and resources needed. Demonstrating project planning skills can involve listing specific project management tools used, such as Gantt charts or resource allocation software.

“Developed and maintained detailed project plans using MS Project, ensuring timely completion of project milestones and deliverables.”

Resource Management

Resource management involves allocating, managing, and optimizing resources to maximize efficiency and achieve project goals. An example of demonstrating this skill on a resume could be:

“Successfully executed a resource allocation strategy that led to a 9% increase in productivity.”

Risk management involves identifying, assessing, and controlling potential risks to minimize negative impacts on the project.

“Devised a comprehensive risk management plan that minimized project risks by 22%.”

Project Scheduling

Project scheduling involves creating and maintaining a project schedule to ensure timely completion.

“Oversaw a team in establishing a project schedule and completing the project two weeks before the deadline.”

Change Management

Change management involves managing the process of change within a project or organization.

“Formulated and executed a change management plan that boosted employee adoption.”

Project Budgeting

Project budgeting involves creating and managing a project budget to ensure that resources are used effectively.

“Managed a project budget of $500,000, completing the project within budget and achieving a 10% cost savings.”

Stakeholder Management

Stakeholder management is the process of identifying, analyzing, and planning communication with stakeholders to ensure their needs and expectations are met. Effective stakeholder management can result in increased support and buy-in from stakeholders.

“Developed and executed a stakeholder engagement plan, resulting in a 25% increase in stakeholder satisfaction scores.”

Project Communication

Project communication is the process of exchanging information and ideas between team members and stakeholders to ensure everyone is informed and aligned. Good project communication can help build trust, reduce misunderstandings, and avoid delays.

“Implemented regular project status updates, reducing stakeholder inquiries by 15%.”

Technical Skills

Technical skills are crucial for businesses to leverage technology and stay competitive in today’s fast-paced digital world. They help businesses to analyze data, create engaging websites, secure their networks, and develop innovative products and services.

Technical skills are valuable for a wide range of roles within a business, from marketing and sales to operations and finance. Including technical business skills for a resume shows your ability to work with technology, which is highly valued in the modern business world.

Data Analysis

Data analysis involves collecting, processing, and performing statistical analysis on data to derive insights and make data-driven decisions. Proficiency in data analysis tools and techniques can enable a person to uncover trends and patterns in data.

“By utilizing multivariate regression analysis, we were able to pinpoint the main catalysts behind customer churn, ultimately leading to a notable 15% decrease in churn rate.”

Data Visualization

Data visualization is the representation of data in a graphical or pictorial format, making it easier to understand and interpret. Effective data visualization skills can help convey complex information in a clear and concise manner.

“Developed an interactive dashboard using Tableau, reducing time to interpret data by 20%.”

SQL, a programming language primarily used for the management and manipulation of relational databases, has become increasingly important in modern data management. Knowledge of SQL can help individuals extract data from databases and perform various operations on them.

“Developed complex SQL queries to extract data from multiple tables, reducing data retrieval time by 30%.”

Python is a general-purpose programming language used for data analysis, machine learning, and web development. Proficiency in Python can enable a person to build complex data-driven applications.

“Built a machine learning model using Python, which improved prediction accuracy by 25%.”

JavaScript is a programming language used for building interactive web applications. Knowledge of JavaScript can enable a person to build dynamic and responsive web applications.

“Created user-friendly web applications using React.js and JavaScript, resulting in a 40% increase in user engagement.”

HTML/CSS are markup languages used for creating and styling web pages. Proficiency in HTML/CSS can enable a person to build responsive and visually appealing web pages.

“Developed a website using HTML/CSS, resulting in a 30% increase in website traffic.”

UX (User Experience)

UX (User Experience) design is the process of designing products that are easy to use, engaging, and meet users’ needs. Knowledge of UX design can help a person create user-friendly and intuitive products.

“Through conducting user research and developing wireframes, we were able to achieve higher levels of user satisfaction.”

UI (User Interface)

UI (User Interface) design is the process of designing the visual layout and elements of a product. Proficiency in UI design can help a person create visually appealing and cohesive products.

“The design of our mobile app’s user interface was optimized, ultimately resulting in a noteworthy 20% increase in app downloads.”

Network Security

Network security involves implementing security measures to protect networks and systems from unauthorized access and cyber attacks. Knowledge of network security can help a person ensure the safety and integrity of data.

“Through the implementation of access controls and firewall configuration, we were able to achieve a significant 11% reduction in network security incidents.”

Cloud Computing

Cloud computing encompasses the delivery of a range of computing services, including software, databases, storage, and servers, over the internet. Acquiring expertise in cloud computing can facilitate the development and implementation of scalable and dependable cloud-based systems.

“Following the transition of our legacy systems to a cloud-based infrastructure, we succeeded in reducing operational costs by a noteworthy 20%.”

Soft Skills

Soft skills are essential for businesses to build positive relationships, promote teamwork, and improve overall performance. These skills include leadership, communication, time management, and much more.

They help businesses to create a positive work environment, improve employee morale, and foster innovation. Soft skills are valuable for a wide range of roles within a business, from customer service and sales to management and executive positions.

Including soft skills on your resume shows your ability to work effectively with others, which is highly valued in the business world.

Here’s are the top soft business skills for a resume:

Leadership is the ability to guide and motivate a team towards achieving a common goal. Being able to inspire and influence others is a highly valued skill in any industry. To showcase your leadership skills on a resume, you can mention examples of times when you took charge of a project or led a team to success.


Effective communication involves the ability to listen actively, express ideas clearly, and respond appropriately. Being able to communicate with colleagues, customers, and stakeholders is crucial in any job. To demonstrate your communication skills , mention examples of times when you e ffectively communicated a complex idea or resolved a conflict through clear communication.

Time Management

Time management involves the ability to prioritize tasks, set goals, and meet deadlines. Employers value individuals who can effectively manage their time and work efficiently. To demonstrate time management skills, you can mention examples of times when you successfully completed a project ahead of schedule or implemented a new system to streamline workflows.

Teamwork involves the ability to collaborate with others towards achieving a common goal.

75% of employers rate teamwork and collaboration as “very important” when hiring, making it the top-ranked skill in demand by employers.

Being able to work effectively in a team is important in any industry. To show your teamwork skills, you can mention examples of times when you contributed to a team project or collaborated with colleagues to solve a problem .

Conflict Resolution

Conflict resolution involves the ability to identify, address, and resolve conflicts in a professional and constructive manner. Being able to manage conflicts effectively is important in any work environment. To demonstrate your conflict resolution skills, you can mention examples of times when you successfully resolved a conflict with a colleague or customer and maintained a positive relationship .

Interpersonal Skills

Interpersonal skills are the ability to build positive relationships with others. Strong interpersonal and networking skills are crucial in almost any workplace and include traits like empathy, respect, and active listening. To present interpersonal skills on a resume, mention any team-building activities you’ve led or participated in.

Creativity is the ability to think outside the box and come up with innovative solutions. A creative individual can generate new ideas, take risks, and approach challenges from unique angles. To present creativity on a resume, highlight any projects or initiatives you’ve spearheaded that required you to think creatively.


Problem-solving is the ability to identify and resolve issues efficiently. A strong problem solver can analyze data, brainstorm solutions, and implement a plan to fix the problem. To demonstrate problem-solving skills on a resume, highlight any specific problems you’ve solved and the results of your solutions .


Adaptability is the ability to adjust to new circumstances and situations. A person with strong adaptability skills can stay calm and focused when plans change, and can quickly pivot to a new direction. To showcase adaptability on a resume, mention any times you’ve had to adapt to new procedures or situations in a previous job.

Attention to Detail

Attention to detail is the ability to focus on the small things that matter. Someone with strong attention to detail can spot errors and inconsistencies, ensuring that everything is accurate and precise. To present attention to detail on a resume, highlight any projects or tasks you’ve completed that required a high level of accuracy and precision .

Marketing Skills

Marketing skills are crucial for businesses to attract and retain customers, promote their products and services, and grow their market share.

They help businesses to create compelling marketing campaigns, generate leads, and convert prospects into customers. Marketing skills are valuable for marketing and sales roles within a business, as well as for entrepreneurs and small business owners.

Here are the top marketing business skills for a resume:

Brand Management

Brand management is the process of creating, developing, and maintaining a brand’s identity and reputation. Knowledge of brand management can help a person build and promote a strong brand image.

“Developed brand strategy and increased brand awareness by 25% within six months.”

Market Research

Market research is the process of collecting and analyzing data about a market, including customer needs, preferences, and behaviors. Knowledge of market research can help a person identify market trends and make informed business decisions.

Digital Marketing

Digital marketing is the use of digital channels, such as social media, email, and search engines, to promote products or services. Proficiency in digital marketing can enable a person to create and implement effective online marketing campaigns.

“Managed social media accounts and increased engagement by 30% within three months.”

Content Creation

Content creation is the process of creating and sharing valuable and relevant content, such as articles, videos, and infographics, to attract and engage a target audience. Knowledge of content creation can help a person develop engaging and effective marketing materials.

“Over the course of six months, we generated blog content that led to a remarkable 20% increase in website traffic.”

SEO (Search Engine Optimization)

SEO (Search Engine Optimization) is the practice of enhancing a website’s content and structure to attain higher rankings on search engine results pages. Adeptness in SEO can help individuals amplify website visibility and draw in greater organic traffic.

“We created and executed a customer service training initiative that led to an impressive 20% upsurge in customer satisfaction ratings.”

Social Media Marketing

Social media marketing involves creating and executing marketing campaigns on social media platforms such as Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter.

“Increased Instagram engagement by 25% through targeted social media ads and influencer partnerships.”

Marketing Analytics

Marketing analytics involves using data to analyze marketing performance and make informed decisions.

“Developed and implemented marketing analytics strategy resulting in a 15% increase in website traffic and a 10% increase in conversion rate.”

Sales Funnel Management

Sales funnel management is the process of optimizing the stages of a sales funnel to increase conversions.

“Managed sales funnel for a B2B SaaS company resulting in a 20% increase in leads and a 15% increase in sales.”

Email Marketing

Email marketing involves creating and sending marketing emails to a targeted audience.

“Increased email open rates by 30% through A/B testing and personalized email content.”

Event Planning

Event planning involves organizing and executing events to promote a product or service.

“Planned and executed a successful product launch event with over 200 attendees resulting in a 50% increase in sales within the first month.”

Operations Skills

Operations skills are essential for businesses to manage their resources, optimize their processes, and deliver products and services efficiently. These skills include supply chain management, logistics, and they help businesses to reduce costs, improve quality, and deliver value to their customers.

Operations skills are valuable for a wide range of roles within a business, from operations and supply chain management to finance and marketing.

Supply Chain Management

Supply chain management involves the coordination and management of activities involved in the production and delivery of goods or services.

“Implemented a new inventory management system, reducing stock-outs by 25% and improving order fulfillment by 20%.”

Logistics involves the planning and coordination of the movement of goods or services.

“Reduced transportation costs by 15% through route optimization and renegotiating contracts with logistics providers.”

Process Improvement

Process improvement involves identifying and improving inefficient processes within a company.

“Led a team to implement Lean methodology in manufacturing, resulting in a 30% reduction in waste and a 15% increase in production efficiency.”

Lean Methodology

Lean methodology involves the elimination of waste and streamlining of processes to improve efficiency.

“By incorporating Lean Six Sigma principles and a Kanban system in our manufacturing process, we were able to diminish lead time by 20%.”

Quality Control

Quality control refers to the procedures involved in ensuring that products or services meet or exceed customer expectations.

“Our implementation of a new and innovative quality control system resulted in a significant decrease of 50% in defects and customer complaints.”

Six Sigma is a set of quality management methods that use data and statistical analysis to identify and eliminate defects in processes.

“Implemented Six Sigma methodology resulting in a 25% reduction in defects within the production line.”

Inventory Management

Inventory management involves tracking and controlling a company’s inventory levels to optimize costs and ensure availability of stock.

“Implemented new inventory management system reducing inventory holding costs by 15%.”

Customer Service

Customer service involves providing support and assistance to customers before, during, and after a purchase.

“Developed and implemented a customer service training program resulting in a 20% increase in customer satisfaction scores.”

Vendor Management

Vendor management involves managing relationships with suppliers to ensure the timely delivery of goods and services.

“Negotiated new contracts with vendors resulting in a 10% reduction in costs and improved delivery times.”

Facilities Management

Facilities management involves overseeing the maintenance and operation of a company’s buildings and equipment.

“Implemented preventive maintenance program resulting in a 30% reduction in equipment downtime and repair costs.”

How to List Business Skills on a Resume

When it comes to crafting an effective resume, highlighting your business skills on a resume is essential. It can set you apart from other candidates and demonstrate your value to potential employers. However, it’s important to present your business skills in a clear, concise, and compelling way that showcases your expertise and ability to contribute to the organization. Here are a few tips to help you list your business skills on your resume.

Where to Include Business Skills on a Resume

There are several places where you can include your business skills on a resume, depending on the format and layout you choose. Here are some options to consider:

Skills section: One of the most common ways to list your business skills is to create a dedicated skills section, just like the contact information section, near the top of your resume. Here, you can list your skills in bullet points or in a table format, making it easy for employers to quickly scan and identify your strengths.

Job descriptions: Another way to highlight your business skills is to incorporate them into the descriptions of your previous job roles. For example, you can include specific accomplishments or responsibilities that demonstrate your proficiency in areas like financial analysis, project management, or strategic planning.

Cove r letter: If you’re submitting a cover letter along with your resume, you can also include a brief section that highlights your most relevant business skills. This can help to reinforce your qualifications and demonstrate your fit for the role.

How to Tailor Your Business Skills to the Job

Tailoring your business skills to the job you’re applying for is an important step in creating a strong and effective resume. Here are some tips to help you do this:

Resume Example for a Business Position

Emily Johnson Seattle, WA 98101 (555) 555-1234 [email protected] SUMMARY Highly motivated and results-driven Business Administration professional with over 5 years of experience in project management, process improvement, and financial analysis. Proven track record of delivering strategic solutions to improve organizational performance and profitability. Skilled in data analysis and interpretation, with experience using Excel, Tableau, and other data visualization tools. Strong communicator and team player with excellent interpersonal skills and a collaborative approach. WORK EXPERIENCE Business Analyst – ABC Company, Seattle, WA June 2019 – Present Conducted financial analysis to identify cost-saving opportunities, resulting in a 10% reduction in operational expenses. Developed and implemented process improvements to increase efficiency and streamline operations, resulting in a 20% increase in productivity. Collaborated with cross-functional teams to identify and address key business challenges and opportunities, resulting in improved organizational performance. Project Coordinator – XYZ Corporation, Bellevue, WA September 2017 – June 2019 Managed multiple projects simultaneously, ensuring timely and accurate completion of deliverables. Coordinated project activities with cross-functional teams, including IT, finance, and operations, resulting in successful project outcomes. Developed and maintained project plans, timelines, and budgets, ensuring project goals were achieved within established parameters. Customer Service Representative – Acme Corporation, Seattle, WA May 2015 – September 2017 Provided excellent customer service to a diverse customer base, resulting in high customer satisfaction ratings. Resolved customer complaints and issues in a timely and professional manner, ensuring customer retention and loyalty. Collaborated with team members to identify and implement process improvements, resulting in increased efficiency and productivity. EDUCATION Bachelor of Business Administration – University of Washington, Seattle, WA 2011-2015 Major in Business Administration Minor in Accounting SKILLS Project Management Financial Analysis Process Improvement Data Analysis and Interpretation Microsoft Office Suite (Excel, PowerPoint, Word) Tableau Interpersonal Skills Teamwork and Collaboration

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  1. What Are Problem-Solving Skills? Definitions and Examples

    Some key problem-solving skills include: Active listening Analysis Research Creativity Communication Decision-making Team-building Problem-solving skills are important in every career at every level. As a result, effective problem-solving may also require industry or job-specific technical skills.

  2. 26 Good Examples of Problem Solving (Interview Answers)

    Examples of Problem Solving Scenarios in the Workplace Correcting a mistake at work, whether it was made by you or someone else Overcoming a delay at work through problem solving and communication Resolving an issue with a difficult or upset customer

  3. 14 Effective Problem-Solving Strategies

    Here are some examples of problem-solving strategies you can practice using to see which works best for you in different situations: 1. Define the problem Taking the time to define a potential challenge can help you identify certain elements to create a plan to resolve them.

  4. Problem Solving Skills: What Are They?

    Here's an example of showing your problem-solving skills in a cover letter. When I was first hired as a paralegal, I inherited a backlog of 25 sets of medical records that needed to be summarized, each of which was hundreds of pages long. At the same time, I had to help prepare for three major cases, and there weren't enough hours in the day.

  5. What Are Problem-Solving Skills? (Definition, Examples, And ...

    Problem-solving skills include analysis, creativity, prioritization, organization, and troubleshooting. To solve a problem, you need to use a variety of skills based on the needs of the situation. Most jobs essentially boil down to identifying and solving problems consistently and effectively.

  6. How to Develop Problem Solving Skills: 4 Tips

    Learning problem-solving techniques is a must for working professionals in any field. No matter your title or job description, the ability to find the root cause of a difficult problem and formulate viable solutions is a skill that employers value. Learning the soft skills and critical thinking techniques that good problem solvers use can help ...

  7. 31 examples of problem solving performance review phrases

    The following examples not only relate to problem-solving but also conflict management, effective solutions, selecting the best alternatives, decision making, problem identification, analyzing effectively, and generally becoming an effective problem-solving strategist.

  8. 10 Problem Solving Skills Examples: How To Improve

    Problem-solving skills have suitable examples and are inevitable that employers look for in candidates before and after employment. For example, a cable television technician is trying to solve customer problems with weak signals. A teacher needs to determine how to improve the performance of his students in the writing skills test.

  9. What are some examples of creative problem solving skills in

    Examples of creative problem solving in supervisory roles Supervisory roles often require creative problem solving skills, and to demonstrate this, here are two scenarios and their respective ...

  10. 45 Examples of Analytical Skills in the Workplace

    For example, you may need to troubleshoot a technical problem for a customer without seeing their computer screen. Troubleshooting skills are essential for customer service, technicians and professionals in the computer science industry. 6. Communication Communication skills allow you to follow social cues and gain clarification.

  11. 10 Best Problem-Solving Therapy Worksheets & Activities

    14 Steps for Problem-Solving Therapy. Creators of PST D'Zurilla and Nezu suggest a 14-step approach to achieve the following problem-solving treatment goals (Dobson, 2011): Enhance positive problem orientation. Decrease negative orientation. Foster ability to apply rational problem-solving skills.

  12. Creative Problem Solving Examples

    Example answer: "A completely different way to approach this challenge could be to collaborate with a company or organization outside of our industry. This could provide a fresh perspective and ideas. Another approach might be to involve employees from different departments in the problem-solving process, which can lead to cross-functional solutions and bring in a wide range of ideas and ...

  13. Problem-Solving Skills Examples (With Steps to Develop Them)

    Here are some problem-solving skills examples you may utilise to solve a problem effectively in a workplace: Analysis When you encounter a problem, the first step to solving it is to analyse the issue. Having good analytical skills can help you understand the problem and find out its cause before you find and develop effective solutions for it.

  14. What are soft skills? Top 15 Soft Skills examples

    Here are 15 soft skills examples that are essential traits among employees: Communication. Teamwork. Problem-solving. Time management. Critical thinking. Decision-making. Organizational. Stress management.

  15. What Are Problem-Solving Skills? Definition and Examples

    Examples of using problem-solving skills in the workplace include: Researching patterns to understand why revenue decreased last quarter Experimenting with a new marketing channel to increase website sign-ups Brainstorming content types to share with potential customers Testing calls to action to see which ones drive the most product sales

  16. What Are Problem-Solving Skills? (Examples Included)

    While any related skills are worth highlighting, some may get you further than others. Analysis, research, creativity, collaboration, organization, and decision-making are all biggies. With those skills, you can work through the entire problem-solving process, making them worthwhile additions to your resume.

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    As a result, effective problem solving may also require industry or job-specific technical skills. For example, a registered nurse will need active listening and communication skills when interacting with patients but will also need effective technical knowledge related to diseases and medications.

  18. 53 Problem solving skills for 2023 + CV examples

    Here are some ways you can demonstrate this skill on your CV: Data gathering - e.g. "Gathered data on competitor consumer bases, to build an understanding of our underperforming areas". Data analysis - e.g. "Used SEO keyword research tools to analyse website ranking, and pages that could be improved within 6 months.".

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    List of 10 Benefits that an excellent problem solver can contribute to their profession. Ability to manage their time effectively. Ability to prioritize, plan and carry out plans. Ability to think out of the box and identify opportunities in problems. Ability to work under pressure and deal with stress.

  21. Teaching Problem Solving

    A key skill for problem solving is knowing how to define and represent the problem and its solutions. This is true for all students, regardless of discipline. For example, Berkenkotter (1982, p. 33) states, "A writer is a problem solver of a particular kind.

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    Generally speaking, problem solving skills stem from experience whereby individuals who have solved many problems in an environment of urgency and constraints eventually gets good at it. The following are examples of problems solving skills. A/B Testing. Abductive Reasoning. Agent of Change. Big Picture Thinking. Brainstorming. Business Analysis.

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    Examples of problem-solving skills. To solve a problem effectively, you will likely use a few different skills. Here are a few examples of skills you may use when solving a problem. Research. Researching is an essential skill related to problem solving. As a problem solver, you need to be able to identify the cause of the issue and understand ...

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    Problem-solving skills defined. Problem-solving skills are skills that allow individuals to efficiently and effectively find solutions to issues. This attribute is a primary skill that employers look for in job candidates and is essential in a variety of careers. This skill is considered to be a soft skill, or an individual strength, as opposed ...

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    To show your teamwork skills, you can mention examples of times when you contributed to a team project or collaborated with colleagues to solve a problem. ... Problem-solving. Problem-solving is the ability to identify and resolve issues efficiently. A strong problem solver can analyze data, brainstorm solutions, and implement a plan to fix the ...

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