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Analytical Skills: How to Use Them in Your Job Hunt

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Skills are super crucial for anyone looking for a new job. And you probably know that you need a good mix of hard skills, soft skills, and some tech skills to get recognised by potential employers. But a skill set that many of us overlook is analytical skills.

As a matter of fact, many of us believe these skills are only relevant for people employed in roles that involve math. But that’s actually not the case at all. In reality, these are skills that are surprisingly useful in just about every professional’s career.

With this in mind, here’s a look at what analytical skills are. We also highlight the different types of skills that fall under this umbrella, and how you can use them to your advantage when searching for a new job!

Analytical Skills Defined

Analytical skills are abilities that help you evaluate information and solve problems. Skills related to logical and critical thinking, research, and problem-solving are analytical. This means that if you’ve ever studied data and made recommendations based on that, you’ve used these skills.

These skills are essential for jobs in math, financial services, IT, engineering, and sciences, but they’re also great for any role that requires researching and assessing information.

Different Types of Analytical Skills

Analytical skills generally fall into one of six buckets which include data analysis, critical thinking, research, software, creativity, and communication. Here’s what each sub-class entails.

Data Analysis

Whether you analyse data sets or quantitative information, these skills focus on your ability to used tried and accurate analysis methods. Examples of data analysis include:

  • Auditing
  • Big data analysis
  • Credit analysis
  • Financial analysis
  • Interpreting survey results
  • Market analysis
  • Statistical tests
  • SWOT analysis

Critical Thinking

These skills refer to your ability to take what you’ve observed and use it to develop solutions to existing problems. Typical examples of critical thinking skills include:

  • Budget allocation
  • Inductive reasoning
  • Setting KPIs and objectives and key results
  • Solution creation
  • Strategy implementation
  • Time management
  • Troubleshooting

Research

Analytic skills under this category highlight your ability to identify the information you need and where to find it. Examples of this skill include:

  • A/B testing
  • Audience research
  • Competitor research
  • Data collection
  • Forecasting
  • Market research
  • SEO research
  • Surveying or interviewing

Software

The software you use to perform analysis varies depending on which industry you’re in. Here are a few examples of analytic software you might be familiar with:

  • IBM Cognos Impromptu
  • Google Analytics
  • Microsoft Excel
  • QuickBooks
  • Tableau
  • SEMrush
  • Facebook Analytics

Creativity

Analytics seems like a field that resides within the proverbial box, leaving no room for creativity. But coming up with new, creative solutions is a critical element of an analyst’s role. Here are some examples of creative analysis skills:

  • Brainstorming
  • Data selection
  • Data visualization
  • Process creation
  • Pattern spotting

Communication

When we refer to communicative analysis skills, it’s about the ability to absorb and interpret information. Some examples of this skillset include:

  • Active listening
  • Analytical writing
  • Translating technical information for a wider audience
  • Reporting on findings

How Analytical Skills Can Help You Land a Job

Whenever you’re looking for a new job, it’s essential to identify the kind of skills the employer is looking for so you can highlight the correct type of skills on your application. Instead of telling potential employers about your research skills, always narrow things down to clarify the exact skills and experience you bring to the table. Besides listing your skills on a resume, you can also highlight them in your cover letter and mention them in the interview process. In case you’re not sure how to do this, here’s some help:

Highlight Your Skills on a Resume

List your most important skills in the skills section and reiterate them under bullet points as part of your past experience on your resume. List all the skills you possess as mentioned in the job description if you have experience with them. You can also include any other relevant skills that’ll help you perform the role’s responsibilities.

If you’ve got a plethora of skills to list, especially if the role is analysis-heavy, consider creating a sub-section specifically for your analytical skills. Here’s an example:

Communication Skills: Technical Writing, Social Media Copywriting

Analytical Skills: A/B Testing, Data Visualization (Microsoft Excel), Google Analytics, Google AdWords. 

Showcase it On a Cover Letter

Your cover letter is a great place to draw attention to specific skills critical to the role you’re applying for. While you need to highlight your skills, it is important to put down the most compelling evidence. Don’t just put down ‘analytical skills’. Go ahead and tell a story about how you used them and the results you got by using them.

Here’s an example:

In my last position at Gold Inc, I conducted a budget analysis for the marketing department and found inefficiencies in spending. Many funds were spent on software that was rarely used or underused. My analysis and recommendations resulted in a 30% quarterly spending decrease, allowing the department to avoid retrenchments. 

Mention Them in the Interview

Consider ways of working your analytical skills into potential interview question answers. Be prepared for the interview, and make sure you’re ready to share stories of how and when you’ve used your skills in the past.

Here’s a typical example of an answer to “What’s your greatest strength?” 

One of my greatest strengths is my problem-solving skills. At my previous job, for example, the marketing department had trouble meeting deadlines. I realized that the main factor slowing them down was the back-and-forth tweaks that were made to campaigns. To cut down on this, I came up with a comprehensive checklist for each campaign stage, which identifies any possible roadblocks before the campaign kicks off. Of course, this hasn’t eliminated the problem. Still, it has dramatically reduced the time it takes to conceptualize a campaign through to the rollout, with almost 95% of campaigns now being completed within the original timeline. 

In Conclusion

As you can see, although analytical skills are critical for data scientists and math geniuses, they’re helpful (and critical) for just about any role. So, if you’ve ever worked with data before, you probably already have these skills in the bag. Now that you know how to showcase them, you can start browsing Adzuna’s listings right away!

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