Analytical skills are an integral part of any job, be it a data analyst role or a senior management position. But what exactly are employers looking for when they ask to see analytical skills on your resume?
Analytical skills refer to your ability to break down problems and come up with appropriate solutions. These skills are useful in any field, but especially in roles involving science, data, engineering, or other tech-heavy processes. Typically, to show analytical skills, you need to describe a situation or a problem at a previous job, detail how you came up with a solution, and quantify the benefits of your solution. In other words, how did your solution benefit the company or project as a whole?
In this article, we’ll explain what the best analytical skills are to showcase on your resume, how to tailor your skills to each application, how to highlight specific analytical toolsets depending on your industry, and how to show analytical skills in each section of your resume.
Let's start with a quick "how to" before diving into exactly what analytical skills employers are looking for.
A step by step guide to demonstrating analytical skills on your resume
If you're applying for a job that requires strong analytical skills, you should:
- Think of a time when you had to analyze something and include examples in your work experience accomplishments. Be as specific as possible and include the results of your actions.
- Include a section for projects and other activities where you’ve used analytical skills.
- List any relevant degrees or other qualifications in your education section.
- Mention technical skills related to analysis in your skills section.
- Highlight analytical skills in your resume summary and cover letter.
- Use synonyms to avoid repeating “analyzed,” “analysis,” and “analytical skills.”
We'll go into each of those in a little more detail below, but first — what are employers actually looking for when they ask for analytical skills?
Analytical skills to list on your resume
If a job posting mentions analytical skills, that means the company is looking for applicants with abilities in:
- Problem solving
- Data analysis
- Critical thinking
- Decision making
- Machine learning
- AI-driven data interpretation
- Deductive reasoning
- Predictive modeling
- Qualitative and quantitative analysis
- Feedback and reporting
How analytical skills are changing in 2024
With the rise of Machine Learning (ML) and Artificial intelligence (AI), traditional analytical roles are evolving to include these new and emerging skill sets. As AI and ML reshape conventional analysis methods and data-driven decision-making, modern recruiters expect to see experience with these types of tools for a variety of roles moving forward.
Studying modern AI and ML tools can help you update your resume and remain competitive, especially in technical roles. Consider investing in online learning, qualifications, and certificates to add these skills to your resume, as this will help your resume stand out in 2024, particularly for modern data-driven roles.
Should you still list analytical skills for non-technical roles?
It's important to mention analytical skills on your resume, even when applying for non-technical roles. In today’s diverse job market, roles in areas like marketing, human resources, and administration still benefit significantly from analytical thinking, even if it’s not directly a data-driven role.
Demonstrating your ability to analyze consumer trends, assess employee data, or manage complex scheduling shows versatility and critical thinking, and highlights your capacity to approach problems creatively, all of which are excellent transferable skills to highlight for any industry.
How to show analytical skills on your resume
Now that you understand what employers are looking for, how do you prove that you have what it takes?You can demonstrate analytical skills on your resume by giving examples of where you:
- Analyzed data to come up with solutions or improve processes
- Worked with numbers (i.e. show your numerical and quantitative abilities)
- Managed budgets or involved in organizational planning
- Designed processes, background research, etc.
In addition to the traditional work settings, it's important to showcase how you've used analytical skills in remote or hybrid work environments, as employers increasingly value candidates who can adapt their problem-solving skills to virtual settings. Highlight examples where you have successfully managed or participated in remote projects, used digital communication tools, or independently solved problems while working remotely.
Synonyms for analytical skills
Where do you begin when demonstrating analytical skills on a resume? With action verbs. These are the heart and soul of your bullet point accomplishments and the clearest way to tell recruiters what you actually did.
Starting with "analyzed" sounds like a no-brainer, and it should definitely be in there once or twice. More than that, however, and it’s likely to make a hiring manager's eyes start to glaze over. Try shaking it up with synonyms like:
Where to put analytical skills on your resume
The best way to demonstrate any kind of soft skill is to scatter it throughout your resume — that way, instead of just saying, "I have great analytical skills" and leaving it at that, you're painting a picture of exactly what you bring to the table.
This means you should include analytical skills in your:
- Work experience bullet points
- Projects or additional section
- Education section
- Skills section
- Resume summary
- Cover letter
Here are some examples of what that should look like.
In your work experience section
The best place to include analytical skills on your resume is in your work experience section. Why? Because a) it’s the part of your resume recruiters pay the most attention to, and b) it shows how you’ve actually used those skills in a professional setting.
Include bullet point examples of times you’ve analyzed data, including what impact your accomplishment had on the company’s bottom line, as shown in the example below.
In a projects or additional section
Your resume doesn’t have to be limited to paid work experience. If you’ve completed significant personal or university projects, activities, competitions, or certifications, feel free to list these in a section titled “Projects,” “Other,” or “Additional Information.”For example:
In your education section
If you have a degree, major, or other qualification that could help demonstrate analytical skills, make sure you list it in your education section. This could include majors in computer science, engineering, mathematics, or statistics.
If you’ve taken courses or projects in AI, machine learning, or advanced data analytics, highlight these to demonstrate your understanding of current industry trends. If you’re a recent graduate, you could also include minors or relevant coursework.
In your skills section
Technical skills like data visualization or engineering software, proficiency with standard techniques, programming languages, and other tools and frameworks can all go in the skills section of your resume, as shown in the example below.
Alongside traditional analysis tools, mention your proficiency with modern AI and machine learning software, visualization tools like TensorFlow or PyTorch, and any other modern data analysis frameworks you're familiar with to show that you’re up-to-date with current and emerging tools.
If you’re not sure of which technical skills to include on your resume, use the tool below to search for the job you’re applying for and it’ll give you a list of relevant skills. You can also upload your resume to the tool — it’ll perform a quick scan and tell you which skills are missing from your resume.
In your resume summary
When applying for roles involving data analysis, put your analytical skills front and center in your resume summary. Your summary should be 3-6 lines, including your key skills and experience related to data analysis. For an even better chance of getting past Applicant Tracking Systems (ATS), include a resume title that matches the title of the job you’re applying for. For example:
In your cover letter
If you want to talk about your skills in a little more depth, your cover letter is the ideal place. Reinforce that you’re a good fit for an analysis-heavy role by expanding on how you’ve used your analytical skills, including the context, end result, and how you plan to use those skills in the position you’re applying for.
Here's an example:
During my internship with Airbus working with fluid mechanic technology I evaluated wind tunnel and flight test data in order to reduce external airframe noise emissions. The analysis that I conducted involved examining data under varying flight conditions and extracting useful information. At the conclusion of my internship, I was able to provide my group with recommendations for improving the model scale testing in the wind tunnel to make better predictions for the flight test outcomes. My work was part of the group’s task to provide continual improvements to the company’s commercial aircraft. I would be excited to use my analytical skills to improve hardware systems, especially early in their life-cycle at Raytheon, when recommendations can have a high impact and positive result for the end user.
Sample resume with analytical skills
Really need to emphasize analytical skills on your resume? Here's an example of what you should be aiming for:
Notice that not once does this example use the words “strong analytical skills.” Instead, it demonstrates these skills through previous experience, technical skills, appropriate qualifications, and the use of resume power words.
Get a free resume analysis
The best way to figure out if your resume conveys enough analytical skills is to upload it to the tool below — you'll get a confidential resume review, with a detailed analysis of your analytical skills.
Analytical skills bullet point examples
You don’t have to start from scratch when coming up with examples of resume accomplishments that demonstrate analytical skills. Here are some examples to help you get started:
Don't just say that you analyzed something — mention exactly what you did and what the results were.
Led the first major effort to A/B test the company's core sales landing page and optimize it for customer acquisition; resulted in a 18% increase in new customers.
You can always list hard skills in your Skills section, but it's even better if you can weave them into your bullet points as well.
Built Looker dashboard using data from MySQL and MongoDB to visualize core business KPIs (e.g. Monthly Recurring Revenue), saving 18 hours per week of manual reporting work.
What employers care about most is the bottom line, so if you made a measurable impact on your company, start with that.
Reduced signup drop-offs from 35% to 18% and increased user engagement by 20%, through a combination of hypothesis testing, segmentation analysis and machine learning algorithms.
Problem solving and critical thinking are essential components of analytical skills. Hiring managers aren't just looking for someone who can solve the problems presented to them — they want people who can seek out answers on their own.
Implemented crash reporter and used findings to fix three biggest causes of crashes; fixes reduced customer support calls by 30%.
Communication and analysis may seem like very different skills, but they often go hand in hand. The best employees are the ones with a healthy mix of hard and soft skills — things like teamwork, leadership, and communication.
Co-led task force to realize $1.62m annual savings; analyzed large sets of data to improve fixed and variable cost inputs and recommended additional invoice validation measures.
How to tailor your analytical skills to match the job description
Matching the skills you highlight on your resume with each specific job description is an essential part of showing a recruiter why you’re the right candidate for the job, and how your previous experience is relevant to their position.
Here's how to tailor your analytical skills to each job you apply for:
- Analyze the job description: Carefully read the job posting and identify any analytical skills specifically highlighted in the text. Employers often list specific tools, methodologies, or problem-solving approaches they prefer, so take note of these.
- Use relevant keywords: Look for keywords in the job description and use a keyword finder to generate a list of relevant words to include on your resume. Including these keywords not only shows that you have the specific skills a recruiter is looking for but also helps your resume get past Applicant Tracking Systems (ATS).
- Customize your experience: In your work experience section, emphasize aspects of your previous roles that align with these keywords and requirements. For example, if the job requires data visualization, highlight your experience with tools like Tableau or Power BI, and demonstrate your practical experience in contexts similar to what the job will entail.
- Highlight transferable skills: If you are switching industries or applying for a role that involves a different kind of analysis than you've done in the past, focus on transferable analytical skills like data interpretation, statistical analysis, or logical reasoning.
- Quantify your achievements: Whether discussing projects, specific tools, or transferable skills, use metrics to quantify your experience. For example, instead of simply saying that you “worked to improve the efficiency of your project’s marketing campaign”, write that you "Used statistical analysis to improve marketing campaign efficiency, resulting in a 20% increase in customer engagement."
How to highlight specific analytical tools on your resume
When applying for roles that require proficiency in specific analytical tools, it's crucial to highlight and mention the particular tools you have experience with. These tools are likely the exact tools you will be using in your new position, so it’s important to be specific about your experience with each one, even if you’re just a beginner.
- Split up your skills list: Dedicate a portion of your skills section to list the analytical tools you are proficient with, like Excel, SQL, Python, R, Tableau, SAS, or SPSS.
- Highlight your proficiency: Be specific about your level of expertise, such as beginner, advanced, or expert, and the projects you’ve used them in. Even if you are only a novice in a skill, it is worth including if it’s relevant to your application.
- Mention specific tools in your work experience bullet points: Directly mention tools in your work experience section, to demonstrate not just the particular tool but also how you have used it in a work context. For example, “Utilized Python and Pandas library for data manipulation and analysis in a market research project.”
- Describe specific projects and the scope of your skills: If you’ve worked on academic or personal projects that involved data analysis, describe the tools and software you used, the scope of your involvement, and the positive results. This showcases your practical application of these tools in real-world scenarios, even if you lack paid experience with these skills.
How to showcase analytical skills at different career stages
Whether you're just starting out, are mid-career, or are looking for senior positions, here are tailored tips to highlight your analytical skills effectively.
For entry-level candidates, focus on educational and project experience, especially if you lack extensive paid work experience. You can highlight analytical skills you learned through university projects, internships, and relevant coursework and showcase your eagerness to learn and adapt by including relevant certificates or workshops.
Conducted comprehensive data analysis using Python during a university project, resulting in actionable insights to improve campus recycling programs.
If you have a range of paid experience, provide examples of how you've applied specific analytical skills in your previous roles. Show your skill development by discussing how you've expanded your skill set over time, such as learning new data analysis tools or methodologies relevant to your field.
Leveraged data analytics to optimize supply chain processes, resulting in a 15% reduction in costs over two years.
If you’re applying for a senior position, you want to demonstrate your leadership in analytical roles. Focus on how your analytical skills have contributed to strategic decision-making and leadership, and highlight the impact of your analytical skills on company goals, such as improving efficiency, increasing revenue, or driving innovation.
Guided a team in the implementation of advanced data modeling techniques, enhancing predictive capabilities by 25%.