What Are Analytical Skills? Definition and Examples for a CV

Analytical skills are the abilities that allow you to examine complex problems and develop solutions to them by collecting and analysing relevant information and data. Being able to do this allows you to find the most efficient ways to overcome challenges and identify opportunities for improvement.

 

So, how to demonstrate analytical skills on your CV? This guide will give you a head start.

 

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Analytical skills on a CV example

 

Alexandra C. Snyder

Head Chemist

 

Personal Info

Phone: 07777 777777

Email: AlexandraCSnyder@madeup.co.uk

 

Summary

 

Analytical head chemist with 8+ years of paint manufacturing experience. Proven track record in finding, analysing, and solving inefficiencies, as well as researching and innovating new products to keep up with market trends. Led a team of 12 to develop 20+ new products to capture 2.5% additional market share. 

 

Work Experience

 

Head Chemist

Paint Lab, London

July 2015—Present

  • Analysed and improved existing laboratory processes to eliminate inefficiencies and save 4+ working hours weekly.
  • Researched market trends to identify competitors’ popular products and developed 20+ new colors by using innovative pigments. These products captured an additional 2.5% of market share.
  • Collaborated on the technical side of the sales deck which has secured £14m through 4 different retailers.
  • Led the team of 12 chemists and lab technicians, including 4 personally trained chemist specialists.
  • Implemented an innovative database for inputting and storing the results of experiments, saving 5+ hours a week across the team and reducing errors to almost zero.
  • Reduced the number of accidents among staff by 20%, developing new security and sanitary rules.

 

Chemist

Matte, London

June 2013—June 2015

  • Worked in a team of 10 chemists with 20+ years of experience.
  • Under the supervision of an experienced team, prepared 20 experimental solutions to explore new applications of the products.
  • Supervised cleanliness, maintenance and possible repair of laboratory equipment.

 

Skills

 

  • Process Improvement: Improved accuracy, efficiency and productivity by shaving off 10 hours weekly spent on inefficient production processes and disorganised data input and storage.
  • Research and Innovation: Ventured outside the scope of my responsibilities to directly affect the company’s bottom line by conceiving and introducing new products based on market trends.
  • Data Analysis: Conducted a study of solvent emissions of curing products to pinpoint areas for improvement in creating more environmentally-friendly paint.
  • Reporting: Created an annual report on product innovations that won plaudits from company directors and was featured in promotional press releases.
  • Training: Personally onboarded and trained four graduate chemist specialists, all of whom scored 90% plus on probationary review knowledge tests. 

 

Education

 

(1st) MSc Industrial Chemistry, 2011-2013

Imperial College London

 

(1st) BSc Chemistry, 2008-2010

Durham University

 

Languages

 

  • German (fluent)
  • Dutch (intermediate)

 

Examples of Analytical Skills

 

Studies show that not only is there strong growth in the need for analytical and interpersonal skills and a decline in the need for physical skills, but also that analytical skills provide the highest return over time

 

What’s more, we live in the age of data and information. Strong analytical skills will help you pick it all apart so that you can gain understanding, novel insights, and draw conclusions. These are crucial to any company to operate smoothly, solve problems and increase its bottom line.

 

Here’s a list of some of the most important examples.

 

1. Research

 

The planning of your research is crucial, unless you want to be clicking aimlessly for days. Starting with the right set of questions and hypotheses will point straight towards the variables you do, or don’t want to see. Managing your time and not steering into dead ends is part of a solid research method and a powerful transferable skill for any industry. 

 

2. Data Analysis

 

Being able to find and investigate data, spot trends and patterns, detect inconsistencies and draw conclusions from it is priceless to any business endeavour. Whether you’re processing spreadsheets or unstructured text, the value you extract can inform strategic decision making and be the difference between success and failure. Solid IT skills are essential for data analysis, so make sure yours are up to speed.

 

3. Organisation

 

Unorganised, unstructured analysis is just pondering. Organising how much time you will spend on each task and prioritisation is crucial in not getting buried in data for days. Some creative conclusions can take time to click, but the grunt tasks should be organised and controlled.

 

4. Critical Thinking

 

Critical thinking is not quite questioning everything like many would say it is. It is an active process that can be taught: The act of breaking down each problem, argument and assumption into its components, examining the validity and importance of each part to the whole. Perhaps a big problem is caused by a small bottleneck, or outdated assumption.

 

Big part of it is not having set-in-stone ideas, assumptions or biases is crucial to reaching a valid and beneficial outcome, whatever it may be. It is a cautious process of finding the most valid path to your answer.

 

5. Problem Solving

 

Your research and critical thinking skills equip you to go a step further—and solve actual problems effectively. The ability to identify the underlying causes of a problem and find data to support it will allow you to hypothesise an effective, realistic, and affordable solution. 

 

6. Prediction

 

Your analytical skills should not only equip you to solve existing problems, but foresee upcoming ones. You will use historical trends and patterns to make valid inferences about what the future might hold. Forecasting gives you the readiness to face challenges and adapt. This can make or break a company.

 

7. Creativity

 

Problems, assumptions and biases are boxes. There are many people that can find those boxes. What sets the best analysts apart is the ability to think outside of them. There may be multiple solutions to a problem, and the first or the most obvious one may not be the best. 

 

8. Communication

 

Being a Rain Man is not enough. It is more than likely that you will have to at least consult your data, conclusions and solutions with your colleagues or superiors. Communication skills are essential both in writing, and speaking publicly.

 

9. Reporting

 

Structuring and presenting the path you took from problem to solution, or from data to prediction allows others to understand your thought process, present a possible challenge, as well as agree with you and support you—preferably all three in that order.

 

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How to show analytical skills on your CV

 

Now you know the meaning of analytical skills and have seen some strong examples that will set you apart. How to start a CV that will display them? Like this.

 

1. Start with your CV profile

 

Every CV starts with a CV summary, which is also sometimes called a CV profile. With some recruiters, this is all they’re going to read, so you shouldn’t wait to start showing your analytical side:

 

Analytical skills in the CV summary

 

Personal Statement

 

Analytical head chemist with 8+ years of paint manufacturing experience. Proven track record in finding, analysing, and solving inefficiencies, as well as researching and innovating new products to keep up with market trends. Led a team of 12 to develop 20+ new products to capture 2.5% additional market share. 

 

2. Write a thorough work experience section

 

The work experience section is the crux of any CV. Showing strong analytical skills in relation to your responsibilities and achievements should be done here. We have plenty of CV tips to nail it.

  • Each bullet point should start with a CV action verb so that everything relates directly to you. Avoid writing general statements that you would find in the job posting. Relate everything to yourself.
  • Display your achievements, quantified by numbers if they can be. Start with the analytical skill, describe the achievement, and describe the outcome.
  • Relate them to the analytical skill components relevant to your particular job posting.
  • Use 5-7 bullet points for your most recent job, limiting the previous ones to 3 at the maximum.

 

Job description with analytical and problem solving skills examples

 

Work Experience

 

Head Chemist

Paint Lab, London

July 2015—Present

  • Analysed and improved existing laboratory processes to eliminate inefficiencies and save 4+ working hours weekly.
  • Researched market trends to identify competitors’ popular products and developed 20+ new colors by using innovative pigments. These products captured an additional 2.5% of market share.
  • Collaborated on the technical side of the sales deck which has secured £14m through 4 different retailers.
  • Led the team of 12 chemists and lab technicians, including 4 personally trained chemist specialists.
  • Implemented an innovative database for inputting and storing the results of experiments, saving 5+ hours a week across the team and reducing errors to almost zero.
  • Reduced the number of accidents among staff by 20%, developing new security and sanitary rules.

 

You don’t have to be a CV writing expert. In the LiveCareer CV builder you’ll find ready-made content for every industry and position, which you can then add with a single click.

 

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3. Make use of your education section

 

If you’re fresh out of school or university, showing analytical skills on a student CV can be tough. Describe extracurricular activities or modules that show you have a good analytical foundation.

 

And if you’re fresh out of school, you may not have much relevant experience to relate to. You can compensate for that by adding examples of analytical skills to your CV education section

 

How to show analytical skills in the education section

 

Education

 

(1st) BSc Chemistry, 2008-2010

Durham University

Relevant coursework—Advanced Quantitative Methods, Logic and Scientific Method, Introduction to Data Science 

 

4. How to demonstrate analytical skills in your skills section

 

Most CV skills sections will be a list of a few random nouns. You can do better than that:

 

  • Tailor each CV you send out to each job posting. The required skill profile may differ, so scan the ad carefully and adjust as necessary.
  • Explain your competences in each skill in a brief description. A couple of strong skills supported with evidence is better than a list of 5 random nouns.
  • Either add supplementary skills that you didn’t list in your work experience, or failing that, reiterate your strongest points.
  • Don’t forget to mix soft skills & hard skills, they’re both important to employers.

 

Analytical skills in the skills section

 

Skills

 

  • Process Improvement: Improved accuracy, efficiency and productivity by shaving off 10 hours weekly spent on inefficient production processes and disorganised data input and storage.
  • Research and Innovation: Ventured outside the scope of my responsibilities to directly affect the company’s bottom line by conceiving and introducing new products based on market trends.

 

5. Include additional sections

 

Most people think the CV hobbies and interests section is about them. It’s not, it’s still about the employer. If you’re going to list anything, make sure it is relevant to the image you’re trying to convey.

 

On the other hand, plugging in extra CV sections can help make the difference between being just average and having the perfect CV. List languages, certificates, and awards clearly under separate headings.

 

Extra sections

 

Languages

 

  • German (fluent)
  • Dutch (intermediate)
  • French (beginner)

 

Certificates

 

  • IBM Data Science Professional Certificate

 

How to improve your analytical skills

 

At this point, you might be worried that you don’t have any strong analytical skills to add to your CV. But don’t be. Anyone can improve their analytical skills and start to use them to their advantage. Here are some ideas to get you started.

 

1. Know the definition of analytical skills

 

Don’t just say you have good analytical skills. In your CV and in job interviews, you need to be able to give examples. If you don’t understand the meaning of analytical skills, you won’t have a chance. But remember the definition and examples of analytical skills you’ve just read, and you’ll be set.

 

2. Train your brain

 

Training yourself to think more analytically is easier than you think. Playing games such as brain-teasers is a fun way to develop your skills. And this one is supported by science. There’s strong evidence that brain training games enhance cognitive function, which in turn will boost your ability to think analytically. 

 

3. Train your body

 

Exercise has been proven to improve your mental function and sharpen up your thinking. If you up your physical activity and improve your diet, then your brain will reap the rewards too. It’s well-established that keeping fit and healthy has a positive effect on your cognitive abilities.

 

4. Brush up on your maths

 

Having a good head for numbers is essential for effective analytical thinking. And don’t sweat it if you were bad at maths at school. There are all kinds of fun ways to improve your numeracy that don’t involve being stuck in a classroom with a dusty textbook. Look for numeracy apps and check out maths YouTubers. Even the BBC has got in on the act with its excellent Skillswise platform for adult learning. Explore what’s out there and up your numbers game.

 

5. Practise your analytical skills

 

To improve and maintain your analytical skills, you’ll need to practise. And it’s easy to do. Whenever you come across a problem at work or at home, analyse the causes and think of what the best solution would be. And make sure you share your ideas. Apart from improving your analytical skills, it’s a great way of showing initiative at work.

 

6. Explore training opportunities

 

There are more training options available than ever before. Start off with your employer and check if they offer internal training. But don’t stop there. Look online too. Training providers like Coursera, Udemy and others offer a good selection of analytical skills courses. So get Googling and get yourself trained.

 

7. Learn to use analytical tools

 

It’s not all about using your brainpower. Learning to use analytical tools will be a massive boost to your abilities. Excel and Google Sheets make a good starting point, then you can start to explore more complex analytics software such as Power BI and Google Data Studio. And if you’re keen on learning a programming language, then R and Python are a great choice for data analysis.

 

8. Engage in active listening

 

It’s not all about your technical skills. As we’ve already mentioned, communication skills should be a part of your analytical tool box too. When you encounter problems at work, speak to all the parties involved. Actively elicit information from them and work to fully understand their perspective and opinion. It helps to ensure you’ve got all the data needed to make a good decision.

 

What else to remember when including analytical skills on your CV?

 

Developing strong analytical skills is a must for every job. Take the time to improve and practice them, and you’ll be more employable and more productive. 

 

Remember to include examples of your analytical skills throughout your CV, not just in the skills section. And of course, write a cover letter. This gives you more space to elaborate on how you apply your skills, and sets you up with topics for an interesting interview with your future employer. Because with this guide, that’s what they’ll be. Your future employer.

 

A cover letter alone simply won’t be enough—you need an impactful CV, too. Create your CV in minutes. Just follow our wizard and fill in every CV section with ready-made content. Get started by choosing a professional CV template.

 

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If you need more help with how to demonstrate analytical skills in your CV, or you just want more specific analytical and problem solving skills examples, then let us know in the comments section. We’re more than happy to help.

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LiveCareer Editorial Team

LiveCareer Editorial Team

About the author

Since 2005, the LiveCareer Team has been helping job seekers advance their careers. In our in-depth guides, we share insider tips and the most effective CV and cover letter writing techniques so that you can beat recruiters in the hiring game and land your next job fast. Also, make sure to check out our state-of-the-art CV and cover letter builder—professional, intuitive, and fully in line with modern HR standards. Trusted by 10 million users worldwide.

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