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Problem management roles and responsibilities.
Problem management is about more than just finding and fixing incidents. Real problem management lies in identifying and understanding the underlying causes of an incident as well as identifying the best method to eliminate that root cause.
That’s why effective problem management efforts consist of teams operating under clear roles and responsibilities. Team members understand what the roles are, what each person is responsible for, and who is in each role during a problem investigation.
Here are a few of the most common problem management roles. It’s important to understand that not every team will operate with every role on this list. And these aren’t necessarily permanent roles. Instead, think of them as designations for a team that comes together to work on a particular problem.
The problem owner manages the overall process for a specific problem. They coordinate and direct all facets of the problem management effort, including bringing the right teams, tools, and information together. The problem manager may also delegate subtasks to other team members as they see fit.
Also called : Problem owner, Major Incident Manager
The process owner is responsible for the overall health and success of the team’s problem management process. They oversee evolution and development of the process, as well as team member training and onboarding.
Also called : Process manager, process coordinator
The service owner is responsible for defining ongoing operations and health of the service. This can include measuring and reporting on the value of changes, enhancements, planned downtime, training, documentation, and more.
Also called : Service leader, product manager
Service desk agent
Front-line support for your service desk . The service desk agent is often the first to notice and report an incident or problem. The agent is often also the first person to notice that several unique incidents all relate to a greater problem.
Also called : Agent, Service agent, Support Agent, Help desk agent, Service desk analyst
An individual familiar with the impacted service experiencing a problem or incident. Often a developer or engineer, the tech lead can dive into recent code changes to see what root causes may be contributing to the problem.
Also called : Technical lead, subject matter expert, on-call engineer, developer, software developer, Site Reliability Engineer (SRE)
Stakeholders can be whoever needs high-level info on the problem but isn’t directly involved in the problem management process. This can be anyone from adjacent teams, to customers, and organizational leaders.
Also called : Customers, executive teams, vendors, end users, business teams
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- About Problem Solving
- Related Topics
Problem Solving Resources
Case studies, problem solving related topics.
- Continuous Improvement
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- Problem Solving
What is Problem Solving?.
Quality Glossary Definition: Problem solving
Problem solving is the act of defining a problem; determining the cause of the problem; identifying, prioritizing, and selecting alternatives for a solution; and implementing a solution.
- The problem-solving process
- Problem solving resources
Problem Solving Chart
The Problem-Solving Process
In order to effectively manage and run a successful organization, leadership must guide their employees and develop problem-solving techniques. Finding a suitable solution for issues can be accomplished by following the basic four-step problem-solving process and methodology outlined below.
1. Define the problem
Diagnose the situation so that your focus is on the problem, not just its symptoms. Helpful problem-solving techniques include using flowcharts to identify the expected steps of a process and cause-and-effect diagrams to define and analyze root causes .
The sections below help explain key problem-solving steps. These steps support the involvement of interested parties, the use of factual information, comparison of expectations to reality, and a focus on root causes of a problem. You should begin by:
- Reviewing and documenting how processes currently work (i.e., who does what, with what information, using what tools, communicating with what organizations and individuals, in what time frame, using what format).
- Evaluating the possible impact of new tools and revised policies in the development of your "what should be" model.
2. Generate alternative solutions
Postpone the selection of one solution until several problem-solving alternatives have been proposed. Considering multiple alternatives can significantly enhance the value of your ideal solution. Once you have decided on the "what should be" model, this target standard becomes the basis for developing a road map for investigating alternatives. Brainstorming and team problem-solving techniques are both useful tools in this stage of problem solving.
Many alternative solutions to the problem should be generated before final evaluation. A common mistake in problem solving is that alternatives are evaluated as they are proposed, so the first acceptable solution is chosen, even if it’s not the best fit. If we focus on trying to get the results we want, we miss the potential for learning something new that will allow for real improvement in the problem-solving process.
3. Evaluate and select an alternative
Skilled problem solvers use a series of considerations when selecting the best alternative. They consider the extent to which:
- A particular alternative will solve the problem without causing other unanticipated problems.
- All the individuals involved will accept the alternative.
- Implementation of the alternative is likely.
- The alternative fits within the organizational constraints.
4. Implement and follow up on the solution
Leaders may be called upon to direct others to implement the solution, "sell" the solution, or facilitate the implementation with the help of others. Involving others in the implementation is an effective way to gain buy-in and support and minimize resistance to subsequent changes.
Regardless of how the solution is rolled out, feedback channels should be built into the implementation. This allows for continuous monitoring and testing of actual events against expectations. Problem solving, and the techniques used to gain clarity, are most effective if the solution remains in place and is updated to respond to future changes.
You can also search articles , case studies , and publications for problem solving resources.
Innovative Business Management Using TRIZ
Introduction To 8D Problem Solving: Including Practical Applications and Examples
The Quality Toolbox
Root Cause Analysis: The Core of Problem Solving and Corrective Action
One Good Idea: Some Sage Advice ( Quality Progress ) The person with the problem just wants it to go away quickly, and the problem-solvers also want to resolve it in as little time as possible because they have other responsibilities. Whatever the urgency, effective problem-solvers have the self-discipline to develop a complete description of the problem.
Diagnostic Quality Problem Solving: A Conceptual Framework And Six Strategies ( Quality Management Journal ) This paper contributes a conceptual framework for the generic process of diagnosis in quality problem solving by identifying its activities and how they are related.
Weathering The Storm ( Quality Progress ) Even in the most contentious circumstances, this approach describes how to sustain customer-supplier relationships during high-stakes problem solving situations to actually enhance customer-supplier relationships.
The Right Questions ( Quality Progress ) All problem solving begins with a problem description. Make the most of problem solving by asking effective questions.
Solving the Problem ( Quality Progress ) Brush up on your problem-solving skills and address the primary issues with these seven methods.
Refreshing Louisville Metro’s Problem-Solving System ( Journal for Quality and Participation ) Organization-wide transformation can be tricky, especially when it comes to sustaining any progress made over time. In Louisville Metro, a government organization based in Kentucky, many strategies were used to enact and sustain meaningful transformation.
Quality Improvement Associate Certification--CQIA
Certified Quality Improvement Associate Question Bank
Lean Problem-Solving Tools
Problem Solving Using A3
NEW Root Cause Analysis E-Learning
Making the Connection In this exclusive QP webcast, Jack ReVelle, ASQ Fellow and author, shares how quality tools can be combined to create a powerful problem-solving force.
Adapted from The Executive Guide to Improvement and Change , ASQ Quality Press.
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Problem solving: the mark of an independent employee
Problem-solving abilities are essential in virtually any graduate role you can think of. Discover how to develop your problem-solving skills and demonstrate them to eagle-eyed recruiters.
Interviewers will be interested to discover how you'd approach problems that could arise in the workplace.
Problem solving is all about using logic, as well as imagination, to make sense of a situation and come up with an intelligent solution. In fact, the best problem solvers actively anticipate potential future problems and act to prevent them or to mitigate their effects.
Problem-solving abilities are connected to a number of other skills, including:
- analytical skills
- innovative and creative thinking
- a lateral mindset
- adaptability and flexibility
- resilience (in order to reassess when your first idea doesn’t work)
- teamworking (if problem solving is a team effort)
- influencing skills (to get colleagues, clients and bosses to adopt your solutions).
Identifying a problem is often the kernel for a new business or product idea – and, as such, problem solving is an essential ingredient of entrepreneurialism . It is also a key component of good leadership .
Short on time? Watch our one-minute guide to problem solving
- how to answer problem-solving interview questions
- how to think of examples of your problem-solving skills
- a problem-solving technique you can use in any work or life situation.
Our targetjobs careers expert gives you a quick guide to showing off your problem-solving skills in a job interview.
Why all graduates require problem-solving skills in the workplace
Some graduate careers revolve around finding solutions – for example, engineering , management consulting , scientific research and technology . Graduates in other careers, meanwhile, will be expected to solve problems that crop up in the course of their jobs: for example, trainee managers should deal with operational problems (such as delays in the supply chain) or resolve conflict between team members.
In fact, the ability to solve problems is an essential part of any employee’s skill set, even if it isn’t specified on the job description.
Get the insights and skills you need to shape your career journey with Pathways. Learn and practise a selection of simple yet effective reasoning strategies to take your problem solving to the next level.
How will employers assess your problem-solving skills?
Your problem-solving abilities can be assessed in three ways: by asking for examples of times when you previously solved a problem; by presenting you with certain hypothetical situations and asking how you would respond to them; and by seeing how you apply your problem-solving skills to different tests and exercises.
Competency-based application and interview questions about problem solving
You may be asked for an example of when you solved a problem on an application form – for instance, an engineering firm’s application form has previously included the question ‘Please tell us about a time when you have used your technical skills and knowledge to solve a problem’. But these questions are more likely at interview. Typical problem-solving competency-based questions include:
- Give me an example of a time when you ran into a problem on a project. What did you do?
- Give me an example of a difficult problem you had to solve outside of your course. How did you approach it?
- Tell me about a time you worked through a problem as a team.
- Have you ever had a disagreement with a team member? How was it resolved?
- Give me an example of a time when you spotted a potential problem and took steps to stop it becoming one.
- Give me an example of a time when you handled a major crisis.
- Give me an example of your lateral thinking.
Hypothetical interview questions about problem solving
Interviewers will also be interested to know how you would approach problems that could arise when you are in the workplace. The precise interview questions will vary according to the job, but common ones include:
- How would you deal with conflict in the workplace? (This is especially likely to be asked of trainee managers and graduate HR professionals.)
- What would you do if there is an unexpected delay to one of your projects because of supply chain issues? (This is particularly likely to be asked in construction, logistics or retail interviews).
- What would you do if a client or customer raised a complaint?
- What would you do if you noticed that a colleague was struggling with their work?
- How would you react if given negative feedback by a manager on an aspect of your performance?
- How would you judge whether you should use your own initiative on a task or ask for help?
Problem-solving exercises and tests for graduate jobs
Different tests that employers could set to gauge your problem-solving skills include:
- Online aptitude, psychometric and ability tests . These are normally taken as part of the application stage, although they may be repeated at an assessment centre. The tests that are most likely to assess your problem-solving skills are situational judgement tests and any that assess your reasoning, such as inductive reasoning or diagrammatic reasoning tests.
- Video ‘immersive experiences’ , game-based recruitment exercises or virtual reality assessments. Not all of these methods are widely used yet but they are becoming more common. They are usually the recruitment stage before a face-to-face interview or assessment centre.
- Case study exercises. These are common assessment centre tasks. You’d be set a business problem, typically related to the sector in which you’d be working, and asked to make recommendations for solving it, either individually or in groups. You’ll also usually be asked to outline your recommendations in either a presentation or in written form , a task that assesses your ability to explain your problem-solving approach.
- In-tray (or e-tray) exercises. These always used to be set at an assessment centre but nowadays can also be part of the online testing stage. In-tray exercises primarily test your time management skills, but also assess your ability to identify a potential problem and take actions to solve it.
- Job-specific or task-specific exercises, given at an assessment centre or at an interview. If set, these will be related to the role you are applying for and will either require you to devise a solution to a problem or to spot errors. Civil and structural engineering candidates , for example, will often be required to sketch a design in answer to a client’s brief and answer questions on it, while candidates for editorial roles may be asked to proofread copy or spot errors in page proofs (fully designed pages about to be published).
How to develop and demonstrate your problem-solving skills
Here are some tips on how to develop the problem-solving techniques employers look for.
Seek out opportunities to gain problem-solving examples
Dealing with any of the following situations will help you gain problem-solving skills, perhaps without even realising it:
- Sorting out a technical problem with your phone, device or computer.
- Resolving a dispute with a tricky landlord in order to get your deposit back.
- Carrying out DIY.
- Serving a demanding customer or resolving a complaint.
- Finding a way round a funding shortfall in order to pay for travel or a gap year.
- Turning around the finances or increasing the membership of a struggling student society.
- Organising a student society’s trip overseas, overcoming unforeseen difficulties on the way.
- Acting as a course rep or as a mentor for other students.
There should also be opportunities for you to develop problem-solving skills through your studies. Many assignments in subjects such as engineering and computer science are explicitly based around solving a problem in a way that, for example, essay topics in English literature aren’t. But, then, English literature students may also encounter academic problems, such as difficulties in tracking down the best source material.
Some professional bodies (for example, those in construction) run competitions for students, which often ask students to suggest solutions for problems facing the industry; entering these can provide good evidence of your problem-solving skills.
Games such as Sudoku and chess can also strengthen your ability to think strategically and creatively.
Practise recruitment exercises beforehand
Any candidate, no matter how high-flying, may be thrown by undertaking an online test or attending an assessment centre for the first time, so do everything you can to practise beforehand. Access our links to free and paid-for practice tests. Contact your careers service and book in for a mock-interview or mock-assessment centre.
Keep in mind this problem-solving technique
If you’re provided with a scenario or a case study during the graduate recruitment process, you could try using the IDEAL model, described by Bransford and Stein in their book Ideal Problem Solver . It breaks down what you need to do to solve a problem into stages:
- Identify the issue
- Define the obstacles
- Examine your options
- Act on an agreed course of action
- Look at how it turns out, and whether any changes need to be made.
Give detail in your answers
You will need to explain how you identified the problem, came up with a solution and implemented it. Quantifiable results are good, and obviously the more complex the situation, the more impressive a successful result is. Follow the STAR technique outlined in our article on competency-based interview questions .
If you tackled a problem as part of a team, explain how your role was important in ensuring the positive solution, but also explain how your group worked together. This could be an opportunity to promote your teamworking skills as well.
Related careers advice
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26 Good Examples of Problem Solving (Interview Answers)
300+ Interview Questions Answered.
300+ Interview Questions with Expert Answers.
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
- 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
- Overcoming issues related to a limited budget, and still delivering good work through the use of creative problem solving
- Overcoming a scheduling/staffing shortage in the department to still deliver excellent work
- Troubleshooting and resolving technical issues
- Handling and resolving a conflict with a coworker
- Solving any problems related to money, customer billing, accounting and bookkeeping, etc.
- Taking initiative when another team member overlooked or missed something important
- Taking initiative to meet with your superior to discuss a problem before it became potentially worse
- Solving a safety issue at work or reporting the issue to those who could solve it
- Using problem solving abilities to reduce/eliminate a company expense
- Finding a way to make the company more profitable through new service or product offerings, new pricing ideas, promotion and sale ideas, etc.
- Changing how a process, team, or task is organized to make it more efficient
- Using creative thinking to come up with a solution that the company hasn’t used before
- Performing research to collect data and information to find a new solution to a problem
- Boosting a company or team’s performance by improving some aspect of communication among employees
- Finding a new piece of data that can guide a company’s decisions or strategy better in a certain area
Problem Solving Examples for Recent Grads/Entry Level Job Seekers
- Coordinating work between team members in a class project
- Reassigning a missing team member’s work to other group members in a class project
- Adjusting your workflow on a project to accommodate a tight deadline
- Speaking to your professor to get help when you were struggling or unsure about a project
- Asking classmates, peers, or professors for help in an area of struggle
- Talking to your academic advisor to brainstorm solutions to a problem you were facing
- Researching solutions to an academic problem online, via Google or other methods
- Using problem solving and creative thinking to obtain an internship or other work opportunity during school after struggling at first
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:
- Saving the company time or money
- Making the company money
- Pleasing/keeping a customer
- Obtaining new customers
- Solving a safety issue
- Solving a staffing/scheduling issue
- Solving a logistical issue
- Solving a company hiring issue
- Solving a technical/software issue
- Making a process more efficient and faster for the company
- Creating a new business process to make the company more profitable
- Improving the company’s brand/image/reputation
- Getting the company positive reviews from customers/clients
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.
Related interview questions & answers:
- How do you handle stress?
- How do you handle conflict?
- Tell me about a time when you failed
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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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Problem Manager Job Description
Problem manager duties & responsibilities.
To write an effective problem manager job description, begin by listing detailed duties, responsibilities and expectations. We have included problem manager job description templates that you can modify and use.
Sample responsibilities for this position include:
Problem Manager Qualifications
Qualifications for a job description may include education, certification, and experience.
Licensing or Certifications for Problem Manager
List any licenses or certifications required by the position: ITIL, V3, COBIT, PMP, ITSM, CSI
Education for Problem Manager
Typically a job would require a certain level of education.
Employers hiring for the problem manager job most commonly would prefer for their future employee to have a relevant degree such as Bachelor's and University Degree in Computer Science, Technical, Engineering, Education, Business, Information Technology, Management, Information Systems, Science, Communication
Skills for Problem Manager
Desired skills for problem manager include:
Desired experience for problem manager includes:
Problem Manager Examples
- Microsoft Word (.docx) .DOCX
- PDF Document (.pdf) .PDF
- Image File (.png) .PNG
- Track and communicate progress of problem(s) to relevant parties
- Review progress/results with client and/or (senior) management
- Maintain Known Error database
- Problem management reporting and metrics
- Drive the process the adherence during any Incidnet Handling
- Participate in the Incidents to ensure that all parties contribute to the resolution
- Coordinate between multiple support teams and with vendors to delivery incident resolution
- Validate the Incident Report for the appropriate update and ensure that the RCA is delivered as required
- Inform the respective owners on the open incidents
- Validate the impact on the incident and update customer on the further action
- Liason with the process team to provide any work arounds if available
- Review all incidents of the day for logical closure
- Initiate problem management on all P1and P2 tickets
- Attend to the Mail Box and ensure all mails are responded
- Take ownership of Incident Management for High Severity Incident during the shift and perform necessary actions as documented
- Update the details on the Incident in the tool and manage the over all execution of the Incident
- Identifies areas within the delivery tower that require focus, ex
- Able to perform Pro-active root cause analysis based on incident trends and non-incident based triggers (ex
- Developing problem management procedures, when required
- Co-ordinate the focus of detailed trending aligned with target areas identified
- Ensures that necessary reports
- Proactive in identification of possible problems before incidents occur
- Ensure all problem management activities are documented in Problem Management Tool and maintain updated records in the Known Error Database
- Drive technical teams to complete root cause analysis (RCA) to include the identification of permanent corrective actions on IT infrastructure, applications and databases using proven problem analysis methods (Kepner Tregoe, Ishikawa/Fishbone, Failure Mode and Effects Analysis [FMEA])
- Call and chair Post Mortem Review meetings following Major Incidents
- Produce trends analysis of recurring Problems/Incidents - extract trends on Incident types, Customer types, key problem areas, depts, hardware types etc
- MS Project plans responsibility and MS Project Server SME
- A minimum of three years of experience as 1st / 2nd Level Assurance Operations in an operations/services/technology environment
- Good understanding of New MSTOP processes and definitions, of MSDP tools and of the MS Governance Model
- ITIL Problem Management experience is a plus
- Competency in process development, execution, and administration
- Knowledge of Telecom (Radio, Access, Core, Transport)
- Maintain Process and Procedure documents
- Management and co-ordination of technical resource and the provision of awareness communications to the wider organisation for all UK based Severity 0, 1, 2, 3c, 3 Incidents on a 24*7*365 basis
- The post incident reporting of Severity 0,1,2,3c,3 resolution information and establishing appropriate actions to identify root cause and prevent recurrence, including the completion of Post Incident Review documentation
- Co-ordination and leadership of virtual and remote working support teams
- Ensure that an accurate view of downtime is provided to Service Level Management
- Monitoring the overall execution and health of Incident Management and Problem Management activities, including chairing a daily Service meeting and compiling Incident and Problem based reporting
- Support of Risk Management Events through ownership of Technology caused issues, utilising our standard Incident and Problem processes to provide root cause and mitigation/prevention details
- Provides desktop computer, printer, and video-teleconferencing support according to applicable standards and procedures
- Employs exceptional customer service skills, manages/prioritizes multiple simultaneous efforts
- Ability to lift standard PC equipment and peripherals for the purpose of installations and moves
- Project Management basic knowledge
- Expertise in of the standard problem-solving frameworks
- Good understanding of New MSTOP processes and definitions, of MSDP tools and of the MS Governance Model is a plus
- At least 5 years experience in Problem Management
- Deep understanding of Service Management best practices such as ITIL, particularly Service Transition, Service Operations and CSI
- Four year college degree in Risk, Computer Science, Information Technology, Business Administration or High School diploma and 4+ years equivalent experience required
- Provides timely updates of work status via the Service Desk Ticketing System
- Participates in Help Desk Coordinator and Tech on Duty coverage as required
- Functions as the one of the senior leads for technical troubleshooting
- Coordinates IT equipment moves
- Liaisons with VTC Engineer and VTC Operator as needed or directed by Project Manager
- Liaisons with government IT leads as required
- Performs the management of both reactive root-cause analysis and proactive trend analysis within IT
- Manages problems to ensure that these are diagnosed, logged and escalated to appropriate and consistent quality standards
- Ensures accurate and appropriate communications during problems
- Produces trends analysis of recurring Problems/Incidents
- Understanding of MSTOP framework & principles
- Leadership qualities – can lead meetings and drive actions
- Minimum 1 year of Change/Incident/Problem Management experience
- Inquisitiveness understood as desire to seek the origin of the problem
- Ability to associate information, analytical thinking
- BS/BA in related discipline (i.e., Business Administration, Computer Information Systems, Management Information Systems) or equivalent experience
- Produces 'Escalation Reports' on recurring issues and issues not being resolved
- Ensures compliance with latest DoD STIGS
- Documents and assists in correcting Electronics Security Violations
- Provides informational updates to the Field Activities in regards to the aforementioned activities
- Establishes, leads and manages ITSM Problem Management processes across all CHI Managed Service Providers and CHI ITS IT operations
- Build a strong relationship with technology and business partners
- Work with the Customers, IT teams and 3rd parties to ensure end-to-end problem management resolution
- Work very closely with the two Incident Managers to support ITIL best practise and to help manage on a day to day basis
- Analyse data and metrics, analyse trends and agree follow up actions with IT, Customer and 2rd party stakeholders
- Helps deliver a Problem Management capability that supports IT infrastructure services which require 24x7 supports
- Four year college degree in Risk, Computer Science, Information Technology, Business Administration or equivalent experience required
- Experience in Proficiency in authoring tools
- Experience in Key ITSM processes such as incident and problem management, service level management
- At least 1 year experience in ITIL
- Working experience of technologies
- Ability to work well within a team to learn and share knowledge
Related Job Descriptions
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20 job description examples for growing businesses
Often, your job descriptions will be a candidates first real contact with your company. It will either make or break their decision to apply to your vacancy or click away in search of better opportunities. But if you’re not a natural wordsmith, job description examples can help inspire your efforts.
Job description examples: best practices
Job description templates can be a powerful tool in any recruiter’s belt, so make sure to have at least a few job description examples ready to share with your team. These can help provide a baseline of information required by a candidate, structure your initial outreach via job boards, and speed up your job promotion process.Like any templates, job description examples should be shared with your team alongside a few conditions: adjust and customize where necessary, add your own flare where appropriate, and use discerningly.
Using job description examples in candidate resumes and job applications
Apart from being able to define what employers are looking for within the typical role an applicant is applying for, it also helps them ensure that they feature the best keywords into the skills and qualities sections of any applications searched and prioritized electronically.It’s rare that a pair of human eyes ever sees the complete application pool when a post attracts a vast number of applicants. We live in a data driven world, so an applicant must make sure their data matches what an employer—or their AI software—is looking for.
20 most popular job description examples
We’ve compiled a list of over 200 customizable job description examples and templates , but here are the most popular 20 for any growing businesses.Want quick access to your favorite job description examples? Use the list below and click on the role you’re looking for to skip to the description
- Strategy manager
- Business development consultant
- Recruitment manager
- Sourcing manager
- Associate consultant
- Management consultant
- General manager
- Event manager
- Program coordinator
- SEO manager
- Legal counsel
- Data protection officer
- Android developer
- Python developer
- iOs developer
- PHP developer
- Software tester
- Software developer
- Front-end developer
- Back-end developer
1. Strategy manager
We are looking for an experienced Strategy Manager. You will work directly with C-suite level executives to ensure that daily objectives, reports, and metrics align directly with the company’s goals.
- Evaluate new business models and corporate relationships.
- Negotiate complex business models, partnerships, transactions, and other commercial agreements.
- Identify and target attainable opportunities in the market.
- Clearly define company goals and long-term strategy.
- Examine the profitability of each product, store location, and line of business in order to redirect resources.
- Utilize skills in project management to lead large teams in change processes.
- Develop methods for motivating and inspiring stakeholders.
- Leverage professional networks to attain critical resources.
- Provide training materials for process owners who need support.
- [X] vacation days
- Sick, personal, and parental leave
- Child and elder care
- Health insurance
- Retirement plans
- Professional development
- Experience in strategic planning and business analytics.
- Ability to lead, inspire and motivate teams.
- Strong presentation and negotiation skills.
- Excellent verbal and written communication in [X] language.
- [X] degree in Business Administration or relevant fields.
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2. Business development consultant
We are looking for a knowledgeable and experienced Business Development Consultant. You are a self-starter who will hunt for new business for different clients.
- Develop business with the assigned accounts.
- Create strategic development plans, including active sales pipeline and implementation, to build new profitable business.
- Track and report progress with implementation of strategic plan, customer budgets, and ongoing forecasts.
- Train business development team regarding different phases of the sales cycle and meeting projects’ goals.
- Perform analysis to determine opportunities in the market.
- Assess the profitability of existing products and service offerings.
- Improve existing business by increasing profitability and customer satisfaction
- Manage business deals from negotiation to close.
- Monitor contracts implementation from contract performance, customer payment terms, to delivery terms.
- Build and maintain long-lasting customer relationships.
- Ability to work independently with little or no supervision.
- Dedication to develop clients’ business.
- Derive energy from facing challenges and provide actionable solutions.
- [X] year(s) experience in business management or related roles.
- A proven track record of business development success.
- [X] degree in Business Administration or other relevant fields.
3. Recruitment manager
We are looking for a creative Recruitment Manager. You have a strong work ethic and use an enthusiastic approach to find qualified candidates for companies.
- Develop and implement recruitment strategies, tactics, funnels, and procedures.
- Communicate recruitment goals and objectives with recruiters.
- Train recruiters to perform resume searches on external databases (e.g., Monster, Careerbuilder).
- Maintain the internal candidate database (e.g. updating contact information, candidates’ geographical locations, and availability for new work).
- Communicate with the team to determine the effectiveness of recruitment plans.
- Research and recommend new sources for the recruitment of active and passive candidates.
- Build networks to find qualified candidates.
- Review applicants to evaluate their qualifications and whether they meet the position requirements.
- Prepare weekly reports for clients to show tasks in progress, the number of candidates searched, and the number of qualified candidates found.
- Proofread job descriptions and other related materials.
- Excellent organizational skills and attention to detail.
- A proven track record of managing recruiters for multiple clients.
- Strong knowledge of recruitment practices, metrics, and guidelines.
- Excellent leadership and project management skills.
- [X] degree in Human Resources or relevant fields
4. Sourcing manager
We’re looking for an experienced Sourcing Manager. You will be in full charge of managing our company’s sourcing activities.
- Manage various aspects of high volume sourcing projects within the manufacturing plant.
- Re-negotiating vendor contracts to favor the company.
- Provide management support for facilities.
- Participate on global teams to provide procedural consistency and exchange best practices.
- Develop strong, functional relationships with key suppliers.
- Perform annual analyses to evaluate overall cost savings after implementation of new strategies.
- Write complex documents such as Letters of Authorization (LOA) and Statements of Work (SOW).
- Follow industry professionals and organizations to maintain an awareness of best practices.
- Ensure that all practices are consistent with industry guidelines and regulations.
- [X] year(s) experience as a Sourcing Manager or similar roles.
- Strong record of the ability to handle large contracts in manufacturing.
- Proficiency in applicable sourcing and vendor management software.
- Excellent negotiation and networking skills.
- APICS or other related certification in Production and Inventory Management.
- [X] degree in Business Administration, Logistics, or relevant fields.
5. Associate consultant
We are looking for an agile Associate Consultant to join our fast growing team. This position offers room for exponential growth within the organization.
- Support lead consultants on client projects.
- Develop financial and operational analysis and processes.
- Perform administrative tasks in a time sensitive manner.
- Monitor various aspects of a business. Present solutions and recommendations to clients and other stakeholders. Assist as execution happens.
- Identify clients’ needs and develop future plans. Work with clients’ teams to execute the plans to achieve great financial results.
- Report project status to internal and external team members.
- [X] year(s) experience in business, consulting, and supporting project management plans.
- Excellent analytical skills and financial modelling experience.
- Strong commitment and work ethics.
- [X] degree in business administration or equivalent.
6. Management consultant
We are looking for a highly motivated Management Consultant. You can think through complex problems and offer multi-faceted solutions that are feasible.
- Use different project management methodologies to complete projects.
- Perform assessments to identify the needs of the client.
- Use performance metrics to measure the scope of the problem.
- Determine possible solutions to the client’s problem.
- Test the solution on a small group to assess effectiveness before full-scale implementation.
- Implement the solution throughout the entire organization.
- Evaluate the effectiveness of the solution after a determined period of time.
- Work with internal, external consultants and other experts.
- Host workshops and other events to develop buy-in throughout the organization.
- Submit project reports and findings to the Management team.
- [X] year(s) experience as a Management Consultant, or relevant roles in consulting and operational management.
- Strong knowledge of project management and change management methodologies.
- Excellent problem solving and coaching abilities.
- Strong conceptual and analytical thinking.
- Good social acumen.
7. General manager
We are looking for an experienced General Manager. You will give leadership to the whole team, recommend the most efficient processes, and drive sales.
- Take full P&L responsibility for the business.
- Manage all staff across sales, operations, administration, and finance.
- Look for potential business growth and research market potential.
- Aim for and achieve a great increase in revenue in the target markets.
- Lead, inspire, and motivate all direct reports.
- Create and implement effective business plans.
- Give presentations at meetings, events, openings when necessary.
- Excellent communication and presentation skills.
- Strong leadership skills.
- Ability to develop a high performing team.
- Ability to multitask while adapting to changing priorities.
- [X] year(s) experience in sales.
- A proven track record of handling a variety of management tasks.
8. Event manager
We are searching for an Event Manager with a magnetic personality. You can handle large scale events/projects while facing the pressure of deadlines.
- Oversee the coordination of event marketing and planning efforts.
- Develop relationships with clientele and corporations who can provide event space and supplies.
- Determine a customized marketing strategy for each event.
- Use a creative eye to decide the decoration for spaces, flyers, palm cards, and other materials.
- Negotiate with vendors to decrease event costs.
- Facilitate take-away meetings with Event Planning team to develop best practices and examine any problems.
- Define the event attendee value proposition to pinpoint ticket prices.
- Report overall event costs to the management team.
- Propose ideas and changes for new events to attract attendees and increase attendee value.
- Use a Customer Relationship Database to manage client/attendee/customer contact information.
- Outstanding ability to multitask
- Strong leadership, organizational and communication skills.
- Meticulous attention to detail.
- Ability to leverage a network of functional partnerships.
- [X] year(s) experience in Event Coordination or Management.
- Ability to troubleshoot critical issues in a timely fashion.
- [X] degree in Event Management or relevant fields.
9. Program coordinator
We are looking for a capable Program Coordinator. You will be responsible for a variety of administrative tasks to ensure our programs’ smooth operations.
- Coordinate the day-to-day operations of the programs.
- Schedule calls, meetings, and follow up all items in the agenda.
- Thoroughly monitor workload, working hours, and the progress of employees working in the programs.
- Utilize strategies for the management of internal staff.
- Assist in the updating of project files, plans, budgets, and policies.
- Coordinate data collected from the programs.
- Maintain documentation from programs’ activities.
- Disseminate reports to the management team.
- [X] year(s) experience in coordinating programs in a relevant sector.
- Strong knowledge of program management procedures and practices.
- Great command of MS Office and program management software.
- Excellent communication and problem-solving skills.
10. SEO manager
We are looking for a creative SEO (Search Engine Optimization) Manager. You will lead our web marketing and analytics activities with content strategy, link building, and keyword strategy.
- Develop a strategy for the improvement of organic search ranking and the maximization of ROI.
- Prioritize keywords to attract the target audience.
- Monitor and analyze SEO statistics such as redirects, click rate, bounce rate, and others.
- Build systems and best practices to ensure that all content is optimal for SEO.
- Manage relationships with web developers and marketing teams to properly implement SEO best practices in coding and campaigns.
- Communicate the performance of process improvements to the Management team.
- Provide feedback regarding any broken links or other problems through the appropriate channels.
- Watch popular SEO publications and blogs to stay updated on the latest innovations, tools, and techniques.
- Experience in web statistics, marketing, and business development.
- Experience with A/B testing and other testing metrics.
- Ability to analyze data and provide evidence-based recommendations.
- [X] year(s) experience in SEO.
- In-depth knowledge of current SEO tools and practices.
- [X] degree in relevant quantitative fields.
11. Legal counsel
We are looking for a dedicated Legal Counsel. You will make sure that our business adheres to law by giving legal advice and monitor all applicable legal aspects.
- Advise executives on relevant legal issues of the business.
- Oversee internal policies.
- Manage risks in business operations and decisions.
- Draft legal papers, contracts, agreements, and other legal documents as needed.
- Apply abstract principles of law to the concrete facts of a case.
- Protect patents, trademarks, and industrial designs.
- Facilitate the development of documents needed for the transfer of real property.
- Handle litigation.
- Specialty in administrative law and procedures.
- [X] year(s) experience working as a Legal Counsel for businesses.
- A proven track record of creating effective legal strategies.
- High work ethic.
- Arbitration, mediation skills.
- [X] degree in Law or equivalents.
12. Data protection officer
We are looking for a diligent Data Protection Officer. You will manage organizational data protection and oversee our GDPR compliance.
- Train the staff involving in data processing.
- Develop and execute relevant compliance projects.
- Conduct regular security audits to ensure compliance and address potential problems.
- Act as the point of contact between the company and any Supervisory Authorities (SAs).
- Give advice on the impact of data protection efforts.
- Monitor and maintain records of all data processing activities conducted by the company.
- Review the company’s agreements and contracts with data processors.
- Communicate with data subjects to inform them about how their data is being processed and the rights they have to their data.
- Coordinate data breach response and notification procedures.
- Expert knowledge of data protection law and practices.
- Knowledge of the company’s IT infrastructure and organizational structure.
- Align with the company’s data processing operations and the level of data protection required for the company.
- Excellent management skills.
- [X] degree in Law or equivalent.
13. Android developer
We are looking for an Android Developer pioneer to join our team. This position offers an inspirational space to create the next innovation in mobile applications.
- Manage the full technical life-cycle of Android applications during each development phase.
- Collaborate with team members to brainstorm about new products, provide each other with technical insight and review working drafts.
- Document and maintain design specifications, source code, and archives for new applications and ideas.
- Work with product managers, clients and sales teams to assess customer demand and usability of new applications.
- Perform individual project components within the entire development lifecycle including implementation, testing, deployment and maintenance.
- Work from UI/UX requirements, APIs, mockups to build functional, high-performance Android phone and tablet apps.
- Diagnose performance issues, fix bugs to increase the functionality of new applications.
- Understand the nuances of fragments and Android XML layouts, and how to create adaptive interfaces that work for multiple device form factors.
- Obtain buy-in from leadership in order to secure resources for app development.
- Knowledge of Android SDK, Eclipse, Android Studio and/or appropriate equipment and software.
- [X] year(s) of overall software development and/or Android software development experience.
- Extensive hands-on experience of creating custom UI controls, designing protocols, implementing interfaces, and performance optimization.
- Working knowledge of Web Services & REST (JSON) APIs.
- Familiarity with Team Foundation Service or Git source code management.
- [X] degree in Computer Science or relevant fields.
14. Python developer
We are searching for a knowledgeable Python Developer. You will develop smooth running and innovative web applications and software products.
- Use server-side logic to integrate user-facing elements.
- Develop software related to asset management (or other core business).
- Write and implement software solutions that integrate different systems.
- Identify and suggest various opportunities to improve efficiency and functionality.
- Write reusable and testable code.
- Support new projects and implement solutions from a Level-3 perspective.
- Integrate data storage solutions.
- Implement data security and protection.
- Familiarity with Python web stacks.
- In-depth knowledge of different frameworks (e.g. Django, Flask).
- Excellent time management and multitasking skills.
- Understanding different types of Object Relational Mappers.
- [X] year(s) experience in Python Development.
15. iOS developer
We are looking for an adept iOS Developer. You will develop mobile applications in a variety of different fields and push the limits of mobile technologies.
- Design, code, analyze, and test systems for iOS applications.
- Introduce and present the use/nuances of newly designed products to clients.
- Handle software updates, patches, and bug fixes.
- Develop applications for time-sensitive projects while considering business/system requirements.
- Communicate with a team of developers, designers, project managers, and other personnel to ship new features.
- Maintain project, drafts, files, codes, and scripts in an organized manner that allows other team members to make edits/suggestions/changes.
- Continually learn about new programming languages, operating system updates, and other information that will affect the functions of applications in development.
- Experience with publishing iPhone and/or iPad applications.
- Experience with development in Objective-C, third-party libraries, and APIs.
- Solid knowledge of different iOS frameworks (Core Data, Core Graphics, etc.) and programming tools (Xcode, Git, etc.).
- Excellent ability to develop and understand algorithms.
- [X] degree in Computer Science, Engineering, or relevant fields.
16. PHP developer
We are seeking a talented PHP Developer. You will maintain current systems, manage servers, and build new projects.
- Build reusable PHP modules.
- Write good code.
- Work on all stages of the development lifecycle.
- Work with front-end developers to integrate user-facing elements.
- Troubleshoot to solve architectural challenges and performance problems.
- Integrate solutions for data-storage and data-backup.
- Develop quality assurance and testing tools.
- Experience with common open source tools, relational databases, and version control tools.
- Experience with PHP 5 and other relevant tools.
- [X] year(s) experience in application/software development.
- Ability to work with UNIX commands.
17. Software tester
We are looking for a thorough Software Tester. You will ensure that newly developed products are ready to perform and result in repeat clientele.
- Design independent web cases for each newly developed web application.
- Provide feedback to developers about automated testing strategies, design fixes, and patches.
- Perform system load tests for new products.
- Manage and train apprentices, junior testers, and new developers.
- Work with other quality technicians to document the quality processes for replication in other locations.
- Manage testing projects during each phase, according to the Software Development Life Cycle (SDLC).
- Make improvements to functionality, design, and usability of new products.
- [X] year(s) experience as a Software Tester.
- Strong analytical and problem-solving abilities.
- Solid understanding of the software development lifecycle.
- Hands-on experience with functional testing, integration testing, regression testing, mobile testing, big data testing, cross-platform testing, component testing, security testing, performance testing, UI/UX testing, A/B testing.
- TMap, ISEB, ISTQB certification is a plus.
- Up-to-date knowledge of the latest testing developments.
18. Software developer
We are looking for an adept Software Developer. You will develop top-notch software that work across platforms and is scalable.
- Review current systems to correct errors within the existing program.
- Conduct pilot tests to assess the functionality of newly developed programs.
- Document programs scripts, including, drafts, revisions and final directions.
- Write new programs with clean and testable codes that will integrate the existing software systems.
- Monitor newly launched programs.
- Perform maintenance activities for new and existing programs.
- Upgrade systems in order to adapt to new business requirements.
- Help write training manuals in order to train new users.
- [X] year(s) experience in developing software.
- A strong portfolio of published products and projects.
- In-depth knowledge of SQL, ORM technologies, and common web frameworks.
19. Front-end developer
We are looking for a dynamic front-end developer. You will work on a diverse set of unique and challenging projects that allow users to seamlessly interact with technology.
- Work on the full life cycle development of time-sensitive projects.
- Recommend appropriate technologies to implement new features.
- Develop code libraries that can be used for multiple projects.
- Review code, layout, and design for projects before client meetings.
- Build, deliver, and iterate to help scale projects.
- Contribute to a team of back-end developers, designers, project managers, and sales representatives.
- Provide regular updates and technical support for new clients up to one month after product development.
- Create new methods for improving efficiency.
- Familiarity with new frameworks and prototyping tools.
- Ability to translate mockups into seamless web pages with perfect visual and functional elements.
- Ability to find solutions to the new challenges daily.
- Experience in building large and modular codebases.
- Strong understanding of REST APIs and knowledge of how to interface with them.
- Experience with Back-End Development is a plus.
- [X] year(s) experience working in Front-End Development.
20. Back-end developer
We are looking for a sturdy back-end developer. You are responsible for managing the data between the product, server, and users.
- Maintain the central databases, ensure high performance, respond to requests from the front-end.
- Create a secure API for our web and mobile applications.
- Optimize the application for maximum speed and scalability.
- Implement security and data protection.
- Design and implement data storage solutions.
- A proven track record of successful implementation of an API.
- Experience in managing host environments, implementing automated testing platforms and unit tests.
- Deep knowledge of user authentication and authorization between multiple systems, servers, and environments.
- Proficiency with Git, a SQL database, and back-end programming languages.
- Experience in IoT projects, noSQL databases, Agile development, and machine learning is a plus.
- [X] degree in Computer Science or equivalent.
Still searching for a few more job description examples to use yourself or share with your team? Make sure to download a free copy of over 200 customizable job descriptions in sales, retail, IT, management, recruitment, events, PR competencies and more.
Looking to spice up your interviews? Download our free ebook containing 47 creative interview questions!
Adrie is a content strategist at Foleon, and the former Head of Content & Branding at Recruitee!
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How to Improve Your Problem-Solving Skills (and Show Them Off in Your Job Hunt)
Hot jobs on the muse.
Problem-solving skills are critical for any career path—no matter where you work or what job you have, you’ll face problems big and small all the time. If you want to succeed in your career, being able to effectively navigate (and solve!) those problems is a must. And if you’re on the job hunt, showcasing your problem-solving skills can help you land your dream gig.
But what, exactly, are problem-solving skills? What can you do to improve them? And if you’re looking for a new position, how can you show off your problem-solving skills during your job search to help you land an awesome job?
Consider this your guide to all things problem-solving. Let’s get started.
What Are Problem-Solving Skills and Why Are They Important?
“Problem-solving skills are skills that allow you to identify and define a situation that needs changing,” says Doug Noll , an attorney and adjunct faculty member at the Straus Institute of Dispute Resolution at Pepperdine University’s Caruso School of Law, where he teaches graduate-level classes in decision-making and problem-solving. Once you identify what needs changing, problem-solving skills also enable you to “identify the best outcomes, define potential processes for achieving the best outcomes, and evaluate how the process achieved (or failed to achieve) the desired outcome,” he says. “Every job imaginable involves problem-solving.”
Being able to effectively solve problems can help you succeed and impress, regardless of what kind of job you have or career you plan to pursue. “A person who sorts out problems and makes decisions—or at least brings potential solutions to the table—is seen as someone who can get things done,” says organizational consultant Irial O’Farrell , author of the upcoming book The Manager’s Dilemma: How to Empower Your Team’s Problem Solving . “This makes managers’ lives easier—and managers notice people who make their lives easier, who get things done, and who don’t have to be told [what to do] the whole time. In turn, opportunities are put their way, enhancing their career.”
And the further you progress in your career, the more important those skills become, Noll says. “As you rise in an organization, the problems become more complex, ambiguous, uncertain, and risky. Only people able to solve these types of problems are promoted.” So as you hone your problem-solving skills, you become more valuable to any organization—and will be able to climb the ladder more easily as a result.
The 6 Steps of Problem-Solving—and the Skills You Need for Each One
Problem-solving is a process. And, like any process, there are certain steps you need to take in order to get to the finish line:
Step #1: Identify and Assess the Problem
You can’t solve a problem if you don’t know what the problem is. So “the first step is to recognize that an issue—or potential issue—exists,” O’Farrell says. In order to do that, you’ll need “a certain amount of knowledge or awareness of what should be happening as compared to what is actually happening.”
Once you recognize there’s a problem, you’ll need to evaluate its potential impact. “Is this going to affect three people or 203 people? Is this going to cost us $10 or $100,000? How material is this issue?” O’Farrell says. “Being able to evaluate the size, impact, and costs [of a problem] is a key skill here.”
When you understand the scope of the problem, you’ll have a better idea of what you’re dealing with—and will be able to come up with appropriate, relevant solutions as a result.
Skills needed during this step of the problem-solving process include:
- Attention to detail
- Data collection
Step #2: Get to the Source of the Problem
Once you know what the problem is (and what its potential impact might be), it’s time to figure out where the problem is coming from or why it’s happening—as identifying the source of the problem will give you key insights into how to fix it.
“Often we notice a problem because of its symptoms, rather than its root cause. As a result, it is common to focus on resolving the symptoms, rather than what is causing the symptoms,” O’Farrell says. But “by understanding the root causes, a better, longer-term solution can be identified.”
There are a variety of techniques to help you dig deeper and understand what’s causing the problem at hand. For example, a 5 Whys analysis could help you uncover the root cause of a problem by having you ask “Why?” five times in a row, with each “Why?” building off the previous answer. Or you might try the fishbone diagram —also known as a cause-and-effect analysis—which encourages looking at the different categories that could be causing a problem and brainstorming potential root causes within each of those categories.
During this stage of the problem-solving process, curiosity is key; you’ll need it to explore all the different factors that could be contributing to the problem.
- Analysis (including root-cause analysis)
- Critical thinking
Step #3: Brainstorm Potential Solutions
Once you’ve identified the problem (and the root of the problem), “the next step is to brainstorm potential options that will resolve it,” O’Farrell says.
How much brainstorming you’ll need to do will depend on the problem you’re dealing with. “If it’s a fairly small, straightforward issue, then identifying a few options might be sufficient,” O’Farrell says. Especially for a bigger issue, “Taking some time to think beyond the obvious might lead to a better and longer-term solution.”
The size and scope of the problem will also determine who needs to be involved in this step. In some cases, you may be able to brainstorm solutions yourself. But if you’re dealing with a larger, more complex issue, getting more people involved (and choosing the right people, i.e. those best equipped to handle the problem) is important. You’ll need to be able to judge what kind of problem it is and who to bring in to help and lead a productive brainstorming session.
One of the most important skills you’ll draw on at this stage is creativity. The more creative you are during your brainstorm, the more (and better) potential solutions you’ll be able to come up with—and the more likely one of those solutions will be the solution you’re looking for.
Skills you might need during this step of the problem-solving process include:
- Meeting facilitation
Step #4: Evaluate Solutions
Once you have a list of potential solutions from your brainstorming session, the next step is to examine each one carefully and narrow down your list so only the best solutions remain.
In order to succeed during this stage of the problem-solving process, you’ll need to be able to dig into each potential solution and evaluate how viable it is. You may make a pros and cons list for each potential solution, talk through the benefits and drawbacks with your team, and then narrow down your options to the solutions that have the most potential upsides.
All the work you put into the problem-solving process up to this point will also come in handy as you’re evaluating which of your potential solutions might ultimately be the most effective. “Having a strong understanding of what the issue is, why it’s an issue, and what is causing it helps in being able to determine if each of the solutions will sort the issue out,” O’Farrell says.
Step #5: Choose the Best Solution
Once you’ve narrowed down your list of potential solutions—and weighed the pros and cons of each—it’s time for you (or your supervisor or another decision-maker) to choose one.
“Depending on the type and impact of the issue and your role and authority, you may be the one making the decision or you may be presenting the issue and potential solutions to your boss,” O’Farrell says.
Knowing who should make the call is a key part of this step; if the problem is complex or will have a major impact on your organization that goes beyond your level of responsibility, it’s probably best to bring potential solutions to your boss and/or other stakeholders—and give them the final say.
- Public speaking
Step #6: Implement the Decision and Reflect on the Outcome
Choosing a solution in and of itself doesn’t fix anything. You need to actually implement that solution—and do it well. That means developing a plan and coordinating with other key players in your organization to put that plan into action—which requires a host of skills (such as communication, collaboration, and project management).
Before you can hang up your problem-solving hat, you’ll also need to “go back and evaluate if the solution sorted out the issue” or if it caused any unintended consequences, O’Farrell says.
For example, let’s say your organization has a problem with taking too long to address customer service requests—and you rolled out a new ticket management system in order to deal with the issue. Once you implement that new system, you’ll want to follow up to make sure it’s allowing your customer service reps to deal with requests faster and hasn’t caused any new, different, or unexpected issues (for example, tickets getting lost in the queue or customers being less satisfied with the quality of support they received).
- Data analysis
- Goal setting
- Project management
- Project planning
- Time management
How to Improve Your Problem-Solving Skills
Clearly, solving problems is a complex process—and it’s a process you need to nail if you want to grow in your career. But how can you improve your problem-solving skills so they can help you thrive in your career?
- Put on your student hat. One of the best ways to improve here is to study how to effectively solve problems. “Read case studies of complex problems,” Noll says. (For example, if you want to land a marketing job, you might search for case studies on how other companies were able to increase their qualified leads or drive more traffic to their website.) Noll also suggests reading books about different problem-solving techniques—or, if you really want to level up your skills, investing in a general course in critical thinking and problem-solving. “A good course should teach you how to think,” he says—and critical thinking plays a huge role in problem-solving.
- Try different brainstorming techniques. If you want to be a better problem solver, try pushing yourself to think outside of the box. “Learning some brainstorming techniques and expanding your thinking beyond the obvious solutions is also a way to make your problem-solving skills stand out,” O’Farrell says. Brainstorming techniques like brainwriting (a nonverbal brainstorming technique for teams) or rapid ideation (which pushes you to come up with as many ideas as possible in a short time frame) can help spark creative thinking—and help you become a more creative problem solver in the process.
- Ask expert problem-solvers how they solve problems. People in your professional (or personal!) life who excel at solving problems can be a great resource for leveling up your own problem-solving skills. “Talk to senior mentors about how they approached complex problems,” Noll says. “Get them to talk about their failures and mistakes,” he says, not just their successes. Seeing how other people solve problems and what they’ve learned from their experiences can help you approach problems in a different way and can make you a more versatile problem solver.
- Practice, practice, practice. Like with anything else, if you want to improve your problem-solving skills, you need to practice solving problems. “Most people jump to the easy, intuitive answer rather than [carefully thinking] through the problem,” O’Farrell says. So next time you’re confronted with a problem, rather than jump to a hasty solution, take your time to go through the entire problem-solving process. And if you don’t have any real problems to deal with? Attempting to solve hypothetical problems can be just as helpful.
How to Show Off Your Problem-Solving Skills During the Job Search
Recruiters and hiring managers are looking for people with problem-solving skills who can help them, their team, and their company achieve their goals even in the face of obstacles and setbacks. So if you want to stand out, nail the interview, and score the job, you’ll need to showcase your problem-solving skills throughout your job search.
Here are a few ways to show off your problem-solving skills:
On a Resume
You can show potential employers that you’re a problem solver right on your resume. As you write your bullets for each past job and other experiences, “Incorporate one main challenge that you had to overcome, and give a brief synopsis of how you approached it, what the solution was and, most importantly, what the positive outcome was,” O’Farrell says.
For example, let’s say you’re a marketing manager and you had to figure out a way to launch a new product with a minimal budget. Under your current role, you might include a bullet point that says:
- Launched new sunscreen line across digital and traditional channels with <$10,000 budget by exploring up-and-coming distribution channels and negotiating wide-scale distribution agreements, bringing in $60,000 in new product sales within 90 days of launch
O’Farrell also recommends using action verbs (like “ analyze,” “evaluate,” or “identify”) to call out your problem-solving skills on a resume.
In a Cover Letter
In your cover letter, you’ll have more room and flexibility to showcase your problem-solving skills—and you should definitely take advantage of the opportunity.
Noll suggests using your cover letter to tell a quick story (think two to three sentences) about when and how you’ve solved a relevant problem. In your story, you want to include:
- What the problem was
- How you approached it/came to a solution
- What the outcomes of your problem-solving were
- What lessons you learned
Another strategy is to highlight how you would use your problem-solving skills within the context of the role you’re applying for. “I’d recommend reviewing the job description and identifying what types of problems you might have to deal with in the role,” O’Farrell says. Then you can speak directly to how you might approach them.
For example, let’s say you’re applying for an executive assistant position that requires extensive scheduling and calendar management for an exec who is often traveling for business. In that situation, you might explain how you’d solve the problem of scheduling while the exec is out of office (for example, by developing an appointment approval system that allows the exec to approve all appointment requests remotely, with a plan for how to notify the exec of appointment requests that need immediate attention).
The interview process offers the best opportunity for your problem-solving skills to shine, so you’ll want to come prepared.
“In preparation for the interview, select two to three situations where you used your problem-solving skills,” O’Farrell says. That way, when the interviewer asks you for examples of problems you’ve faced in your career—and how you solved them—you’ll have relevant stories ready. If you’re not sure how to tell your story effectively, the STAR method (which breaks down your story into four parts: S ituation, T ask, A ction, and R esult) can be helpful.
As a potential candidate, it’s also important to ask how you’ll need to use your skills on the job, Noll says. So you might ask the interviewers to share some of the issues or problems they’re hoping to solve by filling this position.
And if they turn around and ask you how you’d solve those problems? Don’t panic! If you have a story of a similar problem you’ve solved in the past, this is a great opportunity to share it. Otherwise, just talk through how you would approach it. Remember, the interviewers don’t expect you to come up with detailed solutions for problems their company is facing on the spot; they just want to get a sense of how you would begin to think about those problems if you were hired.
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Turn your team into skilled problem solvers with these problem-solving strategies
Picture this, you're handling your daily tasks at work and your boss calls you in and says, "We have a problem."
Unfortunately, we don't live in a world in which problems are instantly resolved with the snap of our fingers. Knowing how to effectively solve problems is an important professional skill to hone. If you have a problem that needs to be solved, what is the right process to use to ensure you get the most effective solution?
In this article we'll break down the problem-solving process and how you can find the most effective solutions for complex problems.
What is problem solving?
Problem solving is the process of finding a resolution for a specific issue or conflict. There are many possible solutions for solving a problem, which is why it's important to go through a problem-solving process to find the best solution. You could use a flathead screwdriver to unscrew a Phillips head screw, but there is a better tool for the situation. Utilizing common problem-solving techniques helps you find the best solution to fit the needs of the specific situation, much like using the right tools.
4 steps to better problem solving
While it might be tempting to dive into a problem head first, take the time to move step by step. Here’s how you can effectively break down the problem-solving process with your team:
1. Identify the problem that needs to be solved
One of the easiest ways to identify a problem is to ask questions. A good place to start is to ask journalistic questions, like:
Who : Who is involved with this problem? Who caused the problem? Who is most affected by this issue?
What: What is happening? What is the extent of the issue? What does this problem prevent from moving forward?
Where: Where did this problem take place? Does this problem affect anything else in the immediate area?
When: When did this problem happen? When does this problem take effect? Is this an urgent issue that needs to be solved within a certain timeframe?
Why: Why is it happening? Why does it impact workflows?
How: How did this problem occur? How is it affecting workflows and team members from being productive?
Asking journalistic questions can help you define a strong problem statement so you can highlight the current situation objectively, and create a plan around that situation.
Here’s an example of how a design team uses journalistic questions to identify their problem:
Overarching problem: Design requests are being missed
Who: Design team, digital marketing team, web development team
What: Design requests are forgotten, lost, or being created ad hoc.
Where: Email requests, design request spreadsheet
When: Missed requests on January 20th, January 31st, February 4th, February 6th
How : Email request was lost in inbox and the intake spreadsheet was not updated correctly. The digital marketing team had to delay launching ads for a few days while design requests were bottlenecked. Designers had to work extra hours to ensure all requests were completed.
In this example, there are many different aspects of this problem that can be solved. Using journalistic questions can help you identify different issues and who you should involve in the process.
2. Brainstorm multiple solutions
If at all possible, bring in a facilitator who doesn't have a major stake in the solution. Bringing an individual who has little-to-no stake in the matter can help keep your team on track and encourage good problem-solving skills.
Here are a few brainstorming techniques to encourage creative thinking:
Brainstorm alone before hand: Before you come together as a group, provide some context to your team on what exactly the issue is that you're brainstorming. This will give time for you and your teammates to have some ideas ready by the time you meet.
Say yes to everything (at first): When you first start brainstorming, don't say no to any ideas just yet—try to get as many ideas down as possible. Having as many ideas as possible ensures that you’ll get a variety of solutions. Save the trimming for the next step of the strategy.
Talk to team members one-on-one: Some people may be less comfortable sharing their ideas in a group setting. Discuss the issue with team members individually and encourage them to share their opinions without restrictions—you might find some more detailed insights than originally anticipated.
Break out of your routine: If you're used to brainstorming in a conference room or over Zoom calls, do something a little different! Take your brainstorming meeting to a coffee shop or have your Zoom call while you're taking a walk. Getting out of your routine can force your brain out of its usual rut and increase critical thinking.
3. Define the solution
After you brainstorm with team members to get their unique perspectives on a scenario, it's time to look at the different strategies and decide which option is the best solution for the problem at hand. When defining the solution, consider these main two questions: What is the desired outcome of this solution and who stands to benefit from this solution?
Set a deadline for when this decision needs to be made and update stakeholders accordingly. Sometimes there's too many people who need to make a decision. Use your best judgement based on the limitations provided to do great things fast.
4. Implement the solution
To implement your solution, start by working with the individuals who are as closest to the problem. This can help those most affected by the problem get unblocked. Then move farther out to those who are less affected, and so on and so forth. Some solutions are simple enough that you don’t need to work through multiple teams.
After you prioritize implementation with the right teams, assign out the ongoing work that needs to be completed by the rest of the team. This can prevent people from becoming overburdened during the implementation plan . Once your solution is in place, schedule check-ins to see how the solution is working and course-correct if necessary.
Implement common problem-solving strategies
There are a few ways to go about identifying problems (and solutions). Here are some strategies you can try, as well as common ways to apply them:
Trial and error
Trial and error problem solving doesn't usually require a whole team of people to solve. To use trial and error problem solving, identify the cause of the problem, and then rapidly test possible solutions to see if anything changes.
This problem-solving method is often used in tech support teams through troubleshooting.
The 5 whys problem-solving method helps get to the root cause of an issue. You start by asking once, “Why did this issue happen?” After answering the first why, ask again, “Why did that happen?” You'll do this five times until you can attribute the problem to a root cause.
This technique can help you dig in and find the human error that caused something to go wrong. More importantly, it also helps you and your team develop an actionable plan so that you can prevent the issue from happening again.
Here’s an example:
Problem: The email marketing campaign was accidentally sent to the wrong audience.
“Why did this happen?” Because the audience name was not updated in our email platform.
“Why were the audience names not changed?” Because the audience segment was not renamed after editing.
“Why was the audience segment not renamed?” Because everybody has an individual way of creating an audience segment.
“Why does everybody have an individual way of creating an audience segment?” Because there is no standardized process for creating audience segments.
“Why is there no standardized process for creating audience segments?” Because the team hasn't decided on a way to standardize the process as the team introduced new members.
In this example, we can see a few areas that could be optimized to prevent this mistake from happening again. When working through these questions, make sure that everyone who was involved in the situation is present so that you can co-create next steps to avoid the same problem.
A SWOT analysis
A SWOT analysis can help you highlight the strengths and weaknesses of a specific solution. SWOT stands for:
Strength: Why is this specific solution a good fit for this problem?
Weaknesses: What are the weak points of this solution? Is there anything that you can do to strengthen those weaknesses?
Opportunities: What other benefits could arise from implementing this solution?
Threats: Is there anything about this decision that can detrimentally impact your team?
As you identify specific solutions, you can highlight the different strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats of each solution.
This particular problem-solving strategy is good to use when you're narrowing down the answers and need to compare and contrast the differences between different solutions.
Even more successful problem solving
After you’ve worked through a tough problem, don't forget to celebrate how far you've come. Not only is this important for your team of problem solvers to see their work in action, but this can also help you become a more efficient, effective , and flexible team. The more problems you tackle together, the more you’ll achieve.
Looking for a tool to help solve problems on your team? Track project implementation with a work management tool like Asana .
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What Are Problem-Solving Skills, and How Do I Put Them on My Resume?
No matter what career you pursue, a problem-solving resume will always be valued by an employer. Companies want to hire people who can think creatively, break down problems into smaller parts, and come up with an effective solution to these problems.
As a result, knowing how to list problem-solving skills on your resume can be beneficial in your career search. It will help set you apart from all the other candidates out there and show off some of your soft skills to an employer. Other than problem-solving, these key skills include critical thinking, communication skills, decision-making skills, and interpersonal skills.
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In this guide, we examine what problem-solving skills are, why they are valued by employers, and how you can list them on your resume. It is important to note that, while strong problem-solving skills will help you find employment in any field, you may also require certain technical skills. For example, if you want to work in the tech industry, free coding bootcamps are an ideal way to quickly learn both problem-solving abilities and technical skills.
What Are Problem-Solving Skills?
Problem-solving skills are the traits that allow you to identify problems and solve them efficiently and effectively. Problem-solving skills fall under the category of soft skills along with communication skills, critical thinking, interpersonal skills, and adaptability, to name a few.
Every day we encounter problems, whether at work or at home. For example, we may have to figure out how to travel to work if our regular commute is closed. Or we may have to identify ways to free up time on our schedule so that we can meet a deadline that we thought was tomorrow. Problem-solving abilities will help you find viable solutions for these challenges.
To be a good problem solver, you need to have a wide range of skills and a strong work ethic. You need to be good at analyzing problems. You also need to be capable of coming up with creative solutions and doing so with business constraints like capital and the limits of team members. Here is a list of a few problem-solving skills that are highly valued by employers:
Why Do Employers Value Problem-Solving Skills?
Businesses encounter problems every day. A sales department may be struggling to reach its goals, and wonder how it can catch up. An office supplies delivery may have been missed, which leaves some workers without paper supplies.
As a result, employers value job seekers who can solve problems. Employers want to hire people who can come up with solutions to the types of problems that are likely to come up in their job. You should be able to understand the nature of a problem, how it affects a business, and work either independently or as part of a team to come up with a solution.
What Are Some Examples of Problem-Solving Skills?
While you could list “able to solve problems” or “problem solver” on your resume, this is not a very accurate description of all the skills that make up the problem-solving process. Any worker that a business will hire should be capable of solving problems—that doesn’t set you apart from the crowd.
A problem-solving resume should be specific when it comes to listing these skills. Furthermore, you should include a wide variety of problem-solving skills examples. Here are some problem-solving examples that you can list on your resume:
The first step in solving any problem is to identify the exact issue that you are dealing with. This is crucial because if you don’t correctly identify a problem, it is very difficult to come up with an effective solution.
Once you have identified the problem you want to solve, you need to analyze it. This will involve using your analytical skills to understand why the problem has arisen and to determine what courses of action you can take to solve the problem. Analysis is an excellent example of problem-solving skills.
When you are coming up with solutions to a problem, you may identify a few potential courses of action. This is because most problems don’t have an obvious solution—there are many ways you can address them.
To be a good problem solver, you need to be capable of evaluating the strengths and weaknesses of pursuing a particular solution to a problem. For instance, you may need to evaluate whether a solution can be implemented quickly enough to be effective, or whether the business can afford to implement the solution you are considering.
In addition, you should also be able to evaluate the impact of your decisions after they have been made. Have your decisions led to the success that you expected? If a decision did not turn out in the way that you expected, why was that the case?
Many of the problems that you’ll face in your job will require input from other team members. Suppose you are working on a team project and have a problem to solve. You would need to communicate that problem to all members of your team and work with them to come up with a solution.
If you are not able to communicate clearly, different members of the team may walk away with a different understanding of the problem. This could lead to confusion down the line, and make it more difficult to implement a solution.
Planning out how you are going to solve a problem can only take you so far. At some point, you’ll need to decide on how you are going to solve the problem. You should be able to use your evaluation skills to decide which solution to a problem is best.
You should also be capable of working with others and using their experience to better understand all the solutions you could use to address a particular problem. Then, once you have found a good solution, you should be able to implement it.
Some problems that you encounter will require creative solutions. This is because many problems have limitations within which your solutions must fall. For instance, you may be asked to come up with a solution within a budget, or you may be told that the business can only afford to delegate one team member to solve a problem.
Good problem solvers are capable of thinking outside of the box to arrive at the best solution for a problem. This will involve working with others to understand what has been tried before, and exploring new and novel approaches to problems. This methodical approach to problem-solving is ideal if you are a critical thinker.
How to List Problem-Solving Skills on Your Resume
You must know how to list problem-solving skills on your resume. These skills are a valuable addition to any resume. By knowing how to demonstrate problem-solving skills on your resume, you can better articulate the potential value you can add to a team and ace your job interview.
But, before you add problem-solving skills to your resume, you should ask if it is relevant to the position for which you are applying by checking the job description. Jobs such as programmers, accountants, and customer service representatives, for instance, all involve a high degree of problem-solving in their day-to-day duties.
There are two places you can list your problem-solving skills on your resume. First, you can list them in your skills section. This is where you list all your skills, whether they are technical skills or soft skills, in an orderly fashion. For instance, if you are applying for a job as a full stack web developer, you could use the following list of skills on your resume:
Alternatively, you could list your problem-solving skills in the “experience” section of your resume, where you list your previous roles. While you may not explicitly mention “problem-solving” in this section, you can use some of the keywords we discussed earlier to highlight your experience using this skill.
The following is a good example of how to highlight problem-solving skills on your resume by using the “experience” section of your resume:
"Career Karma entered my life when I needed it most and quickly helped me match with a bootcamp. Two months after graduating, I found my dream job that aligned with my values and goals in life!"
Venus, Software Engineer at Rockbot
J&J Fast Food
2014 – 2019
- Averaged 30% annual revenue growth in home district.
- Used analysis skills to plan out a sales campaign that helped attract younger customers to our stores.
- Led the design and introduction of a new monthly inventory model for seven stores.
In this example, the candidate has mentioned that they have experience using “analysis” skills. Furthermore, their leading an initiative implies that they have experience implementing solutions to a problem.
Problem-Solving Skills: Resume Examples
Continue reading as we examine some more problem-solving skills examples for your resume. This first problem-solving resume example is for a video editing job. While a job like this requires advanced technical skills, problem-solving skills are just as important. You can use the “skills” section of your resume to showcase both technical and soft skills.
- Advanced knowledge of Final Cut Pro and Adobe Premiere . Can use advanced editing features and tools for quick decision-making. These programs allow for creative problem-solving.
- Working with clients . Experience and knowledge of video editing terms and practices to communicate clearly with clients in an easy-to-understand manner.
- Ability to work under pressure . Video editing is a high-pressure job with tight deadlines. Completing past projects has led to a strong ability to work under pressure.
- Collaboration . Video editing requires collaborating with a variety of industries and employees. Teamwork is key to quickly solving problems and meeting deadlines.
This second problem-solving resume example is for a sales assistant position at a video game store. Sales assistants spend their time interacting with customers, and therefore, must have strong communication skills. The “experience” section of your resume is an ideal place to showcase previous experience you have working with customers.
- Dealt with customers daily.
- Answered customer queries on the telephone.
- Listened to and responded to customer complaints.
- Helped customers choose the right products for them.
- Worked as part of a team.
- Recommended products to order based on customer feedback.
- Demonstrated quick and on-the-spot decision-making.
- Key responsibilities such as cashing out at the end of the day and handling customer orders.
Problem-Solving Skills for Cover Letter
Writing a strong cover letter is a great way to impress employers. Knowing how to add problem-solving skills to your cover letter is one of the best ways to do this. No matter what job you are applying for, problem-solving skills will be vital.
Adding problem-solving skills to your cover letter is easy, as you can use skills you have learned from previous work experience, education, or personal development. Most job descriptions will list specific traits and skills required. This will typically include problem-solving skills of some kind.
This next section will look at two examples of cover letters with problem-solving skills to help you land your dream job. As you will see, it is easy to add several problem-solving skills to a cover letter, as these skills are common in everyday use.
Problem-Solving Skills: Cover Letter Examples
This first problem-solving skills cover letter example is for an audio-visual technician role at Revolution Technologies. The job description indicates the need for technical skills and previous experience. It also mentions that the company requires a team player and a dependable employee. In this cover letter, problem-solving skills are showcased using a story from a previous audio technician job.
During my time at Five-Star Audio Visual, I worked full-time as an audio technician. I was part of a core team of five other employees who I worked closely with to help meet client expectations, analyze potential technical issues, and organize frequent events.
Being part of a team helped me to grow as a person and improve my technical learning. I worked under experienced audio technicians, event managers, and production managers. As such, my communication and decision-making skills vastly improved. I also found that working under tight deadlines helped me to deal with high-pressure situations.
The second example is for a senior analyst position at Magellan Health. The job description highlights many problem-solving skills requirements such as critical thinking, analysis, and organizational skills. Furthermore, a senior role like this requires strong leadership skills. In this example, skills learned from a data analytics bootcamp are used.
I recently completed the data analytics bootcamp program at Ironhack. During my studies, I collaborated with my peers on several projects. We used our analytical skills and critical thinking skills to identify and solve problems. Furthermore, we learned in-demand technical skills such as Git, Python, and SQL. This program was fast-paced and intense, which helped me to work quickly under pressure, both independently and as part of a team.
How to Improve Your Problem-Solving Skills
Not only should you know how to include them on your resume, but you must learn how to improve your problem-solving skills. The more problem-solving skills you can learn the better, as they can be applied to suit any job or situation. You should do your best to maintain, practice, and improve problem-solving skills as often as possible.
Learning how to improve problem-solving skills in the workplace will lead to better job opportunities and an increased salary. By listing problem-solving skills on your resume, you may land your dream job. However, to keep this job and advance up the career ladder, it is vital you understand how to improve your problem-solving skills.
Acquire More Technical knowledge in Your Field
There are plenty of free resources where you can improve technical knowledge in your field. Alternatively, you can earn an additional degree. For example, if you have a Bachelor’s Degree in Computer Science , you may wish to improve your tech knowledge by enrolling in a master’s program or certificate program.
Acquiring more technical knowledge will boost and improve your problem-solving skills. Technical skills training, such as coding, for example, is a great way to boost your critical thinking skills. Managerial training is excellent if you want to improve your communication and leadership skills. Higher education programs typically require collaborative work, which is excellent for improving your teamwork skills.
Seek Out Opportunities to Problem Solve
You can seek out opportunities to problem solve in your place of work or everyday life. This can be something as simple as asking those in your household if they need help with anything. You can also speak to friends or colleagues and find out if they have any problems that need solving.
The more problems you help solve, the better your problem-solving skills will develop. You might also find that you are seeking out problem-solving opportunities that are not part of your own skillset. This is a vital part of self-development and professional development, and will ultimately lead to job opportunities.
Do Practice Problems
You can use practice problems to work on and improve your problem-solving skills. This can be done at any time. For example, if you have a long commute to work, you can use this time to do practice problems. These problems can be based on past experiences where you had to problem-solve or on fictional problems.
You might find it helps to write the problems and solutions out, but you can also do it in your head. If you find there is a particularly difficult problem at work, you can use this practice to explore a variety of solutions and options. You can also work on practice problems with other people, which will have the added benefit of building teamwork and communication.
Observe How Others Problem Solve
One of the best ways to learn anything in life is to see how others do it. If you have the benefit of working with a particularly skilled employer, you can take advantage of their problem-solving skills by watching how they work and the methods they use. Students can often learn from their peers or instructors.
It is important to ask questions too. While simply observing how others solve problems is hugely beneficial, asking questions will help clarify their methods and techniques. You can also observe problem-solving in your everyday life if you pay close attention to your surroundings.
Why Is Problem-Solving Important in the Workplace?
You cannot underestimate the importance of problem-solving skills in the workplace. No matter what job you do, problems will arise. Being able to efficiently solve these problems is vital if you want to climb the job ladder, earn more money, and impress your employers. Furthermore, being able to problem-solve will make you less reliant on others for help which is another reason why problem-solving is important in the workplace.
- Climb the corporate ladder . Problem-solving is a great way to impress your employee and climb the ladder. If you want to earn a promotion at work, you can use learned and improved problem-solving skills to ace the interview.
- Earn more money . You can use problem-solving skills to help the company you work for make more money. This in turn can lead to a salary increase.
- Team player. Strong problem-solving skills can make you a better team player. Working well as part of a team is vital in most careers.
- Meet deadlines. Some jobs have very tight and strict deadlines. Strong problem-solving is key to quickly solving solutions to meet deadlines.
Should You Learn How to List Problem-Solving Skills on Your Resume?
Yes, you should learn how to list problem-solving skills on your resume because every job requires problem-solving. These skills demonstrate that you are able to tackle the inevitable challenges that will come up in your job effectively. Soft skills, such as problem-solving, are often taught at universities, colleges, and bootcamps. However, you will develop problem-solving skills in all walks of life.
By following the advice in this article, you’ll have no trouble listing your problem-solving skills on your resume. These may just be the skills that help you convince your dream employer to reach out and schedule an interview with you!
How to List Problem-Solving Skills on Resume FAQ
Yes, you need to list problem-solving skills on your resume if you want the best chance of getting the job. For some jobs, problem-solving skills will be vital, and the more of these skills you can include on your resume the better. More technical jobs, like computer programmers, will need to list problem-solving skills on their resume, along with any technical training.
You can learn problem-solving skills anywhere. If you want formal training, most universities will offer soft skills training, which covers problem-solving. You will encounter problem-solving in everyday activities as well in the workplace.
Some examples of problem-solving skills include critical thinking, analysis, evaluation, creative thinking, and decision-making. These key skills will help you improve your performance in interviews and help you attain future career opportunities.
Other skills that employers look for include technical skills, project management skills, operational skills, creativity skills, organization skills, deductive reasoning, customer service skills, math skills, and quantitative skills. Highly developed problem-solving skills are essential, but you should read the job posting carefully to ensure you tick any other boxes required.
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How to List Problem-Solving Skills on a Resume
If you're a strong problem solver, your resume needs to prove it!
Imagine this scenario: a supplier delivers the wrong piece of equipment, your deadline is tomorrow, and your logistics person is out sick. What would you do if you were the one who had to respond?
Every business encounters problems, it's the nature of thriving in competitive markets. Having high-quality employees on hand who can solve problems like shifting deadlines, equipment failure, and changing client needs can be the difference between success and failure.
That's why recruiters in today's environment are actively seeking candidates who can offer problem-solving skills. But what are problem-solving skills? How do you identify which ones you might have or which ones a recruiter might be looking for? Most importantly, how can you present them on your resume to land that interview?
In this blog, we'll discuss tips to identify, define, and present problem-solving skills.
What are problem-solving skills?
Put simply, problem-solving skills help you to overcome challenges and obstacles; that is, identify the core issue, propose solutions, choose the best one, and implement it.
When recruiters talk about problem-solving skills, they're usually referring to the ability to deal with challenging, complex, or unexpected situations. While they most obviously encompass traits that enable someone to assess and solve problems calmly, these skills are also highly useful in other areas like relationship building and routine decision-making.
Why do employers value problem-solving skills?
Challenges arise at companies every day. Having employees adept at analyzing and solving problems can be enormously advantageous. Companies will always need people to help them to find solutions to their problems. In fact, according to the National Association of Colleges and Employers' Job Outlook , 86% of employers look for problem-solving skills on student resumes.
Employers like to see good problem-solving skills because it also shows them you have a range of other talents, like logic, creativity, resilience, imagination, and lateral thinking.
Looking for problem-solving skills in a job description
There are rare occasions that a job description will plainly state the problem-solving skills that the job requires. But problem-solving is one of those skill sets that don't necessarily appear in the “requirements” section of a job post. Employers are apt to simply expect candidates to demonstrate an analytical mind. So, instead, they will couch those desired skills in other phrases. In this case, you can look for particular keywords to identify the skills the employer is looking for. If you find any of the following keywords in a job description, they are pointing you toward the skills that you should be sure to highlight in the resume you send in.
If the recruiter is using an ATS, it will be searching for these words. Even if not, the recruiter will be on the lookout for candidates possessing these qualities. Look at this job description and see which problem-solving skills are woven into the post.
How do I list problem-solving skills on a resume?
Given that problem-solving skills come to life in specific scenarios, it's going to be easy to present any that you might have in an interview, when you can describe a specific problem and paint a picture of how you successfully solved it.
But this doesn't mean that you can't find ways of illustrating your ability to face down a challenge on your resume.
Problem-solving skills sound like they're pretty self-explanatory. When asked to describe them, however, they don't offer much depth in the abstract. Unlike conceptual skills, like abstract thinking and ideation, problem-solving skills are all about being proactive in developing and implementing an action plan. That's why the best strategy to demonstrate your problem-solving skills is to show them in action: find specific examples of challenging scenarios and explain the plan you implemented and the results you achieved.
Many resumes will use terms like “critical thinker” or “problem-solver.” Instead, show how you've used a skill in a way that has solved a problem at work.
Give examples of scenarios where those skills lead to a solution
Describe a specific process you employed
List major accomplishments enabled by your solution
Add specific training related to problem-solving skills
Use various keywords to avoid repeating “problem-solving”
Let's look at 4 places on a resume where you can describe your problem-solving skills.
Where do I list problem-solving skills on my resume?
The summary is a great place to present a core skill that has benefitted you and your employers. If you've often been asked to find out-of-the box solutions to surprise problems, or you've been a team leader known for adjusting to personnel or process challenges, this is the place to introduce that.
In the employment history section
The employment history is the ideal place to list problem-solving skills that have contributed to proven solutions. When detailing past employment roles, you can use details, like percentages and dollar amounts, and specific scenarios to show how your ability to analyze issues, find options, and communicate action plans has solved problems.
Mention a time when you took the initiative to troubleshoot key areas
Explain your habit of collecting new data regularly
Give examples of instances when you assumed a leadership role in process optimization
Use the keyword list above
Take a look at the following resume example. It shows how this person's abilities to design solutions, optimize testing processes, and adjust the process to the client helped to optimize process efficiency and save the client money.
What's more, besides a strategic mindset, the candidate highlights his communication skills by showing that he can collaborate with clients to adapt processes to their needs.
The skills section
If problem-solving skills are sought after for a particular role, the hiring manager will be looking for them in the skills section. ATS systems scan skills sections on resumes for requisite skills. The key, however, is to only list skills that specifically relate to the job posting. Remember, it's crucial to tailor each resume to a specific job advert. That includes the skills section. That's obviously easier if the job post explicitly lists desired skills. If not, however, look for keywords in the job description that might indicate particular problem-solving skills. Is it a management position looking for a “proven leader?” Communication skills are a must. Is it a logistics position that describes a need for experience with scaling? Troubleshooting and negotiation skills will be paramount.
There are both soft skills and hard skills that are problem-solving skills. “Test development” can be trained, but “troubleshooting” improves with experience. When considering which skills you possess, look to both categories.
A special achievements section
A separate achievements section isn't helpful for every resume, but some can benefit from including one. If, for example, you're using a functional resume format for a career change resume, or you're a senior executive looking to showcase career highlights, or if you have impressive achievements outside of the workplace, such as community organizing or hobbies with impressive, relatable skills, an accomplishments section can really highlight those skills in action.
If you're using this section to showcase your problem-solving skills, focus on accomplishments with demonstrable results.
7 Important problem-solving skills and their definitions
Problem-solving skills can span from detail-oriented diagnostics to team leadership. Here's a list of skills involved in various stages of the problem-solving process. When crafting your resume, look to these examples to see what problem-solving skills you might have.
“ Research skills refer to the ability to search for, locate, extract, organise, evaluate, and use or present information that is relevant to a particular topic.”
Research skills are an essential component of the problem-solving skill set, as they address identifying the cause of the issue and understanding it fully. Research involves gathering data and information, consulting with more experienced colleagues, acquiring knowledge online or from external sources, and collating newfound data for dissemination. This skill is about the ability to find and use the right resources, extract the data you need, and find the right people to brainstorm with. This means:
Studying specific cases without generalizing
Aiming at variables which make the desired differences
Reporting findings in understandable terms
The first step in finding a solution is effective analysis of the problem. 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 in order to propose solutions and get to the heart of the matter.
Analytical skills allow you to assess data and processes to find solutions to a company's challenges. These include:
Interpretation of data and metrics
Critical thinking is the ability to process details with a particular flow, in order to draw connections between concepts and facts. In other words, it's “thinking about thinking,” or finding and fixing flaws in the way we think.
The ability to think critically is a foundation of problem solving. Unless you can see the big picture, you won't be able to suss out the pros and cons of different action plans.
Critical thinking includes:
4. Decision making
Decision-making is the ability to choose solutions to problems. Simply stated, it's taking the relevant collected data, considering multiple viewpoints, and making an informed choice.
Once the choices are narrowed down, you'll need to pull the trigger, knowing you'll be held accountable for the decision. At times, you may need to make these decisions quickly, even if the wrong decision might make the problem worse. The ability to make proper use of your research and analysis to select the best action plan is a valuable skill. Components of this skill include:
Sometimes the best solution is only found by thinking outside the box. That demands creativity.
Creativity is the ability to approach a task or a challenge in a different way. In other words, it's possessing the imagination to generate new ideas and find interesting approaches and unique perspectives. Creativity is often described as
Outside-the box thinking
Strong communication skills are vital during all phases of problem solving. While identifying and analyzing the problem, you'll need to know how to communicate the core issues to others. When researching the background of the issue, you'll need to know what communication channels are appropriate when seeking guidance. When brainstorming possible solutions, you will need to know how to guide a team through positive and effective discussions. Then, once you find a solution, communicating the action plan with clarity and precision is key to avoiding confusion and achieving proper implementation.
No problem would ever be solved without good communication skills at work.
Communication skills, however, include a much broader array of abilities beyond just speaking clearly. They also encompass listening in ways to make your colleagues feel heard, body language that puts your audience at ease, and vocal pitch adjustments to make your point land better. Here are few common communication skills:
Giving constructive feedback
Presentation / visual communication
Problems are rarely solved alone, especially in the business world. The goal here is to show that you've worked effectively as part of a team to generate and implement solutions.
Collaboration, by definition, means working with one or more individuals to complete a task. In the workplace, collaboration can be brainstorming ideas, delegating tasks to individual strengths, layering pieces of a process, or bringing together the team to understand the bigger picture.
When people work together, they're more effective at problem solving than when attempting to go it alone. Successful collaboration with your coworkers also increases their motivation and engagement at work, making them feel like they're an important part of the team.
The bottom line
Problem-solving skills are in high demand, so it's vital to list yours effectively on your resume. There are different places on a resume to add your skills. Explore which ones work best for you. Problem-solving skills go beyond the obvious, so dig deeper to see which skills you might have and, most importantly, when and where you've used them.
Just like problem solving works best with collaboration between colleagues, landing more interviews works best in collaboration with a professional resume writer. Why not submit your resume for a free review from one of our experts?
9 Soft Skills Employers Are Looking for in 2022
11 Steps to Writing the Perfect Resume
Standout Skills for a Resume: How to Make your Resume Great
How to Describe Organizational Skills When Applying for a Job
What are Social Skills and Why Are They Important in Your Job Search?
First Mover Advantage
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- Career Advice
- Teamwork Skills: Definition & Examples for a Resume [List]
Teamwork Skills: Definition & Examples for a Resume [List]
As seen in:
“My way or the highway,”
Isn’t exactly the attitude employers are looking for.
In this day and age, teamwork and synergy is the way to go. But what teamwork skills are essential to the workplace, and how to show them on your resume?
Well—You’re about to find out.
This article will show you:
- The definition of teamwork skills.
- What teamwork skills are essential to the workplace.
- How to list good teamwork skills on a resume.
- Examples of teamwork skills.
- How to improve your teamwork skills.
Want to save time and have your resume ready in 5 minutes? Try our resume builder. It’s fast and easy to use. Plus, you’ll get ready-made content to add with one click. See 20+ resume templates and create your resume here .
Sample resume made with our builder— See more resume samples here .
Looking for information on other skills? Head straight to one of our guides:
- 99 Key Skills for a Resume
- Administrative Skills
- Organizational Skills
- Project Management Skills
- Marketing Skills
Teamwork Skills—Definition and Lists
It’s no secret: employers look for team players.
Research shows that over 70% of organizations focused on building and supporting teams report improvement in such critical areas as:
- Product and service quality
- Customer service
Teamwork is what differentiates good companies from exceptional ones.
But what are teamwork skills specifically?
Teamwork skills consist of interrelated abilities that let you work effectively in an organized group. Teamwork skills are vital to employers, as teams are a basic organizational unit within many companies. Teamwork happens when people cooperate and use their individual skills to achieve common goals. Top teamwork skills include:
Top 10 Teamwork Skills—Examples
The ability to get your point across, and truly understand what other people want to tell you is the cornerstone of effective teamwork. And it doesn’t matter if you communicate in person, via email writing , instant messages, or on the phone—the exchange of information must be effective regardless of the medium. Plus, the nonverbal aspects of communication are just as important. Great teams nurture a culture of openness and mutual trust. Everyone must feel safe enough to speak their mind.
2. Conflict resolution
Conflict is part and parcel of any team effort. What matters most is how adept you are at dealing with issues as they arise. Remember, it’s crucial not to let any conflicts escalate—that’s why the best team players are also great mediators.
3. Rapport-building and listening
You can only build rapport if you’re listening to other people’s voices. Mind you—it’s equally important to pay heed to their enthusiasm and the lack of it. Rapport and listening skills go hand in hand, one can’t exist without the other.
Making decisions may seem like a pretty straightforward thing to do. And that's the case when everyone agrees on the course of action. But everything changes when opinions start to differ and you need to make an unpopular decision. What distinguishes great team players from the average ones is the ability to see the big picture, put their egos aside, and work towards the common goal.
The very idea behind organizing a team is to solve a problem. That’s why problem-solving skills are fundamental for each and every team member. The ability to look at an issue from multiple angles and utilize your time management skills on the basis of individual team member’s skills drive the entire team’s performance and success.
6. Organizational and planning skills
To solve any problem effectively and efficiently you must be able to devise a master plan that every team member understands, follows, and knows where it leads to. Once the plan is agreed upon, all team members will be able to organize their tasks, establish deadlines, and orchestrate their efforts.
7. Persuasion and influencing skills
Being persuasive isn’t a character trait. It’s a skill you can learn. In the context of teamwork, this applies mostly to team leaders who must inspire everyone to contribute to achieving team goals and objectives. A good start to build such leadership skills is to hone-in on your presentation skills .
Teams form because they can achieve more than each team member could on their own. That’s obvious, isn’t it? What people tend to forget, though, is that when working together as a team you depend on the others as much as they depend on you. Show your reliability by sticking to deadlines, delivering your tasks, and overcommunicating any obstacles along the way.
Being respectful towards other people doesn’t mean you have to like them or agree with them. Show your respect by not taking anyone for granted, and listening to them actively. Don’t know where to start? Learn your teammates’ names first!
Tolerance and respectfulness go hand in hand. Be open-minded and eager to learn. People of different ethnicities, religions, or minorities are what makes this planet such a fascinating place to live. Again, you don’t have to see eye to eye with everybody. But soak in as much diversity as you can, and form your opinions afterward. Don’t let any common misconceptions fool you.
According to a study , teamwork is a cooperative process that allows ordinary people to achieve extraordinary results .
Such synergy is only possible when all team members know what their roles are, compliment each other’s skills, and are committed to team success.
This brings us smoothly into the other aspect of teamwork skills—
Team Building Skills
Even if your teamwork skills are second to none and your name is universally recognized as a team player synonym —
You’ll achieve nothing in a badly-assembled team.
So, from a manager’s standpoint, teaming skills consist of two complementary skills: teamwork and team-building.
Here’s a quick look at how it works in practice:
Research shows that the most successful teams consist of people displaying different behaviors.
That’s why modern organizations build their teams on the basis of the so-called Belbin Team Roles .
According to the Belbin classification, there are nine types of roles within effective teams.
Nine Belbin Team Roles
Sees to it that the results are free from errors and up to the expected standards.
Remains focused on the goal, knows how to assign work, and delegate tasks to the right team members.
A practical thinker who’s able to plan and carry out effective strategies.
Makes unbiased judgments and assesses the team’s effort from a logical standpoint.
Thinks outside the box and generates ideas.
Checks out external resources and sifts through existing solutions to bring the best ones to the team.
Drives the team and makes sure things keep moving forward.
Brings in the necessary technical expertise.
Identifies what needs to be done and completes the tasks on behalf of or in cooperation with the other team members.
You may be tempted to think this kind of knowledge is only useful to managers tasked with building a team.
If you know what your role is about and what exactly is expected of you, you’ll become a truly collaborative team player.
If you ever feel like your team role has been wrongly assigned to you, you’ll be able to discuss it and say exactly how your skills could be made use of for the benefit of the entire team.
Self-awareness is a big part of your collaboration skill set.
If you know what team skills you have, you’ll be able to highlight the right ones on your resume.
Looking for advice on how to list different hard skills and soft skills on your resume? Need to find out more about transferable skills ? Check these out:
- Hard Skills: Definition & Best Examples for Your Resume
- Soft Skills: Definition & Best Examples for Your Resume
Teamwork Skills—Resume Examples
By now you should see why employers look for candidates with good teamwork skills.
If you want to land a job, you must know how to highlight collaboration skills on your resume.
Without further ado, let’s take a look at:
How to Describe Teamwork Skills on a Resume
In resume writing, there’s only one rule that will never change:
If you were to remember only one thing after reading this section, it would be:
Always tailor your resume to the job offer.
Here’s how it works in practice—
Almost every job ad out there lists collaboration as one of the requirements.
Take a look at the examples below. All of them come from different job postings:
Examples of Good Teamwork Skills—Job Description
- Connected . You’re an involved member of the campus community and you consistently look for opportunities to expand your network even further.
- Collaborates effectively to get things done, building and nurturing strong relationships .
- Ability to build solid relationships with teammates, business partners and specialists by fostering teamwork, partnership and collaboration in a virtual or face-to-face environment .
- Team Player: you will be an integral part of a clinical team.
- An ability to work independently and collaboratively as a team member?
- Partner with broader HR team to successfully execute, and in some cases act as project lead, to deliver HR initiatives across the broad spectrum of HR activities including Leadership Development, Performance Management, Employee Relations, Staffing, Compensation, and Diversity & Inclusion.
- A strong team-player work ethic with the ability to engage with all levels of the organization.
They may come from different job ads but they all boil down to a single thing:
Before we continue, you need to realize that almost every Fortune 500 company relies on the so-called ATS (Applicant Tracking System) that screens resumes for keywords.
Why? Too many applicants, not enough time. No recruiter can read them all.
The ATS looks for keywords to decide if the candidate is qualified enough to go on to the next stage of the recruitment process.
If it doesn’t find relevant keywords, your resume will be rejected.
This is why it’s so important to describe your teamwork skills using the resume keywords from the job ad.
They’re highlighted in yellow in the examples above.
Your experience section bullet points could look something like this:
Team Player Skills—Resume Example
- Worked independently and in collaboration with other departments on a major overhaul of internal HR procedures that reduced onboarding process time by 50%.
- Collaborated within an international virtual team on a successful $10M M&A transaction.
- Built and motivated a cross-functional team of 5 experts to identify bottlenecks and speed up transaction times that allowed the company to save upwards of $400K quarterly.
If you present your collaboration and interpersonal skills using the phrases from the job ad, rest assured that:
- You’ve included the relevant keywords
- The teamwork skills you listed on your resume are relevant to the job.
Pro Tip: Describe your teamwork skills in terms of achievements .
Use the job posting to identify what the employer is looking for, and what keywords you need to use when applying for a particular position.
Plus, you can use the list below as a source of inspiration:
Teamwork Skills List
- Active listening
- Community building
- Conflict management
- Creative thinking
- Critical thinking
- Decision making
- Interpersonal skills
- Language skills
- Relationship building
- Team management
- Team oriented
- Team player
But this is not all.
To give your teamwork skills more prominence—
Put them in a dedicated key skills section.
Just make sure they’re not random.
Here’s how to do it right:
Go back to your experience section and extract its essence.
For example, this bullet point:
is the same as these bullets:
Pro Tip: Collaboration and team player are synonyms. If you’re not sure which word to choose, take a look at the job ad and go for the one(s) you can find there.
If you list these skills in your key skills section and the recruiter asks you a behavioral question along the lines of Tell me about a time when your collaboration skills made a difference—
Simply refer to this particular bullet point in your resume job description and elaborate on the details.
As simple as that.
If you don’t feel comfortable answering teamwork skills interview questions, read our series of dedicated guides. No interview question will ever take you by surprise:
- STAR Method for Acing Behavioral Interview Questions [25+ Examples]
- 20 Situational Interview Questions and Answers to Nail Your Interview
- "What Are You Passionate About?" [Interview Question & Best Answers]
You may want to mention some of your teamwork skills in your resume objective.
Head straight to our guides that will show you exactly how to write a killer opening to your resume:
- 20+ Resume Objective Examples for Any Career
- Professional Resume Summary: 30 Examples of Statements
When making a resume in our builder, drag & drop bullet points, skills, and auto-fill the boring stuff. Spell check? Check . Start building a professional resume template here for free .
When you’re done, Zety’s resume builder will score your resume and tell you exactly how to make it better.
How to Improve Teamwork Skills
Some people are natural born team-players.
Others need to work on their collaboration skills.
It doesn't matter which group you belong to.
There's always something you can do to develop your teamwork skills.
Here’s a couple of suggestions:
Watch These TED Talks to Get Inspired
How to turn a group of strangers into a team
As the title suggests, this TED Talk by Amy Edmondson explains what ingredients you need to turn a group of people who don’t know each other into an agile team.
Build a tower, build a team
Tom Wujec takes the so-called Marshmallow Challenge to an entirely new dimension to demonstrate the mechanics behind a successful team.
The tribes we lead
In his illuminating talk, Seth Godin argues that the Internet triggered our long-forgotten tribal mentality, which empowers us to do great things together.
How diversity makes teams more innovative
Can diversity within a team improve its performance? In her TED Talk, Rocío Lorenzo argues the team's efficiency is directly related to its diversity.
Why good leaders make you feel safe
In his inspirational talk, Simon Sinek explains how leaders can improve their team’s performance by making the team members feel safe.
Read These Books to Learn More
Here’s a selection of books that will take your teamwork skills to the next level:
- Teamwork Is an Individual Skill: Getting Your Work Done When Sharing Responsibility
- Teamwork Skills (Career Skills Library)
- Teamwork and Teamplay
- Harvard Business Review on Building Better Teams (Harvard Business Review Paperback Series)
- The Five Dysfunctions of a Team: A Leadership Fable
- Virtual Team Success: A Practical Guide for Working and Leading from a Distance
Try These 10 Strategies to Succeed
1. Foster mutual trust
Trust within a team is crucial. If people feel safe and know they can count on each other, magic starts to happen
2. Encourage open communication
The majority of conflicts stem from miscommunication. Make sure the team members overcommunicate their doubts and speak their minds. It’s better to air unpopular opinions than hold a grudge and subvert the entire team’s work.
3. Define roles and responsibilities
If everyone knows what their role and responsibilities are, they’ll know exactly what to do to get their work done.
4. Define goals
This complements the previous point. If the team members know the goal of the entire team and their individual ones, it will be much easier for them to see the big picture. They’ll also recognize the impact their individual tasks have on the entire project.
5. Lavish praise
This is a simple yet powerful motivator. Feeling recognized boosts the team’s morale and encourages it to work harder.
6. Nip conflicts in the bud
The ability to detect conflicts and resolve them early is something any team leader should pay a lot of attention to.
7. Meet regularly
The easiest way to see progress, discuss obstacles, and plan ahead? Regular meetings with a clear agenda.
8. Balance workload
See to it that no team member’s workload is much heavier than any other’s. The last thing you want is people feeling exploited and taken advantage of.
9. Avoid micromanagement
A well-organized team is able to manage itself efficiently. Avoid the temptation to control each and every aspect of its work—this is very counterproductive for team leaders and members alike.
10. Give Feedback
Remember: good communication is the heart and soul of any well-functioning team. So, give constructive feedback to the team members to let them take advantage of their strengths and eliminate their weaknesses.
Looking for more career advice? Here’s a selection of our guides:
- How to Make a Resume for a Job: Writing Guide
- Work Experience on a Resume: Job Description Bullet Points Samples
- How to List Technical Skills on Your Resume
- Strengths to List on a Resume
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:
See more cover letter templates and start writing.
Here’s a rundown of everything you need to remember about teamwork skills:
- Teamwork skills are valued and sought after by almost all employers.
- Collaboration skills are important to companies as they have a direct impact on such critical areas as customer service or product quality to name but a few.
- The ability to work in a team consists of several interrelated abilities, such as communication and problem-solving.
- It’s not just important to have good teamwork skills, it’s just as crucial for the teams to be assembled and managed proficiently.
- To draw the recruiter’s attention, you should give prominence to your teamwork skills on your resume.
- If you feel like your teamwork skills need a boost, there are many inspirational materials, books, and strategies you might want to try out.
Do you have any questions about teamwork 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!
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- Career Planning
- Skills Development
What Are Teamwork Skills?
Definition and examples of teamwork skills.
Alison Doyle is one of the nation’s foremost career experts.
Examples of Teamwork Skills
Types of teamwork skills, communication.
- Conflict Management
Respectfulness, more teamwork skills, highlight your most relevant skills.
Teamwork skills are the skills that enable you to work well with others. Candidates with strong teamwork skills are sought out by employers for many reasons—they demonstrate leadership, collaboration, and good communication.
Employers expect employees to be team players. Teamwork is required for almost every industry, ranging from business solutions to information technology to food services.
This is true even if it seems like your job is best suited for an independent worker. You may perform the bulk of your job duties alone, but you should be able to think of your work in the context of the company’s broader goals and communicate your accomplishments to other people within the organization.
Learn what teamwork skills are, types and examples of teamwork skills, and ways to develop your skills.
Teamwork skills involve your ability to work cooperatively with others. Regardless of your role, you need to be able to work well with others and convey your teamwork skills to hiring managers, recruiters, and prospective employers.
Scan any job listing, and you’ll see that even ads that seek “self-starters” also inevitably use the phrase “team player.” Those who have teamwork skills like communication, collaboration, leadership, and a positive attitude can help a team be more productive.
- Alternate Names: cooperation, collaboration
Use examples of these skills in your resume and cover letters. Try to include quantifiable data like numbers, percentages, or dollar figures to show what you've accomplished working on a team.
Here are some examples of on-the-job teamwork skills:
- Working as part of a team to achieve company goals.
- Working well and developing effective relationships with diverse personalities.
- Developing and maintaining good relationships with co-workers and managers.
- Maintaining open lines of communication with others.
- Observing and coaching other employees.
- Assisting with training.
- Leading, Influencing, motivating, and persuading others to achieve goals.
- Looking for ways to help others and provide assistance.
- Showing interest in others and their concerns.
- Dealing with a wide range of people with flexibility and open-mindedness.
- Listening to and considering the viewpoint of others.
There are a variety of different teamwork skills, but they are all related to your ability to engage and work well with others. Being a successful member of a team requires excellent communication, listening, and conflict management skills.
Below is a list of the most important teamwork skills that employers seek in candidates.
Being a good team member means clearly communicating your ideas with the group. You must be able to convey information via phone, email, video, and in person. You want to make sure your tone is always professional but friendly. Both verbal and nonverbal communication are important when working within a group setting.
- Creative Thinking
- Give Feedback
- Goal Setting
- Team Management
- Verbal Communication
- Visual Communication
- Written Communication
An important teamwork skill is being able to mediate problems between team members. You need to be able to negotiate with your team members to settle disputes and make sure everyone is happy with the team’s choices.
- Critical Thinking
- Defining Problems
- High Emotional Intelligence
- Logical Argument
- Logical Thinking
- Problem Solving
- Team Building
- Team Building Activities
Another important part of communication is listening. You must be able to listen to the ideas and concerns of your peers to be an effective team member. By asking questions for clarification, demonstrating concern, and using nonverbal cues, you can show your team that you care and that you understand their ideas or concerns.
- Active Listening
- Ask Clarifying Questions
- Eye Contact
- Group Decision Making
- Hearing Concerns
- Nonverbal Communication
- Receive Feedback
You want to be a reliable team member so that your co-workers can trust you with time-sensitive tasks and company information. Make sure you stick to deadlines and complete any assigned work. This will help you gain your colleagues’ trust.
- Community Building
- Confidence Building
- Perform Tasks
- Team Oriented
- Task Management
People will be more open to communicating with you if you convey respect for them and their ideas. Simple actions like using a person's name, making eye contact, and actively listening when a person speaks will make your team members feel appreciated.
- Acknowledging Others
- Expanding Ideas
- Opinion Exchange
- Oral Communication
- Positive Attitude
- Relationship Building
- Sharing Credit
- Team Player
- Understanding Feelings
- Value Diversity
Here are additional teamwork skills for resumes, cover letters, job applications, and interviews.
- Ability to Build Rapport
- Decision Making
- Project Management
- Project Planning
- Receiving Feedback
- Time Management
When you're applying for jobs, be sure to emphasize the specific skills that are mentioned in the job description, but feel free to round out your application by mentioning others that may apply.
How to Make Your Skills Stand Out
ADD RELEVANT SKILLS TO YOUR RESUME: Emphasize your teamwork skills in your resume, especially in the description of your work history.
HIGHLIGHT SKILLS IN YOUR COVER LETTER: You can incorporate soft skills into your cover letter. Include one or two of the skills mentioned in this article and give specific examples of instances when you demonstrated these traits at work.
USE SKILL WORDS DURING JOB INTERVIEWS: Keep the top skills listed here in mind during your interview, and be prepared to give examples of how you've used each skill .
CareerOneStop. " Teamwork ."
CareerOneStop Competency Model Clearinghouse. " Interpersonal Skills and Teamwork ."
CareerOneStop Competency Model Clearing House. " Teamwork Skills ."
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The problem owner manages the overall process for a specific problem. They coordinate and direct all facets of the problem management effort, including bringing the right teams, tools, and information together. The problem manager may also delegate subtasks to other team members as they see fit. Also called: Problem owner, Major Incident Manager
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.
A problem solver is open to, relishes innovation, and knows when pushing the team for innovative solution gets the best result. They also know when the right pathway, and environment demands a...
Here are 22 exciting problem-solving jobs for people who think critically: 1. Air traffic controller National average salary: $47,752 per year Primary duties: Air traffic controllers observe aircraft such as airplanes and track their routes to prevent collisions.
Problem solving is the act of defining a problem; determining the cause of the problem; identifying, prioritizing, and selecting alternatives for a solution; and implementing a solution. The problem-solving process Problem solving resources Problem Solving Chart The Problem-Solving Process
Problem-solving abilities are connected to a number of other skills, including: analytical skills. innovative and creative thinking. a lateral mindset. adaptability and flexibility. level-headedness. initiative. resilience (in order to reassess when your first idea doesn't work) teamworking (if problem solving is a team effort)
Solving any problems related to money, customer billing, accounting and bookkeeping, etc. Taking initiative when another team member overlooked or missed something important Taking initiative to meet with your superior to discuss a problem before it became potentially worse
To write an effective problem manager job description, begin by listing detailed duties, responsibilities and expectations. ... Expertise in of the standard problem-solving frameworks; ... Our innovative and growing company is searching for experienced candidates for the position of problem manager. To join our growing team, please review the ...
Summary. Use this job description template to outline the responsibilities, skills and qualifications required for project-based and flexibly deployed HR roles (e.g., problem solvers), and to help hiring managers and recruiters communicate effectively with job candidates.
Excellent problem solving and coaching abilities. Strong conceptual and analytical thinking. Good social acumen. Excellent verbal and written communication in [X] language. [X] degree in Business Administration or relevant fields. Take me back to the top! 7. General manager Job description. We are looking for an experienced General Manager.
"A person who sorts out problems and makes decisions—or at least brings potential solutions to the table—is seen as someone who can get things done," says organizational consultant Irial O'Farrell, author of the upcoming book The Manager's Dilemma: How to Empower Your Team's Problem Solving.
4 steps to better problem solving. While it might be tempting to dive into a problem head first, take the time to move step by step. Here's how you can effectively break down the problem-solving process with your team: 1. Identify the problem that needs to be solved. One of the easiest ways to identify a problem is to ask questions.
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 ...
The job description highlights many problem-solving skills requirements such as critical thinking, analysis, and organizational skills. Furthermore, a senior role like this requires strong leadership skills. ... Team player. Strong problem-solving skills can make you a better team player. Working well as part of a team is vital in most careers.
Five steps to solving a problem. The five key steps taken to solve a problem are: 1. Find the problem. A problem exists when there is a difference between what is happening and what should be happening. It is crucial to identify a problem in its early stages and come up with solutions.
Problem Solving Skills on a Resume—Example. Developed solution designs in collaboration with software architects that improved process efficiency by 150% and reduced costs by $300K. Supported testing on 3+ large-scale projects to refine solutions and ensure they fit the purpose and match the customer's needs.
Problem-solving skills are also key to being a good leader since leaders in the workplace often solve problems for their team or guide them towards solving issues. Related: Teamwork Skills: Definition and Examples. How to develop your problem-solving skills. If you're looking to have many problem-solving skills, you can develop and improve ...
Persuasion. Constructive communication. Brainstorming. If the recruiter is using an ATS, it will be searching for these words. Even if not, the recruiter will be on the lookout for candidates possessing these qualities. Look at this job description and see which problem-solving skills are woven into the post.
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. For example, a registered nurse will need active listening and communication skills when interacting with patients but will also need effective technical knowledge ...
An effective problem-solving team player must find, define, describe, and diagnose a problem. After understanding the problem, a team player can identify a solution and test its appropriateness in ...
Problem-solving skills are skills that enable people to handle unexpected situations or difficult challenges at work. Organisations need people who can accurately assess problems and come up with effective solutions. In this article, we explain what problem-solving skills are, provide some examples of these skills and outline how to improve them.
Problem-solving. The very idea behind organizing a team is to solve a problem. That's why problem-solving skills are fundamental for each and every team member. ... Examples of Good Teamwork Skills—Job Description . Connected. You're an involved member of the campus community and you consistently look for opportunities to expand your ...
Teamwork skills involve your ability to work cooperatively with others. 1 Regardless of your role, you need to be able to work well with others and convey your teamwork skills to hiring managers, recruiters, and prospective employers. Scan any job listing, and you'll see that even ads that seek "self-starters" also inevitably use the ...