Essential Critical Thinking Skills: Demonstrate Critical Thinking in Your Resume

4 minute readUpdated on 2022-05-10

What is critical thinking?

Critical thinking is the ability to think clearly and rationally, understanding the logical connection between ideas. It is analyzing, evaluating and synthesizing valuable information gathered through experience or observation, thus reaching conclusions. Critical thinkers are usually the most intelligent and trustworthy people because they analyze every situation.

People naively think mentioning critical thinking as a strength in an unstructured and irrelevant resume could help them get the interview call. Unfortunately, the most probable thing to happen is the recruiter laughing at your unsupported statement. Therefore, you should prove your essential critical thinking skills with the information you put in the sections of your resume.

Why is critical thinking wanted by recruiters on your resume?

Critical thinkers are usually the best performers in every company. They pay attention to the long-term effects of certain activities, thus having a broader view of the general picture.

Furthermore, they are always one step in front of their colleagues. Recruiters search for extraordinary people whose excellent approach towards different projects is undeniable. Hence, people with critical thinking skills are more likely to get the desired promotion.

In addition, some specific jobs require employees whose top quality is critical thinking. You cannot aim for higher positions in business or scientific research without this set of skills.

Employers are looking for self-directed candidates. Critical thinkers are the perfect choice when it comes to independent rational thinking and proactivity. These people are capable of evaluating concepts that might have a crucial effect on the company.

Skills & activities that help you show critical thinking skills

  • Analysis, Interpretation & Explanation: you should be capable of collecting, processing and interpreting data. After reaching a conclusion based on specific information, you should explain it to others in an understandable way.
  • Problem-solving: you must show proven actions that guarantee your experience in solving complex problems. Thus, you affirm yourself as an intelligent individual who can overcome every obstacle to reach their goals.
  • Prioritizing: Show that few but well-planned actions can lead to enormous success. Prioritizing activities is a crucial skill of critical thinkers.
  • Self-directed, decisive, reliable: only assertive people who think independently can evaluate and manage significant projects while dealing with stress. Provide evidence that you do not need guidance.
  • Goal setting: a true critical thinker shines among others when it comes down to goal-setting. SMART goals have an enormous impact on every company. 

How to demonstrate Critical Thinking Skills on Your Resume:

  • Describe a challenging situation at work that put your critical thinking and decision-making skills to the test
  • Mention a situation in which your answer to a problem was crucial for the success of a project
  • Show that you are capable of prioritizing your task when having a significant workload.
  • Provide evidence for a situation in which you have to conduct a whole project without any instructions

Remember that 80% of outcomes come from 20% of causes, which means that you have to pay close attention to describing the most essential and valuable facts about yourself as a professional. Thus, recruiters will be 100% sure that you know how to sort out data and explain it understandably.

Do not hesitate to use action verbs like ''analyze'', ''identify'' and ''solve'', which show that you have analytical skills. Focus on results rather than empty explanations. Now let's put everything said into practice.

Example 1: Demonstrate critical thinking skills in the experience section

Sales Analyst applying for the position of Sales Manager

Experience
Sales AnalystKapitus
New York, NY
Kapitus provides businesses with different financial options like providing small business with loans.
Designed a social media strategy by myself that increased the company's share growth rate by 15%
Achieved a 200% increase in the lifetime value of every client by utilizing an innovative sales strategy
Created daily reports and contacted customers to determine customers' satisfaction
Completed a massive sales project 4 months before schedule, saving 35% of the estimated project cost
Collected, evaluated, and interpreted data from surveys every month and presented the results in front of the whole department
Resolved gaps between project development and budget costs, which led to better performance and increased brand awareness
RIGHT

The following candidate demonstrated undeniable experience in solving problems. They resolved gaps, created successful strategies and worked with big data. 

The applicant proved to be self-directed by designing an entire strategy entirely by themselves. The candidate's critical thinking skills led to astonishing results that impacted the entire performance of the company.

Demonstrate that you are good at prioritizing by selecting the essential experience points in your resume. Use action verbs that indicate critical thinking, like "analyze" and "conclude."

Prove that you solved problems and made critical decisions by providing appropriate examples. Let the results speak for you as a professional. Thus, recruiters are more likely to select you among other candidates because critical thinkers are the most promising employees.

Example 2: Resume summary

Project Manager applying for the position of Chief Operating Officer

Summary
Result-orientated project manager with 12 years of experience in the healthcare industry. Led massive projects and implemented complex infrastructures for biomedical companies with a market capitalization of $200+ billion.
RIGHT

With solid experience, this applicant proves to be a reliable professional who makes important decisions in a vast and successful company. They know how to coordinate massive projects while leading large teams of professionals.

Use this section to mention the most valuable experience in your career that proves your critical thinking and leadership skills. Do not forget the 80/20 principle. It is a clear sign that you are capable of evaluating and prioritizing information.

Example 3: Key achievements

Research Scientist applying for the position of Medical Writer

Achievements
Part of a scientific revolution
Implemented the revolutionary CRISPR/Cas9 gene-editing technology successfully in patients with hereditary blindness. It delivered promising results and laid the foundation for using CRISPR/Cas9 as gene therapy.
Significant writings
Wrote over 300+ articles in the sphere of genetics, molecular diseases and biotechnology. The majority of them were published in reputable scientific newsletters.
Inspired
Held numerous presentations on medical and scientific topics in world conferences. At the annual BIO conference, I presented in front of 10 000 people audience.
RIGHT

Participating in such revolutionary projects is a clear sign that the candidate is highly intelligent. Their diligent work in writing these articles and holding inspiring and valuable presentations prove their critical thinking.

In this section, you should prove you are a trustworthy individual. Your accomplishments will provide evidence that you are a go-getter who always reaches their goals.

Example 4: Courses & Talents

Intern applying for the role of Business Analyst

Training / Courses
Business Analytics and Process ManagementCoursera
SAS Statistical Business AnalyticsHarvard Business School
Excel to MySQLCoursera
RIGHT

You could build an impression about yourself by the courses you took in the past. They show that you are a self-directed individual who knows how to set SMART goals in their learning and professional experience. Mention only those courses that directly relate to the position you apply for.

Computer Technician applying for the job of Infrastructure Analyst

Strengths
Troubleshooting
I can develop IT solutions in a matter of minutes.
Explaining
My hidden talent is easily explaining complex hardware problems.
Never back down
My friends call me a computer guru because no single tech problem made me give up.
RIGHT

This candidate listed the most important skills for a computer technician. They emphasized both soft and hard skills that prove their professionalism.

Do not hesitate to add those critical thinking skills that you find appropriate for the section. Just remember to emphasize results and abilities rather than empty explanations. Action verbs and catchy phrases might help you create a good impression as an extraordinary person and professional.

Critical Thinking Skills: Key Takeaways for Your Resume

  • Show action: use action verbs that indicate critical thinking and experience.
  • Prioritize & Evaluate: you should provide the recruiter with the most valuable information about yourself. This action proves you to be a critical thinker.
  • Show problem solving: demonstrate your inner drive to overcome every issue and provide an answer to every problem.
  • Set SMART goals: show that you always set reasonable goals that enhance your motivation to work.
  • Demonstrate intelligence in decision-making: let your results speak for you. Provide evidence that you can work under stress and make essential and logical decisions that lead to success.

About this report:

Data reflects analysis made on over 1M resume profiles and examples over the last 2 years from Enhancv.com.

While those skills are most commonly met on resumes, you should only use them as inspiration and customize your resume for the given job.

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