How Should you Show That you Have Innovation Skills on Your Resume?

4 minute readUpdated on 2022-05-18

What are innovation skills?

Do you wonder what the latest World Economic Forum report identifies as the top 10 skills of 2025? To spare you the research, here is the number one skill of the future: Strategic thinking and innovation.

Sounds visionary, but what does it mean to be an innovator, and how can you become one?

In a nutshell, being innovative means that you think analytically and learn actively, and also have a problem-solving mindset and a can-do attitude.

Put even simpler, innovation-skilled people look into places where others do not. Moreover, they are confident that they can implement their ideas by using all the brains, resources, and soft skills they have.

Why are innovation skills important on your resume?

Creativity and complex problem-solving shoot up the charts in every recent Future of Job global research. The reason for that is the changing nature of work and the need for companies to develop and bring to life meaningful solutions.

But think about that: everyone can come up with a solution to a problem and pay a million dollars to execute it. But only innovators can come up with an idea and turn it into a working solution despite being constrained by resources.

From the viewpoint of your future employer, hiring innovation-oriented people implies that they stay focused on bettering themselves and the environment that they are in.

This communicates a couple of things. First, that you are a lifetime learner, and second, that you will try to improve the way things work in the company.

Third, it means that you may even discover a new business use case, find a way to engage a new target group, or improve the product offering of the company.

So far so good, but how can you actually paint the picture of being an innovator on your resume?

What skills, activities, and accomplishments help you highlight your innovation skills?

Innovators are usually adept at identifying problems. But the real magic happens when they put all of their knowledge to work. Here are some examples of skills that you can use to show you can bridge the gap between problems and solutions:

  • Change management & Problem-solving: innovating is all about improving the status quo, and you should be able to demonstrate that you can manage the ensuing changes. This also includes effectively managing teams.
  • Persuasion & Risk Management: since every new project requires some investment, you should show that you can objectively assess risks and on the other hand, you can mobilize others to invest their time and money in your idea.
  • Critical thinking & Proactiveness: being curious and having critical thinking communicates that you like to get to the bottom of things, while proactiveness indicates that you are not afraid to test your hypothesis and turn them into working solutions.

How to demonstrate innovation skills on your resume:

  • Explain how your creativity during brainstorming sessions has allowed you to contribute to a project.
  • Include an example of how an idea of yours has helped your team save money or improve efficiency.
  • Give examples of any technical skills that you have that may come in handy when developing functional prototypes.
  • Mention an occasion when you have been responsible for managing a team during big organizational changes.

perception of you being an innovative thinker are hard to be communicated on paper.

That is why you need to further break them down into micro-skills, and show how you excel at these by including lots of contextual examples.

To get some inspiration, look at the following snippets from Enhancv users who found a way to effectively demonstrate their innovation skills.

And keep in mind that innovation requires time and usually takes a couple of failures along the way. Don’t be shy to talk about the times when you had major challenges.

Example 1: Demonstrate innovation skills in the experience section

Job situation: Senior Business Analyst applies for the position of a Project Manager

Experience
Senior Business AnalystUnited Funds & Finances
Austin, TX
Identified an area connected to the organizational processes of the company that was slowing employees down. Worked together with the Management to optimize workflow.
Proposed the introduction of a new data analytics software that outperformed the old one and managed to convince the CEO to implement the idea.
Delivered a presentation in front of the Board about the importance of employees improving their account management skills.
Volunteered to lead a market research group for identifying industry best practices.
RIGHT

Just note how many actionable verbs this former Business Analytics uses in order to communicate his proactivity.

The examples demonstrate that he has gone well beyond his regular responsibilities to introduce improvements within the organization.

What is more, the way he has interacted with his managers demonstrates possession of emotional intelligence and great people skills.

The handpicked situations also communicate that the candidate is knowledgeable in various fields, has analytical thinking, and is not afraid to stand behind his ideas.

Example 2: Demonstrate innovation skills in the resume summary section

Job situation: Product Manager applies for the position of Head of Development

Summary
Developed 10 partnerships within the first month of a product launch. Led the development of an integration platform that combined 3 separate software solutions.
RIGHT

This resume communicates “I am a problem-solver”. These two accomplishments in the summary section highlight that the candidate is proactive, quick-to-act, and identifies areas where better solutions can replace the current ones.

Example 3: Show your innovation skills in your achievements sections

Job situation - Product Marketing Manager applies for the position of Chief of Product

Achievements
Developed an omni-channel strategy
In the last product development cycle that I was involved, I optimized the go-to-market process and contributed to a 60% increase in sales in H1 as compared to the projections.
Field in existing gaps in product messaging
Within the first year in the company, I led the marketing team on a mission to perfect the value proposition of the product. This led to a 40% increase in customer engagement and decreased the bounce rate to 10%.
RIGHT

Don’t miss the opportunity to include some hard metrics and show off the end result of your efforts to introduce innovation. Your examples can follow the problem-idea-solution pattern to demonstrate your analytical skills.

Example 4: Demonstrate the skill through other sections of your resume

You should try to relay in your resume that you know innovation doesn’t happen overnight. Communicate your passion for learning and exploring new fields, and for bettering yourself every day.

One way to do that is by mentioning some of your hobbies, as well as events and seminars that you have attended or social groups that you are participating in.

Bonus points for a good impression Some examples of recently completed online courses and certifications in fields different from your main occupation would also guarantee you a good first impression.

Innovation Skills: Key Takeaways for Your Resume

  • Be as specific as you can: show that you are an analytical thinker, give examples of your problem-solving skills, and specify how your out-of-the-box thinking helped your team achieve measurable results.
  • Strike the balance between hard and soft skills: it is true that every innovator needs to get down to technical execution at some point. But it is equally important to demonstrate that you have high emotional intelligence and are a natural team player.

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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