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.