Picture this: you’re sitting in an interview for your dream job. You want to believe you are the best candidate for the position…that you have the right analytical skills and abilities they are looking for, but to be honest beyond what’s on your resume and a few words you pulled from a thesaurus, you’re not completely confident in what you bring to the table (beyond a healthy amount of zest for the job and an undercurrent of fear of unemployment and rejection). Then the interviewer asks:

What are your biggest strengths?

Why should we hire you?

Sound familiar? These might ring a bell to anyone who has ever tried applying for a new job, since they are all apart of a list of the most common questions asked in interviews of 2020. Now, this isn’t a post meant to help you interview prep. This also isn’t a post to help you learn how to write the perfect resume. What it is, however, is your guide to understanding more about some of the vital skills – primarily analytical skills – that companies look for and realizing that you possess them as well! 

What does that have to do with me?

With that in mind, think about those questions. You may think, what are my strengths? Do I even have any marketable analytical talents that most companies are looking for nowadays? We are often quick to be able to claim fine leadership skills from our experiences having had to step up in a group project or great interpersonal skills from working at Jamba Juice in high school. Then we question whether or not it is too bold for an undergraduate with little to no experience to label themselves with traits relating to the skillset of analytics… But, the answer is, yes, you do have important skills! These skills are not exclusive those in the professional field! You don’t have to be a data analyst to have analyzed something before. The same way you can be a gifted communicator without having commanded the attention of thousands with your speech or taken a communications class.

You probably have the qualities needed to market yourself as a high quality, analytically minded individual – and if you don’t, find out how you can better hone these traits and use them for your benefit!

Definition of an Analytical Skill:

Analytical skills cover a wide variety of creative, technical and interpersonal qualities that indicate your ability to find solutions to problems and make appropriate decisions. Very generally speaking, an investment banking analyst looks at data collected and decides the best course of action for future investments based on trends. A market research analyst looks at data about customers and helps companies decide which products and services would best suit those key publics. In and of itself, an analytical skill is considered a soft skill until paired with specific industries which require more inside knowledge to come to clear solutions. If you have been presented with a problem in real life, no matter how big or small, and helped to break it down and solve it – hurray! You have taken one step in the right direction! If you haven’t, think about some of the experiences and opportunities you can seek to help you sharpen those skills!

Examples of analytical skills:

The key to understanding your own skillset and growing the confidence to use them is to understand that no matter how fine tuned and well exercised or non-existent and lacking, you can and should take every opportunity to associate yourself with these important, real-world abilities. Here are some examples of common analytical skills you may not know you possess:

    • Budgeting
    • Comparative Analysis
    • Deductive/Inductive Reasoning
    • Attention to detail
    • Data collection
    • Project Management
    • Problem solving

As you can see, these different skillsets cover a wide variety of potential industries and careers. The list does not end here! There are so many ways you can represent yourself in interviews and on resumes, but let this post be a starting point for you to start thinking about the WOW factor you already have that you can leverage on!

What next? How to improve your skills:

So, you’ve had some time to think about your unique experiences. You’ve been showed a bit of the types of traits that are included within the category of analytical skills. Whatever they may be, they will become valueless if you don’t have a chance to use them and improve them! You can enhance your abilities by:

    • Joining an On-Campus internship or find a job that will help you work in the industry you’re interested in or at the very least, practice real world problems
    • Taking on leadership roles within the classroom or within the job position you’re currently in
    • Improving your knowledge on the subject matter of an industry you’re interested in (For example, taking an SEO class to enhance your knowledge and help you become a better SEO analyst in the digital marketing field)
    • Participating in societies and clubs on campus that give you more chances to work with others and problem solve
    • Seeking advice from professors, mentors and alumni who have experience in the specific qualities you are looking for

There are so many resources on campus to help you discover the unique qualities that will equip you to evolve into the high demand professionals and contributors to society that you have the potential of becoming! Your future is bright! Be confident in what you are good at and know that there is never a limit on your growth and fine-tuning of your skills. If you’re now itching to see where your unique talents fit in, take the first step and have a look into the types of careers offered within the field of digital marketing and how you may match them!

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