Problem solving skills are essential for every type of employment. They can help you to optimise performance and get the best out of yourself and those around you. Many employers look for examples of problem-solving skills both when reviewing CVs and during the interview process. If you want to boost your employability and further your professional career, here are five easy ways to improve your problem-solving skills.

  1. Problem identification – The first thing you need to do with any problem is to understand the cause. Once you identify the problem, it will be much easier for you to find and suggest effective solutions. The problem may have one or several root causes which will need addressing to resolve the issue.
  2. Collaboration – Teamworking is a vital skill for many employment situations. When it comes to problem solving, two heads are, very often, better than one. Collaborating with your colleagues can help to pool resources and optimise various employee skill sets to find the best solution to a problem.
  3. Logical thinking – Taking a methodical approach to problem solving is effective and shows an employer that you are calm and rational in a stressful situation. Use your analytical skills to look at the problem objectively. This will give you more chance of finding the best outcome.
  4. Creative thinking – This is particularly useful when trying to solve longstanding problems. If you can think ‘outside the box’ and find new ways to approach a problem, you will often be rewarded with innovative solutions.
  5. Process development – Most companies have procedures to follow to solve any problems. If these processes have been followed but the problem has not been resolved, a focus on process development can help to redress the issue. Use the existing process as a template and work with colleagues to alter the framework to maximise performance.

Problem solving varies greatly in different industries. The problems facing an office worker will be different to those working on a construction site. The ways of approaching problems and finding a solution, however, are extremely similar and can be easily transferred.

Think of examples using the above problem-solving situations to include in your CV or to talk about in an interview. These types of holistic or soft skills are a great asset for any job candidate and will be viewed in a positive way by any potential employer.