Detail-Oriented Skills: Definition and Tips

By Indeed Editorial Team

Published 27 May 2021

The Indeed Editorial Team comprises a diverse and talented team of writers, researchers and subject matter experts equipped with Indeed's data and insights to deliver useful tips to help guide your career journey.

After your employer accepts your application and goes through your resume, they look for specific qualities that may tell them why you are a good fit for their company. These qualities will inform the recruiter that you are self-sufficient and can submit valuable work.

A good way to show your value to the employer is by listing “detail-oriented” as one of your skills. After you get the job, there are various ways you can continue to improve and develop your analytical skills. In this article, we explain what detail-oriented skills are and how you can develop them.

What does detail-oriented mean?

Being detail-oriented means being keen while working and being observant of the small details when handling a project or task. This is because detail-oriented employees finish assignments flawlessly before they can proceed to the next task. They focus on each task and constantly find different ways to complete their tasks efficiently.

Related: Soft Skills: Definition, Examples and Tips

Why it's important to list detail-oriented as one of your skills

Potential employees who list detail-oriented on their resumes may stand out to recruiters since they indicate that they have the ability to get everything down to the right detail. They show that they can submit their work regularly, and most times, the work requires minimal changes, if any.

Many employers value detail-oriented employees since they help ease their workload. They don't have to spend a lot of time correcting and supervising them, but can instead focus on the company's goals. Since detail-oriented employees love finishing smaller projects, they often make sure they complete each task on time.

Listing detail-oriented on a resume informs the recruiter that you're organised and know about time management. When a recruiter sees this characteristic on your resume, they are likely to hire you since they assume you can easily complete your tasks and meet deadlines.

Read more: Tips From a Recruiter: Standing Out to Hiring Managers During COVID-19

Good habits of detail-oriented people

Detail-oriented individuals usually have admirable habits that make them effective employees. These include:

  • Ability to notice and fix mistakes: Detail-oriented persons tend to see mistakes easily and look for ways to quickly fix them. Recruiters prize this ability because it ensures that time and capital are used efficiently.

  • Ability to remain productive throughout the day: These employees are usually very focused and look forward to finishing their daily tasks. Detail-oriented employees reduce distractions and manage their time properly, meaning that work gets done within the given deadline.

  • Organisation: Task delegation and time management are crucial skills that detail-oriented persons value. They make schedules and lists of activities, and make sure they allocate enough time and energy to each task. This helps to ensure consistency when handling and delivering their projects.

  • Routine: Repetitive schedules are something that detail-oriented people excel with. Following the same routine every day helps them stay focused and finish every task on time. Detail-oriented people often go to sleep and wake up at the same time every day to maintain consistency and always stay on schedule.

  • Timekeeping ability: Detail-oriented people are aware of how Important timekeeping is. They usually strive to arrive at work and other events on time. Moreover, they tend to be enthusiastic about beginning new tasks, and are always looking for new experiences so they go to every event on time.

Detail-oriented traits

Apart from having a keen eye for detail, these people often have other positive traits that help them perform their work successfully. The most common qualities of detail-oriented employees include:

  • Observation: Detail-oriented people have an excellent memory and notice minor details easily. They often notice minor changes and remember minute details about a person, place or item.

  • Ability to focus on causes rather than effects: Instead of focusing on the project's big picture, detail-oriented people often try to understand why the assignment is happening. This usually reflects in their work as they try to understand why they're finishing a project to motivate themselves to send in high-quality, valuable work.

  • Organisation: These people usually make lists and schedules to help them stay on track. Observant people gain a lot of satisfaction from completing their schedules and projects. They also become excited about beginning a new task after finishing even the smallest of tasks.

  • Time management: Organising their projects by order of urgency and allocating enough time to finish each task are valuable routines for detail-oriented employees. They effectively stay focused on finishing each project on time and understand how to delegate tasks to ensure they finish each assignment quickly.

  • Proficiency with numbers and math: Many detail-oriented employees like using their skills to make tabulations and push themselves to solve equations. They are popular for being financially stable since they succeed at effectively creating and maintaining a budget.

How to showcase your detail-oriented skills in your resume

If you want the recruiter to know you are detail-oriented without necessarily listing it, you can follow the below steps:

  1. List experiences that you've had that required you to be detail-oriented. Such skills may include extensive knowledge about a particular topic, preferably one close to the job position and working with numbers.

  2. Be specific with your experience to inform the recruiter that you are actually detail-oriented. You may include a phrase such as "proofread and analysed documents for errors."

  3. Proofread your resume. Listing detail-oriented on your resume won't help your case if your resume is full of mistakes. Always ensure you proofread the document at least three times and get a second opinion before submitting it.

How to be more detail-oriented at work

Some people are naturally detail-oriented, while others learn this skill along the way. Below are some strategies you can follow to be more detail-oriented at work:

  1. Ensure that you understand the instructions of a task clearly.

  2. Divide a large project into smaller goals and create a plan.

  3. Review and proofread your work before submitting it.

  4. Take a break before sending in your work, especially if you've been working on a project for a long time. When you get back to it, you will be able to evaluate your work with a fresh perspective.

How to improve your detail-oriented skills

Though most people naturally develop the skill of being detail-oriented, you can still learn, practice and strengthen it every day in your workplace. Below are some tips and tactics to keep getting better at it at your workplace:

1. Organise your tasks

Before you start any project, note down all the tasks to get an idea of which ones you should give priority to. You can do this by creating to-do lists every day and checking each task off after you complete it. You can also research some task management apps or software that can help you easily organise your projects. Checking each task off a list once you finish it gives you a feeling of satisfaction and will motivate you to continue completing the other tasks.

2. Maintain a routine every day

Create a routine to stay on schedule. This will keep your mind and body keep in good health as it ensures you're maintaining a regimen that gives you the proper amount of productivity and sleep. Try to sleep and wake up at the same time every day so your body gets accustomed to a recurring routine. This will help you stay organised and in control of every task. A recurrent routine keeps your mind focused and enables you to avoid slacking on tasks.

3. Create a schedule and stick to it

When you make a schedule, you will notice any upcoming meetings and appointments. This can help you stay more organised and prepared to face each day and task. Research about online calendar apps or buy a planner and begin writing any upcoming events and tasks. This will help you manage your time and prioritise certain tasks over others.

4. Try to reduce distractions

A positive trait of detail-oriented employees is their ability to focus on assignments. Freeing yourself from any distractions helps you pay attention to the projects at hand and finish them efficiently.

If you're a remote worker, create a designated area that will serve as your office space. Use a desk and comfortable chair that can help you focus on your work. The designated workspace should be free from any noise and other distractions such as TV or radio.

If you work in an office, ensure that your workspace is well lit and quiet. If you get regular guests who want to talk to you, tell them politely that you're busy and that you'll speak to them after completing your assignment.

If there are still other forms of noise in the background, check with your manager or supervisor if you can use noise-canceling headphones. Most people find that listening to classical music helps to increase their productivity and focus better.

Read more: How to Stay Focused When You Work from Home

5. Take care of your mental and physical health

It's easier to pay attention to details if your body and brain are healthy. Exercising before or after you go to work is an excellent way to keep your brain engaged. It can also boost your concentration and memory. If you don't have enough time to exercise, you can take a walk during your break and get some time to clear your mind from work so that you are fresh for the next challenge.

Yoga and meditation are two great ways of taking care of your mental health and improving your focus. Set aside about 15 minutes every day to sit in a quiet and private place. Take deep breaths to relax and prepare yourself mentally for upcoming events and activities in both your personal life and workplace.

Read more: How to Make Time for Self-Care While Working from Home

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