How to Highlight Conceptual Thinking Skills Professionally

By Indeed Editorial Team

Updated 12 September 2022

Published 2 May 2022

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.

Conceptual thinking skills are capabilities individuals can possess to identify, visualise and solve complex challenges. These are important skills to have as a professional because they can allow you to conceptualise how several departments of an organisation work towards a common goal together. Learning how to use your conceptual thinking may help you differentiate yourself from other professionals with similar backgrounds. In this article, we discuss how to highlight conceptual thinking skills in three professional situations, including types of skills you can develop.

How to highlight conceptual thinking skills professionally

Here are a few ways you can highlight your conceptual thinking as a professional:

1. Define them on your resume

One way you can define your conceptual thinking skills professionally is by including them on your resume. Here are a few steps you can follow to highlight your skills on your resume:

Identify the skills a company is seeking

Before composing the skills section of your resume, review the job description. Look for keywords the description details for the ideal professional and compare the skills you have with the skills the position is seeking. Determine if you have the skills they're looking for or if there are skills you have that they may find useful for the position. After reviewing the job description, you can choose the top three skills to include on the resume.

Detail how you use your skills

If you want to differentiate yourself from similar individuals, you can use one to two sentences on your resume detailing how you use your skills. To do this, you can summarise how you used your skills in past positions or during your schooling time. This can show the hiring managers how you may help their company by using those same skills.

Use positive, action words

It's helpful to use positive, action words to define your skills on a resume. Action words are helpful for hiring managers because it allows them to visualise you using those skills for the company. Positive words are also helpful to display a professional attitude towards your skills and career development. For example, you can share that you have strong decision-making skills and explain how a decision helped you achieve a goal for the company.

Related: Inductive vs. Deductive Reasoning: Differences and How To Improve

2. Explain them in your cover letter

Another way you can professionally highlight your skills is with a cover letter. You can attach a cover letter along with your resume when you're applying for a position. Here are some steps you can follow to include your conceptual thinking skills in a cover letter:

Choose one or two skills

You can choose one or two skills to focus on in your cover letter. It's important to ensure the skills you choose to expand on in your letter aren't the same ones listed on your resume. Choosing unique skills can help avoid redundancy and show hiring managers other aspects of your abilities that may encourage them to schedule an interview with you.

Explain how you used them

In your cover letter, explain how you used your skills in the past. You can do this by sharing a story with details about how you used your conceptual thinking skills. When detailing your story, you can use the STAR method. STAR is an acronym for situation, task, action and result. This allows the hiring manager that's reading your letter to understand the scenario you're explaining and provides them with direction for the story.

Summarise how you plan to use your skills for the company

You can conclude your cover letter by sharing how you plan to use your skills for the company. This allows the hiring manager to know if you're going to fit the role based on the keywords you use and the plans you express. To help you include strong keywords, ensure you read the job description and gather the important words used in the description. When you use keywords, it may show the hiring manager you read the job posting and have thought about how it can relate to you and your career goals.

3. Demonstrate them in an interview

When you're interviewing for a job, you can highlight your skills to the interviewer. Here are a few steps you can follow to discuss your conceptual thinking skills effectively in an interview:

Discuss your skills when talking about your experience

During an interview, you're likely to talk about your work experience with the interviewer. This can be a time to include a few of your skills as you talk about your former duties and accomplished goals at your previous workplace. When you're sharing your skills with the accomplishments, the interviewer can gain an understanding of if you may find success in this position.

Talk about how you can benefit the company

An interviewer may ask you what you can do for the company if they were to hire you. If they ask you this question, you can share how you plan to help them with your conceptual thinking skills. Talk about how your skills can help the company reach its goals. You may find it helpful to research the company before your interview because it can help you understand the organisation's goals to use as examples during the meeting.

Describe a challenge you encountered

You can share your skills when you describe a challenge you encounter in the past. When you're talking about the challenge, you can use the STAR method to provide structure to your answer. For example, if you're a creative thinker, you can talk about a situation you improved with your skills and the results of the situation.

Read more: How to Use the STAR Interview Technique

Types of conceptual thinking skills

Here's a list of conceptual thinking skills you can develop that may help you further your professional goals:

Critical thinking skills

Your critical thinking skills enable you to understand complex ideas, processes and challenges. When you use these skills, you're able to analyse, interpret, present and evaluate a situation. These abilities can allow you to make more informed decisions and understand what might influence a situation. You may also use your critical thinking skills to structure arguments when you're debating with individuals. This can allow you to conduct yourself professionally and ensure your argument is logical.

Related: 9 Essential Critical Thinking Skills and How to Develop Them

Communication skills

Communications skills are the abilities an individual can use to speak and form relationships with other individuals. Some skills you can develop to improve your communication can include eye contact, active listening and respect. When you maintain eye contact with others during a conversation, it can show that you respect them and you're interested in what they're saying. Active listening refers to using your verbal and nonverbal communication skills to improve the mutual understanding of the conversation between the speaker and listener. You may also share feedback with the other individual as a part of active listening.

Related: What Is Interpersonal Communication and Why Is It Important?

Problem-solving skills

As a professional, you can use your problem-solving skills to resolve challenges efficiently and effectively. When you use these skills, you can identify a challenge, consider the potential solutions, determine the best one for the situation and implement your choice. These skills are important to have because they may show hiring managers that you can address challenges in the workplace.

Related: Problem-Solving Skills Examples (With Steps to Develop Them)

Leadership skills

Leadership skills refer to the ability to organise a group of professionals to work towards a common goal effectively. Some of these skills can include empathy, responsibility and integrity. You can show empathy by listening to your team members' needs. Encouraging quiet team members to share their ideas is another way you can use empathy in your leadership. A responsible leader ensures that the group stays on task with meeting its goals and deadlines. They also take ownership if the team can't complete their assignments by the deadline.

You can display integrity as a leader when you're honest and treat other individuals on the team with kindness. This can show you value your team and their work. Additionally, it can show you're committed to helping the team achieve its goals, along with helping the team members achieve their own professional goals.

Related: 6 Leadership Skills for a Resume and How to Demonstrate Them

Analytical skills

Analytical skills are the abilities an individual can use to gather and review information and make an informed decision. For example, if you're reviewing a large amount of data, you may analyse the information to identify any patterns or trends. This skill is also helpful when determining the cause-and-effect relationships between two or more ideas. Additionally, some analytical skills you can develop include researching, reporting and organising. These competencies may help you as a professional because you can assist a company by identifying challenges to resolve and improve the organisation's operations.

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