What is Aptitude? Definition, Types and Ways to Highlight It

By Indeed Editorial Team

Updated 30 September 2022

Published 15 November 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.

Aptitude is the natural ability to gain new skills or knowledge in a certain area, and some people may refer to it as a natural strength. Knowing what your aptitude is can be a powerful tool. If you find a job that aligns well with your abilities and strengths, it can lead to a successful career. In this article, we answer the question 'What is aptitude?', show you how you can find and measure it and list specific jobs that you can find to leverage your natural strengths and abilities.

Related: What Are Skills? (With Definition and How to Improve Them)

What is aptitude?

If you're looking for a new career opportunity that relates to your natural strengths, you may wonder, 'What is aptitude?' Aptitude is your natural capacity to pick up a skill or learn something in a specific area. Your aptitude may make it easy for you to develop your strengths in areas that may not be easy for everyone to learn. This may lead to you excelling at learning and performing the skills you have an aptitude for. For example, you may have an aptitude for hand-eye coordination and endurance, which may lead you to perform better at sports and excel in them.

Related: What Are Personality Traits? (Definition, Examples and Tips)

Types of aptitude

There are many types of aptitude. Each different type of aptitude can help someone perform or excel in different areas of their lives. Some of the common ones include:

STEM aptitude

STEM (Science Technology Engineering and Maths) includes a wide range of aptitude in the science, technology, engineering and maths department. Those who have an aptitude in the STEM industry may excel in solving mathematical or science-related issues. If you have a STEM aptitude, you may excel in biology or chemistry in school since you may find it easier compared to others, or you may adapt to new technology easily. Those with a STEM aptitude often are analytical and methodical, since the STEM field requires people who are strong in these skills.

Related: STEM Skills: Definition, Examples and Ways to Improve Them

Mechanical aptitude

Mechanical aptitude refers to the ability to understand the nature of mechanical processes. If you have an aptitude in the mechanical field, you may likely understand how parts of a machine come together and work well, or enjoy taking apart objects and building them back together. Mechanical aptitude is also often a combination of spatial and logical aptitude since it gives you the ability to break down systems into their individual parts. Those with mechanical aptitude may also be hands-on learners who enjoy executing their work in the field.

Organisational aptitude

Organisational aptitude refers to the natural ability to operate and arrange schedules and work in an efficient manner. If you possess an organisational aptitude, you may enjoy planning trips during your vacation or creating slides for your presentations at work. Those with an organisational aptitude may find joy in prioritising and organising data and tasks at work.

Related: What Are Organisational Skills and How Can You Develop Them?

Logical aptitude

Logical aptitude is the ability to reason. If you have a logical aptitude, you may have the ability to examine problems at an in-depth level and find rational solutions for it. These high levels of logic may lead to you using step-by-step processes to find conclusions and solutions to problems that you encounter. With a logical aptitude, you can also account for individual parts of a project and piece them together well.

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

Linguistic aptitude

A linguistic aptitude refers to your natural ability to communicate with another person and explain problems and solutions verbally to draw conclusions. A linguistic aptitude often involves possessing good communication skills. Linguistic aptitude also refers to your language capabilities. If you have a linguistic aptitude, you may find it easier to learn a new language. For example, you may memorise and understand words and phrases faster. Having this aptitude may also help you learn how to write and read a foreign language quickly.

Related: What Is Language Proficiency? Definition and Levels

Creative aptitude

Individuals with a creative aptitude, such as artists, music producers or designers, can create artistic works that are pleasing to others. If you have this aptitude, you may be able to come up with new and unique expressions. You may show feelings and thoughts through songs or physical art, and you may enjoy finding new ways to be creative. Those with a creative aptitude may be visual or audio learners and may enjoy arranging objectives in stimulating ways.

Physical aptitude

Physical aptitude refers to the ability to perform sports or physically training tasks easily. There's a range of different physical aptitudes, including hand-eye coordination, strength and agility. A combination of different physical aptitudes can help individuals excel in different ways. For example, a combination of hand-eye coordination and strength can lead to you learning a new sport easily.

Spatial aptitude

Spatial aptitude refers to the cognitive ability to understand the relationship between different objects and bodies. If you have a spatial aptitude, you're likely to be a visual thinker who can create 3D models well, since you can contextualise the relationship between the mode and its environment. Individuals with spatial aptitude are likely to have logical aptitude too because these two abilities are closely related.

Types of aptitude tests

If you're looking for the kind of aptitude you have, there're a variety of tests that can determine them. Some tests can find what combination of aptitudes you have, which can let you find your potential in a certain field. Some tests are able to determine your individual aptitude, such as your creative or physical ability.

If you're interviewing for a job at a company, the hiring manager may provide you with an aptitude test as part of the hiring process to find out if you have the right strengths and abilities for the job. If you're interested in finding your own aptitude to grow yourself on a personal level, you can take aptitude tests during your free time as well. Here are some common aptitude tests:

  • Logical reasoning tests: Logical reasoning tests examine how much you understand the relationships between patterns and shapes.

  • Verbal reasoning tests: Verbal reasoning tests determine how you define or get information from a short passage or paragraph.

  • In-tray exercises: Also known as an e-tray exercise, in-tray exercises find your ability to prioritise tasks at work.

  • Watson Glaser critical thinking tests: The Watson Glaser critical thinking test determines your ability to analyse information to understand it and come to a logical conclusion.

  • Situational judgment tests: Situational judgment tests measure how you solve problems at work with workplace scenarios.

  • Numerical reasoning tests: Numerical reasoning tests determine your ability to work with numbers and calculations efficiently and accurately.

  • Diagrammatic reasoning tests: Diagrammatic reasoning tests give you patterns and diagrams for you to solve the next step or the patterns using logic.

Read more: What Are the Common Types of Career Aptitude Tests?

How to highlight your aptitude

Knowing your aptitudes can help you utilise them better to stand out to a potential employer. If you know where and how to add your aptitudes to your resume or how to explain them during an interview, it can make you more noticeable to the hiring manager. Here are some ways you can use to highlight your aptitude in different steps of your job search:

1. Add your aptitudes to your resume

It can be helpful for your job search to add your aptitudes to your resume. You can highlight your aptitudes in the skills section of your resume. Customise your skills section according to the job you're applying for, such as listing relevant skills you have based on the job description. For example, if you're applying for a job as a manager, listing your ability to communicate well with others can be useful. It can be helpful to keep your list of aptitudes concise so that they're easier to read on a resume.

Related: 10 Best Skills to Include on a Resume

2. Highlight your aptitudes in your cover letter

A cover letter is another way for you to include and highlight your aptitudes to a potential employer. After your written introduction and your desire for the role in the company, you can start writing about your background and experience. This section is where you can include and highlight the aptitudes you possess that have helped you in your previous jobs. Including your aptitudes in your cover letter can also show that you're a strong potential candidate for the role.

Related: 7 Powerful Ways to Start a Cover Letter (With Examples)

3. Discuss your aptitudes during your interview

An interview is one of the best occasions to bring up and highlight your aptitudes. An interviewer may ask you questions related to your skills, including questions on previous projects you've handled in your basic background. When answering these questions, you can highlight the relevant aptitudes and how you used them in the past to succeed in your role. For example, if an interviewer asks about your strengths, you can pick a few of your aptitudes to share and how they helped your work projects in the past.

Related: Interview Question: “What Are Your Strengths and Weaknesses?”

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