Everybody knows that putting computer skills on a resume is a must these days. But very few know how to put them to good use on their resumes. Do you?
Definition: Conceptual skills are a cluster of competencies that help you work with abstract concepts and ideas. Employees equipped with these skills can see the forest for the trees, clearly understanding how an organization’s different departments function and generally where the business is headed.
Here’s the thing—
The idea behind conceptual skills isn’t new. In fact, it dates back to 1955 when psychologist Robert Katz presented his “trinity” skills model in Harvard Business Review. The three skills are technical, human, and conceptual.
And while the first two are relatively self-explanatory, conceptual skills are often confusing for job seekers. More so, when they need to highlight them on a resume.
But take heart. In just a few minutes, the concept will be clear.
In this guide, you’ll see:
- A conceptual skills definition.
- A list of strong conceptual skills examples.
- How to improve your conceptual skills.
- How to add conceptual skills to your resume.
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And once you’ve perfected your conceptual skills, check out a selection of other resume writing guides.
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Check out more skills guides:
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Conceptual Skills on a Resume Template You Can Copy and Use
Social Media Manager
Efficient social media manager with 3+ years of experience, skilled in different social media management tools like Hootsuite. Seeking to provide quality social media strategies at Four Sigmatic. At MainHealth, managed the organization’s social media presence, which resulted in a 42% increase in organic growth. Increased patient satisfaction experience by 98.9% by partnering with different teams, and established stronger customer retention and relationships for 3+ years.
Social Media Manager
December 2017–April 2021
- Expanded and managed the organization’s social media profiles and presence using Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter, which resulted in a 42% increase in organic growth within 2 months.
- Partnered with the Communication and Marketing team to increase patient satisfaction experience by 98.9%.
- Communicated with different clients and patients to establish stronger relationships and customer retention for 3+ years.
- Developed and delivered training and education to team members on a regular basis to help further highlight the brand and its purpose in their work.
Social Media Specialist
April 2014–November 2017
- Increased Instagram followers by 2000 in the first month using different social media engagement strategies.
- Produced new materials and scripts for social media campaigns on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter.
- Resolved customer inquiries and complaints via social media platforms for 3 years.
Texas State University, BA in Mass Communication
- Wrote blog posts for the Bobcat Update, a student-produced cable television newscast
- Coaching and Training (MaineHealth — Corporate)
- Social Marketing Certification (Hootsuite Academy)
- Facebook Blueprint Certification
- Rising Star Award (MaineHealth — Corporate)
- Unsung Hero Award (Cleveland Cabinets)
- Food Vlogger, Youtube
- Interpersonal skills
- Leadership & management skills
- Creative thinking
- Strategic and analytical planning
- Team player
- Time management
- Facebook Business Manager
- Brand Watch
- Maintaining product knowledge
1. Why Are Conceptual Skills Important?
Conceptual skills play a central role in the workplace, particularly for middle-management and upper-management positions.
For one, working professionals in positions of power need to steer the company toward its true North, ensuring each team member helps reach the company’s larger objectives.
Two, regardless of the industry, the company will inevitably face roadblocks that will call for out-of-the-box solutions to cut through them—that’s when conceptual skills take the stage.
That said, recruiters and hiring managers also look for conceptual skills in regular employees, not only leaders. After all, if you don’t have a crystal-clear idea of how your work contributes to the company’s functioning, you’ll likely lose steam and grow disengaged.
And that’s bad for business too, as poor morale inevitably leads to increased turnover, which can put an additional strain on the company’s budget.
Strong conceptual skills are paramount to both personal and business success.
2. Conceptual Skills Examples
So far, so good.
You know employers place great value on conceptual skills because they help put things in the bigger picture.
Here’s a list of eight core conceptual skills examples to help you rise above the noise with every employer.
1. Decision Making
It’s no secret that making the right decision is hard because it takes time and energy to weigh your options. Things get even more complicated when you’re tasked with a hypothetical scenario. That’s why decision-making skills are critical to a company’s success at all levels of the org chart.
2. Analytical Skills
Strong analytical skills are critical in every position at every level. To develop a solution to the problem, you’ll often have to dissect big issues into smaller ones to see correlations and ultimately draw conclusions. So, having analytical skills in your arsenal can help you achieve company goals, improve your work, and ultimately support your own career goals.
3. Communication Skills
Communication skills are all about how well you can interact with coworkers, managers, and other people outside your team. Plus, if you need to convince or motivate others, good communication skills will come in handy. Examples of communication skills include listening, straight-talking, and emotion control.
4. Creative Thinking
Conceptual skills require creativity. You need to devise outside-the-box solutions to abstract problems. It often requires getting other teams to rally around and think about how you can all work together to solve a pressing issue.
5. Problem Solving
Once you’ve identified the problem, you need to develop a further course of action to address it effectively, making swift decisions to yield good results. That, in turn, requires an ability to prioritize and ignore extraneous information.
Expert Hint: It’s essential to receive feedback from all stakeholders. View it as an opportunity to collect as much advice as possible and don’t react defensively. Listen carefully to the feedback and use it to make better-informed decisions.
6. Leadership Skills
Leadership skills are an integral component of your conceptual competencies. That’s because you’ll often have to convince others to follow your vision for solving a problem, assign and delegate tasks, ensuring everyone delivers on their share of work.
7. Critical Thinking Skills
To know which ideas are trustworthy and which to reject, you need to reason and approach issues critically. That makes critical thinking skills essential to finding optimal solutions.
8. Interpersonal Skills
More often than not, you’ll have to collaborate with others to see your concepts come to life. That’s because going solo might not cut it if you want to push the company forward. Hence, robust interpersonal skills can prove to be invaluable. Some examples of interpersonal skills include empathy, teamwork, and dependability.
3. How to Include Conceptual Skills Examples on Your Resume
It’s worth remembering that we all need to demonstrate strong conceptual skills in our job application, regardless of seniority level.
Let’s look at how to craft a resume, so it’s chock-full of conceptual skills.
1. Start with Your Resume Profile
Your resume profile (also known as a career summary or career objective) is likely the first resume section the employer will read. If you fail to grab their attention with good conceptual skills, you might get passed over. So, here’s how to showcase them right from the start.
Conceptual Skills in the Resume Summary
2. Elevate Your Work Experience Section
Another critical section on your resume is work experience. That’s where recruiters and hiring managers will spend most of their time deciding whether to give you the callback or move on to the next applicant.
So, that’s where you want to put your best suit forward and spotlight your conceptual skills.
Below are three resume tips for nailing this section, followed by an example:
- Add professional achievements you’ve accomplished thanks to your stellar conceptual skills and use numbers to quantify them whenever possible.
- Prove how well you did in the role by using accomplishment statements rather than just saying what you did.
- Use action verbs for extra impact for each bullet point such as “created,” “saved,” or “negotiated” rather than “responsible for.”
Job Description with Interpersonal Skills
3. Make the Most Of Your Education Section
If you don’t have much experience under your belt, your work experience section can use some help. So, add detail to your education section. List your GPA, mention extracurricular activities you’ve completed, and include individual modules you’ve studied to prove you have the conceptual skills necessary to succeed in the role.
Interpersonal Skills in the Education Section
4. Flesh Out Your Skills Section
While you might be tempted to throw a random list of skills into your resume, don’t do it. Make it impactful and focused instead.
Below are a few pointers:
- Customize your skills section for each job ad you apply for. To do it, read through the job description and note the skills the employer wants. Then, add the required skills to your application to improve your match rate.
- Write a brief statement that explains why you’re good at a given skill.
Interpersonal Skills in the Skills Section
5. Include Extra Sections
If you’re looking to stand out from the crowd, add additional sections to your resume. For example, you can add further examples of your conceptual skills. Below are some ideas for inspiration:
- Add a language section to your resume if you speak more than one language. It’ll boost your chances of success since it’s an important interpersonal skill.
- List hobbies and interests as long as they are relevant to the job or demonstrate your conceptual skills. A good example is coaching a team, as it requires leadership skills.
Interpersonal Skills in the Extra Sections
Expert Hint: Showcase your conceptual skills and write a cover letter. A full 83% of HR professionals still think cover letters are important, as they can tip the scales in your favor if your resume underperforms.
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4. How to Improve Conceptual Skills
While many of us aren’t gifted with conceptual skills, it’s possible to develop them.
1. Put Past Challenges Under the Microscope
When faced with a challenging task, do your research and see if other departments within your organization have already solved the problem. If that doesn’t work, go online and see how other businesses handled things (e.g., read case studies). To make better-informed decisions, reflect on past challenges, see what worked, and reverse-engineer a solution.
2. Get Comfortable Working with Data
If you’re looking to elevate your conceptual skills, make friends with data and use it to your advantage when making a decision. Learn to obtain and analyze data relevant to your role, visualize and communicate findings, and draw logical conclusions.
3. Polish Your Communication Skills
If you have strong communication skills, it’ll be much easier for you to play well with others. So, hone your listening skills, develop an awareness of your body language, and learn to modulate how you express your ideas in different contexts.
4. Practice Abstract Thinking
Abstract thinking is an indispensable component of strong conceptual skills. To grow your creating thinking muscle, try challenging yourself to discover alternative ways to perform usual tasks at work rather than taking the familiar route.
5. Train Yourself to Be More Observant
Spend a good deal of your energy to pay attention to what you see, what’s happening around you, and try to make guesses about what could happen next. An excellent place to start is to disconnect from technology. If you want to grow more observant, unplug from your phone, iPad, or laptop from time to time and concentrate on your environment.
6. Learn the Basics of Project Management
Throughout your career, you’ll often have to come up with creative solutions and oversee the completion of projects. Plus, you’ll need to maintain the team’s focus, ensuring direct reports deliver on their tasks. To improve your project management skills, master project management tools of your choice, be proactive and generally emphasize accountability.
Expert Hint: Make a point to continually practice your conceptual skills. You’ll feel much more comfortable when using them when you put them into action.
7. Develop a Questioning Mind
At the core of critical thinking, and by extension, conceptual skills, is the ability to ask meaningful questions that lead to useful and constructive answers. So, don’t just accept information passively. Instead, look for different views and opinions without taking things for granted.
8. Boost Your Interpersonal Skills
One of the best ways to improve your interpersonal skills is to continually show interest in your coworkers. Learn something about their lives, hobbies, or generally what’s important to them. In the end, it’ll help improve your relationships with them.
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Having strong conceptual skills is essential for success in almost every job, regardless of where you stand in the org chart.
Take the opportunity to elevate your conceptual skills and drive your career forward. It’ll help you come up with clever solutions to the company’s issues, but you’ll also become an effective leader who can mobilize your people and make a tangible impact on a company-wide scale.
Lastly, pepper examples of conceptual skills throughout your resume to ensure your application gets noticed.
Thanks for reading. If you’re still struggling with conceptual skills definition or just need some advice on adding them to your resume, let us know in the comments section below. We’re here to help.