1. Career Advice
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  3. Highlight these decision-making skills to move your career forward!
Highlight these decision-making skills to move your career forward!

Highlight these decision-making skills to move your career forward!

Artwork by: Timur Aloev

  • What skills are considered decision-making skills?
  • What are the five types of decision-making skills?
  • What are the 10 best decision-making skills to have on your resume?
  • How do you make your decision making skills stand out?
  • Key takeaways

Decision-making is hard and employers are always looking for people that can make quick and correct decisions. What are decision-making skills? Why do I need them? And how do I put them on my resume?

Decision-making is a skill we use every day, but it is extremely valued in the working world for many jobs, and all employers want people that have the ability to make clutch decisions. Employers want people who can think on their feet and consider all available information to make fast and logical choices to keep the business running profitably. You must be able to portray this for recruiters and employers because this skill also shows your ability to manage yourself, situations, and other people. If you are outstanding at making decisions, then you need to highlight your decision-making skills on your resume.

Almost all jobs require some level of decision-making. However, there are many professions and industries where this is extremely critical. Science and technology roles often depend on robust, analytical decision-making skills. Leadership and project management jobs require lots of decisions and usually in very short time frames. High-risk jobs like doctors, military, police, and firefighters require making life-and-death decisions logically and quickly.

We’ll cover what decision-making is, which skills are the best to have, and how to show potential employers that you have them. This article will break them down like this:

  • What are decision-making skills? 

  • 5 Types of decision-making skills

  • The 10 best decision-making skills to include on your resume

  • How to make your skills stand out 

What skills are considered decision-making skills?

A decision is defined as the act or process of deciding or a determination arrived at after consideration. You are making a choice between one or more options or actions to arrive at an outcome. Being able to choose or make a decision is a basic life skill, but employers are really interested in hiring people that are great at making decisions.

We know making decisions is important, but decision-making is not complicated. You don’t have to be trained or have a certificate for it. But just stating that you are good at making decisions does not mean much. You must be able to express what types of decisions you are good at dealing with and why. There are different types of decision-making skills depending on different scenarios and contexts. Let’s take a look at a few types of decision-making skills.

What are the five types of decision-making skills?

You may be better at one type or another, but it is always good to have as many decision-making skills as possible. A lot of situations may require more than one type of decision-making skill. The most common types of decisions are

  • Ethical. This is about making moral choices when in a real-world situation. Ethics are important in any job, but some professions have very rigid ethical standards. Some examples of jobs that are much stricter on ethics are attorneys, medical professionals, and social workers.

  • Executive. The executive decision-making process involves gathering information and making decisions at the leadership level. Anyone that runs a business or is responsible for an organization of people must have the ability to make fast decisions, often based on limited information. 

  • Group.  Group-based decisions are also known as collaborative decision-making. This is the process of making decisions with a group of people or a team. This type of decision-making is critical for people in all levels of management, human resources, and team leadership roles.

  • Intuitive. Intuitive decision-making is when you make a decision based on your gut or intuition (feelings). This is often important when in highly stressful or time-sensitive scenarios. Intuitive decisions are key for law enforcement, social workers, the military, and other first responders.

  • Rational. Rational decision-making uses logic to arrive at the best decision. This type of decision requires knowledge and information analysis. It is crucial for management, scientific, design, and engineering roles.

What are the 10 best decision-making skills to have on your resume?

If you want to land that job interview, then you’ll need to demonstrate you can make great choices when it matters. Below, we give you a list of the ten most sought-after decision-making skills, with brief explanations of what they are. 

  1. Active listening (intuitive/ethical). Being able to listen carefully and understand all the information being communicated is a people skill that contributes directly to helping you make decisions. This is especially beneficial in resolving conflicts.   

  2. Analytical (rational). Analyzing information is key to any good decision-making. This involves considering all the facts and information available to arrive at a decision. 

  3. Collaboration (group). Collaboration is a must for working with people. Any good leader, manager, supervisor, or team member has to be good at collaborating with others.   

  4. Critical thinking (rational). Critical thinking is being able to take in information and apply your own knowledge and expertise to make logical choices. This is essential in science, technology, engineering, and math professions.   

  5. Emotional intelligence (intuitive). This is an interpersonal and decision-making skill that allows you to assess the feelings and emotions of others to arrive at the best choice. If you want to make good decisions about people, then you must have emotional intelligence.

  6. Flexibility (intuitive/ethical). Being able to deal with changing conditions (new information) and reassessing past decisions is a great skill to have. Knowing when to change your mind or realize you’ve made a bad decision is invaluable in any situation. 

  7. Leadership (executive). Leading people is hard. Being a good leader not only requires you to make good decisions, but you must also be able to explain, convince, and motivate people to act on your decisions.   

  8. Problem-solving (rational/intuitive). Solving problems is another generic skill but is very important to have because it allows you to deal with unexpected issues and often requires quick thinking and creativity.

  9. Troubleshooting (rational). This is the ability to methodically work through a problem in a logical and organized fashion. Troubleshooting leads to a decision or decisions about a specific scenario based on specific facts.   

  10. Time management (rational/group). Whether you are managing tasks for yourself or a group of people, being good at time management shows you know how to make decisions about priorities and resource utilization. 

How do you make your decision making skills stand out?

Including all your skills on your resume is great to do, if you can, but space is at a premium on your resume. You’ll need to include the skills your potential employer is looking for. So, include only the skills that are relevant to the job or role you are seeking.

You can have a separate section on your resume for skills that lists the keywords for decision-making skills. Look closely at the job description you are applying for and ensure you list skills the job requires or wants.

Make sure you’re not only listing your decision-making skills as keywords but also including examples showing how you have used those skills. What decisions have you made that led to a successful outcome? These examples must be relevant to the job you’re applying for. For example, if you’re applying for an operations manager job, give an example of when you made a decision that saved the company money or increased efficiency. Just having the right keywords will not convince them you have the skills. You’ll have to show them that you can walk the walk, not just talk the talk.

Your cover letter is another place you can highlight some of your best skills. It is a great place to reiterate a crucial decision-making skill or two the employer is looking for. Or use your cover letter to cover skills you may not have been able to include on your resume.



Include decision making skills that are relevant to the job you are applying for.

Use a generic resume template with a list of arbitrary skills that may or may not be important for the job you are seeking.

Use the keywords or terms for your decision-making skills exactly as they are listed in the job description.

List skills using non-keywords, or make up your own terms for skills.

Use examples of your decision-making skills in your cover letter.

Copy and paste your decision-making examples from your resume onto your cover letter.

Remember to mention your decision-making skills when you interview. Use the keywords.

Discuss bad decision-making in your interview.

Key takeaways

  1. Having outstanding decision-making skills will help you get ahead.

  2. Know what your decision-making skills are, and use the right words (keywords).

  3. Provide examples of how you succeeded based on your decisions.

  4. Target (customize) your resume skills to fit the job you are applying for.

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