Career Development

How to List Decision Maker Skills on a Resume: Best Traits & Examples

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Regardless of the job, being a good decision maker can be beneficial for any role. Applicants who have strong decision-making abilities and can show these in their resume may have an advantage in the job market. Learn more about decision makers, what traits make a good decision maker and the best ways to show these skills on a resume.

What is a decision maker?

A decision maker is a person who uses their critical thinking skills and experience to determine the best solution for a problem or complex situation. In business, decision makers are usually managers, department directors, executives and others whose job description involves making important, strategic decisions for a company. Some of these professionals utilize decision-making software to collect data and make data-driven decisions. This helps them recognize any current issues and discover opportunities.

Why are decision makers important?

Decision makers are important because they ensure companies make rational decisions. They must navigate complex situations and use decision-making skills to come up with effective solutions that will benefit the business in the long-run and secure its future success. Decision making requires a number of individual skills that work together to find the best solution to a problem. 

Common traits of a good decision maker

Here are some of the most common traits of a good decision maker:

Problem-solving

One of the most important traits of a good decision maker is the ability to solve problems. Doing so with a measured and thoughtful approach, while incorporating multiple perspectives, is key to developing smart solutions. 

Examples of problem-solving traits:

  • Active listening
  • Brainstorming
  • Researching
  • Analyzing facts
  • Forecasting
  • Prioritizing 
  • Teamwork
  • Time management
  • Project management

Collaboration

A collaborative nature is necessary for the decision-making process. Many times you will need the input of others to come to a conclusion and need to be clear about the goal you want to achieve. 

Examples of collaborative traits:

  • Compromising
  • Open to feedback
  • Honesty
  • Motivating
  • Organized
  • Reliable
  • Clear communicator

Emotional intelligence

The decision-making process can be difficult and may require you to both express your emotions and control them, based on the type of decision. It’s important to be aware of your emotions and the emotions of others and to handle both accordingly. This allows you to make an informed decision based on facts and needs above emotions and desires. 

Examples of emotional intelligence traits:

  • Empathy
  • Conflict resolution
  • Respect
  • Patience
  • Diplomacy
  • Encouraging
  • Social skills
  • Self-awareness and regulation

Logical reasoning

Important decisions must be made based on facts and logic. It’s crucial to weigh the pros and cons of each possible action with rational thinking.

Examples of logical reasoning traits:

  • Critical thinking
  • Curiosity
  • Deductive reasoning
  • Planning
  • Rationality
  • Reflection
  • Conceptual
  • Data-driven
  • Flexible
  • Strategic

How to show decision-maker skills on a resume

Here are some steps you can follow to include decision-making skills on your resume:

1. First, list the decision-making skills mentioned in the job posting

A job description normally explains the kind of skills an employer wants in a candidate. Look for any skills related to making decisions and pay attention to any specific types of decision-making such as ‘shared decision-making’ or ‘organizational decision-making’ to understand exactly what the position requires.

2. Second, prove you have those skills with examples

To show you possess the specific decision-making traits specified in the job description, highlight specific examples from past job experiences that relate to the position you are applying to. Showing initiative can help prove your ability to make good decisions.

For example, if a description for a social media manager job says the company wants a candidate who can ‘make decisions under pressure’, you might mention a time when you were tasked with deciding on short notice how to implement a new social media campaign to meet new internet privacy laws.

3. Third, show how those skills helped a company

Showing how your decisions have improved an aspect of a company is a great way to solidify your skills. For example, describe how the campaign you decided to implement on short-notice directly increased internet leads by 30%. Mentioning this demonstrates your ability to make quick decisions that benefit a company.

4. Lastly, use decision-maker synonyms

Another way to show your decision-maker skills in your resume is to use synonyms. 

Examples of other decision-maker words you can use:

  • Initiative
  • Leader/Leadership
  • Action-oriented
  • Originator
  • Pioneer
  • Self-motivated
  • Resourceful

Another tip is to focus on your achievement, which will exhibit your decision-making skills for you.

Ways to improve decision-maker skills

Consider the following techniques to improve your decision-maker skills:

Individual decision-making

Here are a few techniques to make better decisions on your own:

  • Weigh the pros and cons. It’s important to do a cost-benefit analysis to determine the decision you want to make has the best potential outcome. Think about every different route and the positives and negatives it has.
  • Limit your options. To simplify a decision, try to narrow down your options. Consider only the most beneficial and realistic options to weigh out.
  • Determine significance. Think about how important the decision you need to make. Consider how greatly it impacts the company to keep it in perspective and help you determine a timeframe for deciding. A small, less-impactful decision may only need a few minutes, while a large decision that affects the prosperity of a company may require days, weeks or months.
  • Put effort into research. When making a major decision, put in the necessary time and effort into researching all of the facts you need to be fully informed.
  • Get another opinion. Sometimes a decision needs another well-informed opinion to give you confidence that it’s the right choice.

Group decision-making

Here are some techniques to help your group make better decisions:

  • Brainstorm. Starting with an initial brainstorming session helps generate all potential ideas. Often times, one idea will clearly stand out as the best and will be chosen by the team.
  • Nominal group technique. This strategy consists of a voting process where each voter gets to explain their reasoning for why they feel their choice is the best. It could occur after a brainstorm where a few options stood out.
  • Delphi technique. This strategy is normally used when a team needs help coming to a consensus. It involves taking everyone’s ideas and letting the manager narrow them down to the top options. These options are then sent back to the group to be voted on. This should make the decision easier since less options are available.