Critical thinking skills are the ability to think clearly and rationally, understanding the logical connection between ideas. Critical thinking could be described as the ability to engage in reflective and independent thinking. It requires you to use your ability to reason.
For example, you can research the pros and cons of running two miles a day. A quick Google search will give you plenty of information for and against this idea. Reasons why it is good for your health and reasons why it is hard on your body. You can find data and research to back up either side of the claim. Then, using critical thinking skills, you decide for yourself if running two miles a day will be more or less beneficial for you personally.
Why are critical thinking skills important on a resume?
Critical thinking is the only way to make sense of the world. You’ll constantly challenge what seems given. For example, in your job, even if something appears to be functioning properly, critical thinking will help you try and identify new, better solutions.
Employers and hiring managers want to be sure you can process what is going on around you and use that information in your career. Critical thinking skills are the cornerstone of self-development and improvement. That’s why they’re so critical to have in today’s job market.
The Seven Steps of Critical Thinking
1. Identify the problem or question. Be as precise as possible: the narrower the issue, the easier it is to find solutions or answers.
2. Gather data, opinions, and arguments. Try to find several sources that present different ideas and points of view.
3. Analyze and evaluate the data. Are the sources reliable? Are their conclusions data-backed or just argumentative? Is there enough information or data to support the given hypotheses?
4. Identify assumptions. Are you sure the sources you found are unbiased? Are you sure you weren’t biased in your search for answers?
5. Establish significance. What piece of information is most important? Is the sample size sufficient? Are all opinions and arguments even relevant to the problem you’re trying to solve?
6. Make a decision/reach a conclusion. Identify various conclusions that are possible and decide which (if any) of them are sufficiently supported. Weigh the strengths and limitations of all possible options.
7. Present or communicate. Once you’ve reached a conclusion, present it to all stakeholders.