Knowing how to showcase your ability to adapt to change could be just what you need to get your resume noticed by the right employers
When it comes to workplace skills in an evolving economy, few are more important than the ability to adapt to quickly changing circumstances. These abilities are so important that they can often be the deciding factor in determining whether you or a rival job seeker lands a coveted position. But what are these skills and how can you successfully demonstrate them on your resume? Well, there's no need to wonder, since we have the answers you're looking for!
In this post, we'll explore various adaptability skills and explain why they're so prized by employers. We'll also offer some helpful tips and examples that can help you to ensure that your resume properly conveys your flexibility to any potential employer.
How do we define adaptability skills?
Being adaptable simply means that you're able to adjust your thoughts and actions to meet new circumstances and challenges. This flexibility can enable you to quickly analyze unexpected situations or obstacles, adapt to - and overcome - problems, and make sound decisions based on the reality of your circumstances. Rather than being a hammer who sees every problem as a nail, a person with great adaptability skills becomes whatever tool they need to be to meet the moment.
A truly flexible employee can easily adapt to unforeseen circumstances in the workplace, including new personnel, new challenges, changes in processes, unexpected interpersonal conflict, and more. They are unfazed by the sudden introduction of new projects, new technologies, or even changes to the organizational structure. Throughout all of those changes, they maintain a can-do attitude that focuses on adjusting their thoughts and actions in a way that empowers them to successfully manage their new situation.
What are some common adaptability skills?
Adaptability skills are considered soft skills that are generally developed through experience, rather than formal education or training. Many of them are interpersonal skills and relate to how you interact with your peers, supervisors, and customers. These abilities can also be some of the most valuable transferable skills, since they can often transfer from company to company and job to job. Below are some of the most common skills that involve the ability to adapt to change.
Problem-solving skills are one of the most sought-after adaptability skills. When you are adept at resolving challenges in new and creative ways, that always translates into real-world value for any employer. The ability to creatively solve problems typically means that you also have other high-value skills, like the ability to analyze situations, observe trends, and create plans that are tailored to specific challenges.
Creative thinking skills include things like brainstorming solutions, developing plans to address company needs, and strategic thinking. Companies need this type of thoughtful analysis and idea generation to deal with everything from evolving customer markets to the development of new products, processes, and methodologies.
When change comes, conflict within any organization can become an ever-present challenge. Employees with great conflict resolution skills can quickly adapt to changes and help to ease potential interpersonal conflicts. If you possess superior conflict resolution skills, then the chances are that you're also great at active listening, negotiation, and overall interpersonal communication.
One common trait that adaptable people seem to possess is a good sense of organization. This includes the ability to maintain an organized workspace, project tracking, and a prioritized work schedule. Disorganized people can struggle with change and may take more time to adapt to new circumstances. When you're well organized, it's typically easier to adjust to unexpected changes.
Resilience is a close relative of adaptability and, perhaps, the single most important skill you can have if you want to be truly flexible at work. Unexpected challenges can come from anywhere, and it's vital that you have the ability to withstand adversity in all its myriad forms. When you're resilient, you have the capacity to endure failures, setbacks, and any type of crisis - and emerge from those times of trouble stronger than ever. Can you bounce back from challenges, find new ways to succeed, and persevere toward your goals? Congratulations, you have the resilience that many employers are seeking!
Receptive to feedback
Adaptable people are receptive to criticism and feedback and are able to leverage that information to make positive changes in their thoughts and actions. This skill requires that you be able to actively listen to feedback, put it into its proper context, and figure out how to apply that new information to your work. After all, being flexible is only half of the equation; you also need to be open to feedback that can help you to determine how you should adapt.
Ability to learn quickly
Naturally, flexibility requires the ability to process new information and learn new systems and ideas as quickly as possible. Quick learners are always in high demand, especially in industries and businesses that are in a continual state of evolution. Do you adapt to new technologies, new tools, and new processes rapidly? If so, then your ability to quickly learn and adapt can be an asset to almost any company in your industry.
Why do employers value these skills so much?
There are a whole host of reasons why employers look for candidates with proven adaptability skills. The modern workplace is incredibly fast-paced and change occurs regularly. Employers understand that adaptable employees are capable of adjusting to change and delivering consistently solid results, no matter the obstacles they encounter. In addition, resilient, adaptable employees are more easily integrated into any workforce and often make great candidates for promotion.
How can you include adaptability skills in your resume?
Just having great adaptability skills will not be enough to land you an interview, however. You'll need to be able to convey those skills to potential employers if you want them to understand the type of value you can provide to their organization. We recommend including references to your adaptability skills in three main areas of your resume: the summary, your work experience, and the skills section.
Adding adaptability skills in your resume summary
Begin by incorporating references to your flexibility in your resume summary. Remember, though, you don't want to simply describe yourself as “adaptable.” Instead, describe yourself by referencing achievements and skills that showcase your ability to deal with change. For example:
- Skilled in providing training to help teams to adopt emerging technologies
- Analyst and problem-solver with years of experience in onboarding new company systems and tools
- Positive change agent experienced in team dynamics, strategic planning, and crisis management
Including achievements that highlight your adaptability in your work experience section
When it comes to your work experience section, it's important to include quantifiable accomplishments using real numbers that can help hiring managers to see the value that your skills can provide to their organization. Again, avoid saying that you're adaptable and just focus on highlighting real achievements that show your ability to adapt. For example:
- Led five-person team responsible for developing and implementing company response to Covid-19, including creation of temporary hybrid work options and plans for retrofitting offices to meet CDC recommendations
- Developed and managed onboarding processes to incorporate emerging technologies into ABC Corp financial department, reducing forecast implementation time by six months
- Oversaw company-wide shift in new product development and expanded customer target market, resulting in 31% increase in profitability and 17% boost in client acquisition rate
Listing adaptability skills in your skills section
Finally, don't forget to list some of these abilities in your skills section. You should brainstorm to decide which of your adaptability-related skills should be highlighted in this section, and then mix them in as separate bullet points alongside your relevant hard skills and other soft skills. As you make that determination, refer to the job description and any other information you have about the company and its work environment to tailor your list to each job you're seeking.
In addition to the abilities mentioned in the earlier parts of this post, you can also consider adding examples of adaptability skills like:
Remember always that the goal is to use all of these additions to create a compelling narrative showcasing your ability to adapt to change. When done properly, the inclusion of these vital abilities may be the difference between having your resume overlooked or landing the interview you need to secure your next job.
Let us help!
As the economy continues to evolve and companies adjust to take advantage of these changes, employees with proven adaptability skills can expect to be in high demand. By using these tips and recommendations to highlight your ability to adapt to change, you should be able to create the compelling resume you need to meet your career advancement goals.
Need help revising your resume to showcase adaptability skills? If so, why not submit your resume for a free resume review from our team of experts today!