Research skills are in demand. This guide explains what research skills are and how you can prove you’ve got them!
What are research skills?
In a nutshell, research skills help us find answers to questions.
Research skills are the ability to search for, find, collect, analyse, interpret and evaluate information that is relevant to the subject being studied.
Research shapes the future, it teaches us new things and helps us adapt and evolve. Without research, we wouldn’t have cars, smartphones or the internet (or this website for that matter!)
Everyone is a researcher
We all research, even if we don’t know it.
The internet is a huge part of our lives. Using search engines (like Google) is a way of researching. Whether you’re finding cheap flights or a top restaurant, it’s all research!
Why are research skills important?
Employers love research skills. Research is an important part of business because it helps companies:
- Report writing
- Keep an eye on their competitors
- Develop new products
- Identify what customers want
- Get better at what they do
- Keep up with changing technologies
Research skills show companies you’re able to suggest new ideas and help the business adapt to the ever changing world we live in.
Research saves money
Launching a new product is expensive. Research helps companies find out if anyone will buy it.
Launching a product without research is risky. There might not be a demand for it. The money spent on launch, marketing and production could’ve been saved if the company did some research.
How can you gain research skills?
You can research using tools and methods like:
- The internet
How can you demonstrate your research skills?
As a graduate, It’s likely you’ve done a lot of researching! For example during:
- Your dissertation
- Group projects
Talk about what you researched, how you did it and what you found. Explaining research you’ve done as part of a group will also demonstrate your teamwork skills #2birds1stone.
Using the S.M.A.R.T framework is helpful way to structure your answer. You can read more about S.M.A.R.T in our planning and organising guide.
Show what you know
Demonstrate your research skills by sharing what you know about the industry or company you want to work for. The more you know, the more likely you are to impress.
Add your research skills to your CV
Especially if you’re applying for a job that requires research skills.
In many cases, your CV is your chance to make a first impression. Your CV will help employers check you’ve got the right skills. If they can see you’ve got them, it’s likely you’ll get to the next stage.
Examples of research skills
Here’s a list of some research skills for your CV:
- Report writing
- Data collection
- Analysis of information from different sources
- Finding information off the internet
- Critical thinking
- Planning and scheduling
- Critical analysis
Which careers require research skills?
Research plays a key role in several industries. For example:
- Report writing
- Consumer goods
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