Top Organizational Skills Employers Value with Examples

Organized desk with laptop and supplies
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When employers are hiring, one of the top skills they look for in candidates is organization. Organizational skills are some of the most important and transferable job skills an employee can acquire. They encompass a set of capabilities that help a person plan, prioritize, and achieve his or her goals, which, in turn, can save a company time and money.

These skills are essential for multitasking and keeping a business running smoothly and successfully. Employers aim to recruit applicants who can work to achieve results consistently, even when unforeseen delays or problems arise.

What are Organizational Skills?

Organization skills are those related to creating structure and order, boosting productivity, and prioritizing tasks that must be completed immediately, versus those that can be postponed, delegated to another person, or eliminated altogether.

Maintaining strong organizational skills can reduce the chance of developing poor work habits such as procrastination, clutter, miscommunication, and inefficiency.

Managers look for employees who can not only keep their work and their desk organized, but for those who can also adjust quickly to the organization structure of a company.

Develop these skills and emphasize them in job applications, resumes, cover letters, and interviews. Showing that you have the skills a company is seeking will help you get hired and promoted.

Internal and External Organization Skills

Internal Organization Skills: Organizational skills encompass more than simply keeping a clutter-free desk. While maintaining a clear space to work is important, neatness is only one of several key organizational skills. Employees with excellent organizational skills are also able to keep themselves calm and prepared with systematic planning and scheduling.

External Organization Skills: Work projects are typically centered around a rigid timeline, and organizing a job into smaller projects and goals can be an effective way to complete them. Employers look for workers who can schedule and delegate these smaller tasks to themselves and other employees in order to stay on track with deadlines while sustaining a healthy work-life balance.

Examples of Organizational Skills

© The Balance, 2018

Physical Organization

Physical organization includes not just a tidy desk, but also the layout of rooms, floors, and whole buildings, and it goes well beyond maintaining a neat appearance. A poorly organized space leads to physical discomfort, wasted time, lost objects, and even lost people. The space people work in has a lot to do with how well they work. Someone must design these spaces, and then everyone else must maintain order. 

  • Administrative
  • Assessment
  • Attention to Detail
  • Concision
  • Coordination
  • Creative Thinking
  • Documentation
  • Effectiveness
  • Handling Details
  • Identifying Problems
  • Identifying Resources
  • Managing Appointments
  • Microsoft Office Proficiency
  • Policy Enforcement
  • Prioritization
  • Productivity
  • Situational Assessment
  • Task Analysis
  • Task Assessment
  • Task Resolution
  • Workflow Analysis
  • Workflow Management

Planning

Without a plan, a goal is only a wish. For any project, planning means anticipating which resources will be necessary and how long the project will take, then assembling those resources and blocking out the necessary time. If necessary, a worker may even have to alter the plan based on resource availability and time constraints.

A plan might be as simple as deciding which end of the hall to clean first, or it could chart corporate strategy for the next ten years. Small-scale planning may be easier and faster, but it is not less important. Skills related to planning can be described using the following keywords:

Teamwork

On a well-organized team, each member has a different role, and tasks are assigned accordingly. Creating the organizational structure of a new team is a skilled accomplishment, but so is giving and accepting appropriate delegation, following directions, and communicating clearly with the right people. Well-organized people understand and maintain the structures of the teams of which they are a part. The following are terms used to describe skills related to teamwork:

More Organizational Skills

Here are additional organizational skills you can use on resumes, cover letters, job applications, and interviews. Required skills will vary based on the job for which you're applying, so also review our skills listed by job and type of skill.

  • Active Listening
  • Conscientiousness
  • Decision Making
  • Filing
  • Maintaining Focus
  • Microsoft Excel Proficient
  • Proactivity
  • Resourcefulness
  • Self-Motivation
  • Strategic Planning
  • Take Initiative

How to Make Your Skills Stand Out

ADD RELEVANT SKILLS TO YOUR RESUME: Include the organizational skills most closely related to the job in your resume, especially in the description of your work history.

HIGHLIGHT SKILLS IN YOUR COVER LETTER:  Incorporate your organizational skills into your cover letter. Include one or two skills, and give specific examples of instances when you demonstrated these traits at work.

USE SKILL WORDS DURING JOB INTERVIEWS:  You can also use these words in your job interviews. Be prepared to give examples of how you've used each of these skills when you're responding to organizational interview questions.

Article Sources

  1. Youth.gov. "Qualifications and Attributes Critical to Employers," Accessed Oct. 31, 2019.