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Decision Making Skills: Definition & 30+ Examples

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You just found a great list of decision-making skills for your resume. Plus, it can get you hired faster! How? Well. There’s a right way and a wrong way to show decision-making skills on a resume. Choose the former, and your credentials will shine. Choose the latter, and that dream job will evaporate.

We think we know which one you’d like to go with.

This guide will show you:

  • A great decision-making skills list for resumes.
  • How to write you have good decision-making skills in resumes.
  • Why resume bullet points are the best place to prove management resume skills.
  • How to improve decision-making skills to land better jobs.

Want to save time and have your resume ready in 5 minutes? Try our resume builder. It’s fast and easy to use. Plus, you’ll get ready-made content to add with one click. See 20+ resume templates and create your resume here.

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Sample resume made with our builder—See more resume examples here.


What is decision making?

Decision making skills definition: The ability to select between two or more alternatives to reach the best outcome in the shortest time.

Now, let’s put the definition into practice.

1. Review the Best Decision Making Skills for Your Resume

Just need decision-making skills for a resume?

Get a list of 30+ below.

Need decision making examples so your resume stands out?

Scroll down below the list.

Decision Making Skills Resume List

This list shows the types of decision and initiative skills.

It also shows decision-related skills like communication and problem-solving skills.

Types of Decision Making Skills

  • Ethical decision making skills. Can you pick from tough choices while upholding ethics? A central skill for healthcare, the financial industry, and more.
  • Consumer decision making process. Understanding how consumers make decisions is key for marketing and sales specialists.
  • Team decision-making skills. Also called group decision making or collaborative decision making. Important in business and managerial jobs.
  • Executive decision making. The opposite of group decision making. Executives must gather input, then make difficult decisions on their own.
  • Consensus decision making skills. This rare team skill finds a solution all members can support. Valued in government and nonprofit jobs.
  • Shared decision-making skills. Similar to team decision making, but generally has a healthcare focus.
  • Medical decision making skills. \Crucial for doctors, nurses, and other healthcare professionals.
  • Rational decision making. The rational model of decision-making is a necessary skill in managerial and business jobs.
  • Data driven decision-making skills. Are you adept at data collection and analysis? This is crucial in data-heavy fields like marketing or healthcare.
  • Intuitive decision-making ability. Can you go with your gut to make decisions? Valued in action-oriented fields like the military, firefighting, and police work.
  • Evidence-based decision making. The opposite of intuitive decision-making. Vital in the healthcare field.
  • Programmed decision making. Can you make policies and procedures? Good skill for high-level management jobs.
  • Military decision making process. The US Army uses this distinct seven-step plan to make operational decisions.

Managers need decision making skills like they need air. See our guide: Top 10 Management Skills: List & Great Advice

Skills Related to Decision Making

Are you a good decision maker?

That takes lots of skills.

Those include problem analysis, listening, and information gathering.

Check the list below for decision-making skills employers crave.

Identifying Problems

One of the first steps in the decision-making process is identifying problems. Supporting skills include:

  • Problem Analysis
  • Root-Cause Analysis
  • Fishbone Diagramming
  • 5 Whys Technique

Collecting Input

Team decision making requires input. See these linked decision making skills:

  • Information Gathering
  • Conducting Polls
  • Consensus-Building

Generating Possible Solutions

Once you understand the problem, you need solutions. These skills build them:

  • Brainstorming
  • Creativity
  • Lateral Thinking

Evaluating and Choosing Solutions

To choose between the options, you’ll need other skills:

  • Analysis
  • Risk Assessment
  • Cost Analysis
  • Scientific Analysis

Skills Related to Decision Making

The skills below aren’t decision making skills. But—to make good decisions, you’ll need many of them.

  • Troubleshooting

Want decision-making skills examples to build your resume? That’s next.

Pro Tip: Don’t put all these decision making skills on a resume. Focus on the one or two the job ad really wants.

What about problem solving skills? Collaboration? Communication? They’re all important. See our guide: 99 Key Skills for a Resume + Examples

Need to focus on hard skills? Go to: Essential Hard Skills for Resumes & Workforce

2. Pick the Right Resume Decision Making Skills

There are tons of decision making skills for your resume.

Picking the right one can be hard.

Let’s make it easy.

Look in the job offer. It’ll tell what skills it needs.

This decision-making skills example shows how:

As our new Human Resources Manager, you’ll deliver HR and Benefits support for our staff. You’ll handle recruitment, selection, and orientation of new hires. You’ll also facilitate smooth operation of the volunteer program. You’ll track annual evaluations and facilitate decisions about promotions and salary adjustments. You’ll assist with employee relations and ensure compliance with policies—both internal and external. You’ll also set the course for how to handle disciplinary actions. Your choices in this role will deeply impact the company.

See that?

The hiring manager just said which management resume skills to list.

This isn’t team decision making or shared decision making.

This job most probably needs rational decision-making skills.

But don’t just say you’ve got them.

Prove it.

I’ll show how next.

Pro Tip: Need a tip for your decision making styles? According to Jeff Bezos, smart managers make decisions fast. They don’t wait for 100% understanding before they act.

These days, most jobs need computer skills. See our guide: Computer Skills: Best Resume Computer Skills Employers Want

When making a resume in our builder, drag & drop bullet points, skills, and auto-fill the boring stuff. Spell check? Check. Start building a professional resume template here for free.

When you’re done, our online resume builder will score your resume and our resume checker will tell you exactly how to make it better.

3. Prove Decision Making Skills on a Resume to Get Hired

“We should interview this one.”

There’s no doubt employers crave decision-making skills.

But ou can’t just say, “I am a great decision-maker.”


How to write decision making skills on a resume?

  1. List decision making skills from the job ad.
  2. Prove you’ve got those skills.
  3. Show how they helped the company.

To do that, pack your resume bullet points with achievements.

These taking initiative examples show how:

Decision Making Examples for Resumes

Here are five basic initiative-taking examples.

Job ad says: The perfect candidate makes good decisions under pressure.

Your resume says one of these:

  • Tasked with making dozens of quick decisions daily. Overall result was a 30% increase in marketing ROI.
  • Commended by upper management 5x for good decision making skills under pressure.
  • Had to decide on short notice how to handle new internet privacy laws. Pivoted to new live video campaign that increased user data collection 25%.
  • Made multiple patient care decisions daily with 95% positive satisfaction scores.
  • Tasked with saving money during a tight time. Made decision to switch to QuickBooks, saving 20% on accounting costs.

See that?

That’s not lip-service. It’s proof.

Ethical Decision Making Examples for Resumes

Jobs in banking, world government, and healthcare value ethical decision making.

These decision making skills examples show how to list them on a resume.

Job ad says: The right candidate has good ethical decision-making skills.

Your resume says:

  • Led team of 14 employees through a 9-step ethical decision-making process at 5 major company turning points.
  • Facilitated facts-gathering for ethical decision-making process during community referendum drive. Resolved differences with community leaders in 3 days.

Difficult Decision Examples for Resumes

Executive-level jobs and top management jobs have difficult decisions.

These sample resume bullets offer proof.

Job ad says: The right applicant has solid difficult decision-making skills.

Your resume says: 

  • Faced with a tough decision to promote 1 of 5 great candidates. Chose the one most likely to stay with the company and grow. She became our star performer.
  • Forced to choose between a loyal vendor and a cheaper alternative. Worked with trusted vendor on a compromise, preserving relationship and saving 10%.

Taking Initiative Examples for Resumes

Do you attack problems and dismantle them? Employers love that. Prove it on your resume with strong examples.

These two initiative skills examples show how:

Job ad requires someone who can take the initiative and get things done.

Your resume says:

  • Created and implemented a new order-taking process that saved 5 employee hours a week.
  • Initiated a job kanban system with Jira that raised team efficiency 35%.

Consensus Decision Making Examples for Resumes

Nonprofits and government jobs often need consensus decision making skills.

Prove you’ve got them like these decision-making skills examples:

Job ad says: We need someone with strong consensus decision making ability.

Your resume says:

  • Used consensus decision-making to make 15 organization-level decisions per year. Achieved 99% buy-in for all major decisions.
  • Cut consensus decision making time by 25% per choice through faster information-gathering process.

Rational Decision Making Examples for Resumes

Rational decision making is a key business skill.

If you’ve got it, flaunt it like these initiative-taking examples:

Job ad says: Our dream applicant has well-developed rational decision-making skills.

Your resume says: 

  • Employed 7-step rational decision-making process to pick new graphic design software. Saved $3,000 and team was 99% happy with the choice.
  • Used rational decision making skills to facilitate hiring of new software engineer. Cut 1 week from typical time-to-hire.


To prove initiative skills on a resume, show achievements that fit the job.

Then, add metrics. Those are numbers like percents, dollars, people trained, or time or money saved.

Pro Tip: Do you need multiple resume bullets to describe decision-making skills? Only if the job ad says decisions are the most important requirement. Otherwise, list one or two.

Problem solving and decision making are soft skills. Need more? See our guide: Soft Skills vs Hard Skills for a Job: What Employers Look For

4. Decision Making Synonyms for Resumes

You can’t say, “decision making” five times in a resume.

So—you need decision-making synonyms.

Good news.

Here’s a list of 12 synonyms for decision making for your resume:

Decision Making Synonyms

  • Initiative Taking
  • Self-Starting
  • Action-Oriented
  • Leader
  • Pioneering/Pioneered
  • Originator/Originated
  • Creativity
  • Trailblazing
  • Resourcefulness
  • Driven/Drive
  • Self-Motivation/Motivated

Pro Tip: You won’t need decision-making synonyms if you stick to achievements. Achievement and accomplishment make your case without creative language.

You can’t have good team decision making skills without communication. See our guide: 20+ Effective Communication Skills for Resumes & Workplace Success

5. How to Improve Decision Making Skills


That cushy job wants decision-making skills, but—

You can’t even decide if you have them.

Don’t fret.

Hone your decision making skills with seven tips:

  1. Decide faster. Author Napoleon Hill studied over 500 millionaires. All shared a key trait—they made decisions quickly.
  2. Keep your eyes on the goal. Knowing the goal helps you make decisions fast because it simplifies your choices.
  3. Limit options. More choice isn’t always good. Quickly pick the best few options and discard the rest.
  4. Research. Dig in to understand the problem. Research the best 3–5 solutions.
  5. Seek advice. Consult someone with experience to make choices easier.
  6. Hone communication and conflict-management skills. For team decision making, gather input from all stakeholders.
  7. Fail small, fail often. Test a few solutions on a small scale. Then put more resources toward the one that works.

Pro Tip: Still can’t wrap your head around decision-making skills? Coursera’s got a popular online decision making class you can complete in five hours.

And to avoid being left open-mouthed in an interview, make sure you read: Common Job Interview Questions and the Best Answers

Plus, a great cover letter that matches your resume will give you an advantage over other candidates. You can write it in our cover letter builder here. Here's what it may look like:

See more cover letter templates and start writing.

Key Takeaway

Here’s a recap. How to list decision-making skills on a resume:

  1. Review the different types of decision making skills. Figure out which one is most important to the job you want.
  2. Prove your decision-making skills. Do that by showing how they helped employers in past jobs.
  3. Add metrics to shore up your resume skills list. Dollar amounts and percentages prove your decisions pack a punch.
  4. Look at good initiative skills examples to see how to word your resume.

Do you have questions on how to list decision-making skills on a resume? Not sure how to prove decision making skills? Give us a shout in the comments! We’d be happy to reply.

About Zety’s Editorial Process

This article has been reviewed by our editorial team to make sure it follows Zety's editorial guidelines. We’re committed to sharing our expertise and giving you trustworthy career advice tailored to your needs. High-quality content is what brings over 40 million readers to our site every year. But we don't stop there. Our team conducts original research to understand the job market better, and we pride ourselves on being quoted by top universities and prime media outlets from around the world.


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Tom Gerencer, CPRW
Tom Gerencer is a career expert and Certified Professional Resume Writer who has published over 200 in-depth articles on Zety. Since 2016, he has been sharing advice on all things recruitment from writing winning resumes and cover letters to getting a promotion. Linkedin

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