Research Skills: Definition and Examples

By Indeed Editorial Team

Published 20 May 2021

Employers value candidates with excellent research skills since they can help them shape the company's future and foresee challenges. You can easily stand out as a valuable candidate to your employer, and your career path may be easier to accomplish. However, the skills require much effort to master and you must understand your industry well to begin. In this article, we'll share specific tips to build your research skills and how to apply them in your career.

What are research skills?

Research skills are the ability to find answers or solve a particular problem by studying materials and sources. It includes the ability to gather information, analyse, interpret and review it before providing a solution. Research is essential in a wide range of industries, and any employee can effectively utilise it to increase productivity. Research skills can also be a collection of skills that can help you review the information and make an informed decision.

Some elements that make up strong research skills include attention to detail, searching for information, problem solving and the ability to communicate results. Research skills ensure that you have a deeper understanding of an industry or product to craft an interesting sales message. With research skills, it's easy to shape the path you would follow to accomplish a particular goal.

Examples of research skills

There are different research skills you can apply to different industries. Here are some top research skills that can help you advance your career:

Data collection

Data collection assists you to find information on how you will tackle a problem or verify a fact. Gathering data information from original sources takes time, but with time you can collect invaluable data that you can use to find out if something is factual. Experience in data collection is an advanced skill and recruiters finding this skill outstanding when included in a CV.

Performing online research

The internet is rich with information. However, before settling for the specific information you are looking for, you have to perform extensive research. This requires you to use several sources to ensure credibility, factuality and great detail. With great research skills, you show the employers that you can find credible information hidden on the internet.

Analysing information from original sources

Research entails finding credible sources to provide you with helpful information. Sometimes this can involve using many sources including performing interviews, tests, online research and getting feedback from colleagues. Using many sources of information can guarantee the credibility of the information, especially if the data is consistent. Ensure to use sources that can provide factual and relevant data to answer your questions. For instance, if you interview someone, notice whether they are experts in the subject and whether they can verify their credibility.

Related: Analytical Skills: Definitions and Examples

Taking notes

Most research processes entail collecting data using conversational and observation methods. These require you to take notes about the facts you observe to compile the information later. Taking notes can observe your data from a unique perspective to see whether you might be missing something. Note taking is often applicable to quantitative research that entails one-on-one interviews, focus groups, ethnographic studies, text analysis or case studies.

Why are research skills important?

Here are the top reasons why research skills are important:

It increases your employability skills

Possessing excellent research skills enhances your chances of getting employment. Employers prefer candidates with excellent research skills since they can easily become experts in a new field.

Increases productivity

Excellent research skills can help managers find ways to improve the productivity of their team. They can also help companies find more suitable ways to keep their workers satisfied with various responsibilities and working environments.

Find solutions to complex problems

As one becomes an expert in a particular field, they can find valuable information that can help companies solve problems such as identifying issues that prevent workers from completing tasks and develop credible solutions for the issues. Researchers can also find new products and services that can help customers solve their problems.

Related: What Are Critical Thinking Skills and How Are They Used?

Use new technologies

Skilled researchers are fast learners since they can use new technologies to increase their productivity. They can easily understand what services or products needs to be upgraded. This way, they make suggestions on what needs improvement to increase customer satisfaction and sales.

How to develop research skills

Here are the steps to develop superb research skills:

  1. Keep learning

  2. Practice organisation skills

  3. Identify your objective

  4. Report writing

1. Keep learning

Despite being a skilled researcher, exceed your limits by improving your skills as a researcher daily. Work on new techniques that you have not tried before and find ways to improve your already available skills. For instance, if you are an excellent online researcher, you can use other techniques such as online surveys to find more credible information.

2. Practice organisation skills

To be a good researcher, you need to learn how to organise your research. The internet is saturated with so much content on various topics. When researching, having the ability to organise your search can help you in enhancing your skills. Practising good organisation makes it easy for you to organise content and ensure you have a grip on essential pieces.

3. Identify your objective

Identifying your objectives allows you to have a straightforward path while researching. It's easy to get carried away with the market trends when researching and lose focus on what you actually want. However, when you have a point of focus or an objective to follow, keeping track of your given topic is easy.

Ensure to work on your sources to efficiently guarantee that the content you get is reliable. Therefore as you focus on improving your research skills, it is essential that you expand your search and define the type of content you find. This way, it becomes easy for you to focus on finding critical information about the given topic.

4. Report writing

The most crucial element of the research process is preparing a detailed report. This requires excellent writing and compilation skills. As a researcher, you must know what information to put in the introduction and body of your report depending on the essence. It boosts your relevance and guarantees that you have reliable communication skills. Once you research and find the information you need and have analysed, compile your information well to ensure that it's taken seriously.

Applying research skills to your job

Now that you know more about research skills and how to improve your skills, your next focus should be on how to use the skills in your job. Here are a few ways to incorporate the skills.

Communicate

Always, ensure to communicate with the people in your job on matters you are researching effectively. Whether in writing, through emails, or in a one-on-one conversation, sharing research related information is critical. It expands your research and guarantees you have a clear focus on what to research.

Consult with coworkers

In your research process, there is nothing wrong with comparing your findings with fellow workers. Different people research from a different point of view. When you combine different results, then it is more likely that your final writing will be developed and useful. Additionally, when you consult with your coworkers, you ensure that the type of information you use is the same across the entire department.

Use various sources

When performing your research, you don't have to settle only on the first source you find. Instead, you should consider finding information from other sources too. Of course, there is a lot of information scattered across different sources. Therefore, when you choose to use only one source, you limit the type of content you will create in your findings.

Using your research skills to improve your CV

Employers find research skills appealing and, when writing your CV, can be very effective. Therefore when you are sending your application, it is important to include your research skills in your CV. If you have considerable experience in research, you can opt to write it as an independent entry in your CV. However, when your research skills are not as well developed, you can include them in the skills section as a general skill. Additionally, ensure to mention it in the body of your cover letter as a way of enhancing your qualification.

Related: Problem-Solving Skills: Definitions and Examples

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