Conceptual Skills List and Examples

Conceptual Skills and Keywords for Resumes, Cover Letters, and Interviews

Mature businesswoman listening and thinking at her desk
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Conceptual skills help employees “see the forest through the trees,” as the saying goes. These skills help you see how all the parts of an organization work together to achieve the organization’s goals. People with conceptual skills are creative, and can work through abstract concepts and ideas.

Conceptual skills are extremely important for leadership positions, particularly upper- and middle-management jobs.

Managers need to make sure everyone working for them is helping to achieve the company’s larger goals. Rather than just getting bogged down in the details of day-to-day operations, upper- and middle-managers also need to keep the company’s “big pictures” aims in mind.

However, conceptual skills are useful for almost every position. Even when you have a very specific list of duties, it is always helpful to know how your part fits into the larger goals of your organization.

Read below for a list of conceptual skills that employers seek in candidates for employment. Included is a detailed list of the five most important conceptual skills, as well as a longer list of even more conceptual skills.

How to Use Skills Lists

You can use these skills lists throughout your job search process. Firstly, you can use these skill words in your resume. In the description of your work history, you might want to use some of these key words.

Secondly, you can use these in your cover letter. In the body of your letter, you can mention one or two of these skills, and give a specific example of a time when you demonstrated those skills at work.

Finally, you can use these skill words in an interview. Make sure you have at least one example of a time you demonstrated each of the top five skills listed here.

Of course, each job will require different skills and experiences, so make sure you read the job description carefully, and focus on the skills listed by the employer.

Also review our other lists of skills listed by job and type of skill.

Top Five Conceptual Skills


A very important conceptual skill is the ability to analyze and evaluate whether or not a company is achieving its goals and sticking to its business plan. Managers have to look at how all the departments are working together, spot any particular issues, and then decide what steps need to be taken.


Without strong communication skills, an employee won’t be able to share his or her solutions with the right people. Someone with conceptual skills can explain a problem and offer solutions clearly. He or she can speak effectively to people at all levels in the organization, from upper management to employees within a specific department.

People with conceptual skills are also good listeners. They have to listen to the needs of the employers before devising a plan of action.

Creative Thinking

People with conceptual skills must be very creative. They have to be able to devise creative solutions to abstract problems.

This involves thinking “outside of the box” — they must consider how all the departments within an organization work together, and how they can work to solve a particular problem.


Someone with conceptual skills also has strong leadership skills. She needs to convince employees and employers to follow her vision for the company. She needs to inspire others to trust and follow her, and that takes strong leadership.

Problem Solving

Once an employee analyzes a situation and identifies a problem, he or she then has to decide how to solve that problem. People with conceptual skills are good at solving problems, and making strong, swift decisions that will yield results.

Examples of Conceptual Skills

A – D

  • Able to ignore extraneous information
  • Abstract thinking
  • Analytical
  • Analyze and diagnose complex situations
  • Break down a project into manageable pieces
  • Broad thinking
  • Cognitive abilities
  • Committed to achieving company goals
  • Communication
  • Contextualize problems
  • Creative thinking
  • Critical thinking
  • Decision making
  • Define strategies for reaching goals
  • Delegation
  • Diagnose problems within the company

E – O

P – Z

  • Predict the future of the business or department
  • Presentation
  • Prioritization
  • Problem solving
  • Question the connection between new initiatives and the strategic plan
  • Recognize opportunities for improvement
  • Resolve industry problems
  • See the key elements in any situation
  • Select important information from large amounts of data
  • Stability
  • Strategic planning
  • Task direction
  • Task implementation
  • Team building
  • Understand relationships between departments
  • Understand relationships between ideas, concepts, and patterns
  • Understand the organization’s business model
  • Verbal communication
  • Vision
  • Visualize the company as a whole

Read More: Business Skills List | Research Skills List | Strategic Planning Skills List | Employment Skills Listed by Job

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