What is critical thinking?

Critical thinking refers to the ability to analyse information objectively and make a reasoned judgment (The Balance Careers).

It involves the evaluation of data, facts and research findings. Good critical thinkers can draw conclusions from information and discriminate between useful and less useful details to solve a problem or make a decision.
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According to The Balance, the top 5 critical thinking skills are:

  1. Analysis
  2. Communication
  3. Creativity
  4. Problem-solving
  5. Open-mindedness


Why is it important?

1. Employers want Critical Thinkers

Being able to apply critical thinking skills is a desired skill from employers because it shows that you, as an employee, can take a situation and get to a reasonable conclusion in a logical manner. Someone that has good critical thinking skills are more likely to be trusted to make important decisions in the business without requiring the consultation of a more authorative member of staff.

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2. It could help with your studies

Within your studies, critical thinking skills can help you to further understand what you are learning about. For example, actively questioning theories and asking "why?" will enable you to draw reasonable conclusions and opinions.

In an academic argument, ideas are organised into themes in order to form valid conclusions. Often, the aim is to convince the reader that your point of view in the argument is true and can be backed up by the relevant literature. Being able to understand and create structured, reasoned arguments is central to critical thinking.
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How do I apply it?

There are a few ways in which critical thinking skills can be applied and demonstrated, particularly in recruitment situations.

1. In your CV

In the skills section, you could use words such as "problem solver", "analytical" or "creative". Using professional examples of a time that you have solved a problem is another great way to display critical thinking.

2. In your Cover Letter

Building on your CV, you could give greater detail about the situations you were in when you had to analyse a certain problem and how you had to be creative in your methodology in order to solve the problem reasonably.

3. In an Interview

In an interview, you could discuss a time when you were faced with a particular problem or challenge and explain how you applied critical thinking to solve it.

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This could be a drop in website sales for example. You could have solved this by implementing a system to comprehend the user journey in greater detail in order to understand the customer and therefore make the website more effective, with the aim of increasing online sales.

This should show the importance of demonstrating critical thinking skills within job roles and when seeking new employment.

So try it out!

For more information about Pearson College London, visit the website.