With technology so deeply integrated in our daily lives, you might think multitasking is second nature for most people. But multitasking is a skill that needs to be thoughtfully developed to help you succeed at work and land the job you want.
Why is multitasking important in the workplace?
Multitasking is an important skill for many jobs because it allows you to effectively handle several tasks at once.
In industries like transportation, this can mean doing two things simultaneously. In other careers, it can mean juggling multiple projects or assignments over an extended period of time.
Developing multitasking skills makes you a valuable asset to any company because they help you finish your work faster and more efficiently.
The right way to list multitasking skills on your resume
To show hiring managers you can multitask effectively, you’ll need to do more than just list “good at multitasking” on your resume.
Instead, you need to demonstrate your multitasking abilities using concrete examples. You should also reference some additional skills that help you multitask effectively such as organizational skills, workflow prioritization, and time management skills.
To give you a better idea of how to demonstrate multitasking skills on your resume, here are some good examples from three different resume sections:
Example 1: in your resume summary
Your resume summary gives hiring managers an overview of some of your most important qualifications, so it’s a great place to mention multitasking skills.
See how this candidate highlights their ability to multitask on a receptionist resume:
Diligent receptionist with 2 years of experience managing a fast-paced front office environment. Excel in juggling multiple tasks, from handling incoming calls and scheduling appointments to greeting visitors and resolving customer complaints. Recognized for ensuring an efficient workflow and consistently providing excellent customer service.
Example 2: in your work experience section
The advantage of including multitasking skills in the work experience section of your resume is that you can immediately back your claims up with a good example that demonstrates how you used your skills to increase productivity or efficiency.
Take a look at this work experience entry from a customer service resume for inspiration:
Customer Service Representative
U-Haul, Fairfield, CA
June 2019 – July 2023
- Efficiently managed an average of 40 calls per day, simultaneously logging issues and providing solutions in real time while consistently meeting performance benchmarks
- Managed customer phone calls, live chat support, and emails, maintaining a 98% satisfaction rating
- Organized and maintained a knowledge base for common customer issues, ensuring updated information sharing and contributing to improved workflow efficiency
- Coordinated with multiple departments to resolve complex issues and ensure timely follow-ups, resulting in reduced ticket escalations
- Managed workflow effectively to quickly and accurately complete routine administrative tasks such as writing reports, managing client records, and scheduling follow-up communications
Example 3: in your skills section
There’s nothing wrong with simply listing multitasking in your resume’s skills section, but there are other skills you can consider including that better describe how you used multitasking skills to succeed at work.
Here are some skills that are closely related to multitasking abilities:
- Project management
- Decision making
- Attention to detail
- Stress management
- Workflow optimization
How to improve your multitasking skills
To get better at multitasking, you’ll need to thoughtfully plan your workday so you can juggle different tasks more efficiently.
Here are a few ways to start improving your multitasking skills:
Identify which tasks can be grouped
Ultimately, some assignments will require your full focus, otherwise the quality of your work will suffer.
The key to multitasking effectively is knowing what kinds of tasks you can stack and which you need to devote your full attention to.
In the restaurant industry, multitasking might look like dropping food off on your way to taking another table’s order or chatting with customers while cleaning up.
In an office environment, you may be able to complete simple data entry tasks or take notes while talking with a client on the phone or sitting in on a meeting.
In both of these cases, neither task requires your full focus in order to maintain quality, so you’re able to get your work done quicker by completing them simultaneously.
Take some time to identify which of your routine responsibilities could be completed in tandem, and don’t be afraid to start small as you practice this skill — the more comfortable you get with your job, the easier it will be to identify opportunities to multitask.
Practice effective prioritization
Multitasking doesn’t always mean completing two things at the same time. It often refers to the ability to effectively manage your workload when there are many overlapping assignments that require your attention.
That’s why effective prioritization goes hand in hand with multitasking skills.
At the start of your work day, take a minute to sort your tasks in order of importance so you know what requires your immediate attention, what you can hold off on, and what you can delegate to another person.
Getting your tasks done in the most efficient order makes you an excellent multitasker and an asset to your team.
Remember that multitasking is only beneficial when it helps you do your job more effectively, and not all tasks are suited for multitasking. It’s okay if it takes you some time to work out when to multitask and when to focus on a single task.
Reduce distractions in your workspace
Because multitasking requires heightened focus, it’s important to make sure your workspace is free of distractions.
Keep some items at your desk that help you stay focused and comfortable like noise-canceling headphones, snacks and water, or a throw blanket.
Consider checking messages at designated times so you don’t get distracted by notifications. You can also use apps to block notifications from or access to certain sites until you’ve completed your assignments.
Take thoughtful breaks
To prevent burnout and task-switching fatigue, make sure you take breaks to refresh. Doing so will ultimately make you better at multitasking.
Instead of simply checking your phone, try practicing mindfulness and meditation when you take breaks to increase your focus and concentration. It’s also a great strategy to work some movement breaks into your day, like going for a walk around the block or exercising during your lunch break.
Additional skills-related resources
Here are more skills-related resources to help you succeed in your job search.
- HR skills
- Graphic designer skills
- CNA skills
- Sales associate skills
- Teacher skills
- Cashier skills
- Server skills
- Nursing skills
- Project manager skills
- Child care skills
- Accounting skills
- What are secondary skills on a resume?
- Is a skills section necessary on a resume?
- How many skills should you list on a resume?