Competition for jobs is tougher than at any time in history. Though there was a time when a highly-qualified candidate could get by based on job history and education alone, those days are long gone. The American workforce is highly-educated, so your competition is likely to be as well-schooled and experienced as you are. That makes soft skills like leadership a critical part of any effort to showcase your value as an employee. Here are some tips for including leadership skills on your resume.
The most obvious challenge when including leadership skills in your resume is figuring out how to convey that skill. Sure, it’s easy to say that you have leadership qualities. Unfortunately, it’s much more difficult to prove. That’s why our advice focuses on specific things that you can include to demonstrate your leadership skills.
(We wrote a good post here on how to include skills on a resume)
There’s no sense in including leadership skills if you skip the most important attributes. We’ve compiled a list of some of the most relevant skills that employers are looking for. You should try to work each of these skills into your resume, to demonstrate your leadership acumen:
Few leaders or managers really understand how to delegate properly. When including leadership skills, this one should be prominently trumpeted, along with examples of how you’ve used delegation effectively.
Motivation is a big part of any leader’s mission. The ability to motivate a team is prized in many organizations, since it is vital for increased productivity and team mission effectiveness.
Good leaders can adapt to changing circumstances. While you’re including leadership skills in your resume, be sure to list this one too. Again, it is helpful to cite an example or two of times when you had to adapt your leadership style.
Companies expect leaders to be committed to their business goals. Don’t forget to include this vital trait.
Are you reliable? Responsible? Dependable in a pinch? Describe a time when you went above and beyond expectations to get the job done when no one else could.
Some risk-taking is a welcome addition to the business environment. Are you creative and willing to try solutions that may be new and relatively untested? Include that trait as well.
Are you an effective leader who empowers his team? That’s a prized ability in many firms since empowered employees can always achieve superior results. If you can elevate others on your team and get them to achieve more than they ever thought they could, then your empowering spirit may be just what prospective employers need.
Many job postings will include soft skills as requirements. If you examine those skills, you will notice that they often involve various leadership traits. Be sure to use that language and those terms In your resume.
Simply tailor your existing resume to include those terms. When you do, you will not only better convey those skills to the employer but will also more easily connect with their needs.
You know the old saying, “show – don’t tell.” Well, that’s true whenever you’re trying to convey your skill set to an employer. Include concrete examples of times where you have demonstrated those skills.
This helps the employer to better visualize your capabilities and demonstrates that you understand the skill set that the company needs. Of course, you should also include achievements that resulted from your use of those skills too.
When including leadership skills, it is vital to include quantifiable results in your resume. So, when you list your examples, be sure to include actual numerical results.
That adds depth to your example and demonstrates easily-understandable value to the hiring manager. These measurable results can include everything from increasing sales by “x” percent to reducing customer attrition by ____ amount. In other words, trumpet those accomplishments in a clear and convincing manner.
Word choice matters. Powerful verbs can strengthen your case and make a positive impact on any hiring manager who reads your resume.
To effectively capture that hiring manager’s attention, use verbs like engaged, motivated, launched, spearheaded, created, empowered, revitalized, reoriented, championed, and so on. These words all indicate leadership ability and present a dynamic picture of your impact in previous job roles.
The reality is that you shouldn’t expect to be taken seriously as a potential leader if you can’t convey your leadership skills to others. Including leadership skills in your resume is an important way to separate yourself from the pack, and land that interview. By following these tips, you can more effectively convey your leadership qualities and win that job of your dreams.