8 Skills Every Senior Leader Resume Needs

Sep 11, 2020

Written by Caitlin Proctor

Written by Caitlin Proctor

Career Expert, ZipJob

An average of 250 resumes are sent for a single opening. See how Zipjob uses professional writers and technology to get your resume noticed.

Effective leaders show their resume skills through soft skills and hard results. Your resume should showcase your achievements within each role, whether you’re an executive director, senior management, or member of the C-Suite. Each of those achievements should be strengthened by numbers.

But what are the best soft skills to include? How exactly do you showcase your abilities in this manner?

Felicia Tatum–one of Zipjob’s executive resume writers and CEO of Creative Career Solutions–recommends showcasing your leadership skills strategically.

Leaders have many qualifications. It’s best to highlight the skills most in alignment with the job description you are applying for to get the best results.

Leaders have an abundance of skills, some stronger than others, to showcase on their resumes. Each of the skills possessed shouldn’t be highlighted, only the strongest and most important. Great leaders motivate their workers, train others, and lead teams in daily functions…all while meeting goals and objectives. 

You’ll find the top skills listed below with tips from our experts on how to include them and where each skill should be on your resume. 

1. Communication 

Awesome leaders communicate well. They are constantly communicating with people–from customer to employee to stakeholder–and must be able to convey their messages in a concise and clear manner.

Communication is a transactional exchange involving verbal, written, and body language queues. You want to make sure you showcase this important skill in your resume in both the summary and the work experience to strengthen your claim. 

As a manager, you should be an engaging storyteller while communicating with your team. This will help to motivate them and inspire them to do well in their position. To reflect this talent on your resume, focus on details like who, what, where, when, and why.

Showing communication skills on a great leader resume

  • Communicate with employees to convey daily delegated assignments and special project guidelines to ensure accuracy and efficiency across operations. 

This example explains whom the leader communicates with; what is communicated; and why the communication is necessary. To supplement this claim, your skills section can include digital communication tools such as Slack, BlueJeans, G-Suite, and Microsoft Teams.

💡ZipTip: you can learn more about the best ways to highlight communication skills in our primer on Including Communication Skills on a Resume (Examples and Tips).

2. Delegation 

An efficient leader knows the skills of each employee and leverages those skills to delegate tasks accordingly. A company has many assets and resources at hand. A leader must know what each employee or resource is capable of and how to delegate responsibilities to others. For best effect, you should include your delegation skills in your work experience and summary sections. 

Indeed lists ways to start with delegation if it’s new to you. Tips include starting small, measuring success, and training employees to do it right the first time. 

Example of delegation skills on a resume for upper management

  • Delegated assignments and projects based on employee strengths to maximize efficiencies and productivity across team members. 

On your own senior leadership resume, fill in more details such as how many assignments or projects you managed, how many employees were involved, what metrics you measured success by, and how you gauged your employee’s strengths.

3. Leadership 

Strong leaders have an innate leadership ability that is almost second nature to who they are. The most effective and productive leaders are the leaders who stay true to their core beliefs. They don’t try to mold themselves; instead, they are able to lead confidently with their own style.  They lead with integrity and honesty, balancing the ability to lead by example and get involved on a personal level when appropriate.

Leadership skills are especially important to highlight on resumes for any supervisory position. If you’re going to be in charge of people, you need to show that you have experience!

Including leadership skills on a resume is an important way to separate yourself from your competitors.

Leadership skills resume example for a team leader

  • Led a productive team in daily operations and projects while maximizing individual abilities and efficiencies to product profits. 

Leadership skills should be conveyed all throughout the resume, in the summary, work experience, and achievements. It’s vital to hiring teams looking for their next C-Level hire.

4. Results-Oriented 

A productive and successful leader is focused on results. They know the bottom line is to make money and to make money, you need positive results across operations and departments. A results-focused leader values great performance and drives their team to succeed in all areas. They get everyone on the same page, communicate strategy, and push team members to meet goals. Speaking about the results-focus is best in the summary to grab the reader’s eye right off the bat. 

How to include your results-oriented skills on a resume

  • Results-oriented leader who maximizes profitability through effective leadership and team oversight. 

Like other soft skills, you want to show use you leverage this skill to get results. Depending on your industry, this is a great bullet point to include information on ROI, KPI, CPC, or a variety of other acronyms! Just be careful not to add too much jargon. Not everyone who reads your resume will be well-versed in your profession, so it’s smart to limit your abbreviations.

5. Strategic Planning 

Strategic planning is a key skill for leaders! You must know the strategies already in place and be able to develop new ones to succeed. A great leader communicates these strategies and ensures they are executed properly to meet company targets. This skill set is best showcased in the professional summary and work experience. 

Strategic planning example on a leadership resume

  • Developed and executed strategies focused on growth and company expansion. 

Strategic planning is an overlooked skill that’s vital to leadership. Without strategies and plans on how to execute them, the company will be unproductive and scattered where there could be organization.

Felicia Tatum, Executive Resume Writer

6. Anticipation 

A valued leader anticipates situations, results, opportunities, and threats. To do this, they are honed in on their team, their department, and their company to recognize these situations. Great ways to increase anticipation skills are through market research, communications with customers and suppliers/vendors, and scenario planning. This is best conveyed in the work experience. 

How to include anticipation skills on your resume

  • Anticipated opportunities through engagement, relationship building, and market research to identify unique situations. 

If possible, add the positive results of your upstream thinking to a bullet point like this.

7. Challenging 

A great leader challenges their team to do better, to be better. They question everything to see if there is a better solution and focus on root cause problems instead of symptoms. They allow open communications and consider all opinions before making a decision. Standout executives leaders challenge their teams and themselves.

To include your skills at challenging beliefs, traditions, and employees on your resume, highlight a strong example in the work experience portion.

Example of challenging skills on an executive resume

  • Challenged team members to increase performance scores through incentives and hands-on leadership practices. 

This skill is not one your reader is likely to look for, but it will separate you from the competition. This example shows the positive aspects of a challenging leader: incentives, hands-on leadership, and a fresh perspective. If you consider yourself a coach in any capacity, try to incorporate how you have “challenged” something in your professional experience.

8. Motivation

A motivational leader is one who gets the best results. They motivate and inspire their team through morale boosting, incentives, rewards, and more to increase performance. Increased performance goes hand-in0hand with increased revenues. This is best showcased in the work experience as an achievement. 

Example of motivation for a senior leadership resume

  • Motivated and inspired teams to increase performance through incentive and reward program. 

Motivated employees are eager employees. A truly effective leader who can motivate their workers is a great leader, in my opinion. You can’t get anywhere without a motivated staff.

Felicia Tatum


Your resume should include the eight skills listed above and strengthen your claim of these skills through examples. Another great way to showcase these skills in through stories during an interview. You want recruiters and hiring managers to know you possess these skills and can use them to make an impact at their company. Follow the above guidelines to make your resume stand out!

Having trouble thinking of how to best display your senior leadership skills? Zipjob now offers an executive resume writing service. Take advantage of our experienced executive resume writers, premium resume templates, and top-tier services.

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Special thanks to Felicia Tatum for her extensive input and advice for this article. Felicia has an MBA with a concentration in Human Resources. She has a passion for writing and helping people. We are proud to have her on the new Zipjob Executive Resume Writer team!

An average of 250 resumes are sent for a single opening. See how Zipjob uses professional writers and technology to get your resume noticed.

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