When crafting a memorable and impressive resume, highlighting leadership skills is paramount. In the current business environment beset by leadership challenges including more complex work models, burnout and declining trust — recruiters are keen to find employees capable of delivering inspiration and guidance, and confidently solving problems and making decisions.
However explaining your leadership skills on your resume can be a challenge.
You don’t want to sound arrogant, but you don’t want to miss the opportunity to showcase your strengths and highlight your capabilities.
Consider this your complete guide to adding leadership qualities to your resume to grab the attention of a potential hiring manager and sell yourself the best you can.
(Related: How To Write A Killer Executive Resume).
Why Resume Leadership Skills Are Important.
No matter what position you apply for or what industry you are in, leadership skills are an asset.
Employees with excellent leadership skills can motivate and coach others, which increases teamwork, productivity, and engagement. So, make it a point to include leadership skills on your resume, even if the job you’re applying for is not a leadership position.
Explicitly mentioning how your skills and experiences have demonstrated leadership shows recruiters that you’re more adaptable and purposeful.
After all, leaders must roll with the punches to effect change.
It also puts you on the radar as a prospective future leader, who can be moulded to fit a company’s succession plans. A hiring manager is often looking for employees with the potential for promotion.
|Leadership Skill||How To Demonstrate It|
|Stakeholder Management||How do you manage the expectations of investors, partners, superiors and employees?|
|Decision Making||Do you have a strong track record of making judgement calls that paid off?|
|P&L Management||Are you effective at balancing the P&L?|
|Problem-Solving||How do you get to the core of the issue?|
|Communication||Do you practice active listening? Do you speak with impact and brevity?|
|Interpersonal||Are you effective at building consensus, getting people on board with your vision?|
|Project Management||Do you keep the trains running on time?|
|Lean Thinking||Are you a Six Sigma, Kansan or Agile practitioner?|
How To Showcase Your Leadership Skills.
When describing your leadership skills, examples are your best friend. Making vague or empty statements about your potential is not as effective as providing specific leadership skills examples for resume writing.
Instead of thinking of skills and then trying to showcase them, think of times you performed well as a leader.
Below are examples of the right and wrong ways to showcase your resume leadership skills:
“I’m a highly adaptable and flexible leader who can handle any company changes.”
“Half of my team was replaced when my company went through a merger, and I was able to help everyone settle in and work together while continuing to beat our budget.”
Both sentences above state that you are a flexible and adaptable leader, but the second sentence proves it by offering evidence.
10 Examples Of Leadership Skills For Your Resume.
If you know you’re an effective leader but aren’t sure how to describe your skills, this section will help.
Below are the top 10 key leadership skills to mention on your resume, with examples, some of which are soft skills and others are hard.
1. Communication Skills.
Communication skills are key to being an excellent leader. Bosses and managers have to communicate with their employees, vendors, investors, clients, customers, and other stakeholders.
Soft skills help with human resource management and team building, not to mention when chairing weekly team meetings to communicate a company’s vision and strategy.
Both written and verbal communication skills are essential.
“Used active listening skills and effective written communication to implement a new lunch break schedule that improved employee morale and fostered corporate understanding.”
2. Emotional Intelligence.
Emotional intelligence is an essential leadership skill that enables one to diffuse conflict, deal with stress, communicate clearly, show empathy.
Not only that, but you’ll have a natural ability to self-regulate your own emotions and understand why you’re feeling the way you are.
Those with these social skills find it much easier to motivate and influence others.
“Listening to feedback and ideas from other colleagues in meetings. A team leader rarely interrupts and invalidates the opinions of others.”
3. Technical Skills.
Technical skills, also known as hard skills, comprises technical expertise or training that you have acquired throughout your career, education or life experiences.
- These skills combine the abilities and knowledge required to carry out job-related tasks.
They are required in almost every industry, not just those of a technical nature, such as engineering, science, manufacturing, or finance.
Some examples of technical skills include knowledge of common operating systems, technical writing, proficiency with software, data analysis and interpretation.
4. Ability To Generate Innovative Ideas.
Creativity as a leadership skill doesn’t mean being artistic but refers to the ability to have a unique vision and solve problems by thinking outside the box.
Plus, creative leaders can spot business opportunities that someone without vision may not see.
“Noticed a disconnect between the sales team and the customer service team, so I moved the two departments closer together to foster better communication.”
5. Delegation And Project Management Skills.
Some of the best workers make the worst managers because they try to do everything themselves.
Delegating essential tasks is a great leadership skill to ensure everything reaches completion as soon as possible.
“Recruited an IT expert to train staff when the office struggled to use new software to complete standard projects.”
People always say change is hard, which rings true for companies and managers.
Whether facing a merger, acquisition, layoff, or another drastic shift, the best leaders stay composed and organised, helping their team stay calm.
“Completed several large projects for a high-priority client during an office software transition with zero delays in productivity or completion.”
As a leader, organisational skills are more than just using a decent filing system and keeping your space clean.
Organisation entails prioritising tasks, delegating to the appropriate employees, and planning a schedule, so the company’s time is used efficiently.
A boss or manager unaware of all the moving pieces cannot adequately support their team and get things done.
“Created a tracking system to monitor progress, ensure tasks reached completion on time, and keep everyone up-to-date on changes.”
Indecisive people rarely make productive leaders. Highlighting your ability to make informed decisions quickly can help you stand out as a potential manager.
To showcase decisiveness, give an example of when you made a fast but not rash decision that benefitted the company.
“Rebuilt a subpar ad campaign before the holidays, resulting in a 40% increase in sales over the year before.”
9. Management And Team Leadership Skills.
The concept of management may sound simple, but managing a team of people and taking responsibility as a leader is a skill that takes honing.
Leaders should be consistent and honest with their employees while pushing them to do their best.
When showcasing your leadership ability on your resume, mentioning recruiting strategies, training programs, or resolved coworker disputes can prove your skills.
“Trained a group of new employees that became the top-selling team at the company within a few months.”
Self-awareness can be difficult for everyone, but it’s an essential trait for a successful leader.
Understanding how people perceive you, knowing your strengths and weaknesses, and taking responsibility for your actions are all crucial to being an effective manager.
Being a self-aware leader also means being open to criticism and using feedback to improve your tactics.
“Performed weekly check-ins on self-performance and held monthly suggestion meetings where employees weighed in on productivity and management strategies respectfully.”
Final Words About Demonstrating Leadership Skills On Your Resume.
Creating a list of resume leadership skills can help you present yourself effectively. It’s also a good idea to include details of how you continue to update and develop leadership skills to show a commitment to continuous improvement.
Before adding examples of good leadership skills to your resume, write down your best moments as a leader so you can assess what belongs on your resume.
Focus on those which appear most frequently in the job description. That way, you’ll be tailoring your resume leadership skills to the specific role in question.