How to Highlight Leadership Ability on Your Resume

Resume Tips

For decades, leadership skills have been one of the most desirable attributes employers look for in new candidates. With just a fraction of candidates making it past the application process, it’s vital that you use your resume to demonstrate your leadership skills or risk being passed over for the job. Unfortunately, proving your leadership abilities with just a resume is not an easy task, but these seven tips can help.

Provide Examples (and Results)

The best way to prove your leadership ability is to provide viable examples. Think about the projects you have participated in or led, the accomplishments you have achieved, and the recognition you have received. Be sure to note these in your resume and/or cover letter. But don’t stop there, you also should include results, when applicable. For example, don’t just state “led team to increase sales.” Instead, make it more meaningful by adding results, such as “led team to improve sales by 5%.” Proving that you led your team to make measurable results will grab the attention of prospective employers.

Include Leadership Keywords

There are a variety of keywords that are linked to leadership ability. For instance, problem-solving, delegation, conflict resolution, organization, motivation, reliability, team building, innovative, and more. While any of these words are useful to include in your resume, you want to focus on the specific leadership skills the employer wants. Take a few minutes to read through the original job posting looking for specific leadership keywords. Take note of these words and jot them down. Now, go over your resume and make sure that you include as many relevant keywords as possible.

Use Action Words

It’s one thing to say you have leadership skills. It’s another thing altogether to show that you know how to put these skills into action. Show potential employers that you know how to use these desired skills by using action words in your resume. For example, use words like transformed (problem-solving), spearheaded (management), supervised (delegation), piloted (initiative), and negotiated (communication) when describing your abilities. Using these action words can help to prove that you have the same skills needed to be a leader in the company.

Show that You’re a Forward Thinker

Leaders must know the industry inside and out. Leaders also must be forward thinkers. Start by taking some time to research your specific industry, as well as any company you are considering applying to. This research will give you more insight into the industry, help you learn industry jargon, and discover new technologies, processes, and ideas for the industry. Having this knowledge will help you craft a resume that shows you are willing to learn, that you’re innovative, and that you’re eager to grow with the company.

Submit an Error-Free Resume

While you should never submit a resume with any grammar or spelling errors, this step is crucial if you want to demonstrate your leadership skills. There is no room for errors. You must double and triple-check your resume. It’s a good idea even to go one step further and ask your friend or family members, or even a professional resume writing service to proofread your resume. This step will ensure that your resume is free from any type of grammatical error.

Demonstrate Effective Communication Skills

Communication is one of the most vital leadership skills. It’s crucial that your resume highlight your communication skills. Think about both oral and written communication skills. Perhaps you created a safety manual, helped train new hires, were responsible for delivering presentations, or led a group project, or even a portion of a project. Try to include several work-related experiences that demonstrate that you have effective communication skills. Even small accomplishments may be just what you need to show potential employers that you have leadership skills they want.

Think Outside the Box

While work-related experiences are great, don’t limit yourself just to work. Consider volunteer work, mentorships, training courses, or workshops that you attended that have helped create or enhance your communication skills. Experiences, such as being on the debate club in college, organizing a fundraising event for your son’s Boy Scout group, tutoring underprivileged kids, or being part of a community mentorship program can all demonstrate strong leadership abilities. Think outside your work experience and find ways that you demonstrate leadership off the clock and include these on your resume.

Showing prospective employers that you have leadership potential can go a long way in helping your land the job of your dream. Be sure to craft a resume that makes it clear that you have the leadership skills the employer desired. Learn more resume-writing tips with GoResumes today.