Regardless of the type of the job you’re looking for or a company’s size, you need to showcase leadership skills on your resume. After all, they belong to the group of the most sought-after soft skills that employers look for in candidates.
But your first contact with a hiring company or organization is often through the job application and resume. So how can you demonstrate leadership skills without speaking with an employer or recruiter?
It all comes down to the way you write the resume.
Here are five top tips on how to optimize your resume and showcase leadership skills…
Provide Solid Examples
An average employer or recruiter gets hundreds of resumes for any given job position. The chances of getting an interview increase for those who stand out. The most important thing you can do when you showcase leadership skills on a resume is to provide specific examples. It’s common for applicants to state they have great leadership skills without providing evidence. To stand out, mention some leadership-related accomplishments from a previous job. Ask yourself two questions: what did I do and how did I do it.
Here are a few examples:
- Coached my team and to adopt a new business strategy (mention details about the strategy)
- Successfully organized seminars, meetings, team-building activities, and collaborations with other companies
- Had to quickly adapt to changes (include specific example) and prepare for unforeseen circumstances
Quantify Measurable Results
Qualities of a good leader don’t stop with the ability to motivate and lead others, they also extend to work efficiency and specific, measurable results. When writing about achievements from previous jobs, always quantify your results with statistics and hard numbers. In fact, avoid vague descriptions entirely. Employers appreciate concise writing and resumes that get straight to the point.
Use Leadership Skills Mentioned in the Job Description
Do you use the same resume every time you’re applying for a job? Generic resumes don’t portray your skills as successfully as you’d like. They fail to show what makes you the best candidate for a specific job. Instead of sending the same resume to every employer, optimize it to fit the specific responsibilities.
Companies provide detailed job descriptions whenever they need new employees. Read that description thoroughly and modify the resume in order to meet the criteria. Why is this important? Leadership isn’t just about the way you act or things you write, it’s also about the way you organize your writing. Generic resumes and those that don’t match criteria are a sign of poor organizational skills, which are important for good leadership.
Basically, simply by tailoring and organizing your resume you can help an employer or recruiter consider you as a “person of action,” someone who’s efficient and gets the job done. You can also mention specific leadership skills from the job description and give examples to prove how you demonstrate them. This shows that you actually read the job post and found a way to present your skills to match their needs.
Include Words Associated with Leadership
Vocabulary is your best friend. The choice of words in the resume can help depict leadership skills. Take some time when writing your resume, explore the vocabulary, and don’t be afraid to use action verbs.
Here are examples of words that are associated with leadership: campaign, advocate, engage, mobilize, mentor, empower, delegate, commitment, enable, lead, assemble, enlist, instill, stimulate, elect, guide, coach. Use words like these to emphasize your ability to lead.
Highlight Communication Skills
The difference between good and bad leaders at the workplace is their ability to use and encourage communication within the department or company. After all, if you can’t communicate properly with both inferiors and superiors, you will not be able to achieve organizational goals. When writing a resume, demonstrate the ability to speak and listen.
Leadership in the workplace is of the huge importance to a company’s success. Since your first contact with an organization is through your resume, optimize it in a way that highlights your ability to lead and inspire others in a constructive and productive manner. Even the choice of words in the resume help showcase leadership skills. Good luck.
Also published on Medium.