Whether you’ve recently joined the workforce, are a C-level executive, or you're a career changer, many job seekers are looking to gain a competitive advantage and boost their personal brand by showcasing their leadership skills on their resume. Recruiters and hiring managers are constantly combing through resumes in an effort to identify certain traits that are commonly found in effective leaders. While having a managerial role is one of the more glaringly obvious ways to scream ‘My leadership game is on point,” it’s not the only way to communicate your leadership skills. Here’s how to position yourself as a true leader on your resume.
Spotlight Your Achievements
Put the spotlight on your past successes, regardless if they stemmed from a full-time job, freelance project, or volunteer work, to highlight how your leadership skills contributed to these achievements. Rather than simply outlining your previous responsibilities, quantify your impact by using numbers and describe how you’ve strengthened your skills from each experience. From launching a social media campaign that raised ticket sales by 10% for a charity event, to creating a training program for new staff members that reduced labor costs by 12%, always try to include a dollar amount or percentage to make your successes measurable.
Don’t Feel Limited By a Job Title
It doesn’t matter if you’re a recent graduate or a senior-level worker, your professional job title doesn’t necessarily define your leadership experience. Consider adding any internship work, social engagements, or volunteering you may have done for a charitable initiative. Similarly, if you’re on a committee for a professional organization, showcasing this experience in your resume is an effective and creative way to demonstrate your leadership abilities.
Highlighting how your drive, communication skills, creative mindset and ingenuity, positive attitude, or analytical skills (to name a few) directly fueled your success with a particular project, event, or role, will give a hiring manager some powerful insight into your soft skills. If you are looking to further develop your leadership experience and are not already involved with a local civic or professional organization, consider joining one – or a few, depending on how free your schedule is. Getting involved in your community will not only allow you to build valuable networking relationships, but it’ll expose you to new opportunities that can help advance your leadership skills.
Collaboration is Key
In lieu of traditional managerial experience, you can focus on occasions where you exercised teamwork skills. From helping make a particular process or workflow more efficient to taking the reigns and overseeing a work-related project, highlighting how you worked in a group environment can translate into strong leadership skills. For example, these types of tasks can emphasize your time-management skills, problem-solving abilities, your knack for strategic delegation, and organizational skills. This is especially important if your goal is to advance to a manager-level role and you need to validate why you are equipped to handle this step in your career.
Tailor Your Resume to Mirror Company Needs
For each new position you apply for, you should be customizing your resume to mimic the needs and keywords outlined in the job description. This is important for a couple of reasons. First, if the company is using some type of artificial intelligence software to weed out unqualified resumes, you want to ensure your work history is optimized in a manner that won’t get eliminated. Second, hiring managers and recruiters want to see that you’ve invested the time to truly read and understand what challenges they are seeking to overcome by hiring someone for this position. Because recruiters take a mere 6 seconds to scan your resume, it’s important for the skills you list and words you use mirror what’s included in the company’s job description.