10 Leadership Skills to Include on Your Resume and How to do it Right

10 Leadership Skills to Include on Your Resume and How to do it Right | Leadership | Emeritus

Experienced recruiters decide if you will be a good hire within seconds. How, you ask? The first step to judging you is your resume. They take seconds to scan it and decide if you might be a good fit to give you that call. Hence, it is imperative that your resume be the best impression of you as a professional. This brings us to a long discussed conundrum — what to include in your resume and what not to — for the sake of brevity and impact. For instance, it’s common to see “leadership skills” on a resume, however, the way you present it should be right.  

If you are wondering why you should list leadership skills on your resume, we have it covered for you. 

Why is it Important to List Leadership Skills on a Resume?

leadership-skills-resumeYou may not be making a leadership skills resume or applying for a management position. But, having leadership skills listed on your resume is a must. Why? Here are the reasons:

  1. Leadership skills are essentially soft skills like communication, delegation, conflict resolution, etc. And your soft skills are just as important as your hard skills, if not more. Always remember, soft skills are what you bring to the table; a company can always train you in hard skills as and when required. 
  2. Leadership is not always about a role, it is about initiative. You may not have a team that reports to you but you can always be asked to lead a project or a new process. Even to become a Single Point of Contact (SPOC) for projects or processes, you need to possess leadership skills. More importantly, the organization should know that you have these requisite skills.
  3. Most good organizations are not myopic in their quest to hire. They usually hire talent that can be trained to take on more responsibility and promoted to lead teams. By listing leadership skills on your resume, you are letting the organization know you can be counted on to take more responsibility in the near future and work your way up the ladder. 

Leadership Skills Resume: Which Leadership Skills Should You List?

Leadership is not a single skill but a skill set with a collection of different skills. There are various aspects to leadership skills; your resume should not have all but only the relevant qualities of a good leader. An ideal leadership skills resume should have the following skills listed: 

1. Communication Skills

Clear communication is the bedrock of any successful team. And like all things, it comes top down from the leaders. Being a good communicator — part of which is about being a good listener — can help you become an effective leader. So, if you have your communication game on point, list this leadership skill on your resume. To improve your communication skills, consider taking an online course or training program. 

2. Organization Skills

Have you ever seen a professional in a leadership position who doesn’t have to multi-task? Handling multiple tasks and projects together is part of the goals for leadership roles. Hence, being organized is an added bonus. Just to set the record right, not all leaders are organized. But, being organized certainly doesn’t hurt when every minute of your time counts. 

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3. Problem Solving

Roadblocks, bottlenecks, and operational issues are part of any leader’s part. In fact, solving problems is a continuous process; everyday might bring a new problem to solve. The interesting part about this leadership skill is that you don’t need to be a leader to solve a problem. You can come up with a unique solution to a problem without leading a team. Any instances of problem solving in your experience will add value to your leadership skills resume. 

4. Delegation Skills

Delegation of work and responsibilities is one of skills every lead or manager has to use on a daily basis. It comes with the understanding that no man/woman can function as an island and handle a process end-to-end. Knowing how to delegate responsibilities in a way that the team works efficiently is a valuable skill on your resume. You can save millions of dollars just in man hours if a leader delegates work optimally. 

5. Collaboration Skills

Collaboration within the team and with other teams is an essential part of a smoothly functioning organization. And leaders have to be the facilitators of this collaboration. However, you will always be better at facilitating collaboration when you are a seasoned collaborator yourself. Collaboration is a powerful skill to have with or without any ambition to lead as it makes the processes within a company smooth and leads to better working relationships. 

6. Personal Relationship Building

That brings us to our next skill, building relationships. Some leaders inspire awe while others inspire loyalty among their teams. The second kind have what it takes to build great personal relationships. According to Forbes, empathy is the most important leadership skill and it is closely associated with building relationships. So, if you have great people skills, make sure your resume reflects it. 

7. Conflict Resolution

Every great idea in this world has either come out of conflict or resulted in conflict. In essence, nothing worthwhile ever happens in the absence of conflict. Hence, conflict in a workplace is not always a bad thing. The key is to manage and resolve conflicts so that they don’t become blockers to growth. It takes a fair and smart leader to resolve conflicts such that both/all parties feel validated. And if you have the weight of executive presence behind you, the execution becomes easier. 

You can read about the 4 ways to resolve conflicts on Forbes. 

8. Adaptability

Dinosaurs have taught us that what doesn’t adapt most certainly disappears. Adaptability is a very handy skill to have in modern workplaces that are agile and constantly evolving. As a leader, you can never have your ways set in stone. To stay relevant, you must adapt constantly and encourage your team to do the same. If adapting to new things comes easily to you, make your leadership skills resume says so. 

9. Decision Making Skills

Being naturally decisive is a gift. But, decision-making as a skill can also be developed. It requires discipline and data to make informed decisions. If you have nurtured this skill, you must list it in your resume. If not, we can help you improve your decision making skills with an online training program from a top university!

You can read about why decision making is an important skill on Indeed.com

10. Risk Management Skills

The pandemic has taught us anew that things never go as per plan. In fact, unavoidable circumstances might derail even the best laid plans. Having a great hand at risk management begins with having a Plan B. So, your leadership skills resume should indicate that you are capable of handling crisis situations and assessing risks while you plan. 

How to Include Leadership Skills on a Resume?

When we say you must ‘list’ your leadership skills, we don’t mean that you must make a bulleted listicle out of them. That is hardly credible on a college Statement of Purpose (SOP), let alone a resume. The idea is to list these skills in a way that they add value to your resume. Indeed.com has a step-by-step process to add leadership skills to your resume as follows:

1. What is the job description?

The first step is to study the job description and assess which leadership skills would fit the role. 

2. What is your past experience?

The next step is to dig into your past experience and see which of these leadership skills you have had the opportunity to exhibit in the past.

3. Can you summarize it?

Every recruiter/hiring manager looking at your resume is strapped for time. So, instead of writing a long-winding story, summarize your leadership experience into a power-packed para. 

4. Can you give instances of using these leadership skills?

It always helps if you can give instances of real-life situations where you have proposed a solution that has worked or mentored a very efficient team.

Your resume is complete. What’s next?

Not everyone is a born leader but everyone can learn to be a leader. If you want to take the structured path to acquiring leadership skills, explore Emeritus Leadership courses that are meant for professionals at different stages of their careers. 

By Anwesha Barari

For content collaborations and feedback, write to us at content@emeritus.org

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About the Author

Managing Editor, Emeritus Blog
Anwesha is our in-house expert on careers, trends impacting the workforce, and what makes content tick. As a journalist and content creator for 10+ years, Anwesha leaves a bit of herself in every story. Her superpower is to take the bare bones and turn it into a winning narrative for brands. Her passion to tell stories of human triumph led her to Emeritus where she continues to weave engaging tales. Anwesha is also a doting dog mom and hopes to make her boisterous canine a pawfluencer.
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