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How to Describe Your Leader Skills in Your Resume

April 06, 2016 - Posted to Resume Tips

Content how to describe your leader skills in your resume

When people are looking for a position in an organization, there are certain skills that the employers will be looking for on the resume.  These skills should be familiar to those that aspire to be hired as a leader and by including them; the applicant will have an advantage over the others.  If possible, they should fit these words in when showing their leadership skills.

Motivation – Communication – Positivity – Delegation - Responsibility

Creativity – Flexibility - Commitment

Leadership skills are referred to as soft skills meaning they’re harder to measure and then to back up.  Most candidates make the mistake of not including these on their resumes.  Even though they’re not easy to describe, they’ll make a big difference.  If a company uses software, they’ll enter keywords matching the job posting and the soft skills will be included in their search.

It’s good to show how some of these soft skills were used in situations at previous jobs.  This will provide evidence that the applicant used them in accomplishing something.  When looking for a higher position in a company, most people will know how competitive the marketplace can be.  Employs are now starting to look at headhunters, search consultants, recruiters, and LinkedIn to fill their more senior positions. 

That’s why it’s so important for people to feature their leadership skills on their resume or CV to impress the person doing the hiring.  These are some ways for candidates to present their skills.


Every leader knows they need to have the ability to drive growth and change and these need to be highlighted in the resume.  They should know how to decide what direction to take and come up with the plans they’ll need to get there.  In the resume, people need to emphasize some ways their innovative qualities changed or shaped the performance of a business, services, products, success in the marketplace, or other achievements.


Everything is not under the control of a leader and strong leaders realize this.  They may be able to help a company rise to new heights, but they’ll always be subjected to the trends and fluctuations of the industry.  Some applicants claim they are a leader that can be adaptable, but the hiring manager wants to know how the candidate deals with these unforetold changes.  In the resume, they need to show how they took advantage of these opportunities to adapt.


Today every modern leader has to be knowledgeable about technology and the new challenges it brings.  In the past, there were other employees that dealt with this, but now it plays a significant part in business from marketing, finance, HR, to coming up with new ways to grow the company. 

Some companies have taken it a bit further and are participating in social media on platforms such as Twitter and LinkedIn.  They use them for everything from digital strategies to blogs and other tools to evolve how the company operates and improve its productivity.  The applicant’s resume needs to reflect their understanding and good grasp they have on technology.

Leadership Skills

Employers are looking to hire applicants that have demonstrated specific skills relating to leadership. They want to know how well they can put into action their specific expertise.  Employers are interested in those candidates who can be effective in:

  • Managing change effectively
  • Making good decisions
  • Solving problems
  • Communicating effectively
  • Inspiring others
  • Thinking strategically and analytically
  • Being creative and innovative

Focus on the accomplishments and experiences that have helped position the applicant to be a leader.


Relationships between employees and managers, colleagues and executives, and leaders with customers are a part of every business.  When it comes to describing themselves in a resume, an underrated skill to feature is social intelligence.  Even though the candidate is great at making decisions, innovating, and solving problems, they still need exceptional people skills and social intelligence. 

These real leaders won’t be found sitting in their office with the door closed.  They’ll be out there inspiring, enacting change, and motivating the employees.  Show, in the resume, the different ways this has impacted the applicant’s leadership talents or advanced their career.  Always remember that leadership is not about business but people.

Firm but Fair

The best leaders are people drivers while being firm and fair.  They can make the hard decisions and agree to compromise without slowing progress or hurting relationships.  A leader knows it’s crucial that their resume features how much they love the challenge of helping a business grow.  They also see difficult decisions as their opportunities and not as threats which will capture the hiring manager’s attention.  The applicant should show, in their resume, how they’ve assisted driving a company through difficult times and came out with a win.

As a final point:

Candidates need to show specific accomplishments and tie in their soft skills to give them value.  Anyone can use fancy words to describe their skills or accomplishments.  However, a candidate will get noticed more if they provide evidence of when they used their soft skills.