10+ Leadership Skills for a Resume (and How to Describe Them) 

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Everyone benefits from having leadership skills.

Managers, supervisors, and entry-level employees alike… all roles benefit from including leadership skills on a resume. Being able to make an impact on your team’s performance is an ability companies value. 

In this guide, you’ll learn about the top skills for a leader in the workplace. Including how to describe them and tips for the interview. 

Let’s get started. 

Are Leadership Skills and Management Skills the Same Thing?

Not quite. There’s a few differences between the two. 

Leadership refers to the soft skills of an individual. Whereas, management skills refer to technical expertise. The former is about how well you can get on with other people by encouraging and motivating them. In contrast, the latter is about how well you maintain the way a company operates. 

Do All Job Positions Require Leadership Experience? 

It’s more important for management and executive-level job positions. These roles require a professional with leadership experience. 

However, it’s not as essential if you’re applying for an entry level resume tips

Make no mistake though. Having developed leadership skills can set you apart from other candidates. No matter what position you’re applying for, they’re worth mentioning. It helps make your application stand out and shows that you have potential. 

What Makes Someone a Good Leader? 

A good leader is someone who can motivate and inspire others to follow them. They know how to set aside differences in a team and bring everyone together by aligning different interests to a common goal that’s meaningful to each individual.

10+ Leadership Skills to Write About on Your Resume 

Even if you think you’re not cut out to be a leader, everyone has the ability to improve their leadership skills. While there’s a range of in-demand skills in the workplace, there are some areas that can't easily be taught or replaced.

Let’s go through some of the top skills for leaders, including specific examples for some of the categories. Each of these can be linked to one another. 

1. Adaptability 

Most times, things never go exactly to plan. 

Improvisations happen, last-minute changes are made, and you’re forced to take a shorter or longer route to reach the end goal. When this happens, how well can you adapt to the new circumstances? 

Being adaptable is a valuable skill. It means ensuring work is completed to a good standard despite the obstacles thrown at you at any given moment. 

Here’s some more precise examples of skills related to adaptability:

  • Learning agility
  • Collaboration 
  • Work well under pressure
  • Responsive to feedback

2. Decision-Making

It’s easy to lose confidence and motivation if you’re following an indecisive leader. Almost no one is willing to put their trust in someone unreliable who can’t make good decisions. 

Companies need someone capable of assessing the situation. Someone who can make an informed decision by using all the information and subtle details around them to solve a problem.

Here’s some skills and qualities that show good decision-making:

  • Analytical 
  • Logical reasoning
  • Strategic thinking

3. Communication

Communication is an essential soft skill for all professionals. Especially when it comes to working from home on team projects or working as an online marketer. Moreover, it’s how we build new relationships and work effectively as a team to get the best results. 

Organizations benefit from hiring people who can contribute to building a positive company culture where everyone’s in sync. 

Here’s some more skills that indicate good communication:

  • Client liaison
  • Conflict resolution
  • Negotiation

4. Delegation

Delegation means matching the right people with the right tasks. The process involves recognizing what work is best suited for certain team members. 

It’s a crucial leadership and management skill to maximize efficiency. Failing to delegate has a negative effect on productivity and team morale. The quality of work decreases too since it means giving yourself less time to focus on your main tasks. 

5. Organizational 

Organizational skills refer to your ability to establish systems and processes. In other words, creating structure around your workload to boost productivity. 

Good organizers help you stay ahead of deadlines. It’s also helpful for reducing stress, preventing burnout, and winning the trust of your peers.

Here are some more examples of organizational skills:

  • Goal setting
  • Project management
  • Strategic planning
  • Time management

6. Self-Awareness

A common skill effective leaders have is self-awareness. 

Being mindful of your strengths and weaknesses including your own emotions is a skill to harness. It’s vital for keeping you and your team on track to meeting objectives. Plus, it leaves less room for error while encouraging others to constantly improve. 

Here’s some examples of more skills related to self-awareness:

  • Discipline
  • Growth mindset
  • Emotional intelligence

7. Technology Trend Awareness

Are you often up-to-date with the latest technology? If so, then you probably have a good level of awareness when it comes to trends in tech. 

Or perhaps you find yourself thinking about how different technologies could be used to make your job easier. Well, these are good thoughts to have. Knowing what resources could be used to increase productivity is a competitive advantage. 

As technology evolves, the way businesses operate also evolves. For instance, the way social media is used to promote a brand. 

Here’s some examples of skills reflecting technology trend awareness:

  • Market research
  • Data analysis

8. Influence

Influence skills are about how well you can get others to come to a consensus or get on board with your ideas. 

Another way to put it is having the ability to make an impact on one’s thoughts, feelings, and behaviors. Those with influence are more likely to earn people’s trust and respect. They’re capable of winning their commitment without losing their confidence. 

Now, here’s some abilities that indicate good influence skills:

  • Assertiveness
  • Relationship-building
  • Self-confidence

9. Innovation

Innovation means having the ability to look at something from a new perspective. 

Having innovative leaders on the team enables organizations to grow at a faster rate with minimal expenditure on resources. In a world that’s constantly evolving, businesses need to be able to keep up. Otherwise, it’s easy to get left behind. 

Here’s some keywords related to innovation:

  • Creativity
  • Entrepreneurship
  • Problem-solving 

10. Mentorship

Mentorship is about helping someone reach success and grow into their full potential. 

Anyone can be a mentor. If you have more experience or knowledge than a colleague, you could be a mentor for them by sharing your own constructive feedback and criticism. This way, they can learn first-hand what they should and shouldn’t do to see results.

In terms of the workplace, it’s essential for improving team performance. It’s a method to empower colleagues to progress further into their careers too. 

11. Empathy

Nowadays, empathy is a crucial skill for leaders in the workplace. It’s that important that it deserves a category of its own. Understanding where differences in opinions or feelings come from requires:

  • Humility
  • Patience
  • Self-awareness

Gary Vee himself once posted on Twitter

“When you actually deploy gratitude and empathy you become numb to negativity which leads to pure offense and speed, which leads to results”. 

People want to work with those they can trust. Aside from getting more results, empathy helps leaders make tough decisions and get through difficult situations. 

4 Ways to Identify Your Best Leadership Skills

What type of leadership skills should you even mention in the first place? 

There’s 4 things you can do to help you figure out what to write about and where your strongest areas are as a leader. 

1. Take Note of the Job Responsibilities

Firstly, take the time to understand the company’s job description. What’s expected of the ideal candidate they want to hire?

Or more specifically, find the resume keywords. Customize your resume based on the hiring criteria. This helps you narrow down your options when thinking about what skills to talk about and which to prioritize. 

2. Reflect on Past Experiences

Were you the type of student at school who led presentations for group projects? 

Or when there’s new staff members who join the team, are you the person who shows them the ropes? 

Think back on your past experiences as a whole including your:

  • Academic history
  • Personal history
  • Work history

You might notice a pattern or recurring theme hinting at your strengths. Some of these could be transferable skills and qualities for a leadership position. 

3. Understand Your Personality Type

Try reading an in-depth guide on your personality type. It may lead to fresh insights into your leadership style and approach to solving problems. 

There’s implications based on the way you think, act, or respond in different situations. Getting a better understanding of this helps you figure out your own strengths and weaknesses. Another bonus is that it can improve self-awareness. 

4. Ask Other People

Get an opinion from others on what they think your best skills are as a leader. 

Besides knowing your own values and preferences, you might learn something new about yourself by seeing a new perspective.

Here’s some people you could ask:

  • Friends
  • Family 
  • Co-workers
  • Former colleagues

Should You Just List Leadership as a Skill?

A basic principle to follow when writing is to show, not tell. That said, leadership is a broad term made up of several different skills. While you could just list leadership as a skill on your resume, it’s not as powerful compared to describing it using examples and achievements. 

Although it’s one way to how long does it take to make a resume, try to avoid missing relevant details unless it’s not as important. 

How to Describe Leadership Skills on a Resume 

Focus on your leadership experiences. Show the hiring manager how you took initiative and made decisions that led to success. Be clear about how you guided or led others to reach company objectives. Think about your word choices to highlight how you communicate and work with other people. 

To be more specific, here’s a few steps to follow. 

Put Your Accomplishments First

Prioritize the accomplishments that reflect your knowledge and expertise. 

Rather than writing about your daily routine, list relevant achievements. Your actions and efforts show a lot more about what you’re capable of doing. 

Quantify the Results

This means using numbers to showcase the results you’ve delivered. 

Let’s look at a quick example:

  • Improved productivity by effectively managing a team. 
  • Effectively managed a team of 20 remote workers in different countries which led to an increase in productivity by 50%

The second sentence sounds better, right? That’s because it’s more specific than the other by using data. 

Include Examples

If not an achievement, write specific examples of the responsibilities you carried out that demonstrate good leadership. 

Walk the reader through what you did and how. But, keep it concise. Avoid making the common mistakes on resumes of writing fluff. 

Use Leadership Verbs

A general rule of thumb is to start your how many bullet points per job on resume with an action verb. 

But to double down on the impact you’ve made as a leader, use weak action verbs resume associated with leadership responsibilities. 

Here’s a few examples:

  • Directed
  • Oversaw
  • Coached
  • Expanded
  • Mentored
  • Resolved

Focus on Group Projects

Focus on past work experiences related to group projects. 

Not only does it emphasize your ability to collaborate with others. It indicates your level of teamwork skills and interpersonal skills. What’s even more impressive is if you have a positive track record of leading all kinds of teams.

Consider Mentioning Shadowing Experience 

Leadership skills could be shown through other types of work experiences too. A good example is shadowing experience. This means carefully watching someone who knows what they’re doing do their job. 

Even if you don’t have the ideal skill set yet, you’ll at least have an idea of how leaders operate. 

Here’s Where You Can Write About Your Leadership Skills 

Let’s go through what it looks like to describe your leadership skills for different resume sections. We’ll also include samples from a range of ats resume.

Resume Summary 

The summary section of your resume is where you make an introduction. Part of introducing yourself involves highlighting your strengths. This is an opportunity to mention your strongest areas as a leader. 

Or, you could imply your leadership skills based on how far back your work history goes. 

Here’s an example below.

Summary

Work Experience 

On top of the steps we’ve discussed earlier, here’s a few ways for proving your skills as a leader in your what to write in a resume for work experience:

  • Job titles with leadership responsibilities, e.g. supervisors and managers
  • Include a range of management and communication skills
  • Try to avoid resume buzzwords to avoid
  • Highlight the impact you’ve made

Here’s an example below.

Work Experience 

Skills 

Simply add the word to the list in the skills section. 

An resume tips is to categorize them. This means grouping certain skills together under different categories to highlight your areas of expertise.

Here’s an example below.

Skills

Projects

This can be approached in a similar way as the work experience section. 

Corporate experience and side projects have a few similarities. One of them is that other people are involved, so you’re not entirely working independently. 

See the example below. 

Projects

Coursework

There may be times in your how to list education on resume where you’ve improved your leadership knowledge. For students and those of you with a how to make a resume with no experience struggling to remember those relevant experiences, this might be worth thinking about. 

See the example below. 

Coursework

Volunteering

Volunteering experience could even be considered to be as good as work experience. That’s because you’re still learning new skills and working full-time or part-time hours like you would with a normal job. 

Approach this section the same way you would for your work experience section. 

Here’s an example below.

Volunteering

Extracurricular Activities

There’s a chance you’ve had leadership experience from previous extracurricular activities. This could be from a position you held and the responsibilities you carried out with it. For example, being the captain of a sports team in university. 

Here's another example below.

Extracurricular Activities

Cover Letters

You might not have written about everything you wanted to in your resume. But that’s what cover letters are for. They give you the opportunity to expand and go more in-depth on certain points from your CV. In this instance, that could be your leadership experience.

However, there are different ways to structure your cover letter

Tips for Talking About Leadership Skills in an Interview

It’s not completely different from how you’d talk about them on your resume since you’ll still need to:

  • Highlight the results of your contributions
  • Emphasize the impact you’ve made 
  • Give examples 

Now, here’s a few tips to keep in mind for the interview:

  • Share how you came up and implemented a solution to solve a problem
  • Use statistics and numbers when talking about your achievements 
  • Never talk smack about ex-colleagues or competitors
  • Don’t go off-topic 
  • Only mention failures if you’ve managed to bounce back from them

3 Resume Examples for Leadership Roles

Before wrapping things up, let’s go through 3 resume examples designed for a leadership and management position. 

Alternatively, you can find 300+ ready-to-use ATS resumes in our sample library here

Strategy Manager Resume

Strategy Manager Resume

Lead UX Designer Resume

Lead UX Designer Resume

Senior Robotics Engineer Resume

Senior Robotics Engineer Resume

AI Writers Make It Effortless to Create a Leadership Resume 

Creating a leadership resume doesn’t have to be as hard as it seems. Truth is, you could skip more than half of the steps we’ve discussed by using an AI resume writer. 

Instead of spending hours trying to complete your work experience section, just do the following:

  • Enter a job title
  • Click “Generate Bullet”
  • Save the bullet point generated by clicking “Apply Suggestion”
  • Repeat 

Or you press the “generate” button again if you don’t like the sentence that’s been suggested. 

From there, all you’d need to do is make a few tweaks by editing the sentences that've been generated for you. Then you do the same thing for the other resume sections.

Here’s a quick clip below to see how it works. 

Compared to the traditional process of writing a resume, this saves you a lot more time and effort. 

Looks good? Then you’re in luck because you can get started now for free by signing up here

Brief Recap

The skills section isn’t the only place to showcase your leadership skills on a resume. There are other sections like your:

  • Summary
  • Work experience
  • Projects
  • Coursework
  • Volunteering
  • Extracurricular activities

We all want to work with someone reliable who can propel our growth. Your hiring managers are no different. Use what we’ve discussed in this guide to position yourself as the type of person they can count on. 

Even if you’re not applying for a leadership role, you can still use what we’ve discussed to set yourself apart from the other candidates. 

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