Employers often prioritize job candidates who can show evidence of strong leadership skills and experience. But how do you demonstrate leadership skills on a resume? We’ll help you learn how to highlight these skills and provide some examples you can use for reference.
Being a leader in the workplace is more than having the word “manager” in your title. It means you’re able to get tasks done efficiently, collaborate with other team members, and achieve business goals. It’s no wonder so many employers prefer to hire people with proven leadership skills.
With this in mind, you can use your resume to show off your leadership qualities and get employers to notice you. Knowing how to demonstrate leadership skills on a resume can impress hiring managers and move your resume to the top of the stack.
In this article, we’ll show you how to demonstrate leadership skills on your resume, including:
How do you describe leadership skills on a resume?
Where on a resume can you include leadership skills?
What are some examples of ways to highlight leadership skills on a resume?
You have limited space on your resume, but there are plenty of opportunities to show an employer why you’re the right fit for a leadership role. Here are some ways you can emphasize your leadership skills on your resume:
Many employers and hiring managers provide keywords in the job description so that applicant tracking system (ATS) software can scan resumes for those specific words and phrases. Study the job description closely and identify some potential keywords that apply to your own experience and skills. Leadership keywords can vary depending on the position you’re applying for, but some common ones include:
Your professional summary is prime real estate at the top of your resume. Use this space to describe yourself as a leader with details about your past experience and one or two specific examples of your accomplishments. For example, you might discuss an award you’ve won for leadership or a time when your budgeting skills resulted in significant cost savings for a company.
Don’t just tell employers about the leadership tasks you had in a previous job. Show them the results of your hard work by measuring your accomplishments. Use statistics, like percentages and dollar amounts, to quantify your achievements as a leader. You can also use numbers to describe the size of teams you’ve led, the scope of projects you’ve managed, or business metrics you’ve tracked in past roles.
In your skills section, make sure you’re choosing skills that relate to the job you’re applying for. Review the job description again to see what leadership skills an employer has specifically requested. If you have those skills, make sure they’re listed on your resume. Include both hard skills related to leadership, like project management and quality assurance, and leadership soft skills, such as time management and problem-solving.
If you’ve never held a leadership role before, you can still include similar skills and experience on your resume. Consider times when you’ve acted as a leader on a team. For example, maybe you volunteered to be the point person on a project, or you might have suggested a workflow improvement that helped everyone on your team. Include those experiences on your resume to show employers your leadership qualities, especially if you’re applying for your first supervisory role.
If you’re still feeling stuck about how to demonstrate leadership skills on your resume, you can use these examples for some inspiration:
Hardworking and efficient manager with six years of experience overseeing operations in a busy retail store with over $5 million in annual revenue. Highly skilled in people management with exceptional coaching and mentoring abilities, onboarding an average of 15 new employees each year.
Resume summary template for a leadership role
[One or two adjectives] [job title or role] with [number of years of experience] in [area or industry]. Skilled in [specific leadership skills] with a record of [brief description of using skills in practice with a measurable statistic or specific example].
Project Manager at Walmart, Bentonville, Arkansas. 2018–Present
Manage and lead projects ranging from $50,000 to over $100,000 in budget and scope
Create schedules to complete projects by deadline, leading teams to a 99% success rate for on-time delivery
Work closely with stakeholders to establish realistic, achievable goals and deliverables for projects
Monitor budgets to identify potential expenditure cuts, resulting in over $25,000 in cost savings
Lead project teams of 10 to 15 employees, providing continuous coaching to ensure successful outcomes
Training and Development
By knowing how to demonstrate leadership skills on your resume, you can show employers your strong work ethic and goal-setting abilities. Use these examples as inspiration for your own resume to discuss your leadership skills with confidence—like the true boss you are.
Want even more examples of including leadership skills on your resume? Check out our professional resume examples and writing guides for customizable samples based on your position or industry!
Demonstrating leadership skills on your resume shows employers you’re someone who can manage teams, prioritize tasks, and set and achieve goals.
You can highlight these abilities by using resume keywords and providing specific examples of times you’ve used your leadership skills successfully.
Highlight your leadership skills on different areas of your resume, including your summary, experience, and skills sections, to demonstrate you’re a well-rounded and versatile leader.
Ashley White is a Midwest-based writer and editor specializing in content related to careers, professional development, and human resources. She also has experience writing about finance, health care, automotive, and lifestyle topics. Previously, she worked as a resume reviewer, offering advice and insights to help job seekers stand out from the competition.