One of the things we recommend when writing resumes is to be quantifiable, to display the metrics that you’ve hit in your position or the sales numbers you’ve achieved. However, there are some skills that are much more difficult to quantify. One of the primary examples is leadership, an important ability that usually doesn’t come with a number attached. In this short article, we will run through both the common internet query “how to add leadership to resume” as well as walk through how to write a resume for a leadership position.
How to Add Leadership to a Resume
There are several easy ways to add leadership to a resume. They might strike you as too simple, but these are all methods by which one can demonstrate leadership to hiring managers and recruiters.
Taking on a formal or informal mentorship role in an organization is always something you’ll want to mention. While it might not be leadership in the classic sense, displaying the ability to coach someone (on either a personal, professional or executive level) is something that definitely counts as leadership. This could be shown through either helping someone adjust to a new role, supporting them through a personal issue, or grooming them for a promotion.
This is usually a bit more formal or technical than mentoring, but falls into a similar category. Instructing someone else in a professional manner (whether with a new system, process, or approach) is a banner method of leadership. You’re showcasing your ability to help someone else improve their ability to operate in the workplace, and probably bolstering their performance (and therefore the performance of the entire organization) in the process!
Communication with Leaders
Maybe you aren’t in a position to train anyone, and are still too new in your role or the workforce in general to be a mentor. That’s fine! Even by demonstrating that you are connecting with leaders in your organization (or your field), you’re showing that you are dealing with leaders (and learning from them). Whether it be suggesting process improvements, helping run meetings, or taking on managerial tasks, any work directly with leaders is a good thing to talk about.
Finally, undertaking personal growth and education is a sign of leadership. By going out of your way to learn more about your field or position, you’re displaying a willingness to learn and adapt – both keys for leaders. Even if you’re not leading anyone else, you’re leading yourself to a better place, and that’s absolutely important to include.
How to Write a Resume for a Leadership Position
When writing a resume for a leadership position (manager, director, program supervisor, etc.), you will want to include the information mentioned above, but there are other things that you can focus on as well. Here are a few other topics that you should delve into if you’re hoping to move into a leadership position.
If you’re just trying to demonstrate leadership, it can be difficult to find numbers. However, any numbers that you have to offer should be included (if relevant). For example, if you managed eight employees, say “eight” instead of a “number” or “handful” or “several”. This shows just how much responsibility you had, which is important for a leadership position.
Maybe more than anything else, leadership means making decisions. Therefore, if you’re applying for a leadership role, it’s best to showcase any decision-making experience you’ve had. This could be big (shifting location to another site) or small (updating marketing materials with a new focus); any kind of decision-making looks good, especially if there’s a positive result attached. If you didn’t lead decision-making, maybe try to work in occasions where you helped on decisions such as hiring or initiatives.
Show Personnel Management
Speaking of hiring, anything related to personnel management is usually useful to include for leadership positions, especially when it comes to improving your earnings potential with a professional resume. Any process that goes into building a team (recruiting, hiring, firing, role restructuring) is something that most leadership roles perform or at least support, so showing experience in those areas is key. Another item worthy of inclusion is team building itself, such as developing relationships with direct reports or leading initiatives that increase collaboration.
Promotions sometimes occur through sheer tenure or “because it’s time”, but they are frequently spurred by big achievements or projects. To that end, if you want a leadership role, it’s extremely helpful to provide evidence that you can seize the initiative. Spearheading process improvements (or even just finding and recommending them) are therefore hugely important. Seeing something that’s wrong or could use improvement and then doing something about it is a true sign of leadership, and something every company will want from their leaders.