How To Showcase Your Leadership Skills on a Resume

Whether you’re applying for a management position or not, leadership skills are important. Here’s what you need to know about leadership skills.


What Are Leadership Skills?

Leadership skills are those skills that help people effectively motivate and take charge of managing others in various situations. For example, if you work in customer service, good leadership skills will definitely include good communication and conflict resolution. If you work in business, the leadership skills you need are more likely to concern motivating team members, team building, managing or delegating workloads. So while leadership skills are the skills that make a strong leader, the precise makeup of a leader’s skill set will be determined by the job description and title.

Leadership Skills That Hiring Managers Are Looking For

Whether or not a company is hiring for a managerial or leadership role, hiring managers will always be looking for leadership qualities in job seekers. You see, leadership skills are highly transferable and can be beneficial in many different work situations. Leadership skills include:

  • Emotional intelligence
  • Problem-solving
  • Time management
  • Active listening
  • Analytical decision-making
  • Open-mindedness
  • Strategic thinking
  • Effective communication
  • Positive attitude
  • Employee engagement and motivation

If you are a relatively new leader or you have very specific leadership skills, you should be honest about how you communicate your skills. Most big companies offer leadership development programs and opportunities you can take advantage of. When applying for a leadership position, simply highlight the specific skills you already have and make sure you tell potential employers what you can offer them. If you want tips on how to write an effective resume, you should refer to ResumeHelp’s resume writing guide.

How To Prove Your Skills

Of course, anyone can claim to have strong leadership skills. Backing those claims up can be a little trickier. The most efficient way to backup your leadership skills in your resume and during job interviews is to mention your leadership qualifications and certifications.

First and foremost, you need to display your leadership abilities and relevant skills effectively on your resume. Your leadership skills should be listed in your skills section along with all other soft and hard skills. Likewise, you can discuss times when you displayed strong leadership skills in your work history section. This will create a good base. If you want to make a really compelling case for your great leadership abilities, you should also list any formal certifications and qualifications you may have in your education section. If you have no formal qualifications, you should consider taking professional assessments via an online course like LinkedIn learning. This will qualify your leadership skills and show you are motivated to be a leader. 

If you possess leadership qualifications and they are represented well on your resume, you will still face interview questions about your leadership skills. These are most likely to be behavioral types of questions about a time you displayed strong leadership or team management abilities. When you are asked these kinds of questions, you should answer them fully and effectively by using a strategy like the STAR technique. STAR stands for: Situation, Task, Action and Result. You will answer the interview question by providing a specific situation and task as well as the actions you took and the overall results. This will show the effectiveness of your leadership skills in a way that also showcases your communication skills.

FAQ: Leadership Skills

Q: Do I need to list leadership skills if I’m not applying for a managerial position?

Yes. Just like communication skills, leadership skills are very useful in almost any form of employment. So if you have good leadership skills, you should highlight those skills in your resume. After all, whether you are in a leadership role or not, you may still be called on to lead team members at some point in your employment.

Q: How do I determine the best skills for my resume?

When resume writing, you should consider your competencies, key skills and main qualifications in light of the requirements of the job that you are applying for. While leadership qualities are always useful, you should consider what management skills are most applicable to the role. For example, if the role is a collaborative one, your effective leadership skills will be called upon for teamwork and delegation.

Q: How many leadership skills should I list on my resume?

Whether you’re applying for a leadership position or not, it is best to limit the number of leadership skills on your resume to a maximum of five to eight. If you add more than that, you may leave too little room for your other relevant skills. Remember, your resume should only be one page in length, so it’s important to make the most of the space you have.

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