Whether you’re looking to advance in your career or simply find another executive-level position, tailoring your resume writing for leadership roles is essential. Employers want to see that you are capable of driving a team or organization forward and have the strategic insight and ability required. You’ll want to revamp your resume to focus less on tactical experience and more on higher-level initiatives.

What Skills are Employers Looking for in Leadership Roles?

Throughout your career, you have likely developed a multitude of skills and abilities. Each role and promotion have helped you to grow and hone your craft. Now it’s a matter of demonstrating what you can do on your resume and focusing on key areas employers are looking for, such as:

Mentoring and Coaching. How do you develop others so they can be more successful in their positions and advance in their careers? Do you meet with employees one-on-one and offer constructive feedback and actionable insights? Recommend or lead training initiatives? Showcase ways you build a positive, motivating culture and support team members in achieving goals.

Delegation. Leaders don’t do everything themselves. They train and empower their team to manage various tasks and projects. This involves leveraging individuals’ strengths to drive productivity and efficiency.

Communication. Impactful leaders know how to listen, respond, and support their teams. They welcome others’ ideas, ensure that everyone understands their responsibilities, provide necessary resources and support, and are available to help resolve problems. You should be comfortable working and communicating with people at all levels of the organization.

Prioritization. As a leader, you are tasked with balancing multiple projects and initiatives. You must be able to prioritize what needs to be done in order to meet deadlines and maintain forward momentum. In addition, it can be valuable to mention your ability to quickly adapt to changing priorities, refocus, and get your team back on track.

Problem Solving. When things don’t go as planned, how do you respond? Are you able to come up with creative solutions and workarounds? Can you soothe tensions and bring together disparate groups to achieve a common goal? Often leaders must work through ambiguity and leverage sound judgment to quickly resolve problems.

Keywords that Highlight Leadership Abilities

Resume writing for leadership roles requires you to incorporate the right keywords and phrases that align with the types of positions you are pursuing. Once again, you’re shifting from a tactical to a strategic focus. Powerful action verbs to convey your abilities include:

  • Spearheaded
  • Directed
  • Championed
  • Motivated
  • Mentored
  • Negotiated
  • Cultivated
  • Established
  • Led
  • Implemented
  • Initiated

Showcase Your Achievements

Another way to effectively demonstrate your leadership abilities is through your accomplishments. Consider ways that you have positively impacted the organizations you have worked for and driven change. It may be helpful to talk to others and gather their input, as sometimes it’s difficult to identify your own achievements because you just see it as doing your job.

Incorporate metrics when possible to show quantifiable results. This could include monetary value, percentages, volume, other numbers. Combine these with keywords such as increased, decreased, reduced, improved, generated, slashed, etc.

Not everything can be measured, however, so you can also clearly explain the impact the action had. Employers want to see how you have guided employees or businesses to be more successful and achieve the goals that were set forth.

Don’t forget to include any awards or accolades you have received, leadership development programs you have been selected for, and promotions you have earned. You can also mention committees or boards you have served on that show how you have contributed outside of your normal role.

Create a Compelling Summary

Start your resume off strong by capturing a hiring manager’s attention with a compelling summary of qualifications. Position yourself as a leader who takes the initiative and is comfortable in a role with high-level responsibilities. You can do this by emphasizing your leadership and communication style, key strengths, and ability to develop strategic plans.

Not sure how to begin? Read job descriptions for roles that interest you or align with the type of position you seek. Look for qualifications and requirements that pop up multiple times. Take note of phrases that catch your eye and seem important. Don’t try to get too creative here. You want to use the same keywords you see in the job description as that is what will appeal to applicant tracking systems (ATS).

Don’t be afraid to toot your own horn. Be your own cheerleader and be proud of your abilities. You want to set yourself apart from the competition, and downplaying your skills and contributions won’t accomplish that.

Effective Resume Writing for Leadership Roles

Are you unsure about where to start or how to effectively position yourself as you revamp your resume? Partnering with a professional resume writer can help you reposition your experience, highlight your key strengths, and leverage strategic language to enable hiring managers to see you as a strong and capable leader. Contact Grammar Chic at (803) 831-7444 or resumewriting@grammachic.net to get started and take the next step in your career journey.