How to Emphasize Leadership Skills on Your Resume (Examples) | FlexJobs (2023)

How to Emphasize Leadership Skills on Your Resume (Examples) | FlexJobs (1)

By Christine Bernier Lienke

No matter whether you’re an entry-level or a C-level professional,there are certain traits that all leaders share and hiring managers will scour your resume looking for them.

Leadership experience is most readily evident from managerial roles, but even if you don’t have any leadership experience, there are ways to demonstrate your potential.

Selecting the most powerful words to describe your experience can make a huge impact for a potential employer.

When wanting to add leadership experience to your resume, consider the skills you used in past roles to lead projects or teams. You can also consider things such as volunteer, civic, or social engagements.

If you don’t have leadership experience in this arena, it might be a good idea to take the lead on a volunteer project or offer to chair a committee. If you’re not already a member of a professional organization or civic club, both are great ways to meet new people and contribute to your community while gaining valuable networking opportunities that can lead to leadership experience.

Below we’re going over a few of the top skills hiring managers are looking for and how to demonstrate leadership experience when you don’t have any,and how to show your leadership skills when youdo have experience. These skills certainly apply to any leadership role, whether you have the experience or not. How you talk about these skills will be different, depending on your level of experience.

How to Emphasize Leadership Skills on Your Resume (Examples) | FlexJobs (2) Examples of Leadership Skills for Your Resume


Even if you weren’t a manager or leader in any of your past roles, list any projects you spearheaded from conception to completion. Also, be sure to feature your commitment through a career history that reflects steady, long-term employment.


Being a good communicator is the most important quality of a leader. After all, if you can’t communicate your intentions and expectations to your team, they’ll never be able to achieve their goals. But because communication goes both ways, be sure to demonstrate yourability to listenas well as talk.

“Communication is a two-way street. As a leader it’s not only important to show your ability to communicate to your team verbally, but also your ability to listen and collaborate with them to meet goals and objectives. Leaders have well-rounded communications skills, and you will want to be sure that comes through on your resume,” said Toni Frana, a career coach at FlexJobs.

(Video) How to Emphasize Leadership Skills on Your Resume


The more knowledge you have, the more valuable you’ll be to your team. An understanding of the processes and tools is essential, but make sure that you also know when to delegate the work. Share examples of your competence through leadership and delegation by featuring past experiences in overcoming obstacles on your resume.


Don’t use elaborate fonts or images on your resume. Instead, show your creativity through examples of innovative problem-solving.“Don’t be afraid to be a little creative on your resume. Think outside of the box in terms of how you approach problem-solving and challenges at work. You also may be able to show some leadership skills through any unique community involvement and volunteer work you’ve done,” shared Frana.

If appropriate, you might also include examples of your creative hobbies and interests that are somewhat related to the role, but only if you’ve run out of relevant work history.


Demonstrate your honesty by telling the truth about your work experience on your resume. Present yourself in the most positive light butnever lie on a resume. Carefully review all details for accuracy before sending your resume off.


Present a tidy, logical, and well-organized resume that’s easy to scan to show your attention to detail and organization. Doing so will be a visible example of your professionalism and leadership skills.


Show examples on your resume of how you’ve participated in a team environment, both as a leader and supporter. “Be sure to showcase how you collaborate with others both as a leader and a team member. Quantifying how many people you’ve led, the end results of team projects, and any information about you as a participant on a team is beneficial,” said Frana.

If you can obtain a positive quote or two about your teamwork skills from former team members, this will speak volumes about your leadership skills.


Your ability to see the scope and potential from a single project to a company’s long-term future and potential is a soft skill that’s difficult to demonstrate. However,the languageyou use in your executive summary and work description can convey your vision. Use meaningful, intentional language to describe your vision not only in the role for which you’re applying, but for the company as a whole.

How to Emphasize Leadership Skills on Your Resume (Examples) | FlexJobs (3) How to Show Your Leadership Experience on a Resume

Highlight leadership in the job titles

The most obvious examples ofleadership experience on a resume will be workplace management positions. Be sure to list your actual title, as well as the number of employees managed, and any major milestones achieved. This will ensure that your resume will pass through the applicant tracking system (ATS), which might be on alert for certain keywords associated with leadership and management skills (more on this below).

Provide proof of accomplishments

As a general resume rule of thumb, quantifiable accomplishments—those that you can attach a number figure or percentage of improvement to—will take you further than a vague (and unsubstantiated) claim. So include examples of how you led and created team goals, specific metrics related to business objectives, how you provided promotions and advancement opportunities to team members, etc.

“Illustrating concrete examples of how many people you’ve led and how big the scope of a project is in terms of budget, for example, are compelling ways to share with a hiring manager your leadership skills. It helps them see you as a leader in the role—before they even interview you!” added Frana.

Look for leadership experience in other areas

If your leadership experience is still blossoming, look to any social, civic, or volunteer settings (such as your contributions to your community, or even your work for your child’s PTA). All of this counts as quality leadership experience, especially if you can offer some stats to support your skills. And if you’re not already a member, consider joining a professional organization or civic club. They’re both great ways to meet new people and help out your community, but also great networking opportunitiesthat can lead to valuable leadership experience, too.

Commit to the company

Employers aren’t looking to hire someone who will only be with the company for a short stint—they want workers who will be in it for the long haul. So show a potential employer that you’re willing to invest in their company for years to come. You can prove to employers that you are a committed leader by sharing your list of projects that you have completed from start to finish, or you can showcase your steady, long-term employment or volunteer history.

Use the right keywords

Any of the keywords from the section above will work on your resume. But also be sure to scour the job description and add any keywords from it to your resume (if actually applicable to your skills!).

“Knowing what words to use to show leadership should start from carefully reading the job description,” said Frana. “If you can identify words alluding to leadership like: lead, pioneer, direct, that will be a good starting point. Then, be sure to use those words as well as a variety of action verbs throughout your resume so as not to be redundant with the same verbs throughout.”

How to Emphasize Leadership Skills on Your Resume (Examples) | FlexJobs (4) Perfecting Your Resume

Whether you have specific leadership experience to show on your resume or not, incorporating these skills will improve your resume and show employers that you have what it takes to succeed at the job. If you’re still interested in polishing your resume, FlexJobs can help! We offer personalized resume review servicesthrough our team of in-house experts. Check it out today!

(Video) How to demonstrate leadership in your CV and interview

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How to Emphasize Leadership Skills on Your Resume (Examples) | FlexJobs (5)

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(Video) 7 Leadership Skills you can Highlight on your Resume without Management Experience


What are examples of leadership on a resume? ›

Example of leadership skills on a resume

Highly organized and results-focused leader with eight years of experience coaching and mentoring teams of 5 to 15 employees. Proven record of spearheading projects to increase operational efficiency and improve collaboration among interdepartmental teams.

How do you emphasize skills on a resume? ›

Use headings and mention the necessary qualifications and skills under those headings using bullets. Examples of heading categories: Education, Work experience, Achievements, etc. Make sure everything you write is effective, positive and honest. Don't use negative words or sentences.

What are leadership skills examples? ›

Almost any positive soft skill might be considered a leadership skill. For example, active listening helps leaders accomplish projects by hearing their team's ideas and concerns. Empathy helps leaders understand how their team feels about their workload or workplace relationships.

What is the best way to describe leadership? ›

In its simplest form, leadership is influencing other people to follow. Therefore, anyone who can influence people to follow them has leadership qualities. Leadership happens at all levels within organizations and society, not just among those who work in defined "leadership positions."

How do you sound impressive on a resume? ›

How Can You Make Yourself Sound Better on Your Resume?
  1. Convert accomplishment numbers. ...
  2. Don't be afraid to brag. ...
  3. Stand out from the crowd. ...
  4. Address specific points from the job posting. ...
  5. Don't leave gaps in employment. ...
  6. Recommended Reading:
  7. Related Articles:

How do you emphasize experience? ›

Showcase your competency by using the terminology of your industry. Visit the organization's website, social media page or LinkedIn profile. Identify popular terminology in your field by reviewing the information published by professional associations, textbooks or journals. Share testimonials.

How do you emphasize soft skills on a resume? ›

Soft skills work best in two parts of your resume: the summary paragraph and your achievements section(s). In the summary, you want to include as many of the key skills from the job description as possible plus any skills that you will reference in other parts of your resume.

What should I write for leadership experience? ›

When you are asked to describe your leadership experience, you should be able to mention an example or two of when you exercised your leadership or management skills. For instance, you may want to discuss a time when you led a big project at your last job.

What are the five 5 leadership skills? ›

What Are the Top Five Skills Necessary for Effective Leadership?
  • Decisiveness. Leaders must make difficult decisions — often quickly — and justify their choices to colleagues and employees. ...
  • Critical thinking. ...
  • Motivation. ...
  • Integrity. ...
  • Team building.
12 May 2022

What are your top 3 leadership skills? ›

The 8 key leadership skills you need to know:
  • Relationship building.
  • Agility and adaptability.
  • Innovation and creativity.
  • Employee motivation.
  • Decision-making.
  • Conflict management.
  • Negotiation.
  • Critical Thinking.

How do you sound like a leader on a resume? ›

How to Showcase Leadership Skills on Your Resume
  1. Provide Examples. An average employer or recruiter gets hundreds of resumes for any given job position. ...
  2. Quantify Measurable Results. ...
  3. Use Leadership Skills Mentioned in the Job Description. ...
  4. Include Words Associated with Leadership. ...
  5. Highlight Communication Skills. ...
  6. Bottom Line.
7 Dec 2017

What to say to make your resume stand out? ›

Here are five ways to make your resume stand out from the competition.
  1. Respond Directly to the Job Description. ...
  2. Describe Accomplishments, Not Responsibilities. ...
  3. Quantify Your Accomplishments. ...
  4. Use the Summary Section for Distinguishing Details. ...
  5. Ignore Irrelevant Information.

How do you say you have excellent skills? ›

Examples of computer skills for resumes
  1. Proficient with Microsoft Word, Excel and PowerPoint.
  2. Composed and sent over 150 emails a week using Microsoft Outlook.
  3. Created and formatted simple office budget spreadsheets on Microsoft Excel.
  4. Wrote, edited and formatted documents on Microsoft Word.

What is a good sentence for emphasize? ›

Use “emphasize” in a sentence

He emphasized the importance of peace. The teacher emphasized the importance of education. I want to emphasize the need to get this done on time. He emphasized the importance of working hard.

How do you write emphasize in a sentence? ›

"The government emphasized the need for higher taxes." "It is important to emphasize the facts in this report." "My coach always emphasized teamwork." "She used many examples to emphasize the point she was trying to make."

What is the best way to emphasize? ›

So there you have it: If you really need to emphasize something in your text, use italics or bold. And remember, if everything is emphasized, then nothing is emphasized.

What are the 7 essential soft skills? ›

The seven soft skills that are commonly requested by employers are: teamwork, problem solving, communication, adaptability, critical thinking, time management and interpersonal. Below, we explore these in detail.

Is leadership a soft skill? ›

You may progress in your career and find new opportunities by using your leadership skills in all aspects of your career. Employers prioritise it among many other soft skills.

What are the 4 C's of leadership? ›

A long time ago, I was inculcated with leadership principles called the “4 C's” -- competency, commitment, courage, and candor --which I still argue are the right basic leader values from initial leadership roles to senior positions of authority.

What is the most important leadership skill? ›

The ten most important leadership qualities
  1. Communication. The ability to communicate is deemed an important leadership quality by many. ...
  2. Set a good example. ...
  3. Readiness to take on and give up responsibility. ...
  4. Motivation. ...
  5. Recognise and foster potential. ...
  6. Tolerate mistakes. ...
  7. Flexibility. ...
  8. Set goals and expectations.

How would you describe leadership role? ›

A leadership role is one where you are in charge of a team or entire organization. You have the ability to influence others and guide your team in a shared strategy. You're also responsible for building and maintaining employee morale, helping employees reach their full potential and inspiring employee loyalty.

How do you describe team leadership on a resume? ›

How to demonstrate team leadership skills on your resume
  1. Think of instances when you took the initiative and united the team around an idea of yours that lead to success.
  2. Describe a time when you helped resolve a team conflict or deescalate a situation.

What are the 7 core skills of a leader? ›

7 Essential Qualities of a Leader
  • Clear Communication. ...
  • Strong Ethics and Standards. ...
  • Organization. ...
  • Expresses Expectations. ...
  • Nurtures Growth. ...
  • Flexible to Change. ...
  • Creates Feeling of Togetherness.
3 Jul 2017

What are the five leadership skills examples? ›

What Are the Top Five Skills Necessary for Effective Leadership?
  • Decisiveness. Leaders must make difficult decisions — often quickly — and justify their choices to colleagues and employees. ...
  • Critical thinking. ...
  • Motivation. ...
  • Integrity. ...
  • Team building.
12 May 2022

What are the 5 people leadership skills? ›

The five people management skills in this article will help any manager grow their relationship with their team and better serve their employees.
  • Demonstrating Trust. ...
  • Giving Compassionate (and Honest) Feedback. ...
  • Motivating Others. ...
  • Giving Credit. ...
  • Distributing Work.
2 Aug 2019

How do I say I am a good team leader? ›

Examples of team player statements to incorporate into your resume include:
  1. Embraces teamwork.
  2. Team-player who can also work independently.
  3. Thrives in a team environment.
  4. Excellent communication skills.
  5. Enjoys working closely with others.
  6. Team-oriented personality.
  7. Dedicated team-member.
  8. Team leader.

What are the 3 key responsibilities of a leader? ›

What are the 3 Most Important Roles of a Leader?
  • Leaders need to have clear goals and objectives;
  • They need to motivate their followers and provide them with direction;
  • They must support their team members in order for them to succeed.
19 May 2021

What are the 4 basic leadership? ›

That's why communication is so important for leaders. Set your development as a leader on the right track by learning and practicing the 4 fundamental skills of true leadership: self-awareness, learning agility, communication, and influence.

What is the 10 qualities of a good leader? ›

Good leaders possess self-awareness, garner credibility, focus on relationship-building, have a bias for action, exhibit humility, empower others, stay authentic, present themselves as constant and consistent, become role models and are fully present.

What is a strong leadership skill? ›

Valuable leadership skills include the ability to delegate, inspire and communicate effectively. Other leadership traits include honesty, confidence, commitment and creativity. In IT, executives are often required to be jacks-of-all-trades.


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