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Initiative Skills

How to Demonstrate Initiative Skills on Your Resume?

Initiative at the workplace is the ability to seize the potential of an idea and take action without direction from someone else. Individuals showing initiative can create or control a situation by causing something to happen rather than responding to it after it has happened.

Demonstrating this skill is showing a sense of self-drive, self-awareness, insight, and personal motivation. People who are motivated and enthusiastic at the workplace can work and achieve results without waiting for someone to tell to what to do.

Why initiative skills are wanted by recruiters on your resume?

Hiring managers want employees who can take initiative. Those employees not only do their job well when told what to do, but they see their role as a purpose and always think of ways they can improve their work.

Employers want to see initiative skills in candidates because they are motivated and can do their job with a new approach and be more efficient.

Initiative skills are important in the workplace. Demonstrating them can help you move up your career.

People who present curiosity and the ability to find out what they need to know and take advantage of opportunities that others pass by are valuable for every organization.

Initiative skills can be demonstrated only in action.

What skills, activities, and accomplishments help you highlight your initiative skills?

We listed some skills that activities initiative skills and employers look for on a candidate's resume:

  • Innovative thinking is the ability to come up with new ideas and novel approaches to problems. Showcase this skill on your resume by showing you are creative, flexible, and able to come up with new ideas.
  • Problem-solving is the ability to find working solutions to difficult situations. Demonstrate on your resume that you can develop solutions to remove an obstacle to achieving your goal.
  • Creativity is the ability to generate or recognize ideas, alternatives, or possibilities that may be useful in solving problems, optimizing your work, or achieving your goals efficiently.
  • Proactive is the intention to produce a good result or avoid a problem, rather than waiting until there is a problem.
  • Conflict-resolution is the ability to manage disputes between coworkers or with clients to secure a satisfying work environment and relationships. Sometimes being initiative in the workplace can lead to conflicts, and you should know how to manage them.
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How to demonstrate initiative skills on your resume?

  • Use action verbs that emphasize your initiative or drive skills.
  • Emphasize your results of being initiative by including numbers and metrics in the experience section.
  • Demonstrated the skills that are associated with initiative.
  • Highlight your initiative skills on your resume by including them in the skills section.

Example 1: Demonstrate initiative skills in the experience section

Experience
Senior Marketing Specialist
HarvesTime Foods
Date period
Chicago, IL
Initiated discussions of add-on benefit opportunities with clients, producing over $1M in sales revenue
Reduced marketing costs by 10% by initiating negotiations with vendor contracts and centralizing production and shipping of materials to increase efficiencies and maximize savings
Launched a weekly newsletter, reaching 10K+ new clients in 35 cities, and increasing online sales by 20%
RIGHT

The best way to demonstrate initiative in your experience section is to emphasize accomplishments that show drive and ambition.

This Senior Marketing Specialist provides examples of a new initiative and how it adds an improvement in their work.

They use the correct keywords to describe their projects and give concrete metrics or results of their efforts.

The provided example showcases a candidate that goes above and beyond what was required of them.

Example 2: Demonstrate initiative skills in the resume summary section

Summary
An insightful Sales Associate with 5+ years of professional experience selling products and services and maximizing revenues. With excellent communication and presentation skills, self-motivation, proactivity, teamwork, and results-oriented.
RIGHT

With no more than 3-5 sentences, your resume summary can easily demonstrate your initiative skills.

This example of a professional statement clearly and without many words describes this person as an initiative. They use the correct action verbs and list the skills that show initiative.

Example 3: Show your initiative skills in your achievements’ section

Achievements
Problem-solving
Spearheaded and launched inventory rotation process to align demands to supplies on transition products and reduced worldwide material requirements by 10%
Creative thinking
Developed a five-year digital transformation plan for the company, cutting costs by 45% in 3 years
RIGHT

To furthermore highlight your initiative skills, you can add a section in which you can showcase your most proud achievements.

A good way to demonstrate your initiative skills is to give examples like the provided one, where the candidate is listing projects they created and followed through.

Initiative Skills: key takeaways for your resume

  • Demonstrate your initiative skills by showing on your resume a sense of self-drive, self-awareness, insight, and personal motivation.
  • Hiring managers want employees who can take initiative because those are the employees who can do more than they are expected to do.
  • The best way to prove that you’re initiative is to highlight accomplishments that show drive and ambition.
  • Initiative skills can be demonstrated only in action.
  • List skills that activities initiative skills and employers look for.
  • Emphasize your results of being initiative by including numbers and metrics in the experience section.

About this report:

Data reflects analysis made on over 1M resume profiles and examples over the last 2 years from Enhancv.com.

While those skills are most commonly met on resumes, you should only use them as inspiration and customize your resume for the given job.

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Volen Vulkov
Volen Vulkov is a resume expert and the co-founder of Enhancv. He applies his deep knowledge and experience to write about career change, development, and how to stand out in the job application process.