Having strong leadership skills means being able to lead, influence, and guide others, be they colleagues, friends, or even strangers.
What’s more, great leaders are natural problem-solvers. Think of someone between your favorite superhero and your best friend.
But putting ‘leadership skills’ in the skills section of your resume is surely not something we advise you to do. It does not mean anything and might make you sound shallow.
Instead, prove that you’re an active listener, a strong decision-maker, and an empathetic problem-solver.
How is showing you’re a good team leader useful for your job hunt?
Being a team leader has little to do with your job title. “Leader” is not just a formal title but also essential roles in each team.
Let’s consider scenario #1 - you may either be applying for an operational, a specialist, an expert job or your future job title might not explicitly say “leader”, “manager”, or “chief operations officer”. Besides that, having leadership skills would still be extremely attractive displayed on your resume. Exerting a certain set of leadership skills could be beneficial for your career and for your growth. It could be very useful in building good relationships and group dynamics within the team you’re working with. In addition, it could also be beneficial in putting you out there in the eyes of your managers when it’s time for promotion.
On the other hand, if you’re after a people managing position, then you already know the importance of leadership skills for your work success, growth, and satisfaction. Forming an effective team is an art on its own and its components are motivation, support, understanding, and focus - on the tasks, on the people both as a team, and as individuals.
The question then is, if team leadership consists of so many integral parts, how to best describe and showcase your experience on your resume? Let’s dive in.
Read this: 300+ Must-Have Skills for Your Resume
What skills and qualities help you highlight your team leadership skills?
Similar to most soft skills, the best way to prove you have a certain skillset is to disintegrate it into its constituent parts and then provide examples for each of them. In this way, you are not only specific and detailed, but also show your definition and understanding of the skill.
You can usually tell someone is a good leader by exerting the following:
- Communication and listening -- good communication skills are the platforms upon which we all build our lives, both professional and personal. Being able to listen actively, ask nonjudgmental questions, seek to understand, and speak with empathy are key if you want to be viewed as a true leader.
- Mediation and problem-solving -- being in the position of the team leader, you often need to juggle different people’s interests. Being able to balance between various points of view and not take sides but rather try to listen and proactively offer solutions, are qualities that help build confidence and in your skills and persona, and a sense of openness in your team members.
- Consistency, discipline, and vision -- consistency leads to trust which then leads to open sharing and being able to move forward and progress. Discipline is the fuel on the path of that progress and success. Vision is the goal at the end of the path, but also the reason for stepping on the road in the first place. Good leaders combine all of that
- Empathy, active listening & support: problems arise all the time. Recruiters know this, and that’s why they don’t want you to ignore them or magically make them disappear. Knowing how to deal with them through being an empathetic and supportive listener is a whole other story though. In fact, these skills can actually decrease the number of problems over time.
- Creativity & strategic thinking: it might sound as if creativity is the opposite of strategic thinking, but the truth is – they are intrinsically linked. Adapting ideas from different contexts to build improved and innovative strategies is essentially what every leader should know how to do.
- Flexibility & organization: being organized and setting good examples for others is crucial, but welcoming setbacks and delays with a high level of flexibility is even more important. The combination of these two skills will show employers that you’re a strong leader who is able to handle all types of situations.