How To Highlight Leadership Skills On A Resume: A Guide

Updated 21 April 2023

Leadership is an essential management function that helps organisations direct their resources towards achieving their goals. Leadership skills can help you gain a reputation and make you suitable for leadership roles eventually as you garner professional experience. Knowing about these skills and how to incorporate them into your resume can improve your chances of getting selected for applicable roles, subsequently. In this article, we explain the importance of listing leadership skills on a resume, provide some examples of these skills, discuss how to highlight your skills on a resume and share a template and an example resume with leadership skills.

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Why Are Leadership Skills On A Resume Important?

Including leadership skills on a resume shows you are aware of the abilities required to fulfil the responsibilities, which can attract the attention of the recruiting manager. Leadership skills often incorporate several unique personality traits and communication abilities that are useful for any job. Whether you are applying for a management position or not, mentioning some applicable leadership abilities on your resume can create a positive impression on the recruiting manager and help you validate your candidature and increase your chances of getting hired.

Related: How To Become A Leader: A Guide (With Leadership Styles)

9 Important Leadership Skills For A Resume

Here are some of the most essential skills for leadership:

1. Confidence

A leader usually exhibits the ability to influence and motivate people. This is possible when the leader is confident in their own abilities and in the vision they present to others. Showing confidence in body language, while presenting an idea and while talking or delegating to people are, as a result, essential to being an effective leader.

2. Emotional intelligence

Emotional intelligence is an individual's ability to recognise and manage emotions in themselves and others. Outstanding leaders are self-aware and can self-manage their sentiments during times of high stress effectively. They are also socially aware and can use empathy to manage their relationships with others at work. Emotional intelligence is a core leadership skill that is key to fostering a professional and supportive work environment conducive to productivity.

3. Communication

As leaders motivate others to follow them and work towards shared goals, it is vital to communicate those goals to the team, along with the plan of action for reaching them. Through effective communication, leaders can help teams or departments understand their roles in a project, listen to and respond to questions from team members and also resolve any misunderstandings that may arise. A good leader is adept at both verbal and written communication.

Read more: Communication Skills In Leadership: Importance And Benefits

4. Decision making

A leader's decisions can determine their and their organisation's success. A leader may require making small to large-scale decisions that are going to impact the company and its employees. Effective leaders can use their decision-making skills to resolve potential conflicts in the workplace effectively and achieve actionable results beneficial to the company. With prompt decision-making skills, leaders can make informed decisions to achieve the best possible results. This skill keeps improving as these individuals continue to gain experience in a specific company or industry.

5. Team building

Leadership requires the ability to build and maintain a strong and collaborative team of individuals working towards the same goal. The ability to team build and maintain transparency also helps enhance the productivity of the team, as there is mutual support whenever there are shortcomings to overcome them collectively as a team. Leaders can build productive relationships by actively listening to others, giving them praise, offering constructive feedback and creating a safe and positive work culture.

6. Delegation

Delegation involves assigning team members to specific roles based on each person's strengths and weaknesses. If leaders can delegate effectively, they can keep employees productive and fetch better results for the company. Effective delegation skills help manage overall workload and facilitate uniform task delegation. The ability to instruct and explain clearly is also important to be successful at delegating.

7. Mentoring

Leadership involves effectively mentoring colleagues or other team members to improve their performance and grow as a professional. Often, this skill requires providing constructive criticism, organising training sessions and thinking about how to make the team successful. Efficiently training employees helps organisations scale, making this skill desirable among employers looking to hire potential leaders.

8. Dependability

Being a dependable leader means people can trust and rely on you. A dependable person follows through on plans and fulfils their tasks responsibly. They hold themselves accountable for their actions and adhere to professional ethics in the workplace. A dependable leader creates a resilient team, as the team members know they can rely on their leader to work through any difficulties that may arise.

9. Resilience

When things do not go as planned, a leader has to remain flexible and resilient under pressure, adjust to changing scenarios and devise strategies to combat such situations successfully. This involves reflecting on a situation and assessing options and information available before acting. Resilience requires emanating a positive attitude and having the determination to achieve goals, even during stressful situations.

Related: 10 Common Leadership Styles

How To Highlight Your Leadership Skills On A Resume

Here are some steps you can follow to demonstrate your leadership skills on your resume:

1. Include them in your professional summary

A professional summary is a brief introduction to your skills, capabilities and experiences that lets the employer know whether you are a good fit for the company. You can include some of your most relevant leadership skills here, after reading the job description. Consider mentioning applicable skills that the company expects, so that you seem like the right fit for the role and increase your chances of getting shortlisted.

2. Add them to the job responsibilities

While describing your responsibilities in the experience section of your resume, you can use important words and phrases that demonstrate your leadership skills. Even if you do not mention your skills directly, state your responsibilities in a way that makes it easy for the recruiter to infer that you have leadership skills. This is also an ideal opportunity to mention the results you achieved by using your skills to better validate your claims.

3. List them in the skills section

At the end or towards the beginning of your resume, you have the skills section where you can list each type of leadership skill and its underlying capabilities. It is a convenient way to show your leadership and other skills to the recruiting manager. Though you can list as many skills as you desire, it is prudent to choose three to four leadership skills to ensure you can include other skills that the job requires.

Related: Leadership Skills: Definitions And Examples

Template For A Resume With Leadership Skills

Here is a template for a resume that highlights leadership skills:

[First name] [Last name]

[Degree or certification, if applicable]
[Phone number] | [Email address] | [City], [State]

Professional summary
[Two to three sentences that highlight years of experience, relevant skills, education or certifications and achievements as a professional]

[Degree], [Major] | [Date of graduation]
[Name of school or university]
[Certification Name], [Host organisation] - [Year completed or expiration date]

Work experience
[Job title] | [Employment dates]
[Company Name] | [City], [State]

  • (Strong verb) + what you did (more detail) + reason, outcome or quantified results.

  • [Job duty]

  • [Job duty]

  • [Job duty]

  • [Job duty]

[Job Title] | [Employment dates]
[Company Name] | [City], [State]

  • [Action verb + what you did with more detail + reason, outcome or quantified results]

  • [Job duty]

  • [Job duty]

[Category]: [Skill] | [Skill] | [Skill] | [Skill] | [Skill] | [Skill]
[Category]: [Skill] | [Skill] | [Skill] | [Skill] | [Skill] | [Skill]

Related: Leadership Roles (With Examples And Functions Of Leadership)

Example Of A Resume With Leadership Skills

Here is an example of how to include leadership skills in various parts of a resume:

Sheikh Abdul Karim

MBA +91-8998976676 | | Srinagar, Jammu and Kashmir

Professional summary
Training professional with extensive leadership experience in staff development, process and productivity improvements, performance management and curriculum design. I am a team-oriented individual with a bachelor's degree in human resources, an MBA in general management and five years of experience developing training procedures for human resources teams at different organisations. Seeking a senior training and development manager position at your company to further enhance my career and contribute to company growth.

Bachelors in Human Resources | August 2015
State University
MBA in General Management | December 2017
National Business University

Work experience
Junior Manager, Training and Development | June 2020—Current
Wavewood Industries | Sopore, Jammu and Kashmir

  • Provide organisational leadership to plan and implement strategic training and development opportunities for over 400 global employees.

  • Spearhead 25+ instructor-led training courses per year.

  • Develop and administer 30 asynchronous e-learning modules annually.

  • Mentor teams and managers from other departments.

  • Conduct 4 team-building events per year with 50 staff members each. (Contributed to raising job satisfaction scores by 30% in 2 years)

Training Manager | January 2018—June 2020
Wavewood Microtech | Anantnag, Jammu and Kashmir

  • Managed all exempt employee coaching, training and performance improvement actions. This included technical training and personal development classes for staff members.

  • Developed surveys to assess skill gaps in employees across various departments and identify training requirements. Coordinated and prioritised training courses accordingly.

  • Managed head office with 31 staff members. Used a targeted approach to hiring, compensation and engagement and slashed turnover by 35%.

People management: Recruiting | Training | Onboarding | Disciplining | Team building | Motivating
Decision making: Prioritising tasks | Research | Ethical consideration | Problem analysis | Consensus-building

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