Leadership Skills: Resume Essentials
Written by Sarah Edwards, Author • Last updated on May 17, 2024

How to include leadership skills in a resume

One of the best ways to make yourself more marketable to hiring managers is by highlighting your leadership skills. Resumes showcasing these skills serve to demonstrate that you are a high performer who adds value to your team. However, it’s important that you include them on your resume in a way that helps you stand out. Here’s how to get noticed and land that interview by crafting a resume that effectively features your leadership skills.

Discussing leadership skills in your resume

Hiring managers want more than simply employees performing tasks. They want enthusiastic people who go above and beyond to contribute something excellent to their team and their organization. 

Tweaking your resume examples to include leadership skills demonstrates that you are full of potential. It shows you have the attitude many organizations are looking for.

Furthermore, a good leadership qualities resume often paints you as a high performer in your company. Showcasing your qualifications in this way may make hiring managers feel that you have what it takes to duplicate that performance to benefit their organization.

Finally, having both soft and hard skills relating to leadership on your resume signals to employers that you are ready to take on more responsibility in a role. This can help them recognize your potential early on and set you up for advancements and promotions in your new role.

Expert tip:

Try to avoid using vague words to describe your leadership skills. Instead, be specific with how your skills contributed to good outcomes for your projects, teams, and organization. For example, replace the words “organized and detail-oriented” with “strategic planner.”

Identify key leadership skills

Before you can create a standout resume or cover letter, you need to know the right skills to include. This not only means understanding which leadership skills employers want to see but also figuring out which ones you possess.

Many employers value leadership skills that help employees stay organized and work together. They also love it when employees show evidence of strategic thinking, which overcomes roadblocks and leads to innovation.

Here are a few leadership examples for resumes in various industries and how they can show up in a professional context.


Good communication is about more than just having good office skills and etiquette. It is essential for ensuring teams can work together and build relationships. At work, great communication can show up in the way you mentor entry-level colleagues, lead meetings, coordinate vendors, or manage projects.


Being decisive is important for instilling confidence in others and managing project timelines. To showcase this skill, you can mention occasions on which you have taken risks that eventually paid off or instances when your strategic thinking led to a better outcome on a project.


There is rarely a workplace project that won’t hit at least one roadblock. If you’re the person who helps the team get around those roadblocks, then you have the leadership skills employers want. On your resume, you should offer examples of processes you’ve improved or solutions you have provided and the positive impact they’ve had.


Delegation is yet another leadership trait that shows your ability to be a team player. To demonstrate it, include examples on your resume of how you’ve led teams, identified strengths in others, and used those collective strengths to deliver exceptional work for the organization and its clients.

How to include them in other sections

By nature, whether you’re hoping to show off your accomplishments or leadership skills, resumes are designed to allow you to highlight these elements in multiple ways. In fact, it’s better not to relegate them to just one section of the document. Take a closer look at how you can include them in different parts of your resume.

Professional summary 

The professional summary is the perfect place to add your leadership skills. Much like a cover letter, it allows you to create a narrative around your skills. In your summary, tell the hiring manager how you developed your leadership qualities and what you have accomplished as a result of having them.

Dedicated skills section

You can also use a resume template with a dedicated skills section where you list your technical and soft skills. Where possible, avoid using general terms like “communication” or “collaboration.” Instead, try specific phrases like “conflict resolution,” “negotiation,” “strategic vision,” or “project coordination.”

Past work experience

Once you have listed the names of your past employers and the dates you worked there, use bullet points to list accomplishments and scenarios where you have used your leadership qualities. After you list your job responsibilities, you can even include a separate bullet point that details the leadership skills you used in each position.

How to showcase those skills

When it comes to identifying your leadership skills, resumes that are effective tend to share a common element: specificity. Including specific examples of leadership skills in the work experience section of your resume is what connects the dots for the hiring manager. It helps them see how you developed and used those skills in concrete ways. 

In turn, this builds confidence in their minds that you can do the same in a new role at their organization. If you find it challenging to showcase your leadership skills in this manner, try these tips:

Be clear and concise

Whether describing technical or soft skills, avoid using too many words, and keep each accomplishment or skill to one line only. This helps curb embellishment and makes your language less confusing.

Use action verbs

Start each line with a strong action verb. For example, you might write, “Developed code to optimize website forms, leading to a 46% decrease in submission errors.” This shows that you can identify a problem, determine what action needs to be taken, be proactive about solving the issue, and measure how that decision improved outcomes.

Include quantifiable outcomes

Use numbers whenever possible to quantify the outcomes of your actions. While you can’t put a number on everything, using this method shows the hiring manager that you understand the impact of your individual achievements and helps them imagine all the good you can contribute to their company.

Tailor the skills to the role

Whether you’re building a leadership experience resume or optimizing your cover letter examples, it’s always a good idea to tailor your skills to the role you want. This gives your resume the best chance of making it past the filters in an applicant tracking system. It also keeps your resume relevant and shows you can succeed in the job.

A tip you’ll find in many good resume articles for tailoring your leadership skills to the role is to scan the job description for keywords. If the description mentions skills that a preferred candidate would have — such as strategic thinking or cross-functional collaboration — you should include those terms somewhere on your resume. 

You can do this in a dedicated section. You can also mention them in your summary or past work experience.

Another method you can use for tailoring your skills is to research your industry and develop a list of skills employers want. For example, strategic project management may be a highly coveted quality in product design and development. If you have it, include it on your resume. This can increase your appeal and make you more marketable.

"By nature, whether you’re hoping to show off your accomplishments or leadership skills, resumes are designed to allow you to highlight these elements in multiple ways."

Let your leadership skills lead the way to the job of your dreams

Leadership skills are crucial for your resume because they make you shine as a candidate. They show employers that you are eager to make a contribution to the workplace and that you go above and beyond for your team. 

To show off your leadership skills effectively, make sure you include the qualities you know employers in your industry are looking for. Spread these skills throughout your resume — especially in key sections, such as the summary, work experience section, and dedicated skills section.

Always ensure the leadership skills you include are relevant and tailored to the role. Scan the job description, and research your industry for key skills you should include. 

Remember that you can always reach for helpful tools to assist you in creating an impactful job application. From cover letter templates to well-structured resume examples, Jobseeker puts everything you need at your fingertips to help you start your job search on the right foot and find a role that suits you.


(1) Forbes Magazine: 5 Essential Leadership Skills Employers Are Looking For

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Sarah Edwards
Sarah Edwards
A seasoned HR writer with more than a decade of experience, Sarah crafts insightful guides and timely articles that help people grow their skills.

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