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5 Ways to demonstrate leadership on your resume

And how to avoid the #1 mistake


Money Magazine recently featured an article about "The 8 Best Skills for Career Changers," and the author lists LEADERSHIP as the second best skill for a career changer to possess and showcase on as a transferable skill. Leadership is one of those skills that everyone claims to have, but few know how to effectively illustrate on their resume.

Until recently, company leaders thought hard skills were what would achieve success. Now we’ve come to realize that soft skills are just as important when it comes to growing a company. Soft skills are considered behaviors and traits such as adaptability, critical thinking, people skills, likeability, time management and innate leadership.

How do you show that you have strong leadership in a concrete, measurable manner on your resume?

1. Use specific leadership skills mentioned in the job ad on your resume

Job ads will have the type of leadership they’re looking for written into them. This way you customize your resume for the target position. This technique is far more effective than sending everyone the same generic resume.

2. Provide solid examples

Anyone can say they have leadership skills, but not everyone can prove it. Make sure you have examples of achievements to back it up and list those on your resume.

3. Use verbs related to soft skills

One of the biggest mistakes executives make when writing resumes is avoiding the use of verbs. A quick way to remedy that is to use action words associated with leadership skills, such as advocate, mentor, engage, mobilize, campaign. 

4. Highlight your unique leadership qualities

Being a leader in the workplace requires the use of multiple soft skills at once. Simply put, you can’t be a leader if you don’t know how to deal with people. Highlighting your leadership qualities on your resume can help you bring in very important and related soft skills into your resume.

5. Use measurable, quantitative results

If you really want to impress a potential employer with your leadership, find quantitative results to quote on your resume that demonstrate your leadership in action.

It’s also important to network with likeminded local leaders. This is a great way to know what’s important to different companies and what matters most for their company. Then you can successfully add it to your resume.

And now onto the most costly mistake I see made in resumes – Using "Summary."

Yep...that's the zinger mistake that makes me scratch my head daily. Would you label your business card at the top with the phrase "Business Card" to make sure everyone knew what it was?

Do you have the word "pants" written down the outside of the left leg, in case you forget what it is that you are wearing. I think not. You would never state the obvious. 

This section on your resume is prime real estate and you want to use it to sell yourself and set the tone. What you put here is step one in drawing in the reader to keep reading and call you in for an interview. 

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Lisa Rangel

Lisa Rangel is an executive resume writer at www.chameleonresumes.com, a Forbes Top 100 Career website and recently named one of the top 28 resume writers in 2016 by Career Toolkit. She is also the LinkedIn Premium Career Group Moderator and has been featured in Inc., BBC, Investor’s Business Daily, Forbes.com, Fox News, Yahoo Finance, US News, and so many more reputable media outlets. Lisa’s Get Hired Fast Package is now http://chameleonresumes.com/get-hired-fast/.

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