Even if you don’t currently have a formal leadership position with your employer, it pays to develop leadership skills. Leadership ability indicates to an employer (current or future) that you’re a team player, and can work well with others, even if you’re not serving as a manager or supervisor.
Our recruiters at Alliance Solutions Group sort through dozens of resumes and candidates a day. We asked them what qualities they look for in leaders, and here’s what they said:
- Communication Skills. You hear it all the time, but what does it really mean? When it comes to leadership positions, our recruiters look for someone who can use his or her words to motivate and give direction. It’s about communicating clearly and consistently, ultimately encouraging other people to listen.
- Quiet Confidence. Being too outwardly confident can come off as arrogant. Instead, find a balance between self-assurance and self-promotion. Be sure of what you’re doing and thinking at work, but don’t be the guy who constantly promotes himself and refuses to ask for help.
- Initiative. Just like most resumes include the standard line about having excellent communication skills, most people would classify themselves as problem-solvers as well. Instead of just saying you’re a problem solver, take initiative and act on it. Don’t be afraid to take charge of projects and own your experience at work.
- Experience. Whether it’s a project at work, through professional organizations or as a volunteer, find places to build your leadership skills. Even if you’ve never been a traditional “manager” before, having some leadership experience will help an employer to see your potential.
- Personality. Having an approachable personality and showing a bit of enthusiasm for your work will definitely help employers see how you fit into their company’s culture. More and more, culture is playing a big role in how companies hire. Don’t be afraid to show a bit of who you are at work, just make sure you keep it appropriate.
- An Active Learner. While this might mean continued education in the form of an Masters degree, it could also mean attending conferences, renewing certifications or finding a mentor. Showing an interest in becoming more of an expert in your field shows employers you have more potential than what you currently offer.
Have questions about how to showcase your leadership skills on your resume? Send us an email or leave a comment here. For more career tips and job opportunities from Alliance Solutions Group, follow us on Twitter @AllianceSolGrp or on LinkedIn.