Adding leadership skills to your resume

Adding leadership skills to your resume
Last Updated: April 20, 2023

According to, leadership skills are the strengths and abilities individuals demonstrate that help them oversee processes, guide initiatives, and steer their followers towards achieving goals. They are essential for every individual since they are primarily developed through life and work experiences.


There will be times when you must step up as a leader, whether you are in college or entering the workforce. In this article, we look at how leadership skills can be added to a resume to show that you can step up as a leader.



What are leadership skills?

The value of leadership qualities in achieving individual, group, departmental, and corporate objectives cannot be emphasized. Leadership skills are the abilities required to conceive a vision, persuade others to believe in it, and see it through to completion. They are classified as soft skills because they are challenging to master and quantify.


According to Dwight D. Elsenhower, leadership is the art of getting someone else to do something you want to be done because they want to do it. The word leadership conjures up a wide range of images. Consider the following scenarios:

  1. A politician who is dedicated to a personal cause.
  2. An explorer blazes a trail across the bush for his companions to follow.
  3. An executive is formulating a strategy for their company to outperform the competitors.


Many times people attribute ones seniority or position in a company to leadership. However, leadership doesn't happen automatically when you reach a certain pay grade, and it has nothing to do with titles or personal characteristics.


Leadership skills are essential for every individual because, at some point, you might find yourself leading a project. Whether the project is internal or external, leadership skills are still needed.


Employers value leadership skills because they require engaging with people in a way that motivates, enthuses, and builds respect. They are the expertise or talent needed to complete a job or task. Leadership skills are essential as they can help you achieve a lot in all facets of your life, including school, employment, and even a sport or pastime.

Leadership skills list


According to Glassdoor reports, a typical corporate job posting receives about 250 resumes. So, how can you make yourself stand out in a sea of applicants? Adding leadership skills to your resume is a smart strategy to get noticed if you want to advance into a management or executive role.


The following list contains the various leadership skills that employers are looking for in candidates:

  • Communication: Effective communication is critical for one to be counted as a great leader. Written communication abilities were ranked first in NACEs poll, with 82% of employers placing a high value on them. Verbal communication abilities were not far behind, with 67% of employers ranking them as important. Highlight written and verbal projects you contributed to in your resume, such as business reports, case studies, newsletters, and training materials, to demonstrate your communication expertise.

  • Analytical Decision Making: according to the Job Outlook 2019 survey, nearly 72% of respondents indicated they seek this skill in potential employees. Analytical decision-makers base their decisions on data from a range of sources. Highlight employment roles and workplace wins that required study and analysis to appeal to employers.

  • Problem-solving: Good leaders are adept at resolving problems that develop in the workplace. Staying cool and establishing a step-by-step solution are typically required for effective problem resolution. Problem-solving abilities may assist leaders in making quick decisions, resolving barriers with both internal and external teams, and ensuring projects are finished on time and to specifications.

  • Relationship building/Team building: Leadership necessitates the capacity to assemble and sustain a cohesive group of people working toward a common goal. Other leadership abilities, such as effective communication and conflict resolution, are required for team formation. Building relationships is one of the most crucial talents for a leader since it facilitates the communication of tasks, responsibilities, and goals. You will benefit from assessing strengths, delegating work, and fulfilling your goals more smoothly after you have a better understanding of each other.

  • Adaptability: It was listed high on the crisis management leadership skills list in the 2018 article \"Future Trends in Leadership Development Practices and the Crucial Leadership Skills\" published in the Journal of Leadership, Accountability, and Ethics. Leaders must not only be able to adapt in times of crisis; they must also be able to adapt to routine changes. Great leaders adapt to changing circumstances. Your resume shows your adaptability by describing a time when you had to change course due to a change of plans or an unexpected event.

  • Ability to teach and mentor: The capacity to educate and mentor is one skill that sets leadership apart from many other skills. Organizations can scale by effectively teaching colleagues or direct reports how to advance in their careers. This talent often necessitates leaders thinking less about themselves and more about making their team succeed as a whole.

  • Dependability: People can trust and rely on you if you are a dependable leader. A trustworthy individual follows through on plans and honours promises. A resilient team is formed by a dependable leaders solid relationships, which allow them to work through any issues that may emerge. Meeting deadlines, being honest, following through on commitments, and admitting when you cant reach a deadline are all characteristics of a dependable professional.

  • Tech Savviness: Nearly every profession requires technology, and leaders are expected to use it to drive development, innovation, and efficiency. List your experience with industry-specific technology on your resume to demonstrate the breadth of this leadership skill, whether its computer languages, coding, or project management systems. Mention how technology has helped you streamline or optimize a process. Accountability, hard work, positivism, persistence, honesty, and respect are attributes of workplace role models, according to an article titled \"Q&A: What Makes a Good Professional Role Model?\" Rather than simply stating that you are trustworthy, demonstrate it by integrating

  • Organization: Being in charge entails continually balancing all of the moving parts, prioritizing, tracking progress, and re-evaluating everything. Strong leaders simplify their work by utilizing the appropriate organizing tools (e.g., software that helps with time management, accounting, or report tracking; cloud solutions for communication across multiple locations; and apps for project management or comparing vendor prices)



Examples of leadership skills in resume

If one of your job ambitions is to be a leader, you should highlight leadership abilities on your resume. On resumes, hiring managers and recruiters seek leadership skills. They are critical and must be included in your resume.


Incorporate vital characteristics you possess that future employers may find valuable. You may be able to highlight those abilities in several portions of your resume, including the skills and achievements sections, as well as the experience section. Your cover letter is also a fantastic way to highlight your leadership skills.


The following is are examples of how you can include the leadership skills in your resume and demonstrate your abilities:


Resume Skills Section

You can mention leadership qualities in the skills area if you believe any of your professional references can attest to them on your behalf.

Resume Skills Achievements

Awards or distinctions that indicate leadership might be included in your list of accomplishments.

Related: Achievement based CV: A quick way to getting shortlisted


Resume Skills Cover Letter Example

Your cover letter is an opportunity for you to explain yourself to a potential employer further. If you were the project manager for a major effort, for example, you could describe how you brought the team together around a common goal and give a measure. Pick one or two accomplishments to highlight your leadership qualities in a cover letter, and explain which skill you employed and what resulted.




Adopting leadership skills and improving on those you already have can help you succeed in life and stand out from the other job seekers. Adding them to your resume will also help you increase your chances of being shortlisted vs these are key skills that the employer values.


You also have to make sure that you don't just add the leadership skills to your resume but rather continuously improve those skills. This can make you more productive and confident in whatever you plan to do. You can also make it a habit to gain or enhance skills in everyday life and work by taking classes, finding a mentor and regular training.


Every experience and relationship you have can open the door to a new skill or enable you to polish up your current skills. Make sure you go and update your resume soon after reading this article to include those leadership skills you already possess but be ready to back up those claims in the interview!



Kudzai Derera is the Business Systems Manager at Industrial Psychology Consultants (Pvt) Ltd, a management and human resources consulting firm.


Phone: +263 242 481946-48/481950

Mobile: +263 773 523 084


Main Website:

Kudzai Derera

Related Articles


Sign up now to get updated on latest posts and relevant career opportunities