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Leadership Skills: Definition, How To List On A Resume & How To Improve

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Have you landed a job vacancy and wondered what leadership skills to include on your resume?

If so, you are not alone! With the wide range of leadership skills you could highlight, it’s not easy to determine what skills are most significant and how to list them on your resume.

Luckily, we’ve done all the hard work for you to come up with a comprehensive list of the most beneficial leadership skills.

Continue reading to learn more, including how to list them on your resume to secure that interview easily!

What Are “Leadership Skills”?

Leadership skills are personal attributes that allow you to rally others toward a common goal. Whether you are steering a project or in a managerial position, leadership skills demand you encourage others to finish tasks, usually following a timeline.

Leadership isn’t a single skill but a mix of various distinct abilities. Some essential qualities of a leader include reliability, patience, creativity, risk-taking, flexibility, and more.

Good leaders are crucial to the success of any institution. They can aid in developing strong teams inside an organization and guarantee the successful completion of projects, initiatives, and other duties.

Great leaders also have excellent communication and interpersonal skills. While most people think others are born leaders, anybody can grow into a leader by practicing and refining these skills.

Most individuals have witnessed the outcomes of both efficient and inefficient leadership. Efficient leaders boost employee engagement, foster a positive environment, and assist their team in overcoming obstacles. Proper leadership is also infectious, as it motivates coworkers to adopt positive leadership characteristics in their work.

Every leader is unique, and you’ll naturally gravitate toward some aspects of leadership. However, if the leadership compatibility between you and your prospective employer is good, your chances of landing the job will increase substantially.

Types of Leadership Skills

There are varying leadership styles, and each will affect an organization differently. Here’s a quick look into some of the most common types of leadership skills.

1. Team Leadership Skills

Team leadership is the ability to rally members toward a common goal. Team leaders utilize many leadership skills, including motivation and vision, to inspire people to achieve their absolute best. Additionally, team leaders understand how to capitalize on each member’s strengths for maximum productivity.

2. Soft Leadership Skills

Soft leadership skills are less quantifiable qualities everybody possesses, including personality traits, weaknesses, attitudes, and strengths. Soft skills encompass skillsets like critical thinking, communication, and adaptability. Most of these soft skills aren’t acquired in the classroom but through various everyday experiences.

3. Technical Leadership Skills

Technical leadership is the capacity to supervise a group of technical experts while making software and engineering development-related decisions. It involves supervising and directing the development of technological solutions. Common technical leadership skills include problem-solving, coding, analytical thinking, and more.

4. Management Leadership Skills

Management skills are specific abilities that leaders must possess to perform particular duties within an institution. They include the ability to fulfill executive responsibilities within a company while avoiding crisis circumstances and resolving problems as soon as they arise. You develop management leadership skills via practical experience or learning from others.

5. Interpersonal Skills in Leadership

Interpersonal leadership skills can motivate and inspire others to work toward a common objective. These capabilities enable leaders to develop meaningful relationships with employees and colleagues, circumvent obstacles, and resolve poor performance. Emotional intelligence, a crucial component of interpersonal skills, enhances a leader’s likelihood of fostering a productive and motivated workforce.

10 Most Common Leadership Skills

You can benefit from leadership skills in every element of your career, from job applications to pursuing career advancement. As one of the numerous soft skills valued by employers, leadership frequently combines communication skills and personality characteristics that anybody can learn and apply.

Here are the most common leadership skills and how you can develop them:

1. Integrity

Integrity frequently equates to honesty and truthfulness. Nevertheless, it also involves possessing and upholding core values, even under no supervision. Integrity in the workplace typically entails making ethical decisions and assisting the organization in retaining a positive image.

If you’d like to develop integrity, set a good example. You should be a great role model to employees who look up to you. Negative workplace behaviors convey to subordinates that such conduct is acceptable. Additionally, always be responsible for your actions and honor your duties.

2. Commitment

Commitment is devotion to a specific organization, belief, or cause and the willingness to contribute. Committed individuals genuinely believe that their job is significant, and they consistently turn up and follow through. The greater the commitment level of workers, the more momentum you can attract to complete the task.

However, you shouldn’t expect employees to commit to their jobs and responsibilities if you don’t demonstrate it. You should be ready to put in extra time to complete a task. Your subordinates will notice your dedication and follow your lead.

3. Flexibility

A great leader must be flexible, embracing new challenges or last-minute adjustments. Additionally, you should be open to new ideas and input. Handling the unexpected, introducing fresh approaches, and suggesting innovative solutions could positively affect your team.

Unfortunately, you cannot be a flexible leader by simply embracing new action plans. You should begin by identifying circumstances where old approaches aren’t practical. Then, identify what strategies will best meet your organization’s goals. Lastly, re-assess these solutions after project completion against your old tactics to determine what delivers the best outcomes.

4. Delegation

Delegation is the transfer of responsibility for completing a task from one team member to another. Leaders who attempt to handle too many responsibilities may face challenges in accomplishing anything. By delegating duties to subordinates, you can concentrate on more pressing matters.

Always ensure the job responsibilities align with the worker’s skill set when delegating tasks. Also, ensure the employee understands the desired outcome and provides the required resources to undertake that task. Once delegated, develop a clear communication channel, so your worker feels comfortable offering progress updates and asking questions.

5. Self Confidence

Self-confidence is necessary for leaders to take chances and achieve their full potential. Self-confident leaders address conflicts and issues head-on instead of ignoring, procrastinating, or shifting them to others. Leadership entails motivating others, and self-confidence assures the leader that their efforts to impact are valid.

Not all leaders are born with innate self-assurance. Self-confidence is a skill that you can develop and build. Begin by addressing the causes of your self-doubt, and surround yourself with individuals who believe in you. You should also capitalize on your talents and use your mistakes as learning experiences.

6. Time Management

Time management impacts your productivity and performance in the workplace. It will make you a more productive individual who can meet deadlines. Improving your time management at work will allow you to accomplish your objectives with less effort.

Efficient time management needs establishing priorities, setting boundaries, and breaking projects into manageable chunks. You should also set reasonable goals, develop productive routines, and establish time management guidelines. It enables you to accomplish more in less time, conserving your energy for more fruitful endeavors.

7. Creativity

Creative leadership involves developing new, practical solutions to problems and motivating your team to implement them. Leaders can employ creative approaches to develop novel business strategies, reorganize the workplace, and make valuable professional connections within an industry.

Continued education is among the most effective ways to become a creative leader. Educational resources can include individual articles and comprehensive courses that aim to equip those in leadership positions with innovative leadership techniques.

8. Positivity

A competent leader knows that a positive outlook could significantly improve the workplace. You should strive to foster a positive work atmosphere, even during stressful times. Valued and happy staff often feel motivated to perform their best work.

Leaders who want to make a difference must be willing to consider alternate viewpoints and accept criticism as part of the job. You must always be on the lookout for opportunities, even when it seems hopeless. You can also cultivate positivity by showing empathy, respect, care, and diplomacy.

9. Responsibility

Responsible leadership implies you can react to situations with professionalism and maturity and conduct and finish assigned tasks. Responsible leaders should also commit to a particular skill or abide by specific rules. These individuals don’t consider themselves superior and are ready to assist others whenever necessary.

You can demonstrate responsibility as a leader by accepting fault if something fails to unfold as expected. If your staff observes you shifting blame, they’ll lose respect and trust in you. Accept failures and mistakes, and then develop clear improvement plans.

10. Motivation

Simply paying a competitive wage isn’t enough motivation. Leaders must inspire their staff to put in extra work for the organization. They can utilize their motivational abilities to assist their employees in building relationships, improve team morale, develop a positive work environment, and boost productivity.

If you’d like to develop your motivational skills, share a common goal and vision with your staff. This vision should be clear, realistic, and achievable to inspire your team to work toward success. Likewise, you should encourage worker self-development by recognizing them and introducing rewards.

How to List Leadership Skills on a Resume and Cover Letter

You should list leadership qualities on your resume and cover letter to demonstrate to prospective employers that you’ll take the initiative to finish assignments and inspire others to do their finest work. Employers frequently seek candidates who can efficiently prioritize tasks, address problems fast, and serve as role models for other employees in terms of workplace conduct.

How to List Leadership Skills on a Cover Letter

The stories you share should align closely with the leadership scenarios you’ll encounter in your new position. Pick appropriate action verbs to provide your leadership stories more weight and quantify your contributions as precisely as feasible. At the same time, highlight the functions of persons around you, as true leaders don’t put themselves first.

How to List Leadership Skills on a Resume

You shouldn’t merely state your leadership skills in the resume skills section. You should reserve this section for your technical skills.

The right place to incorporate leadership abilities into your career narrative is in the resume summary and work history sections. Even if you aren’t detailed regarding the skills you utilize, your potential employer can deduce them based on the context of your various accomplishments.

Tips for Highlighting Leadership Skills in Writing

Here are some tips on how to highlight your leadership skills in writing:

Tip 1: Include the Leadership Skills Specified in the Job Description

Often, job postings specify the kind of leadership needed. If so, you should tailor your resume to the role. This approach is significantly more efficient than mailing a generic resume for every job posting.

Tip 2: Begin With a Robust Action Verb

Always begin with a pertinent action verb. Remember, you want to emphasize what you did. Verbs such as Directed, Spearheaded, Led, and Launched all connote a proactive, strong leader, which is what you’re targeting.

Tip 3: Give Solid Examples

Anybody can claim to possess leadership abilities, but few can depict them. Include specific leadership accomplishments on your resume to demonstrate your capabilities.

Raising revenue, directing a team, and coordinating stakeholders are desirable skills for employees, making them ideal resume additions. The more specific you are, the better!

How To Demonstrate Leadership Skills in an Interview

You’ll need quality leadership skills and relevant experience to secure a job. However, skills alone are insufficient; you must demonstrate these skills to a prospective employer. Emphasize your leadership qualities during the interview to show the employer that you can assume a leadership role.

How Do I Say I Have Good Leadership Skills?

You need not have previously served in a leadership role to prove you have leadership skills. You probably have several times when you demonstrated leadership qualities before. Share with your interviewer these stories, and portray to them how beneficial your skills were. Always ensure you have measurable and quantifiable results to back your story.

Tips for Highlighting Leadership Skills in an Interview

Here are some tips to highlight leadership skills during an interview:

Tip 1: Mention Your Leadership Abilities During the Interview

Rather than waiting for the interviewer to enquire regarding your leadership qualities, relate them to other queries. For instance, if the interviewer inquires about an achievement you are particularly proud of, you could discuss a project you successfully led.

Tip 2: Provide Illustrations of Your Leadership Abilities

Don’t just inform the interviewer that you’re a great leader. Instead, provide specific examples to back up your leadership skills. For example, describe instances in which you were a leader and how you led your crew.

Tip 3: Work on Your Body Language

Recruiters create an image of the candidate based on their resume, and it’s crucial to match that image. A great leader should be optimistic and self-confident. Talk confidently during your interview, but ensure you aren’t dominating or over-confident.

Interview Questions Related to Leadership Skills That You Might See

Although each interview is unique based on your job position and field, here are some leadership questions you should expect your interview to ask:

How Do You Resolve Team Conflicts?

This question seeks to ascertain your approach to workplace conflict. Employers want to know the strategies you would employ to resolve these conflicts.

Conflicts occasionally arise, whether due to external stressors or interpersonal friction. A great leader should effectively manage workplace conflict and can negotiate without adding to the tension.

How Do You Delegate Duties?

Recruiting teams are frequently interested in your approach to delegating tasks. Most employers want to know how you identify every team member’s unique skills and monitor their progress.

You cannot handle everything by yourself, so you must understand how to distribute duties throughout your staff. Delegation allows you to capitalize on the strengths of different staff and ensure timely project completion.

How Do You Set Priorities?

Employers often ask this question to gauge your time management skills. Hiring teams can also use your response to assess your critical thinking skills.

Your capability to recognize competing needs and decide where to direct your team’s attention could reveal a great deal about the kind of leader you are. Prioritizations efficiently reduce last-minute panic when critical deadlines are near.

Additional Questions To Be Aware Of

Most hiring teams want to comprehensively assess your leadership abilities, especially if you’re applying for a senior role. So, you can also expect them to ask the following questions:

1. What Is Your Work Style?

Your working style is how you perform your daily duties on the job. Understanding your work style is essential to optimize your work hours, interacting with others, and being as efficient as possible.

Interviewers want to learn your thought process, what you consider most important, and whether your work style matches the position you’re applying for. Additionally, they want to know if you’ll fit in well with the team and organizational culture.

2. What Is Your Management Style?

Management style is how leaders or supervisors interact with team members or subordinates. It varies depending on the company and what department you’re working for.

Employers seek managers who implement a management style that inspires workers to succeed and produce valuable work. Even if you’re not a manager, you must demonstrate how to handle a situation requiring direction and guidance.

3. What Does Integrity Mean to You?

The purpose of integrity interview questions is to assess your character and reliability. You may miss the opening if you fail to demonstrate ethical and moral principles in your response.

Hiring managers will ask about your meaning of integrity to assess your skills for the job position. It’s also asked to comprehend how you may suit the institution’s values.

Tips for Improving Leadership Skills

There are numerous kinds of leaders, but only a small percentage of people are born great leaders. Most of us must learn, build, and enhance our leadership skills. Leadership development entails recognizing and mastering the essential skills and traits needed to be a good leader. Here are three critical tips to improve your leadership skills.

Point 1: Don’t Be Afraid To Own Your Mistakes

All leaders make errors, but how they respond to those errors distinguishes them from others. A pivotal characteristic of a good leader is recognizing when they make a mistake and acting quickly to rectify it.

Every error is a learning experience. Therefore, instead of feeling upset or attempting to cover it, use your mistakes to learn how to prevent a similar error later.

Point 2: Integrate Discipline Into Your Daily Routine

A successful leader must exhibit discipline and inspire others to follow suit. Leaders get evaluated based on their work discipline. Sticking to deadlines, attending and ending meetings on time, and finishing all assigned duties illustrate disciplined work habits.

You should also uphold discipline in your personal life. For instance, engage in daily exercise, rise early, and honor family obligations. Often, personal habits replicate in your professional life.

Point 3: Evaluate Your Strengths and Weaknesses

Leaders must have a complete understanding of their strengths and weaknesses. Note down your strengths and flaws and how they make you feel about them as an individual.

You might want to ask team members and peers for assistance in identifying blind spots you could be unaware of. Once you successfully identify your strengths and weaknesses, you can focus on the most important areas.

Frequently Asked Questions

Here are the frequently asked questions on how to list leadership skills on a resume and how to improve yourself as a good leader.

What are the 5 keys of leadership?

The five keys of leadership include knowing yourself, understanding your people, allowing diplomacy, seeking feedback, and being respectful towards your subordinates. Leadership isn’t simply defined by having authority over workers. You should build loyalty and trust to ensure that your workers feel valued and key to the organization’s success.

What is the role of a good leader?

A leader is responsible for organizing, directing, and managing others. They’re visionaries who inspire and motivate their staff to achieve the desired result. Good leaders also lead by example, employ a problem-solving perspective to resolve potential issues, establish team goals, and coordinate with other departments to attain a common goal.

Additional Skills To Be Aware Of

The list of leadership skills that one should possess is quite extensive. Despite all the qualities highlighted above, here are additional leadership skills you should know about.

  • Communications Skills: Leaders should be effective communicators who empower and inspire those around them. With great communication skills, their subordinates will understand what they require of them.
  • Problem-Solving Skills: A good leader should have excellent problem-solving skills to quickly identify possible issues, conduct the necessary studies and analysis, and decide on the best action plan.
  • People Skills: Successful leaders achieve their goals and objectives through others, which means solid people skills, including paying attention to workers’ needs, offering constructive feedback, and team building, is mandatory.
  • Management Skills: Management skills are a set of qualities required by persons in leadership roles to fulfill organizational or team objectives.
  • Active Listening Skills: This skill allows team members to express their opinions without criticism or interjections.

Wrapping Up

Hiring managers emphasize leadership qualities. Regardless of your experience level or job function, motivating others to work toward that common goal is the core of virtually any leader.

Therefore, demonstrating leadership abilities in your resume and cover letter is crucial to securing an interview. Hopefully, this guide provides you with the tips that’ll help you land your next interview.

Takeaway: Don’t simply mention your leadership skills as you would your technical skills. Creatively incorporate them into your professional summary. Also, ensure you have solid examples to demonstrate these leadership skills should your employer inquire about them during your interview.

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