Show that you have what it takes to level up your career!
Are you a natural-born leader? Do others follow where you tread? Whether you're currently a manager or want to take the next step up on the career ladder, including examples of leadership skills on your CV is a must. But what traits should you be highlighting here?
Luckily, we've got you covered with all the answers that you need. Within this guide, we'll look at why these traits are important and also define the leadership skills examples you should include on your CV. If you're looking for inspiration, read on to find out more.
What are leadership skills?
First things first, let's talk about what leadership skills are. These are the traits that allow you to manage a team of people or even just a small handful of individuals. Needless to say, when recruiters are looking to fill managerial vacancies, they expect candidates to have a broad selection of these skills.
Defining the skills of a leader can be hard. So what did history's greatest figureheads - from Martin Luther King to Winston Churchill - have in common? Pinpointing these in-demand traits could help you on the road towards levelling up your career.
How to identify your leadership style
The truth of the matter is that there's not just one leadership style. Before you start applying for managerial roles, you may want to investigate what works for you. While there's no magic formula to help you define this, you can try the steps below:
Consider the leadership skills you possess
We will shortly take a look at the main leadership skills examples you can include on your CV. While you're perusing our list, consider which of them apply to you. Which of the traits can you confidently say you have? How can you cultivate them and grow them over time?
Reflect on the leaders in your life
Over the course of your career, you will have come across a whole range of managers and supervisors. Which of them stood out to you? What techniques did they use that helped to motivate and push you forward? By taking a look at what each of these leaders did, you can start to develop a leadership style that suits both you and your wider team members.
Take a career personality test
Objectively analysing yourself can be hard. Taking a career-based personality test may help you to identify your core leadership traits. When you have learned what skills you tend to use and the characteristics you have, you can use them to your best advantage.
List of leadership skills examples and definitions
Ready to get started? If you're about to prepare your CV for a leadership position, you may be wondering what skills you should include. While there's a wide variety of talents you may want to highlight in your application, we've selected some of the most effective leadership skills examples. See if any match your talents and show them off on your CV:
Excellent communication is the foundation of any working relationship. It's the oil that makes things run smoothly. Research suggests that better internal communication can improve organisational productivity by up to 25%. Despite this fact, two-thirds of managers are uncomfortable communicating with their team. With that in mind, to set yourself aside from the crowd, you might want to include this core leadership skill on your CV.
When you're in a leadership position, you will need to share information and instructions with your team. Having a communication style that works for both you and the rest of the staff is vital. You need to effortlessly walk the line between approachable and authoritative. That can often be a difficult balance to find. However, when you get it right, it's worth it.
To elevate your communication skills to management level on your CV, you should consider including negotiation, public speaking, diplomacy and influencing.
Do you collaborate well with others? 86% of managers look for teamwork skills when deciding who to promote. If you're looking to take the next step up, you might want to highlight this important leadership skill on your CV. Showing that you can work effectively and efficiently as part of a larger team is essential if you're ready to take the reins.
Regardless of the sector in which you work, you'll need to work within a team towards a shared goal. That is a common theme from industry to industry. You're not a solo artist - you're part of a band. To make beautiful music, you need to play your part and jam with the other team members. Make sure that you highlight this skill when applying for jobs.
3. Decision making
Do you suffer from decision paralysis? Does the idea of choosing a path fill you with fear? Or do you relish the chance to make a well-informed decision? If the latter is true, you might want to pop decision making on your list of leadership skills. When you're in a managerial position, you will need to make speedy choices every day. Having the ability to look at the available information and use it to your advantage is key.
While this is one of the most effective leadership skills examples, it's also rare. According to a McKinsey Global Survey, only 20% of respondents say that their organisation excels at decision making. You might say that leaves a lot to be desired. Equipped with this vital information, you can instantly enhance your CV. By stating that you're an excellent decision maker and providing some supporting evidence, you may just land that interview.
4. Conflict management
When we're talking about leadership skills examples, it would almost be a crime to leave this one out. Teams are made up of a range of individuals with different personalities. It should come as no real surprise if a couple of your team members clash on an important issue. So, how do you handle it?
Having the finesse to navigate these tricky tides will make you a great leader. It's not about validating one person over the other. Instead, you will need to see each employee's point of view and try to understand where they're coming from. If you're sprucing up your CV, it's worth including this leadership skill on it - along with examples of how you've used it.
Empathy is a superpower. Only a quarter of employees believe that their organisations show sufficient empathy. That's a strikingly low proportion. When you're managing a team of people, it's important that you support their long-term goals and needs. You cannot do that effectively without understanding them and their perspective on a deeper level. Listing this one as part of your wider leadership skills list is a smart move if you want to land a job.
“There is nothing more constant than change,” as Greek philosopher, Heraclitus, allegedly said. Managers will know this fact better than most. When you're working in a company of any size, you'll find that you have to chop and change plans more often than you expect. So if you're looking to reach the highest ranks of your career, you'll need to be adaptable.
It's worth considering the times when you've had to change your workflow or long-term plans. How did you effectively manage that transition? What sub-skills did you employ while doing so? What was the end result? The more detail you can give here, the more likely you are to wow a hiring manager with your talents.
7. Problem solving
Problems come and go - it's how you deal with them that matters in a hiring manager's eyes. Being able to deal with the issues that come your way is one of the top skills of a good leader. It means that you won't stumble when there are obstacles in your way. Instead, you think outside of the box and look for creative solutions that suit everyone.
Want to increase your problem solving abilities in an instant? Try having a coffee when you're at work. Research suggests that caffeine can have a positive impact on problem solving. Of course, there are other tactics that can help. For example, you may find that lowering your stress levels and getting more sleep each night supports your brain health.
8. Motivational skills
You don't have to jump up on stage and give a speech to be motivational. However, when you're running a team, you need to have the passion that drives them forward. Over half of all UK employees lack the motivation that they need in the workplace. As a manager, you'll need to tap into your teams' psyches and try to understand what drives them forward.
Finding your own motivational style is the secret to getting this right. You might give team members pep talks, lead the way by being full of motivation yourself, or listen to their concerns. You may do all three. Consider how you employ this particular top leadership skill in your work.
Employers need managers and supervisors to be reliable. If you're the type of employee who turns up late, forgets to attend meetings, and misses deadlines, that's bad news. On the other hand, professionals who can prove that they are dependable have a fighting chance of landing a leadership role. Should that sound like you, include it on your CV.
10. Tech savviness
The modern business world is heavily reliant on technology - and this has only been accelerated by the pandemic and subsequent lockdowns. Whether it's chatting to your team on Slack, having a Zoom call, or using Asana to manage your workflow, there are many applications to get your head around. So, the question is, are you tech savvy?
Showing that you are competent using software and online platforms can bolster your leadership CV. If you choose to add this skill to your CV, expand on it where possible. For example, you may want to specify which software you've previously used.
Where to include leadership skills on your CV
Now that you know what leadership skills examples you should include on your CV, let's take a moment to talk about where to place them. The obvious area in which you should include them is your skills section. Yes, you can list some of the above traits in that area - although the focus should be on hard skills.
However, it shouldn't start and finish there. You can also pepper your career summary section with some of the skills you've used in each role. When you're bullet-pointing your achievements, be sure to add in some of these leadership skills examples. You can expand on them there and put them into a workplace context for potential employers.
Armed with the right leadership skills, you can excel in the world of management. Showcasing these traits to hiring managers can make you stand out for all the right reasons. Take the time to consider which of the above skills you happen to have. When you've done that, it's worth taking the time to sprinkle them throughout your CV.
Looking to take your next step on the career ladder? Now that you have some ideas about which leadership skills examples to include, why not submit your CV for a free CV review?