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How to showcase your leadership skills when applying for a job

1 min read

When recruiting for leaders, employers typically look for candidates who can demonstrate practical leadership skills. Using real-world examples shows you can have the capability to plan, implement and monitor the success of teams and departments.

If you don't have leadership experience, try focusing on transferable skills that demonstrate your leadership potential. For example, good communication, analytical skills or attention to detail.  

Other examples of leadership skills include interpersonal skills, problem-solving, team building, empathy, active listening and coaching staff.

Here are our top five tips for showcasing your leadership skills:

  1. Consider your experience

If you have experience managing people, include your title and responsibilities on your resume, along with the number of staff you've managed. If you don't have people management experience, include examples of where you've demonstrated leadership skills in previous roles, such as leading projects. 

  1. Tailor your resume

If specific leadership skills are listed in the job description, make sure you include these in your resume and cover letter. The Hiring Manager will be looking for these skills and quickly identify that you could be a good fit for the role.

  1. Demonstrate your impact

Include any measurable results you've delivered aligned with your management or leadership experience. Using results can help the Hiring Manager understand the value you could bring to their organisation. Include specific numbers or percentages to substantiate your claims. For example, 'the changes I introduced resulted in a 20% increase in sales revenue for the financial year'. 

  1. Use confident language

Using action words to describe your experience can make a positive impact on your potential employer. Consider using powerful verbs like launched, created, led, devised or formalised to describe your accomplishments. Try to avoid overused words like participated, managed or assisted that don't have the same impact.  

  1. Include other types of experience

Many leaders look for opportunities outside of work to strengthen their leadership skills. For example, volunteering with a local charity to help run a project. Volunteering at local clubs or organisations can also be an excellent way to develop leadership skills. If you've volunteered in a leadership capacity, be sure to include it in your application. 

Further study can also be an excellent way to enhance your leadership skills. For example, our Diploma of Leadership and Management helps prepare you for senior leadership positions, with 77.5% of graduates improving their employment status after completing their training (source: NCVER).