Leadership in Action – Showcasing Your Skills for Executive Roles

Leadership in Action – Showcasing Your Skills for Executive Roles was originally published on Ivy Exec.

In pursuit of your next career move, you’re eyeing a leadership role where your knack for strategy and ability to inspire excellence can truly shine.

The catch? You haven’t officially held a leadership position yet.

It’s the classic employment conundrum – to secure a leadership role, you’re expected to boast prior experience in a similar capacity. However, snagging that initial leadership position is the very challenge at hand!

So, how can you elevate your application to stand out in the competitive landscape of managerial roles?

These essential management skills, impactful resume phrases, compelling cover letter strategies, and interview insights will set you apart. 


☑ Discover your existing skill set.

When browsing through job descriptions that demand particular management capabilities, it may seem daunting if you believe you lack them. However, chances are you possess many of these skills, even if they have yet to be honed in formal managerial positions.

“If you’ve played a role in onboarding new hires, conducted a presentation during company training, contributed to the launch of a new departmental policy, presented a new idea to leadership, or successfully orchestrated an event from inception to conclusion, you’ve already amassed valuable experience at a management level,” advises Jaclyn Westlake.

The initial step involves recognizing recurring management skills and crafting resume phrases frequently found in job postings. Subsequently, compile a catalog of your specific experiences and achievements that demonstrate proficiency in these competencies.


☑ Showcase your team leadership successes on your resume.

Highlight your leadership prowess on your resume by showcasing tangible instances of leading a team.

According to resume authority Virginia Franco, a compelling resume goes beyond showcasing responsibilities; it paints a vivid picture of your initiative, accomplishments, and strategic foresight. Emphasize competencies such as strategic planning, revealing instances where you’ve contributed to long-term strategies showcasing your ability to create and execute your vision.

Shift the focus from routine tasks to notable accomplishments, quantifying successes whenever possible. Don’t underestimate the power of informal leadership – whether steering a project, mentoring a colleague, or providing expertise to overcome challenges, these experiences are invaluable indicators of your leadership acumen.

Craft a resume that resonates with a manager’s need for proactive and accomplished leaders, positioning yourself for the next level of leadership with confidence.


☑ Add leadership skills to your resume.

Now that you have your ideas add them to your resume. Some of the best management skills resume phrases to include the following from Indiana University Southeast

  • “Excel in achieving outstanding project results
  • Improve the effectiveness of communications and interactions with others 
  • Effectively commit resources of staff, funds, and time 
  • Discover new approaches 
  • Uses the most penetrating and objective evaluations to arrive at decisions 
  • Effectively assess employees resources.”


☑ Demonstrate your enthusiasm and willingness to build your leadership skills.

After you have figured out the leadership skills you do have, you also want to mention that you’re interested in developing these capabilities in your cover letter and at the interview. 

Lisa McQuerrey shares some ways to convey an interest in developing your leadership skills: 

  • While I do not have direct management experience, I have always stepped up to accept challenges and assume leadership roles in group activities.
  • While I have not previously held the title of manager, I have been the department lead for five years, during which time I reorganized our staffing procedures, developed a peer review process, and led small-group initiatives.
  • I believe I have earned the respect of my peers, who view me as a reliable and consistent presence. They often ask me for advice due to my coordination skills and conflict-resolution approach.


☑ If you’re not landing interviews, build your leadership skills.

Even with these approaches, you still might not find success in winning a management role. So, you also want to build your management skills – both so you can add to your resume and so you can develop your ability to lead. For instance, you could try: 

  • Ask your current employer to lead a projectSharing your interest in management can help you secure more opportunities to be in charge. 
  • Volunteering or taking on part-time or temporary work. If your current role doesn’t give you many leadership opportunities, consider looking elsewhere. You can manage skills resume phrases in reporting volunteer or part-time experiences. 
  • Taking classes that give you a background in the skills you’ll need. Taking leadership classes and adding them to your resume is a great way to show your initiative and willingness to learn. 


Leveraging Management Expertise


Embarking on a leadership journey is a universal experience for every executive, whether ascending through internal channels or securing an external position.

While the coveted title of “Manager” may not yet adorn your profile, leadership is forged through diverse avenues. Consider the strategic plans you’ve crafted, collaborative endeavors, budgetary responsibilities, and compelling presentations – these are the foundations awaiting translation into your professional narrative.

Should you find yourself lacking in specific experiences, the proactive pursuit of new projects, temporary assignments, or educational endeavors can bridge the gap.

Demonstrating your transferable skills and an eagerness to cultivate your leadership prowess becomes a compelling narrative that sets the stage for managerial success.

By Ivy Exec
Ivy Exec is your dedicated career development resource.