Suppose you found a job opening of your dreams. You find yourself to be exactly the candidate that they are looking for, and all you have to do is write a killer resume to convince your future employer that they need you for this job. Outlining the hard skills, such as operating some hardware or software, is no big deal. However, if they are looking for someone who possesses, for example, leader qualities, then it becomes tricky. Soft skills, such as leadership, are not as easy to outline in a resume. If you have no time to spend on writing the ultimate CV, then you can always hire some professional resume writers to do that for you. But in case you are keen on writing your CV yourself, we have prepared some useful tips to help you with that.
1. Dub the job ad
Often an employer will post a job ad which formulates the candidate and their traits very exactly and specifically. This means that if you want to fit these requirements, your CV needs to correspond to them word for word. For example, if they write that they are seeking someone who “possesses strong leadership skills,” this means that they are probably not looking for a “natural born leader.” This is no place to show how well you are at paraphrasing, just sell them what they want.
This also implies the fact that the CVs that you send out need to be customized. Unfortunately, this is not obvious to many people and they send generic CVs to all the companies. This, however, is not the right thing to do, since it indicates laziness and a recruiting manager will most likely spot it.
Besides, this kind of customizing does not really require a lot of effort from your side. So, just give them exactly what they want and write that you “possess strong leadership skills.”
Without a doubt, you should not expect people to take your word for it. Everything that you say needs to have a solid ground to stand firmly on so that it is credible to a person reading your CV. Therefore, you need to make sure that you include examples and facts to back up whatever qualities you claim to have. The best way to achieve it is through storytelling.
So, there is no need to be shy and tell your future employer a sample story from your experience about how you revealed your leadership. This story does not necessarily have to be from your professional career. For example, tell about how you volunteered to be the head of the parents’ committee and how successful you were in this position.
3. Mention subsidiary soft skills
If you consider yourself a leader, then you should know that leadership is a complex quality. It comprises of many smaller soft skills. So, there is no reason not to mention those on your resume. Go into detail a bit about why your leadership is effective and how it led your subordinates to success, how your team achieved outstanding results and how grateful the company was by rewarding and/or promoting them.
4. Use verbs
Many people make the mistake of avoiding verbs in their CVs. They tend to think that verbs make a CV look more informal and less “respectable.” In fact, when you don’t use verbs, the text becomes still and stiff, which decreases its readability. As a result, a hiring manager will have a worse impression of your CV than they would have otherwise, and perhaps will not even be able to tell you why. You don’t want that.
This can easily be avoided through the magic of language. Verbs will add dynamics to the text, thus making it more light and readable.
Returning to showcasing leadership, you should use all the verbs denoting what a leader does. For example, to lead (obviously), to enforce, to incorporate, to (re)organize, etc. You are welcome to find the full list of leadership words online.
5. Give more substance
If you are keen on leadership, then you probably read a lot about it. And being an active person, like any leader is, you surely have an opinion to share on this and that aspect. You might as well not stick to the comment sections and share your thoughts on your own blog. Or, perhaps you did some guest writing on this topic for someone else.
If any of this applies to you, then it is definitely worth mentioning in your CV. Your recruiting manager will welcome the opportunity to learn more about you through your writing outside your CV which is limited in length.
Today, when companies realize the importance of soft skills – such as leadership – even better, it is becoming more and more important to showcase such qualities in your resume. Our humble tips should help you to put together an impressive CV to get the position that you want and deserve.