Do you have the most sought after skills to get the job you want? Many job seekers don’t actually know what employers are after. Would you guess it is leadership?
A brand new study by SHRM (Society for Human Resource Management) revealed the main qualities employers desire in their employees. They found that leadership and navigation are two of the most important skill sets that employers are searching for today and will be in the future as well.
Interestingly enough, these two traits are scarce in most businesses. Thirty-nine percent of the 510 senior business unit executives surveyed in the SHRM study confirmed that leadership and navigation are also two of the most lacking qualities in HR and non-HR candidates.
Here is how can you prove and improve your leadership skills in the job search:
Any leadership role will say a lot about your character on your resume. Include situations where you have held responsibility for other individuals. This not only shows your ability to be a leader, it also shows that you are comfortable with more responsibilities and setting an example for others. Even if you mention that you were a camp counselor on your resume, it will benefit you if the transferable skills are clearly defined.
If you’ve had experience as an entrepreneur, include that. Even if the business you started ultimately failed, it still shows confidence and ambition to take on challenges and reach for your goals.
If you don’t have applicable past leadership experience to show, but can produce examples of your skills in an interview, be sure to at least include leadership as a skill on your resume. And don’t forget to mention your goals for the future. Somewhere on your resume, include how you are looking for a challenge and that you hope to make a positive impact wherever you work.
Two of the most valuable qualities a leader can have are dedication and the ability communicate well. To show your dedication and commitment, employers like to see that you have worked with some companies for long periods of time. Be sure to be honest about how long you worked for previous employers.
To help prove your communication skills, mention roles where communication was crucial to the jobs that you worked at such as leading team meetings or projects, or putting together the company newsletter.
If you do not have work experience that easily shows your dedication or communication skills, show it another way. Use rhetoric that shows you are passionate about your work, and always make sure your resume is clear and very easy to comprehend.
Most likely your resume includes contacts from previous jobs who would say positive things about you to your potential employer. The mistake often made is that people list managers and associates as their contacts on their resume, instead leaders higher in the company.
If you can get a recommendation from an executive or a CEO, it will make a much bigger impression on your employer. Getting a recommendation from someone higher on the chain of command shows that you made a real impact on the company.
The best way to get an executive or CEO as a reference on your resume is just to ask. Ask your manager about how you can get in contact with the best reference available, and then send them a formal written request.
Remember that you can be who you want to be. Think about the biggest role model leader from your life and consider what they would put on a resume. Look up some of their inspiring leadership quotes and keep that in mind while you apply for jobs and revise your resume.
Be straight to the point and lose any filler words or unimportant information. Be confident and avoid phrases like, “just give me a chance and you’ll see that I’m worth it.” That won’t work. The best leaders are humble but still confident. Say something along the lines of, “if given the opportunity, I will not let you down.”
Carry that confidence into your interview. Focus on the situations in your life when you have been a leader and channel that part of you for the interview. Don’t act like you got the job already, be gracious that you are in the interview and stay confident in yourself and your skills.
Leaders will also have the best instincts when making decisions. Show the employer you have made good decisions in the past and that you applying for this job is one of those good decisions.
What other ways can you show your leadership skills to potential employers?