When you are applying for a job, you want your resume to stand out. In addition to conforming to all the resume trends of the moment, your credentials must demonstrate that you are the perfect candidate for the position. Yet, you might be missing one crucial detail: leadership experience.
Even if you are applying for an entry-level role, you should be eager to show that you have leadership potential. Leadership experience provides workers with a number of useful traits and skills that make them valuable members of the team, such as critical thinking, problem solving, relationship building, decision making and more. Here are a few tips for putting leadership experience on your resume and securing the job of your dreams.
Pursue a Leadership Degree
There is no better evidence that you have the knowledge and skills to function in leadership roles than a formal credential proving your expertise. A business leadership degree program will provide a comprehensive overview of leadership strategies to help you function effectively as a leader in any business environment. Likely, you will participate in courses about human behavior and motivation, organizational change and development, management and leadership tools and more.
In addition to gaining formal education about leadership from top experts in the field of business leadership, you should have plenty of opportunities throughout your degree program to practice leadership. In fact, a leadership degree should provide you with so much leadership experience that you can begin your career from a position of leadership, perhaps in low-level management.
Volunteer for Leadership Roles
Every day, you encounter opportunities to be a leader — you just may not recognize it yet. At work and around your community, there is a great demand for individuals to step into leadership roles and guide teams to success. Though these roles may not come with any change to your title or any rise in pay, they provide invaluable leadership experience that you can point to when applying for a new position.
For example, when you are working as a low-level employee, you can volunteer for tasks that give you more leadership responsibility, like party or event planning. You might also take the initiative to complete projects that other workers are less interested in or assume the charge of team lead if no coworker has been assigned that role. Not only will you gain valuable leadership experience, but you will demonstrate to your superiors your eagerness to earn a promotion or raise.
Find Recreational Leadership Opportunities
There are ways to function as a leader outside of work, as well. However you engage with your community, you should look for leadership roles and positions. For example, if you are involved with a religious organization, you might consider founding a study group, volunteering as a youth leader or otherwise joining a group where you can exercise leadership responsibility.
In contrast, if you enjoy athletic pursuits, you might create a team and compete in a recreational league organized through your local parks and recreation department. There are many studies that show overlap between the behavior of athletic coaches and business leaders. In almost every recreational environment, there are ways for you to practice the knowledge and skills required of leaders.
Become Your Own Leader
Many professionals lack leadership experience because they doubt their own ability to function in leadership roles. If you suffer from a lack of confidence, you may need to work to prove to yourself that you can be a leader before you assume responsibility of leadership in a more public setting.
Personal projects are perfect opportunities to begin building leadership knowledge and skill. Creative hobbies like woodworking or knitting require much of the knowledge and skill of leadership; to see the project to completion, you will need to budget for materials, manage your time, stay motivated and maintain organization — all of which are skills required of leaders in business environments.
You can put together the most dazzling resume of all time — but without any leadership experience, you will still struggle to secure high-quality roles. Fortunately, by seeking out opportunities to flex your leadership skills, you can complete your application portfolio and qualify for some of the most prestigious employment prospects.