50 Powerful Keywords to Put on Your Resume to Indicate You’re a Leader
You are probably aware that hiring managers typically spend only a few seconds visually scanning each resume before deciding whether to discard it or move it along for further review. They’re not poring over every single carefully chosen word or well-crafted sentence you’ve likely spent hours polishing. Employers seek powerful keywords about your experience that align with the job description for the role you’re applying to and indicate that you have the most important skills the position requires.
In fact, by the time your resume reaches the hiring manager’s hands, it has probably already been interpreted by the employer’s applicant-tracking software, which has searched for the keywords the company has determined are most important for the role being filled. If your resume lacks enough pre-determined management/leadership keywords for the role, the hiring manager may never even hold your resume in his or her hands.
If you’re applying to any type of leadership position or if you have past leadership experience, the word “manage” probably shows up several times throughout your resume, CV or cover letter. But, “managed” is also one of the most commonly used verbs on resumes to describe past leadership experience, so you’ll want to take care to avoid overusing the word. Instead, consider limiting your use of “manage” on your resume, opting instead for more powerful, descriptive synonyms that concretely communicate your ability to effectively lead people and projects.
The best way to determine which leadership keywords to use is to scrutinize the words in the job posting. Skills and requirements are usually listed in priority order, so be sure to use keywords from the top of the list. Also look for the frequency with which words in the job posting are mentioned; the greater the frequency, the more important.
To supplement words from the job posting, and to avoid overusing forms of “manage,” consult this list of 50 Powerful Leadership Keywords to Include on Your Resume (a.k.a., better alternatives to the word “manage”):
- Attained buy-in
- Presided over