Leadership adjectives can be valuable tools for writing engaging and concrete resume content. Hiring managers in most industries appreciate a resume that offers a clear representation of your background and work style. Learning about leadership adjectives can help you frame your work experience accurately in your resume. In this article, we define what leadership adjectives are, explain why it's important to include them on your resume, provide some tips for using them and list 11 examples of leadership adjectives.
What are leadership adjectives?
Leadership adjectives are key terms that you can use in a resume to describe your managerial qualities, guidance skills and experience with taking responsibility. To help hiring managers understand that you can succeed in a position, it's important to show them that you have leadership qualities by using leadership adjectives. These words can also show hiring managers how you approach leadership opportunities in a work environment.
Why is it important to include leadership adjectives on your resume?
Leadership is a quality many hiring managers value when searching for a suitable job candidate. Including leadership adjectives on your resume can help you show hiring managers the ways you've learned new skills and applied them to your tasks at work. These words can also demonstrate that you can advocate for yourself and others, create effective work initiatives and maintain optimal standards.
Some companies use software that tracks leadership adjectives and other keywords in resumes they collect. Then they review your resume for those keywords to determine if your profile matches the qualities they're seeking. If you emphasize your skills with leadership adjectives, more hiring managers may view your resume, giving you more opportunities to find a position that fits your preferences and goals.
11 leadership adjectives to include on your resume
Here are some notable leadership adjectives you can use on your resume:
Accountable leaders accept the outcome of the decisions they make and address any concerns others have about them. Using "accountable" on your resume may help hiring managers recognize your decision-making skills, notice how you reflect on your actions and acknowledge the quality of your job performance.
Consider these examples of how to use this word in a resume:
- Held self and team members accountable for producing high-quality products
- Accountable for incorporating five online databases in the 2020 fiscal year
- Became accountable for hosting 18 gala events for paying clients
Innovative leaders can devise new ideas using the assets and background knowledge they already have. Hiring managers often hire employees who can develop strategies for new procedures that improve the company's productivity and enhance the overall quality of its products. Using "innovative" on your resume can also help you illustrate the specific ways you improved a process at a previous organization.
Here are some examples of "innovative" in a resume:
- Innovative town planner with eight years of experience seeking to reduce landfill waste and generate solar-powered energy initiatives
- Managed an innovative workflow management system that increased daily output by 95%
- Spearheaded an innovative campaign to increase audience attendance in regional and national theaters
Related: What Are Innovative Thinking Skills?
Decisive leaders know how to make high-quality decisions within a specific timeline using information from different reliable sources. Hiring managers may want examples of how your decisions enacted positive change at your previous organization or helped your colleagues accomplish their tasks alongside your own.
Consider these examples of resume summaries and lines that use this word:
- Decisive media associate responsible for the distribution of educational materials across the United States
- Leader experienced in using decisive decision-making tactics to manage assignments from clients operating in different time zones
- Experienced in taking decisive action when addressing customer concerns
Supportive leaders often give people the encouragement and resources they need to seek new opportunities and develop their skills. Leaders who show this quality can assist their colleagues when they seek additional input and create a working environment that promotes success. Hiring managers may look for information on your resume about how you operate in a team environment and strategies you've used to support team efforts.
Here are some examples of resume summaries that use this word:
- Team-oriented, supportive social media manager who strives to help every department succeed
- Supportive real estate manager seeking new opportunities to help clients find homes that work for their families
- Responsible for creating supportive and engaging activities for staff members to help develop working relationships
Dedicated individuals commit to the tasks they've agreed to do and persevere to achieve their goals. They often understand how to approach obstacles with positivity and resilience and may inspire their colleagues to accomplish their goals. To help hiring managers recognize that you're driven to succeed in your field, consider using "dedicated" in your resume.
Here are a few examples from resumes that use this word:
- Dedicated, teaching artist seeking a staff position in a public high school to help young people build self-confidence and find lifelong joy in theater arts
- Dedicated five years to managing a five-step client retention program that improved relationships with clients by over 50%
- Motivated a dedicated team of marketing associates to create and maintain eight successful social media campaigns over the course of nine months
Maintaining an objective perspective means you can approach situations using data rather than applying your personal opinions. Objective leaders often know how to make informed decisions that typically lead to positive results. Using "objective" in your resume may help hiring managers understand that you can represent factual information during work situations.
Consider these examples of using "objective" in a resume:
- Analyzed objective data to improve the company's internal time management software
- Collected and articulated objective statistics relating to patient welfare to present at board meetings on a monthly basis
- Wrote and maintained a spreadsheet with objective reports of budgeting progress
Focused leaders typically use strategies to maintain consistent attention on a task or goal. To immerse themselves in a project, they may assess the emotions involved in a particular situation and evaluate how colleagues perceive their actions. Choosing the word "focused" may show hiring managers that working effectively is one of your primary career goals.
Here are a few examples of resume statements using this word:
- Focused and purposeful sales representative seeking a new position in creative industries
- Launched a subscriber-focused initiative to better understand which articles people read when they access the company website
- Generated 17 staff-focused initiatives to increase overall workflow
Passionate leaders typically enjoy the work they do and strive to achieve the best possible results whenever they can. Many have strong communication skills, which help them learn about all the aspects involved in creating successful work initiatives. Hiring managers often seek passionate individuals who genuinely care about the work they do.
Here are some examples of resume statements and lines that use this word:
- Passionate, self-motivated school psychologist seeks employment in elementary schools to assess the emotional well-being of students and advise teachers in effective classroom management
- Coached a passionate team of box-office staff to understand business protocols and advise patrons on films they may enjoy
- Implemented passionate storytelling techniques to appeal to the firm's target audiences
Inclusive leaders emphasize relationship development in the team and encourage everyone to share their perspectives in discussions at work. Hiring managers may seek candidates whose resumes show they've endeavored to be inclusive in the workplace.
Consider these examples of resume statements and lines using this word:
- Inclusive, dedicated physical therapist with over 20 years of training in helping patients recover from ailments
- Collaborated on inclusive approaches to training new interns and students in operating the company's internal design software
- Facilitated an inclusive working environment through bimonthly discussions on communication styles and protocols
Related: What Is Inclusive Leadership?
Observant leaders typically stay aware of their surroundings and may attempt to notice details about a person or situation. They can use this knowledge to better understand working conditions and address any potential concerns. Hiring managers may seek candidates who are detail-oriented and can perceive constructive ways to approach a new working environment.
Here are some examples of resume summaries and lines that use this word:
- Observant and organized sociologist seeks associate professor position at a college or university
- Organized a six-month evaluation of sales techniques that required an observant analysis of customer service interactions both in the store and online
- Instructed an observant team of park rangers that improved fire safety regulation by 41% over the course of one summer
Influential leaders often act with kindness and patience to guide people toward making positive decisions and achieving their goals. Hiring managers may appreciate seeing this quality on your resume as influential leaders can inspire people to update company policies and improve the culture of their workplace, which can help companies increase productivity and company morale.
Consider these resume statements and lines that use this word:
- Influential and responsible content creator seeking employment in social media management
- Produced an influential short film that won four independent film awards during the 2020-2021 awards season
- Mobilized a team of influential and self-motivated event planners who conducted gala fundraisers for 15 nonprofits in the last fiscal year
Tips for using leadership adjectives
Consider using these tips for using leadership adjectives on your resume:
- Identify adjectives in the job description. You can examine the job description for relevant keywords, then incorporate them into your resume.
- Study company mission statements. Studying mission statements can help you decide which leadership adjectives emphasize the qualities that hiring managers are seeking in a candidate. Then you can highlight those qualities on your resume.
- Use varied adjectives. Finding a few different adjectives to describe your leadership qualities can help you write compelling resume content. Try to use each leadership adjective only once throughout your resume.
- Proofread the spelling before you submit. Proofreading is another effective way to show hiring managers that you have the competencies you need to succeed.
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