Great managers come in all shapes and sizes, but there are a few key traits they all share: good decision-making skills, a knack for setting clear goals and holding people accountable, and effective communication abilities, to name a few. And while your current team might know you have these qualities, they’re not exactly easy to demonstrate to prospective employers when you’re looking for a new job.
Whether you’re managing projects or people, it’s not enough to simply list these skills in the core competencies section of your resume—you need to show, not tell. Here are a few tangible ways to do just that—and market your management prowess in your next job search.
1. Show the Scope of Your Skills
When applying to management roles, employers always want to know exactly how many people, dollars, and projects you’ve overseen. So, when it comes to your resume and LinkedIn profile bullet points, be specific and include numbers when describing your role and responsibilities. For example, instead of mentioning you were “responsible for managing the Northeast sales team,” include that you “successfully trained and managed a team of 11 inside sales professionals responsible for 12 states.”
Other valuable information to include is the size of the budget to which you were held accountable and the number of projects you managed. When you can provide numbers, it puts your responsibilities—and your associated accomplishments—into perspective.
2. But Don’t Just Talk About Your Own Accomplishments
There’s perhaps no better proof of your excellent management skills than what your team as a whole has achieved. So, use the bullets under each role to describe not just your accomplishments, but those of your employees, noting the actions you took that led them to this level of success.
What positive outcome occurred as a result of your great leadership and management? Did your team’s performance improve? Did you reduce employee turnover, increase revenue, or deliver projects on-time and under budget? Highlight and quantify your most relevant achievements whenever possible. For instance, “Achieved 110% of sales target in 2013 by hiring and onboarding two new sales reps and re-training the entire team to use a value-based selling method.” A statement like this clearly demonstrates your ability to hire, train, and coach a team to exceed its goals.
3. Get Testimonials From Your Team
A great way to show off what a great boss you are in a more three-dimensional, personal way is to request recommendations from people you’ve managed, mentored, and worked closely with on projects in the past (here’s how), and display these on your LinkedIn profile. If possible, ask the person to describe what it was like working for you or to mention any major accomplishments you completed while working with that individual. This information will reinforce the story you tell on your resume, plus show off those “soft” skills that are hard to pack into bullet points.
4. Show Your Commitment to Growing as a Manager
If you’ve taken advantage of any professional development opportunities to improve your management skills, or joined any relevant professional associations, make sure to include these in your resume and LinkedIn profile. In addition, be sure to participate in LinkedIn groups that are related to your professional associations or field. Share articles, pose questions, and take part in conversations where you have something valuable to add, especially as it relates to management and leadership. This is a great way to demonstrate your commitment to continued learning and self-improvement. (An added bonus: Recruiters are notorious for researching these groups in search of quality candidates for their open positions.)
Finally, if you have an advanced degree or a certification that speaks to your management skills, put the acronym next to your name at the top of your resume. For example, “Sarah Otto, PMP” or “John Randall, MBA.” This guarantees that the reader won’t miss this important information, which is usually found toward the bottom of your resume.
In the end, the most important thing you can do is demonstrate your management skills, rather than simply listing out your abilities. Reexamine your resume and professional online profiles with a hiring manager’s lens: Do your job search materials reveal how your management skills led your team to succeed? If you can do this effectively, you’ll be on the right track.
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