As a mid-career professional looking to apply for a leadership role in a new company, your CV needs to show that you’re up to the task — a leader with an impressive track record.

But how do you showcase leadership in your CV?

The trick is choosing the strongest words, skills and experiences that best convey your experience and will significantly influence a prospective employer. 

Not to worry, we’ll walk you through how to do it.

In the sections below, we explore some top leadership skills for a CV, how to write a leadership CV and effective ways to showcase your leadership abilities when drafting a CV for a mid-career job. 

How to Showcase Leadership in a CV

Successful management relies on leadership to increase productivity and accomplish corporate objectives. As a mid-career professional seeking a leadership role, here is how you can showcase leadership in a CV. 

1. Study the Job Description for Relevant Keywords

Job descriptions often specify the leadership skills and experience they’re looking for. 

You want to thoroughly study the job description before applying for a position so you can determine what leadership skills the company values. 

Check the keywords used so you can include the same words when sharing your accomplishments, skills and summary. 

Many businesses check CVs using an application tracking system (ATS) to look for particular terms or phrases that are included in the job description. 

Including the same keywords on your CV may increase the likelihood that a hiring manager will see it. 

Essentially, you can help an employer or recruiter see you as someone who is efficient and accomplishes tasks simply by customising and structuring your CV. 

Additionally, you can specify particular leadership qualities from the job description and provide instances to support using them. 

This demonstrates that you took the time to read the job description and matched your talents to their requirements.

2. List Specific Leadership Achievements in Past Roles

To demonstrate to potential employers that you can successfully fill a leadership role, it is crucial to have concrete examples of specific leadership achievements in your past roles. 

Consider your prior employment and some instances in which you have shown leadership abilities. 

Think of specific instances where you took on a leadership role and were able to solve problems or manage a project to completion. 

This should be a quantifiable success to which you can assign a numerical value or percentage improvement. 

Include those particular examples of your leadership accomplishments on your CV to support your qualifications. 

Examples can be when you exhibited your leadership and goal-setting for the team, specific KPIs relating to your company objectives, how you gave your team members opportunities for promotion, etc.

In addition, you can share how many people you’ve managed and the size of a project’s budget, etc. 

These specific examples can capture a hiring manager’s attention better than generic leadership skills for a CV.

Also, most of these accomplishments should highlight high-level rather than individual responsibilities. 

Now, since the goal of your CV is to demonstrate to a hiring manager what you could contribute to the organisation, each achievement you list must be relevant to the position for which you are applying.

3. Use Strong Action Verbs

Do you want to stand out to any prospective employer? Then you must be willing to use strong action verbs that best describe your leadership skills. These are specific words and make your contributions clear. 

Excellent examples include the verbs:

  • Advocated
  • Mentored
  • Engaged
  • Mobilised
  • Campaigned
  • Motivated
  • Challenged
  • Focused
  • Championed
  • Ignited
  • Driven
  • Influenced
  • Spearheaded
  • Steered
  • Energised.”

4. Highlight Leadership in Your Professional Summary

It’s not required. But it’s a good idea to include a professional summary if you’re trying to draw attention to a specific quality, like applying to a leadership role. 

When optimised, this section can be a great place to captivate your prospective employer and draw attention to your vast experience, notable accomplishments, exceptional communication and leadership abilities.

A professional summary should be at most 3-5 lines and appear above your professional experience. 

Include any noteworthy accomplishments, significant talents, and information about the size and circumstances of any past teams you have led.

Examples of How to Convey Leadership

When giving examples in your leadership CV, you want to use the STAR approach – Situation, Task, Action, Result. 

It should answer questions like, What was the situation? Was it a new project or a team-building activity?

 How many team members did you have, and who were they? What task did you need to complete or challenge did you encounter? 

Then, discuss the action you did and how you led. What were your alternatives?

Finally, summarise your leadership experiences by discussing the RESULT. How did everything turn out? What did you take away from it? 

How did you improve from this experience, and how will you apply this knowledge to perform successfully in this position you’re looking for?

Consider these practical leadership CV examples of how to convey leadership as a mid-career professional. 

1. Show that You are a Great Listener

A competent leader recognises that they need to learn more and that even the most junior employee can teach them something new. Besides, listening also helps you understand problems and general situations better.

Furthermore, most firms choose individuals based on their skills and experience in various disciplines, and the leader must learn to engage with and listen to all employees. 

A great way to showcase leadership in a CV is by providing practical examples of times when you actively listened to and communicated with not just your team members but also persons in different departments of the organisation. 

For example, ‘’Oversaw a team of 20 employees, communicating effectively to establish goals and expectations for each project.’’

2. Provide Examples of How Well You Respect the Chain of Command

In most organisations, there is a chain of command across the board, and as a leader, you must show that you recognise and respect that body. 

An organisational structure exists so that everyone in the firm understands to who they are accountable.

If a leader fails to follow these lines of authority, the company will be confused, and the team members will be discouraged. 

Furthermore, if the leader does not follow the chain of command, the employees will find it difficult to report to their superiors, causing discord among the staff. 

As a leader, you must show how well and willing you are to follow the chain of command in your new company. 

3. Share Results From Leading By Example

As a leader, you are supposed to offer guidance and lead the team, but you should also know and understand your members’ roles and be willing to become involved in the actual work. 

For example, you can show how you set an excellent instance by accompanying the marketing team on a field trip to promote the company’s products. 

Relate how you were able to pitch clients in the same way that the marketing department does, raising your team’s morale and securing the deal. 

4. Demonstrate Your Conflict Resolution Skills

Conflicts are usually unavoidable in the workplace — either between employees or between the employer and employees.

However, the speed at which you resolve these conflicts defines your competence as a leader. 

As a competent leader, you should show how you mediate when differences develop and keep the team members focused on the job. 

You can write something like:

‘’Resolve issues quickly by listening to concerns and working with the assistant managers to identify solutions and offer peaceful resolutions.’’ 

5. Offer Examples of How You Over-Delivered on Tasks and Projects

Good leaders must deliver on their promises rather than simply making them. 

They must strive toward achieving actual outcomes rather than focusing on prior accomplishments that they have yet to be able to replicate. 

To showcase leadership in a CV, you must use numbers that quantify your accomplishments and perfectly represent how you achieved even beyond the expected results. 

In addition, you also want to show your delegation skills, where you divide large tasks into smaller manageable ones and allocate them among your team members. 

Here is an example:

‘’Developed and implemented a marketing strategy that increased sales by 20% in six months.’’

Template ideas/format for a leadership CV

Obtaining a team leader position will provide you with a competitive income and an exciting new role.

But to get one, you’ll need an eye-catching CV that distinguishes you from other applicants while showcasing your leadership ability.

Let’s check out this leadership CV template to use as a leadership CV writing guide in submitting a strong application.

1. Professional Summary

The average recruiter spends about 6 seconds looking through a CV. This means they don’t have time to look through a lengthy CV summary that does nothing to catch their attention. 

That being said, you must craft the perfect professional summary that not only stop them in their tracks but does well in showing why you are the best choice. 

Here is an example:

‘’Technically sound Web Developer with more than four years of experience designing, developing, and upgrading web applications. Value teamwork over individual brilliance. Believes that technology and collaboration should put people first.’’

Reading through these sentences, a hiring manager can tell that the web developer has a passion for technology and collaboration. 

They talk about working together, appreciating cooperation, and solving problems with technology and communication by putting people first.

2. Work Experience

Read the job description first. Highlight the tasks and obligations expected for this role. In addition, research the company. What is its purpose? Its difficulties?

Then, add 4-6 bullet points for each position you include in your work experience section. 

Here is an example of a company looking to increase its sales and cut costs while increasing revenue. 

Sales Manager

PharmaCare Microsystems


  • Uncovered fresh income prospects and improved the pipeline to increase revenue across the board in over ten regional areas with a 25% increase in total revenues
  • Facilitated real-time dissemination to all stakeholders of all sales goals and efforts and achieved 30% higher ROI
  • Created all sales projections and budgets. All team members’ buy-in and idea development resulted in a 35% cost reduction

3. Education

For a mid-career job, there is less emphasis on whether you went to college and more on whether you are an excellent fit for the role. 

That being said, you want to mention just your college name, years in school and degree. You can then add bullet points to show how your education makes you a good fit for the job. 

For example, 

MBA, Yoke University

2004 – 2008

  • Obtained an MBA with a focus on sales and marketing
  • 2500 compression socks were sold as part of a senior project

Of course, this should be relevant to the job description and reflect your ability to get things done. 

4. Skills

Leadership skills are key in helping you land and succeed in a role. They allow managers to lead teams in achieving organisational objectives. 

Interpersonal abilities, communication, planning, and persuasion are all some of the skills required of a leader.

Examples of skills to include when writing a leadership CV for a mid-career job include: 

Soft skills

  • Communication
  • Problem-solving
  • Creative thinking
  • Leadership
  • Math skills
  • Interpersonal skills
  • Confidence, etc

Hard skills

  • New business development
  • Budgeting and finance
  • Strategic planning
  • Presentation skills
  • IT skills
  • Negotiation skills
  • Relationship building, etc

When selecting the skills to use, you want to focus on the ones the company is looking for and then back them up in bullet points with metrics. Avoid listing skills that are unrelated to the job role you are seeking. 

5. Professional Certifications

Certifications have the potential to change the game. CPA or CFA qualifications can be a great way to show your strong financial foundation. 

A legal degree, sales qualification, or other credentials may also glow on a leadership CV, depending on your field.

List any certificates that are useful to the role. Include them in a separate part of your professional executive resume, such as this:


CFA Chartered Financial Analyst 

Yoke University Executive Leadership Certification

6. Other Sections

Your other sections are another place to show your unique angle to the hiring manager. 

This is where you share non-work accomplishments like awards, conferences, notable mentions, etc.

What The Average UK Hiring Manager Wants to See in a Leadership CV

The average UK hiring manager wants to see core leadership skills when looking through a CV. 

That being said, these are the most crucial skills to showcase leadership on your CV.

1. Communication

A great leader must be an effective communicator. As a matter of fact, it’s an essential skill for any leadership role. 

After all, your team will only be able to accomplish their objectives if you can express your intentions and expectations to them. 

When reading a leadership CV, the average hiring manager wants to see instances where you have been able to showcase great communication skills. 

They want to see that you not only know how to communicate but that you’re an effective listener as well.  

In other words, your professional accomplishments are a great way to showcase leadership in a CV. 

For example, list instances where you were in charge of managing a team and encountered an issue. Then, show how you were able to use your communication skills to guide your team to make progress and achieve the company goal. 

2. Organisation

A leader needs to show organisation skills. You will need to juggle many roles and manage teams in your new role, so you must have exceptional organisational skills. 

Organisation skills include time management, prioritisation, planning, and attention to detail.  Focus on your accomplishments as a result of these skills while composing your CV. 

For instance, you can mention a time you introduced new software that helped your team manage their time better and streamline your reporting process.  

3. Problem-solving

Your hiring manager understands that everyone faces problems at one point or the other. 

However, what they want to see in your CV is how you were able to handle those problems and showcased yourself as an efficient leader. 

A great problem solver must show adaptability, creativity, effective communication and analytical skills. 

That being said, when writing about the problem you solved, a great strategy is to first talk about the result, the action you took and then the problem that led to such action.  

Mention instances in your work experience where your ability to solve problems had a beneficial effect, such as when you helped the firm save time and money. 

For example, ‘Found inefficiencies in the factory’s design and implemented changes that increased productivity by 10%.’

4. Relationship building

One of the most crucial qualities of leadership is developing and nurturing strong relationships. As a result, your interactions with your team will significantly affect their performance. 

Your hiring manager also knows this. So, they want to see how adept you’re at building and maintaining relationships. 

Great relationships are built by: 

  • Paying attention to the team
  • Commending your team when they make progress
  • Being considerate of the feelings of a coworker
  • Promoting an environment of collaboration
  • Outlining expectations for staff members

5. Mentoring

A great leader can mentor and motivate team members to give their best. As a leader, you must be able to showcase leadership in a CV by showing your hiring manager how you nurtured your team members and pushed them to greater heights. 

For instance, you can show how you motivated and mentored a team member till they completed higher certification. 

6. Delegation

Being a leader, you can’t—and shouldn’t—do everything alone. Therefore, you need to have delegation skills. 

A great leader must know who is most qualified to take on particular roles and projects. 

A leader who is good at delegating: 

  • Transfers the reins
  • Gives a “large picture”
  • Enables the team members to make judgments about their work
  • Observes activities
  • Reinforces outcomes
  • Remains reachable

7. Adaptability

Adaptability in a leader is a highly coveted skill in CV. An adaptable leader is willing and able to adjust to changes. 

Hiring managers are looking for leaders who can learn quickly, react to changes and deal with uncertainties. 

This means you should showcase leadership in a CV by showing practical examples of your work experience accomplishments.  

The best way to demonstrate your adaptability skills on your CV is to provide leadership CV examples where you changed your strategy to assure achievement. 

For example, ‘Assisted in coaching a group of about 15 business analysts on the organisation’s expanding requirements management strategy and best practices.’

Tips for Creating a Strong Leadership CV

We have examined how you can showcase leadership in your CV, leadership skills for your CV and how best to structure your CV when applying for a mid-career job. 

It’s time to market yourself now that you know what to put in a strong leadership CV. Here are some writing tips to keep in mind while you create your CV

  • Captivate your audience with the Personal Summary part of your CV. Use this section to highlight your vast experience, notable accomplishments, and exceptional communication and leadership abilities.
  • When discussing your professional accomplishments, always highlight quantifiable achievements. These can be figures showing sales profits, budget management, turnover rates, etc. 
  • Your CV should be well-presented and formatted. You want to ensure it’s properly structured, concise and coherent.
  • Your goal is to stand out from other applicants, so use powerful, motivational and energetic verbs to structure your CV and showcase your unique voice.

Bringing It All Together

Applying for a leadership role and getting the job is no small feat. However, you improve your chances of landing the position by tailoring your CV to showcase your leadership skills, capabilities, and experience.

Hopefully, the tips and examples we’ve shared in this article have given you insight into how to showcase your leadership skills in your CV.

We can also do the hard work for you. The CV Expert is home to CV writing specialists that can craft an excellent leadership CV in a few business days. Contact us today to learn more about our CV writing services.

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