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5 Tactics to Showcase Thought Leadership in Your Executive Resume

ResumeShowcasing your soft skills on your resume is a challenging task. These five tactics will help you showcase thought leadership in your executive resume and land that job you deserve.

Today’s post is by Lisa Rangel, an Executive Resume Writer at ChameleonResumes.com.

How you include thought leadership in your executive resume is a key determinant of whether or not you’ll get the job. Oftentimes these are skills that have more to do with the identity and knowledge you have put out there as evidence that you have what a prospective job is seeking. This can make it difficult to put this thought leadership trait on paper.

Up until recently, companies sought after talent with hard skills that would get the firm to hit its bottom line goal. Now we know that thought leadership and soft skills are just as important when it comes to growing a company and hitting those goals. Thought leadership and soft skills are considered to be behaviors and traits such as knowledge transfer, critical thinking, mentorship, talent attraction and selection, likeability, time management, and so forth. Thought leadership has shifted from being perceived as solely academic to trend forecasting.  Soft skills are those skills that are hard to measure but equally as important.  How do you reflect them on a resume?

Check out these five ways to effectively and strategically incorporate thought leadership and soft skills in your executive resume.

Repeat soft skills mentioned in the job ad.

Job posting ads will, often times, have soft skills written into them. This will give you a clue as to what the employer is looking for in their next hired leader. For instance, one employer may emphasize that a candidate be “results oriented” while the other may prefer “strategic and trend forecaster.”  Tell stories that showcase the actions emulating strategic responsibilities and demonstrating trend foresight.

Once you’ve identified the soft skills in the job ad make sure to incorporate them into your resume. This way you customize your resume for the position at hand. This technique is far more effective than sending everyone the same generic resume.

Provide solid thought leadership examples.

Anyone can say “powerful negotiator” and “relationship builder” on a resume, but not everyone can prove it.

As with any of the skills you reference in your resume, make sure you have examples and facts to back it up. That is to say, think of an instance when your soft skills fixed a problem for the company and yielded great results.

For example, let’s say your company was about to lose a big client over a misunderstanding. The client was irate and ready to terminate the contract, but you swept in and saved the day with your negotiation and relationship building skills. This is where you can say you “Communicated effectively with clients with revenues of $650,000 per year rectifying issues as they arose, resulting in a new, expanded contract.”

Lead with verbs related to soft skills.

One of the biggest mistakes executives make when writing resumes is avoiding the use of verbs. A quick way to remedy that is to use verbs that are associated with soft skills.

For instance, if you work in healthcare you often need to deal with a lot of people who are going through a challenging period in their lives. Your ability to empathize with patients and their families and provide them with what they need is a key indicator in whether or not you are suitable for the field.

Showcase your leadership qualities.

Being a leader in the workplace requires the use of multiple soft skills at once. Simply put, you can’t be a leader if you don’t know how to deal with people.

Highlighting your leadership qualities on your resume can help you bring in very important soft skills into your resume. It’s also a very useful way of looking for examples that demonstrate soft skills. Indicate how your management led to promotions of your staff and how subordinates were cultivated for leadership roles. Outline how you trained and developed staff.

Utilize quantitative examples and include blogs.

If you really want to impress a potential employer, try to find some quantitative examples of your soft skills. Additionally, any blog writing or formal publication of your research or perspective on your field of expertise should be cited as well.  For instance, let’s say one of your soft skills is “strategic planning.”  Demonstrate how a strategic plan you created came to fruition and cite measurements used to evaluate success.

Cite your published work.

If you write blog posts as a guest blogger or for your own blog, include URLs and titles outlining what you have written.  If you have been formally published or self-published on a particular area of expertise, include the titles and/or URLs to show how you are taking the lead with setting trends in your field.

In a day when leaders need to demonstrate soft skills and thought leadership to attract talent to build business, it’s important to highlight your thought leadership and soft skills in your resume. These tips should help.

Lisa Rangel is an Executive Resume Writer and Official LinkedIn Moderator at ChameleonResumes.com, a Forbes Top 100 Career Website.  She has been featured on BBC, Investor’s Business Daily, Forbes.com, Fox News, Yahoo Finance, US News, and other media outlets. She is the creator of ResumeCheatSheet.com.

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2 Responses to “5 Tactics to Showcase Thought Leadership in Your Executive Resume”

  1. Ed Han says:

    I’m a huge fan of Lisa Rangel and this is an excellent piece!

  2. Repeat soft skills mentioned in the job ad.

    Job posting ads will, often times, have soft skills written into them. This will give you a clue as to what the employer is looking for in their next hired leader. For instance, one employer may emphasize that a candidate be “results oriented” while the other may prefer “strategic and trend forecaster.” Tell stories that showcase the actions emulating strategic responsibilities and demonstrating trend foresight.

    Once you’ve identified the soft skills in the job ad make sure to incorporate them into your resume. This way you customize your resume for the position at hand. This technique is far more effective than sending everyone the same generic resume.

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