If your next career move is into a leadership role, this may seem simple. After all, it’s a natural progression, right? Maybe you already fill in for your manager, or you’re taking courses toward your MBA that you hope to use in your next position.
Yet, frustration can set in quickly for many job hunters trying to climb the career ladder, as they either fail to land interviews, or give up and make a lateral move.
Has this happened to you? If so, keep in mind that your résumé must clearly market you as management material to make the leap. By that, I don’t mean just slapping an objective on the start of the document that states your goal.
Promotion to management requires both natural talent, plus a drive for results that is backed up by your experience. Read on for my top 3 strategies to market yourself for a leadership role—especially if you haven’t already held the title:
1 – Focus on how you met challenges faced by the company, NOT just your team.
What shape was your current employer in upon your arrival? Did any of these situations apply to your experience?
-Was the company growing, or under intense pressure to survive?
-Was your region in need of a major turnaround?
-Did the company have a troubled reputation with vendors or suppliers?
-Was effort above and beyond expectations required to overcome challenges?
If any of these questions hit home, take a long look at the results of your work, then give details on what you did to change things—PLUS the result to the company’s bottom line.
Describing these types of traits and accomplishments at the corporate level can give an edge to your résumé and demonstrate continual leadership skill, no matter what your current job title happens to be.
2 – Use a résumé title and profile that befits your circumstances.
A résumé title (which is a concept that I cover in both of my books), clearly gives your objective without well, USING an objective. Titling your résumé caps it off with a clear direction and purpose (see résumé samples here for examples).
If it’s a stretch for your skills, qualify it with a statement that expresses your intentions, such as Career Goal: Organizational Management.
Give the reader some details in your profile! If you’ve survived 12 years in manufacturing sales, don’t just write about your longetivity.
Try wrapping in an accomplishment, along with a descriptive phrase or two that shows the reader where you fit in an organization, such as Business relationship expert noted for building strategic alliances that produced multimillion-dollar gains in the manufacturing industry.
3 – Have you already BEEN the boss?
Serving in an acting managerial capacity is a sure steppingstone to a management career. Don’t hide the fact that you’ve taken over team supervision in your manager’s absence, or that you’ve been asked to lead a committee.
Supervising or mentoring others is another sign of leadership qualities that you don’t want an employer to miss.
Click here for an example of a résumé that uses ALL of these strategies to demonstrate leadership capability—without having the actual title.
Remember, a hiring manager needs to see both your intent AND your managerial skills in order to select you for a management-level interview.
By establishing yourself as a leader on paper, you help employers see the significance in contacting you… and the potential loss to their business success should they pass on your valuable skills.