Executive Resumes Must Include Leadership Skills

Executive Resumes Must Include Leadership Skills

Executive applicants must not only convince a corporation of their value to that company on their executive resumes, they must also sell their leadership skills.

Assessing leadership qualities in applicants is the hottest new trend among corporations when hiring executives. These corporations are now hiring leadership analysts to determine if applicants possess the necessary leadership skills to manage company divisions or the companies themselves. The winnowing of executives to determine those with leadership capabilities is not an exact science. Tests that purport to discover leadership qualities are a minefield covered with faulty analytics, biased assumptions and untested theories. That makes the job of presenting leadership qualities challenging.

In the executive resume, applicants must write a blockbuster cover letter that specifically outlines their leadership qualities. Since the determination of leadership qualities may be subjective and possibly biased, the executive applicant faces a quandary of what elements to include in that critical cover letter.

For that reason, applicants need to give themselves an edge by looking at the top experts who advise Fortune 500 companies on how to determine leadership in an applicant.

That edge can be found with Mike Myatt, a leadership advisor to Fortune 500 corporations. He recently wrote a lengthy analysis in Forbes magazine of what Fortune 500 companies look for in a leader.

According to Myatt, there are six leadership qualities that corporations look for when hiring an executive.


A leader must have a clear vision on which direction to take in order to benefit the organization. Without a clear vision, employees and teams won’t have a goal to rally around. Executives must elucidate a clear path that the company can follow in order to achieve its goals.


A long record of achieving success is an indication of leadership. Those who fail are not leaders. Previous successful performance is evidence of probable future success. Executives must make clear to corporations that they have a record of success.


Curiosity is a bedrock of successful leadership. Leaders are inquisitive and seek to learn what others around them know and think. Leaders who grow with the organization will be at the helm of an expanding company. Applicants should show a keen curiosity about the organization and want to know more.


Great leaders are great communicators. Executives with poor communication skills don’t last long in Fortune 500 companies. Leaders can communicate on every corporate level and with any medium. Executive applicants must be able to communicate well on their resume and every follow-up interview.


A leader is fluid and flexible. Leaders will demonstrate an ability to adapt their leadership to circumstances as they arise. They have the ability to collaborate, step back and then move forward, depending on the circumstance. Executives need to prove that they are quick on their feet and can plot a different tack instantaneously.


The best leaders can focus on a priority like a bulldog on a bone. Focus calls for discipline and the ability to commit resources and brainpower to capture the target of that focus. The goal of that focus must result in a benefit to the organization.

Executive resumes must show that the applicant has the capability to meet specific standards of leadership. Executive applicants would do well to understand what these leadership skills are and know how to communicate these leadership talents on a resume.

By John Barney

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