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Soft Skills 101: Leadership

The successful and innovative Steve Jobs once said, “Be a yardstick of quality. Some people aren’t used to an environment where excellence is expected.”

But in a world where a ruler, and not a yardstick, is all that youth are exposed to, how is one to develop the skills necessary to expect excellence? Through leadership.

According to BusinessDictionary, leadership involves establishing a clear vision, sharing that vision with others so that they will follow willingly, providing the information, knowledge, and methods to realize the said vision and to coordinate (and balance) the interests of all members and stakeholders. Essentially, communicate effectively what you aim to achieve and provide motivation to keep the vision and goal you seek in plain sight.

In a 2015 survey conducted by the National Association of Colleges and Employees, participating employers were asked to name the attributes they value most in candidates. To no surprise, leadership was the primary skill identified by 77.8 percent of the participants when it came to the ability to work in a team. 

Why are leadership skills important in business?

In today’s business realm, it’s crucial that businesses hire employees who can not only manage themselves but who can also assist with the direction of other workers. By doing so, employees are more likely to build quality relationships throughout the organization and essentially take on a role of a mentor.

Leadership Development in Business

Due to the few opportunities of leadership development prior to entering the workplace, companies are integrating what’s called the Kotter International model of 70:20:10 which identifies 70 percent on-the-job learning, 20 percent social learning through coaching or mentoring and 10 percent formal skill development programs. Businesses are now taking it upon themselves to provide training to employees, teaching basic soft skills to enable them to be better components of a company.

How to Include Leadership Skills in a Resume

Soft skills such as leadership are not always a given when it comes to potential new hires. While one candidate may have far more experience or “hard skills,” such as accounting or data analysis, he or she may not have the necessary “soft skills” to manage others or to be successful in the company culture. When incorporating a skill such as leadership on a resume, it is crucial that you not only include it within the skills portion of the resume but also explore how it was developed within the professional endeavors listed. The National Association of Colleges and Employers survey discovered that only 67.5 percent of employers look for “technical skills” (or hard skills) when hiring, compared to the previously mentioned (77.8%) soft skill of leadership. When describing your previous work experience you will want to incorporate your soft skill with the technical skill (or hard skill) practices and then the outcome.

Through this formula, you are demonstrating that the outcome would not have been possible without the assistance of the two skillsets. This also shows that you are able to practice such skills in a professional setting.

When in doubt of your own leadership abilities, ask yourself “Am I a yardstick or a ruler or quality?”

To get started on creating your resume, check out JA My Resume

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