leadership skills resume

The 5 Best Leadership Skills for Your 2021 Resume

Do you ever ask yourself, “Which leadership skills do companies want to see on my resume? Data Dimensions International, a respected talent management firm, can tell you.

They recently surveyed 15,000-plus global leaders and HR pros from 1,700 organizations to understand which leadership skills are in demand in 2021.

Survey Results

Here’s what they found:

  1. Digital acumen
  2. Responding to industry competition
  3. Innovating products and services
  4. Leading virtual teams and contractors
  5. Using empathy or emotional intelligence

You can use the list to ensure your resume’s accomplishment statements demonstrate that you’re on top of current challenges.

Your Leadership Skills Resume 

Are you thinking, “That’s nice, but how do I translate that information into a leadership skills resume?” If so, check out the following sample leadership accomplishment statements for inspiration.

You can also click to see several sample executive resumes that provide additional examples.

Now, check out these accomplishment statements:

Digital Acumen

Led digital marketing transformation. Increased leads 150%, calls 130%, and sales pipeline 142%. Cut average cost per lead 62%.

Responding to Industry Competition

Created line of next-generation products. Achieved $50 million annual run rate, increased US market share to 90%, and produced company’s highest margins.

Innovating Products & Services

Identified product opportunities (development, acquisition, optimization). Directed 30+ launches. Generated $250 million of new annual revenue. Met/beat margin targets.

Leading Virtual Teams & Contractors

Led a diverse, cross-functional team located in the US, Mexico, and Brazil.

Empathy & Emotional Intelligence

It’s hard to claim that you have empathy or emotional intelligence on your resume. Rather, you might ask colleagues to mention your empathy and emotional intelligence in your LinkedIn recommendations.

Why Do I Need to Put Achievements on My Resume?

While using accomplishment statements on resumes has become the conventional wisdom over the last 20 years, it’s good to know that research indicates it’s a best practice.

Frank L. Schmidt, a leading academic personnel selection expert, recently completed a meta-analysis of 100 years of selection research for Gallup. He found that prior experience and achievements have more predictive validity than any other job candidate evaluation method.

Thus, you help recruiters and hiring managers to make better decisions for their companies and you when you include information about your accomplishments on your resume.

Bonus Round

While this post outlines the leadership skills and experience in the highest demand, you will also improve your resume by understanding the skills (and keywords) called for by specific job opportunities.

Learn the best way to do that here.


I appreciate the research DDI and Gallup conduct and share with the public. Thanks!

Updated February 2021

© 2011 – 2021, Donna Svei. All rights reserved.

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