Leaders and applicants who have demonstrated leadership are often sought by recruiters. There are a number of different ways to demonstrate leadership, but what is leadership and how can you improve your leadership skills and attributes?
Applicants are often asked by recruiters to share their autobiography with them. While listening to these stories, a recruiter will listen to the applicant’s abilities and look for instances of when they have demonstrated different skills, one being leadership. Many times, individuals are too close to the experience to recognize their leadership skills or attributes.
Recognize Your Leadership Skills
First, reflect on your experiences. Use a timeline, writing professional experiences above the line and personal experiences below the line. Starting in high school, map the various roles you have played over the years. While doing this you may find several leadership roles, including working on a committee, a church group, a sports community, or a non-profit board.
Ask yourself “What was required of me?” as you go over your roles.
Leadership skills include:
- Forming a vision
- Uniting others around the vision and goals
- Belief in what you are working toward
- Making difficult decisions
- Flexibility and the ability to change course, if needed
Ask yourself if you demonstrated some or all of these skills and attributes in your various roles.
Find Opportunities to Grow
Find new opportunities that allow you to grow as a leader. These opportunities might include roles where you can learn from others. For example, join a committee in your town, volunteer to help at a community event, or assist with a non-profit by being on a board. Exercise personal leadership by creating your own vision, setting goals, gathering support and celebrating small successes along the way.
Use Your Experiences
Leaders can communicate their successes and failures to others in a compelling way. Think about your own experiences, and reflect on what you learned about yourself and what you can teach others.
Are there any gaps in your experiences? Is there anywhere you feel you can grow? At some time during their personal or professional lives, most people are presented with an opportunity to show leadership. During a period of unemployment, consider your leadership skills, attributes and experiences and look for ways to enhance your skills during this time.
Use these opportunities to position yourself with recruiters as a confident leader.