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Complex Thoughts

Marketing Your Leadership Skills

Your leadership involvement are a vital part of your college experience. Adding them to your resume may prove to be the deciding factor in your race for the “perfect job.” It’s important, then, to articulate the skills and experience you have gained through your co-curricular involvement.

To decide what skills to focus on for your resume or interview, examine all of your experiences and list the major tasks and accomplishments of each of them.

  • Select the skills you utilized and enjoyed the most in your positions, or
  • Select those skills that are the most relevant to a potential job in your field.

Here are some skills you might have gained through your participation in co-curricular activities:

MOTIVATIONAL SKILLS

Sold ideas, programs, or courses of action… Influenced attitudes or ideas of others… Recruited talent or leadership… Got diverse groups to work together… Managed conflict… Arbitrated… Mediated issues with individuals or groups… Utilized crisis intervention… Developed public speaking skills… Planned for and initiated change.

EDUCATIONAL/HELPING SKILLS

Advised students/groups… Fostered a stimulating learning environment… Helped others express their views… Facilitated group discussion… Organized and administered training programs… Facilitated personal growth and development… Developed effective listening skills… Encouraged teamwork.

CREATIVITY/RESEARCH SKILLS

Improvised on the spur of the moment… Created and implemented innovative program ideas… Operated well in a free, unstructured, unsupervised environment… Organized materials/information in a systematic way… Developed problem solving and decision making skills… Promoted events… Conducted needs analysis.

COMMUNICATION SKILLS

Edited written material… Communicated effectively and clearly, both orally and in writing… Provided both positive feedback and constructive criticism… Encouraged communication among and feedback from members… Developed and made presentations… Improved assertiveness and confrontation skills… Managed meetings.

FINANCIAL MANAGEMENT

Kept financial records… Made budget projections or developed budgets… Prepared financial reports… Completed successful grant applications… Raised funds.

MANAGEMENT SKILLS

Prioritized tasks… Developed systematic approach to goal setting… Made and interpreted policy… Designed projects and programs… Made difficult and immediate decisions… Managed time commitments… Hired/selected members and officers… Built a team… Supervised others in their work… Delegated tasks… Recognized and utilized skills of others… Evaluated people and programs… Negotiated contracts… Planned and implemented successful meetings, seminars and workshops.


ACTION WORDS TO DESCRIBE YOUR EXPERIENCES

Use this list to begin thinking about the valuable skills you have developed through your involvement in activities.

  • Acquired
  • Administered
  • Advised
  • Analyzed
  • Arranged
  • Assessed
  • Attended
  • Budgeted
  • Built
  • Changed
  • Communicated
  • Created
  • Determined (policies)
  • Developed
  • Edited
  • Elected by peers
  • Established
  • Guided
  • Helped
  • Hired
  • Identified
  • Implemented
  • Improved
  • Initiated
  • Lectured
  • Managed
  • Marketed
  • Mediated
  • Motivated
  • Negotiated
  • Organized
  • Participated in
  • Performed
  • Planned
  • Produced
  • Programmed
  • Promoted
  • Recruited
  • Scheduled
  • Sold
  • Supervised
  • Taught
  • Trained
  • Verified
  • Wrote

ADAPTED FROM COUGAR CLUES, UNIVERSITY OF MINNESOTA–MORRIS, AND THUNDAR BOLTS, NORTH DAKOTA STATE UNIVERSITY

Excellence. Our Measure. Our Motto. Our Goal.