How to List Supervisory Skills on a Resume

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While not every position is a supervisory role, it’s crucial to possess a set of supervisory skills. No matter what role you play in an organization, your contributions are important to the success of the company. This article defines supervisory skills, advises for improvement of these skills and shows you how to add them to your resume to increase your chances of getting the job you want.

What are supervisory skills?

Supervisory skills are the skills needed to develop and lead teams, manage tasks, communicate up and down the chain of command and solve problems. These skills are considered critical to the success of organizations.

Why supervisory skills are important to add to a resume

If you possess supervisory skills and experience, your resume should clearly highlight these skills to demonstrate your capability to train, develop and lead a team. Your ability to effectively supervise and motivate people is a significant strength and should be prominently evident on your resume as some of your top skills. When you feature your specialty skills on your resume, you stand out as a dedicated supervisor who truly cares about individual and operational performance.

Common supervisory skills for a resume

Supervisors typically possess a unique mix of the following skills:

  • Leadership: Managing a team requires the ability to lead them, guide them and mentor them in order to facilitate the greatest success of the collective as well as individually.
  • Time management: Time management is a skill that is necessary and valuable to any task, role and organization. A supervisor must know how to manage your own time as well as keep your employees on track in order to enhance productivity and efficiency and produce quality results.
  • Conflict resolution: Effectively managing conflict contributes greatly to finding amenable resolutions that lead to increased productivity and successful working relationships.
  • Problem-solving: Problem-solving skills are vitally important for success in the workplace. Effective supervisors know how to dig deeper to find the root cause of a problem and can devise a process for solving the problem in a structured, cohesive manner.
  • Critical thinking: This crucial skill involves understanding how to collaborate with your team to make strategic decisions, solve problems and foster creativity and innovative thinking.
  • Communication: Excellent written, verbal and listening skills help you succeed in delivering a message or explaining a task to your team. These skills help you set a good example for the members of your team.
  • Interpersonal Skills: These skills help you build an effective team and a collaborative culture within your organization.

How to list supervisory skills on a resume

It’s one thing to include your supervisory skills on your resume and quite another to do so effectively. Follow these steps to make your listed skills have maximum impact on hiring managers:

1. First, be specific

Specificity is important when describing your most crucial supervisory skills. Explain in detail how you used each skill, using specific instances and how your contribution helped the company. For example, instead of saying ‘I led the marketing department,’ write instead ‘I was in charge of supervising a team of eight full-time marketing professionals, four part-time administrative assistants and several interns.’ Use precise language when describing your daily responsibilities, quantifying them whenever possible. Instead of saying that you ‘managed sales staff,’ say instead that you ‘developed quarterly and yearly goals with transparent monitoring so the employees could always see their progress. Advised and mentored sales executives on sales and client interaction methods for higher success rates.’

2. Highlight your achieved results

It’s important to focus less on what you want from the employer and more on what you have to offer to the company. Describe how the employer will benefit from hiring you. Since roles and job titles vary greatly between organizations, provide context for the employers as needed for them to evaluate your potential. Highlight the results you achieved, whether you decreased employee turnover or instituted a process that increased profits in your first year. Proudly describe any honors your team received and mention how honored you felt to be leading such a great team.

3. Tailor your skills to the job

While you want to be specific and highlight the most important achievements in your career, make sure you keep it concise. Too much ‘filler’ or unnecessary information can clutter your resume and make it difficult to find certain skills with a typical quick glance. By highlighting the skills the employer is specifically searching for, you’ll make yourself stand out as the ideal candidate for the role.

Tips to improve supervisory skills

Setting a good example helps you inspire and motivate your team, as well as gain their trust and respect. Consider the following tips to improve your skills and become an even more effective supervisor:

  • Recognize the line between personal and professional. You can be friendly with your team, but at some point, you may need to administer discipline or deliver bad news, so it’s important to identify the line and refrain from stepping over it. This can be especially hectic if you’ve been promoted into your position rather than hired into it, as you are now in charge of supervising your former peers.
  • Differentiate equity and equality. Equal and fair are not synonymous. In other words, learn to be fair to everyone without necessarily giving them the exact same things. For example, giving recognition for a job well done is appreciated by everyone, but some people thrive on public praise while others prefer not to be in the spotlight.
  • Ask for and accept feedback. Being a supervisor does not make you superhuman, and you won’t always have all the answers. The key is the ability to find the means to discover the answers, even when you must reach out to your team for their feedback.
  • Make meetings efficient and effective. Meetings cut into your workday and are sometimes ineffective, so when you learn to run good meetings, people are more likely to be amenable to participating in them. This can facilitate more productive conversations and produce useful results.
  • Leave work at work. Though many supervisory roles come with extra work, it’s important to manage your workload enough to avoid burnout. To be at your best every day, refrain from taking work home. Instead, use that time to relax, refresh and be ready for the next day.
  • Seize all the training opportunities offered to you. You can improve your interpersonal, communication and critical thinking skills as well as learn to better manage your time by learning to delegate more effectively.
  • Acknowledge success and failure equally. Supervisors are human, and as such, you are no less prone to failure than anyone else. It’s crucial to recognize that failure can facilitate future success if it’s accepted and remedied. As a supervisor, your job is to assure your team that it is okay to make mistakes if those mistakes are acknowledged and not repeated.
  • Listen. A supervisor who actively listens to their team is able to motivate and empower their team, encouraging them to learn by doing and voice their ideas and opinions without apprehension.

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