Terms That Successfully Indicate Your Leadership Talents

Even the most experienced leaders must prove their skills to potential employers. Often, it’s not enough to simply state “excellent leadership skills” on your resume. In a perfect world, your experience should speak for itself. Yet whether you are seasoned or an aspiring leader in your field, there are certain terms that will help you solidify these strengths on your resume as well as during an interview.

Terms for Leadership - Man at laptop with writing tablet

Recruiter, career strategist, and author, Jenny Foss, has offered a practical list of terms for job seekers to choose from that will truly reiterate their strong suits in various leadership positions.

Show your abilities as a trailblazer.

Since innovation plays an important role in decision-making and the ability to move forward with effective plans, clearly this particular skill is a vital part of being a well-rounded leader. Foss recommends the following expressions:

  • Ignited
  • Modernized
  • Optimized
  • Piloted
  • Pioneered
  • Revitalized
  • Spearheaded
  • Transformed

Indicate Your Financial Prowess

Most leadership positions will include some element of money-management, so it’s important to cover your bases. Showing your sense of accountability in this area will certainly help you stand out to hiring managers. Foss suggests that job-seeking leaders consider choosing from the following descriptive terms:

  • Budgeted
  • Cut costs
  • Drove growth
  • Invested
  • Negotiated
  • P&L Accountability
  • Reduced

Point out your knack for employee development

The capacity to inspire and urge others to hone in on their own particular talents is a must for those in leadership positions. Foss proposes the following words to “showcase your ability to rally others to pull off remarkable things”.

  • Advocated
  • Coached
  • Galvanized
  • Ignited
  • Mentored
  • Motivated
  • Shaped
  • Supported
  • United
  • Uplifted
  • We (rather than “I”)

Point out your capacity to influence others.

In addition to the skills listed above, effective leader must know how to influence or persuade others into agreeing with and implementing their ideas and suggestions. Therefore, it’s crucial that you convince a hiring manager of your ability to ensure that others will get on board with your strategies. Some terms that Foss recommends in this context are:

  • Convinced
  • Gained buy-in
  • Mobilized
  • Negotiated
  • Prompted
  • Propelled
  • Spurred
  • Won


Terms for Leadership - Businessman holding business card

In summary, we fully support Foss’ concept that using the right words under the right context can help you successfully convey the true span of your leadership talents.

Fred Coon, CEO 

Take your job search and LinkedIn profile to new levels and achieve your career goals with LinkedInSecrets.us. Leveraging LinkedIn for Job Search Success 2015 will transform how you use LinkedIn on a daily basis and create a profile that will WOW recruiters and hiring managers.

The Right Way to List Job Titles on Your Résumé

When it comes to composing a résumé, we expend a great deal of time and effort carefully wording and arranging our specific employment skills; possibly even more energy than we do on our actual job titles.  While there is certainly no excuse for failing to adequately convey the details of your expertise, remember that your job titles are equally as essential, and likewise, as noticeable as the aspects that follow.


First, job seekers must take into account that the job title assigned to them by their employer may not necessarily coincide with what should be listed on their résumé.  However, this is not to be confused with changing the characteristics of the job itself, or what its title represents.  The fact is that a company will often assign their own (sometimes “extravagant”) title to a specific role within the organization.  Yet, this title may not always coincide with the industry standard.  In an example provided by the Dice.com article, “Don’t Get Creative With Job Titles in Your Résumé”, it is suggested that if your last employer gave you an innovative-sounding role, such as “Data Janitor II”, for instance, you will want to list your job title as the more typical “Database Analyst” when drafting your résumé. The essence of the job is unchanged, but with a standard title, your résumé has a greater chance of ending up in the right hands. The goal is to assure that your résumé is viewed by as many eyes as possible, and listing your job titles according to the industry-standard is one way to achieve this.

The next question is whether or not to list your intended job title in the beginning of your résumé.  Often, just below the contact information, applicants will include an objective line which often consists of the exact job they are looking for.  In some cases, a clear objective that directly indicates your goals can work to your advantage with hiring managers, but this is only if your proposed job title is an exact match for the open position.  Given the wide range of intricate job titles that seem to fall under a surprisingly fewer number of actual roles available within a given industry, it may be a better idea to omit the objective line altogether, allowing prospective employers to skip right to your skill set and work history.  Thus, hiring managers have to opportunity to gain a more comprehensive perspective of your potential value to their organization, which could potentially lead to even more employment opportunities in the long run.  However, if you wish to keep your résumé’s objective line, consider listing a description of the job you are seeking, rather than one specific title.

Another quandary job hunters sometimes encounter is how to list multiple job titles under the same company.  Perhaps you were promoted once, or even several times, by the same employer and you’re unsure of how to clearly depict your shifting job titles.  We suggest two basic options, depending on the layout of your résumé.

Résumés where work history is organized according to company name:

XYZ Company, Inc.

Executive Director (2014-2017)

  • Responsibilities, tasks, accomplishments
  • Responsibilities, tasks, accomplishments

Branch Manager (2007-2014)

  • Responsibilities, tasks, accomplishments
  • Responsibilities, tasks, accomplishments

Supervisor (2002-2007)

  • Responsibilities, tasks, accomplishments
  • Responsibilities, tasks, accomplishments

Résumés where work experience is organized according to job title:

Executive Director, XYZ Company, Inc. (2014-2017),

  • Responsibilities, tasks, accomplishments
  • Responsibilities, tasks, accomplishments

Branch Manager, XYZ Company, Inc. (2007-2014)

  • Responsibilities, tasks, accomplishments
  • Responsibilities, tasks, accomplishments

Supervisor, XYZ Company, Inc. (2002-2007)

  • Responsibilities, tasks, accomplishments
  • Responsibilities, tasks, accomplishments


When drafting your résumé, remember that the correct representation of your prior job titles will offer prospective employers an all-inclusive view of your work history, as well a promising perspective of your value as an employee. Therefore, carefully consider your goals according to the nature of your field, and choose your words wisely.


Fred Coon, CEO


At SC&C we offer Career Analysis to help senior decision-makers from all walks of life identify strategies and tactics to increase their value-add employment potential.

Creating an Exceptional Executive Résumé: Do’s and Don’ts

It may be surprising to some, but HR reps typically look at a résumé for a grand total of 6.25 seconds before deciding if a candidate is a good fit for a job, according to a new study on recruiter decision-making.  If you are wondering what they Executive resume_blue figure on targetcould possibly scan for in such a short amount of time, that would be simply, your name, current and previous jobs’ start-and-end dates, and education.

Therefore, it’s more important than ever to create a clear, concise and relevant résumé, so that not only will yours make it past the first 6.25 seconds, there will be an accurate depiction of you and your abilities, presented in the next 13.75.

So, with this in mind, here are some major “do’s and don’ts” for creating an exceptional executive résumé:


  1.  DO highlight applicable and relevant experience.  At this point in your career, you should not be sending out 100 résumés a day like a college senior.  The number one rule of executive résumés is that you are sending a unique résumé to each corporation you are applying to, tailored for and targeted to that particular position.  Your résumé should highlight specific accomplishments, skills and experience that are relevant to perform that specific job.


  1. DON’T include obvious skills or unrelated hobbies and volunteer experience. If you were in publicity, obviously you’d know how to establish and maintain media relations.  If you were in finance management, you’d have finance software and staff managing skills.  Don’t state the obvious – highlight skills that make you stand out.  Also, while you should mention extraordinary personal accomplishments that may show off your soft skills, no recruiter will care if you are active in a book club or volunteer at your child’s bake sales.  In other words, remain relevant to your purpose.


  1. DO utilize powerful action verbs. Every recruiter is tired of seeing the same verbs on every résumé: led, handles, managed, responsible for. Get creative and use more powerful verbs such as achieved, increased, resolved, chaired, controlled, coordinated, engineered and established. Time™ magazine published an extensive list to reference.  You should also consider avoiding adverbs such as skillfully, effectively or successfully, as they imply redundancy.  If a skill is on your résumé, recruiters assume you do it well.


  1. DON’T use negative phrases or adjectives, even to highlight a positive aspect. Using words that have a negative connotation even if they are used in a positive light, can damage a résumé.  Stating that you set aggressive goals for a department or fixed a problem can affect a recruiter subconsciously in a negative way.  Choose more positive words like ambitious and solution [oriented] instead.  Other commonly used adjectives to avoid are dynamic, strong, and even experienced, which believe it or not, can also give a less than impressive reflection of your skills.


  1. DO use effective proofreading methods. When it is time to proofread your résumé, print it out.  You may have seen it a million times on the computer screen, but a hard copy looks different. Definitely check spelling and be careful with punctuation, especially when using bullet points. It is appropriate to use periods at the end of bullet points if they contain one or more complete sentences. If you choose to use simple phrases, leave the period off.  If the nuances of written grammar in a résumé context are not within your strongest suit, or if you just want to feel more confident in your final draft, try a grammar-checking app like Grammarly, which can relieve some of the proofreading burden.


  1. DON’T opt for fancy layouts. It may be tempting to want to incorporate some extravagant formatting techniques into your résumé.  Some people feel this may help them to stand out from other candidates, but in reality, it may actually work against you.  What appears as a visually appealing and organized résumé on your computer screen, may not translate the same way on someone else’s.  All those extra tabs and columns could possibly turn your résumé into a visual conundrum on the other side of the send button.  Also, an overly “edgy” résumé with a highly non-traditional layout may cause the reader to have to search too hard for key information, ultimately resulting in it being cast aside.

Executive resume_hire me puzzle on tablet

Additional tips:

  •  Create accessible documents: Remember to create your résumé in MS Word, as it is more widely used than most programs of its kind; Google Docs is also another comparable choice.  Many people like to rely on PDF files, however, this is not recommended because these documents cannot be scanned for keywords or properly stored by employers and recruiters.


  • Editing and font consistency: Mid-document font changes are a common error when one is cutting and pasting several résumés together for a particular job.  Make sure your use of capitals, boldness and italics is consistent.  Run your résumé through a word cloud generator like TagCrowd.  This will show you a picture of what words you use the most that will stand out for a recruiter. Finally, have a friend proofread as well, preferably one in an executive level position or in human resources.


  • Clear and current contact: Although this may seem glaringly obvious, be sure your contact information is current.  Sometimes, when we are revising an older résumé, it’s so easy to get caught up in the details of updating your skill list and job-history that you may forget to update an old cell phone number or outdated email address.  Be sure, as well, not to bury that information too far down or use a too small or unclear font style.  Your contact info should stand out, secondary only to your name.


Following these basic tips and guidelines are an indisputable way to turn an average résumé into a great one that will surely not fall by the way-side of your dream company’s HR department.

By Fred Coon, CEO


Take your job search and LinkedIn profile to new levels and achieve your career goals with LinkedInSecrets.us. Leveraging LinkedIn for Job Search Success 2015 will transform how you use LinkedIn on a daily basis and create a profile that will WOW recruiters and hiring managers.

Customize and Keep Your Resumes

SC&C Tailor Your ResumeAre you a “One-and-Done” sort of person? Not me! A long time ago I learned that there are some things you just don’t throw away.

Of course, you have to discriminate, or you’d end up with every single gum wrapper you ever touched (and a bunch of concerned relatives wondering if now was the time to have you locked away).

So, agreed, no gum wrappers. But how about that resume you just wrote to go with that job application? We’ve all been browbeaten into believing that every job is unique; that if we truly want a job, it’s worth putting in the effort to make a customized resume.

Add Dates to Your Resumes

Believe me, I worked long and hard to convince people that that’s true, and I’m certainly not going to try to undo all that good work! But don’t delete it… Date it!

I was looking over a colleague’s shoulder as he sought a file for me and spotted a folder going by the name “Resume.”

“You keep your resume on your work computer?” I asked.

“Not just one,” he said. “All of them.”

He scrolled back and opened the folder to show me the contents. There they were, all laid out, year after year, month after month. I made him give me a screen capture because, after we’d talked for a bit, I was convinced that he had a really great idea.

Past Resumes Trigger Experiences and Skills

“I got this job,” he said, “because I was looking at a 1997 resume and discovered I had the experience and perfect skills for it. Skills, I might add, that I had completely forgotten about.”

He was right, of course. Most of us have had a variety of jobs in our careers, and a variety of consequent responsibilities and experiences.

Nessuno conosce la vocazione per la quale è destinato. Miglior provarli tutti, credo. (No man knows the vocation for which he is destined. Best to try them all, I think.) – Leonardo Da Vinci

SC&C Keep all of your resumesYou may have hated that first job at the drive-thru window, but you stuck with it and eventually got promoted to the night shift assistant manager before you moved on. Putting it out of your mind doesn’t change the fact that you were responsible for scheduling the shifts for 25 employees and more. Suddenly you have years of experience you can put toward that HR job you’re applying for.

Lying on your resume gets you fired; remembering on your resume gets you hired. – David Carter

Tailor Your Resume for the Situation

There is no one size fits all resume. If you happen to be attending a job fair or industry specific convention, by all means create a generic resume in case you find something really intriguing, and focus it (to the extent you can) for the type of event it is. But I might go as far as to put a header on the resume stating: “This is a general purpose resume. Please contact me for specific details.

Even smarter, my coworker had kept all his cover letters, too. Not only do they remind us of skills that we possess, but they can be treated like boilerplate text where, if you came up with a particularly memorable description in one letter, you can pick it up and drop it in your new cover letter. With a little tuning to make it contextual, a sentence or a paragraph can look pristine and new.

Use Professional References

Talk to your references to see if they will speak to your potential employer before including them. While it’s great to know the owners of the company and have them speak for you, make sure you include your immediate supervisor too because they can give more practical information about your work habits and abilities. These are professional references, and the sort that are most often preferred.

There is nothing wrong with including academic references, if you’re applying for grants or fellowships, or if you don’t have sufficient professional references yet. Just make sure it’s a professor or an instructor who actually remembers who you are from the crowd of faces they must see every year.

If you need to include some personal references, it’s best to include coworkers, advisors, coaches and people that will have some credibility in the employer’s eyes. What I’m saying is your neighbor, Jim, should probably not be your first choice.

The Takeaway

So remember, fresh resume, every time, for every job. That doesn’t change. What does change is that you save the old ones, and refer to them when you’re writing the new ones. Mine them for those forgotten skills; all those little golden particles will eventually add up to a nugget that is well worth your time.

Stewart, Cooper & Coon, has helped thousands of decision makers and senior executives during their job searches. Their clients have moved up in their careers and achieved significantly improved financial packages within short time frames. Contact Fred Coon – 866-883-4200, Ext. 200, to learn how SC&C and their team of professionals can help you, and connect with SC&C on LinkedIn at https://www.linkedin.com/company/stewart-cooper-&-coon.

Making an Impact in 6.25 Seconds

If your resume has somehow made its way past the automated resume scraping software and into the hands of an actual decision maker, you are among the chosen few. The only task left is for your resume to land you an interview in 6.25 seconds.

Research released last year by The Ladders revealed 6.25 seconds as the average amount of time recruiters spend looking at a resume before deciding if a candidate is the right fit for a company. As mentioned in the Forbes article about this study, recruiters spend about 80% of that 6.25 seconds looking at four key areas of a resume:

  • Name
  • Current title and company
  • Previous title and company
  • Previous position, start and end dates
  • Current position, start and end dates
  • Education

Tips for turning your resume into a narrative

Armed with the knowledge that your recruiter’s focus is on just the first page and the last section of your resume, how do you go about chronicling these sections to make an impact in five seconds?SC&C resume stand out

  • Keep your font crisp and clear. There is a world of fonts that exist beyond Times New Roman, Arial and Calibri. Make sure your resume remains easy to read, but experiment with the fonts for your name, brand/tagline and section headers. Draw attention to these sections by adding a little bit of personality to your font selections. You may not want to go with anything too playful like Comic Sans or Bradley Hand ITC.
  • Quantify your achievements. Amidst a sea of words, the eye will automatically gravitate toward numbers and percentages and quickly search for relevance and context. Breaking up the monotony of a page full of words with numbers helps the reader’s eye focus on the whole resume.
  • Add color. A well-chosen splash of color on your resume can also help to draw the eye to areas you want to highlight. When it comes to traditional resumes, the tendency is to play it safe. Let your experience speak for you. Well, a hum-drum resume that will only be reviewed for six seconds isn’t doing your experience any favors. Consider subdued, professional colors on quality white linen paper.
  • Use visuals. Our brains process images much faster than they process words. Small charts and graphics can communicate valuable information about your skillset and experience that otherwise wouldn’t catch the recruiter’s eye if it were in text form.

Using one or more of the above suggestions can help you to set your resume apart from the others. At the very least, it will buy you a few more seconds for your resume to make its pitch. In this job market, every second really does count.

Stewart, Cooper & Coon, has helped thousands of decision makers and senior executives move up in their careers and achieve significantly improved financial packages within short time frames. Contact Fred Coon – 866-883-4200, Ext. 200, to learn how SC&C and their team of professional resume writers can help you.