Here’s a list of common—and not so common—management skills.
They’re the top 10 skills managers need—plus 5 hidden skills executives fight for.
This should terrify you:
Most C-Level executives don’t believe managerial skills on resumes.
A monkey can say, “I’m skilled in leadership, communication, and collaboration.”
Many monkeys do.
You need to know:
- What are the top management skills you must have?
- How can you convince employers you’ve got the skills they hunger for?
You’re in luck, because I talked to executives who hire managers.
I asked, “What skills can you not live without?”
They answered. (Boy, did they answer.)
One gave a description of three simple manager skills.
He said, “If I met a person like that in an interview, I would not let her go.”
This guide will show you:
- The 10 most common management skills.
- Five lesser-known but potent managerial skills execs can’t resist.
- How to know what skills a targeted company wants most.
- How to prove your manager skills to employers so they’ll hire you.
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Looking for specific good management skills lists for your profession? Each guide below contains a dedicated list of skills for different types of managers:
- Project Manager Resume: Sample & Complete Guide
- Sales Manager Resume: Sample & Complete Guide
- Office Manager Resume: Sample & Complete Guide
- Property Manager Resume: Sample & Complete Guide
- Operations Manager Resume: Sample and Complete Guide
Or, to make matters even simpler, check out our guide on writing a resume for managers.
Most Common Management Skills [Resume List]
Just need a quick list of managerial skills to peg your resume to the job?
We’ve got you covered. The manager skills list below shows the best hard skills and soft skills of a manager.
They make great resume keywords for managers too.
People Management Skills
Office Management Skills
New Business Development
Here’s the shocker:
Listing manager skills on a resume won’t get the interview.
You need the specific few skills the employer thirsts for.
Then prove you’ve got them.
I’ll show how next.
Pro Tip: Do you need help developing management skills? Online leadership training programs like eCornell and AMA courses can fast-track your talents. They’re no substitute for achievement, but they’ll help an entry-level manager stand out.
Looking for more good management skills to put on a resume? Look at job offers online. Also, see our guide: 99 Key Skills for a Resume (Best List of Examples for All Types of Jobs)
Key Managerial Skills Employers Fight For
You put 10 common management skills on your resume.
But so did everybody else!
You’re as generic as an off-the-rack suit.
How can you show you’re different and worth hiring?
I posed that question to Lucjan Samulowski.
His successful startup operates in seven countries and employs a team of 500.
He frequently hires managers. Yet he skips past thousands of “qualified” applicants.
“The ‘management skills’ term is popular,” Lucjan says. “The right way to think about it is ‘management behaviors and abilities.’”
It all comes down to proving you know how to be a good manager.
These top five managerial skills fly under the radar:
Got managerial achievements? Show them.
Past success means you can do it again in. That’s a green light for executives to hire you.
Can’t point to past success? Take heart. The other management qualities below can shine a spotlight on your hireability.
People Follow You
What’s the most valuable of all manager skills?
Interpersonal Skills. (Also known as people management skills.)
Psychologist Daniel Goleman calls interpersonal skills the strongest predictor of leadership success.
The best evidence? People follow you. Not on Facebook or LinkedIn, but in real life.
Pro Tip: What if you have no management experience but you want to prove potential? Demonstrate the three key manager skills below. “If I met a person like that in an interview,” Lucjan says, “I would not let her go.”
Have High Empathy
Next on our list of hidden but effective management skills is empathy.
Empathy is defined as “the ability to understand and share the feelings of another.”
That’s the secret sauce that makes employees want to succeed for you.
Empathy lets you see and provide for your employees’ needs––a one in ten-million motivator.
Having high empathy means you understand your team’s work at ground-level.
“I worked with a director once who couldn’t gain the respect or command of his staff,” says Elle Torres, Senior Process Consultant at Blue Cross and Blue Shield. “He didn’t feel like he needed to know the details of their jobs. He just needed them to ‘do it better.’”
The director humbled himself and took a week to work alongside his frontline staff. This seemed like a waste of time. But the real waste was sitting in his office and remaining ineffective.
“You must acknowledge you don’t share the same expertise as your subordinates, regardless of your work title,” says Torres. Admit your team knows more than you, then allow them to teach you.
Show you’ve done that, and employers will fight over you.
Today’s business world turns on a dime. Companies that seem rock-solid today may vanish tomorrow, while billion-dollar firms pop up overnight.
Executives prize the manager skills of quickly spotting and exploiting shifting tides.
Does “results-oriented” belong on a managerial skills list?
We can debate that, but C-Suite leaders crave it like air.
Execs don’t have to tell a goal-oriented manager what to do. They can aim her at the target and walk.
Employees like results-driven managers because they understand the goal.
“Everyone wants to be part of a winning team,” says Lucjan.
Being results-driven means being accountable, too. “You shouldn’t be caught by surprise by anything your team delivers,” Torres says.
Pro Tip: Can you just say, “I’m a results-driven fast learner with high empathy” and get hired? Maybe in cartoons. In the real world, you must prove your business management skills. I’ll show how next.
How to Prove Manager Skills
Anyone can show a long list of management skills.
Executives can see through that like a corner office window.
They’re mobbed by long lists of managerial skills.
You must cut through the noise.
The good news? It’s not hard.
Pick the Few Right Manager Skills
First, forget about generic manager skills lists as long as the company directory.
Focus on the few skills the employer wants.
Of course show the key managerial skills that fit you best.
Share your past success, connections, empathy, fast-learning, and results-driven mindset.
Find other skills in the job offer, or by talking to executives or team members.
Pro Tip: Not sure what skills the employer needs? Conduct informational interviews. Employees and executives are often happy to share their challenges.
Show How You’ve Used the Skills
Here’s a big mistake.
You tell the C-Level exec you have these important management skills:
I’m a fast learner. I’ve got high empathy. I’m results driven, I know people, and I’m very successful. I’m also a great communicator and leader, with high-level interpersonal skills.
Well, you’re hired.
You might as well say, “I’m the best manager in the universe.”
They’ll toss you on the pile with all the other unqualified applicants.
Instead, prove your managerial skills.
On a resume, list past achievements that show you’ve used those skills.
In an interview, tell stories that get at the same thing.
Here are a few managerial skills examples:
How to Prove Management Skills
My team raised monthly revenue 40% through implementing a company-wide retraining focused on customer needs.
When I left XYZ co., three key team members elected to follow me to ABC co.
My team increased productivity by 30%. This wasn't from any specific policy, but from working to understand and meet the personal goals of team members.
Moved from construction management to healthcare management, where I led a team that raised revenue 75% in one year.
When leadership tasked us with boosting revenue and sales leads 25% in 2 months, my team hit 35% instead.
Through increased face time with employees and by sharing company metrics, boosted engagement for our Lean program 65%.
Implemented team-wide use of Google Docs, Slack, and Trello to slash project time-to-delivery 35%.
Pro Tip: According to Robert Katz, the three basic types of management skills are conceptual skills (big-picture leadership skills for top managers), people management skills (for all managers), and technical skills (for front-line types of managers).
Coming into management from another career? See our guide: Career Change Resume: Sample and Complete Guide
Here’s a recap of the best management skills and how to prove them:
- Don’t list all the managerial skills in the book. Pick the ones the employer craves. Find them through online digging and informational interviews.
- Show a few key, hidden management skills and abilities. Those are past success, high empathy, results-driven, fast learner, and having people follow you.
- Add some common, valuable manager skills. Communication, collaboration, organization, and interpersonal skills are crucial.
- Don’t just say you’ve got the skills––prove them. Do that with past accomplishments you couldn’t have achieved without those skills.
Do you have questions about listing management skills on a resume? Not sure how to prove yours in an interview? Give us a shout in the comments! Let's get the conversation rolling.