But how do you specifically state that you led a team on your resume? How do you navigate resume accomplishments when they were a group effort? And what if you’re ready to step up and lead a team for the first time?
We answer all those questions — and others — below. But first, here’s a quick-start guide on how to put leading a team on your resume.
How to highlight that you led a team on your resume
- Analyze the Job Description: Dive into the job description to identify what type of team leadership qualities the position demands.
- Align Your Achievements: Highlight accomplishments that resonate with the leadership responsibilities mentioned in the job description.
- Clarify Your Job Title: Opt for a title that unequivocally indicates your role in leading a team.
- Spotlight Leadership Accomplishments: When writing your work experience bullet points, prioritize achievements that showcase your leadership qualities with quantifiable results, such as projects you steered to completion ahead of schedule or instances where your leadership led to a significant increase in team productivity.
- Leverage the Resume Summary: Consider encapsulating your team leadership experiences in the resume summary for greater visibility.
What to do if you don’t have much leadership experience
If you don’t have direct experience leading a team, don’t worry — simply choose accomplishments that demonstrate soft skills like teamwork and leadership. Use our keywords finder to make sure you haven’t left out key skills and get personalized feedback by uploading your resume to an ATS resume scanner.
Do hiring managers prefer the term 'team lead' or 'team leader' on a resume?
The terms are frequently used interchangeably. Nonetheless, it’s best to use whatever term is included in the job posting.
Where to put team leadership on your resume
In your work experience bullet points
The best place to put important information in your resume is in your work experience section. Use your bullet points to highlight accomplishments related to leading a team. Make sure to include metrics like the size of the team you led, what type of leadership you provided (e.g. supervision, mentoring, project management, performance monitoring, and feedback), and any key successes.
In your job title
If your job title was “Team Lead,” that makes things pretty easy. But what about times when it’s not immediately clear from your job title that you held a leadership role?
- Use synonyms like “lead,” “head,” “senior,” “executive,” “supervisor,” and “manager,” which all speak to leadership experience.
- Clarify your role if there’s a mismatch between your official job title and what you actually did.
- Write a short blurb underneath your job title to briefly explain the context of your role within the company.
- Include your official job title alongside a more accurate or descriptive version of your positions, e.g. “Key Salesperson (Sales Department Team Lead).”
- Completely change your job title, even if the new title is more accurate. This can easily come up in a background or reference check and cause issues.
In your resume summary
If you’re applying for roles where leading a team is one of the key responsibilities, make sure your leadership experience isn’t overlooked. To really emphasize your background in leading a team, put it in your resume summary at the top of the page.
Synonyms for “led a team” on a resume
There are only so many ways you can put “led a team …” on a resume — and only so many times a hiring manager wants to read it! To avoid too much repetition, here are some examples of how to say you managed a team on your resume:
- Lead Role: Emphasizes the authority and responsibility you held.
- Example: "Held a lead role in project coordination and execution."
- Leadership Duties: Highlights specific tasks or initiatives you spearheaded.
- Example: "My primary leadership duties involved strategic planning and team mentorship."
- Team Oversight: This can describe your role in supervising or guiding team activities.
- Example: "Oversaw the team during the product launch phase."
- Strategic Leadership: Indicates that you had a role that went beyond just managing people and involved strategic decision-making.
- Example: "Provided strategic leadership to achieve quarterly targets."
- Team Coordination: Can be used to describe roles where you brought together various team functions or departments.
- Example: "Excelled in team coordination across cross-functional units."
- Lead Initiatives: Highlights specific projects or changes you initiated.
- Example: "Spearheaded lead initiatives to streamline the communication process."
- Performance Monitoring: Suggests your role in tracking and improving team performance.
- Example: "Took charge of performance monitoring and feedback sessions."
Resume bullet point examples for leading a team
To give you a head start in crafting your own bullet points, here are some industry-specific examples of leading a team you can use to fit any resume — including if you’re just starting out or applying for your first team leadership position.
- Supervised a team of 200 operators in the management and daily operations of an $890M per year department that provided customer service to over 82K accounts.
Not all teams are created equal. If you led an international team or one with a large budget, highlight those elements by using numbers — even a rough estimate is fine.
- Improved the project team's productivity by 80% within the first 13 weeks of resumption by authoring a document that described a performance methodology.
If you led a team as a project manager or product owner, focus on what you did in your role to affect the team’s performance, like introducing new processes or creating guidance documents.
- Oversaw 50+ creative consultations with account teams to provide expertise on creative direction, schedules, budgets, production support, and presentation strategies.
Leading a team of internal staff isn’t quite the same as bringing people in from outside. If you led a team of consultants or external stakeholders, use that to emphasize soft skills like negotiation and organization.
- Led a 15-member sales team that created a new process that tracked over 10K leads, increasing productivity by 76%.
If you led a sales or customer service team, you can include sales metrics or lead generation from the team as a whole — as long as you clearly state what actions of yours led to those results.
- Led team on a built-from-scratch settlement and analysis platform for VISA DPS which processes $1.5 billion transactions daily.
The same principle applies if you led a team of engineers, software developers, or any field with a team-based output. Accomplishments that belong to your team as a whole can definitely go on your resume, but be prepared to speak to what you did as the team leader to get those results.
- Supervised the design for a new engineering device that saved the company $300K in development costs and $1M in yearly production expenses.
If you led a team on a specific project, you can still include that as evidence of team leadership. Include as many details about the project as you can in 1-2 lines, including its scope, purpose, and how many people were involved.
- Collaborated with a team of 22 IT specialists that successfully met 92% of project deadlines in Q1, 2014.
If you haven’t led a team yet but are applying for team leadership positions, include teamwork-based accomplishments that highlight your productivity in a team environment and ability to work well with others.
Team leader resume examples
To help you visualize the perfect team leader resume, let's explore some examples. Whether you're in sales, IT, or engineering, tailoring your resume to your field is crucial.