Once you get your career underway, it’s normal to hit a point where you’ll need management skills to keep moving up. After all, companies want to find candidates with the qualities of a good manager. That way, they can be confident that you have what it takes to guide a team, department, location, or business toward success.
But what makes a good manager? Which business and people management skills do you need to succeed? If you don’t have them, how do you build your management skills to qualify for the role?
If you’re asking questions like those, we’ve got your back. Here’s a deep dive into the world of management skills.
What Are Management Skills?
Alright, so what are management skills? Well, first, let’s take a look at what management means.
According to the Cambridge Dictionary, management is “the control or organization of something.” From a business perspective, that usually involves controlling or organizing a company. However, it can refer to smaller entities within a business, like a single department or team.
Overall, that’s pretty spot on. Based on that, you can infer that management skills are capabilities that enable you to control or organize your designated chunk of the business world. That really is the gist.
Now, management skills can include a combination of hard skills and soft skills. On the hard skills side, capabilities like project management, budgeting, and logistics can all be crucial, for example. When it comes to soft skills, communication, delegation, and decision-making are key parts of the equation.
Which skills you need does vary depending on the position, especially when it comes to hard skills.
Managers typically need a good grip on the technical aspects of the team or department they oversee. For instance, if you were supervising a group of software developers, you’ll need at least some technical knowledge about software development. But if you were leading the finance department, software development expertise isn’t necessary.
Overall, as long as it’s a capability that would let you manage your piece of the pie, it could qualify as a management skill.
How Are Management Skills Relevant to a Job Search?
At this point, you should have a reasonable idea of what management skills are, so it’s time to talk about how they impact your job search. Let’s start with the most obvious part of the equation.
Management skills are something every company looks for, mainly because businesses don’t typically have a flat organizational structure. Instead, there’s a hierarchy, with some roles overseeing others.
If you’re moving toward supervisory positions, team management is a typical responsibility. You’ll have to keep a group of employees on target, and that requires a specific skillset. Plus, you might be tasked with overseeing a related part of the operation, something that makes additional management-related capabilities a necessity.
Now, if you don’t have your eyes on a supervisory role, does that mean management skills don’t matter? After all, if you aren’t supervising anyone, you don’t have to worry about how to be a good manager, right? Well, not necessarily.
It’s true that you might not have to showcase management skills to get a job if you aren’t going to manage anything. However, having those capabilities is still a great idea. Why? Because the hiring manager might see your potential for growth and advancement. That’s a good thing, as it may help you move up more quickly.
Plus, management skills can bolster your job search activities. Communication and active listening make you a better interviewee. Organization and analytical thinking make it easier to keep your job search activities in order.
Many of the qualities of a good manager benefit your job search. They may allow you to find right-fit opportunities more quickly, ensuring you don’t waste time on positions that won’t meet your needs. They could lead to higher quality resumes, ensure you can interview effectively, and, ultimately, increase your chances of landing a job.
In the end, it’s best not to underestimate the power of management skills. Not only can they boost your career, but they can positively impact your job search. That’s excellent stuff, ensuring you can keep moving forward whenever the need arises.
How to Highlight Management Skills for Job Search
By now, you can’t deny that management skills are valuable, both when it comes to qualifying for roles and working in a position. But how do you show that you have the qualities of a good manager during your job search? Well, we’re about to tell you.
Typically, the first thing you’ll need to handle when you’re going after a new job is your resume and cover letter. Those are what usually make up an application, and that’s the first thing the hiring manager is going to see. So, you want to start there.
Generally speaking, you want to be achievement-oriented when you write a resume and create a cover letter. By talking about your accomplishments, you do more than tell the hiring manager that you have business acumen and team management skills; you get to show them.
Achievements let you demonstrate how you put various skills to work to succeed. I t’s much more meaningful than just writing, “I have great management skills,” or listing your past duties. You’re giving the hiring manager a ton of helpful context, making it easier for them to visualize how you use your capabilities to accomplish critical job-related goals.
But how do you pick the right achievements to highlight? Well, by using the best strategy possible. And which one’s the best? In this case, it has to be the Tailoring Method.
The Tailoring Method is an approach that focuses on relevancy. You choose accomplishments that align best with the job you’re trying to land. That way, you’re speaking directly to that hiring manager’s need and the nature of that particular position.
When you highlight accomplishments, you don’t want to put the same ones in both your resume and cover letter. If you do, that makes some of the content redundant, so you aren’t using these two documents to their highest potential. Make sure to feature different ones, allowing you to cover much more ground.
Once your resume and cover letter are squared away, it’s time to prep for your interviews. Luckily, the Tailoring Method can help you here, as well. Cool, right?
Whether you’re answering traditional job interview questions or those dastardly behavioral interview questions, use the Tailoring Method to choose relevant achievements and examples that show how you put your management skills into action.
If you want to take your behavioral interview questions to the next level, then it’s also smart to bust out the STAR Method. When you combine the STAR Method and Tailoring Method, you get a one-two punch. Your answers will become compelling stories brimming with relevant details. It’s the perfect way to capture the hiring manager’s attention.
Along the way, make sure to quantify the details. Numbers are powerhouses on your resume, in your cover letter, and in your interview answers. They can make an example far more gripping, allowing you to impress by giving your accomplishments scale that’s otherwise missing.
How to Develop Management Skills If You Don’t Have Them
If you don’t have keen management skills, you may be tempted to embellish on your resume and claim that you do. Don’t.
Overall, 75 percent of hiring managers have caught lies on resumes. Why should that matter? Well, it means they know how to find out if what you’re saying on your application is true. There’s a good chance you’ll get caught and, if you do, you may have to kiss that job goodbye.
Instead, it’s always best to build the skills you need. That way, you can add them to your resume honestly.
Luckily, there are plenty of opportunities to cultivate management skills. If you aren’t sure where to start, give these options a try.
Lead a Project at Work
If you are currently working, ask your manager if you can lead the next project your team is taking on. It’s a great way to hone a range of relevant capabilities, including project management, delegation, supervision, conflict resolution, negotiation, organization, time management, and a ton more.
And don’t just focus on projects that connect directly to your role. While those may be ideal, other options can work just as well. For example, if your company wants to host a blood drive, charity auction, employee appreciation event, or anything similar, you can get boost your skills with those, too. Seize any opportunity, even if it’s unconventional, as it will let you hone your capabilities.
Take a Volunteer Position
If your opportunities at work are limited, volunteering could be a perfect way to acquire management skills. Many non-profit organizations could benefit from help, and they aren’t always as worried about prior experience.
Research local non-profits in your area and find a cause you want to support. Then, reach out and see if there are any needs that could help you acquire the right capabilities.
Remember, volunteer work can go on your resume, so it’s worth exploring.
Try a Side Hustle
Side hustles can actually help you cultivate management skills even if you aren’t overseeing a team. You may need to gather information from stakeholders, negotiate with clients, manage your own schedule, stick to a budget, and take other steps that align with the qualities of a good manager.
If it’s a big enough side hustle, you may actually build a small team to help. If that’s the case, then you’ll get all of the team management experience you may need to take your resume to the next level, as well.
List of Management Skills
Alright, we touched on this a little bit before, but to make it clear, there is a slew of capabilities that can qualify as management skills. It takes a lot to keep a team, department, or company on target, so you tap into a wide range of skill areas to handle the associated responsibilities.
Here is a list of management skills examples:
- Conflict Resolution
- Business Acumen
- Project Management
- Emotional Intelligence
- Time Management
- Strategic Thinking
- Active Listening
When it comes to what makes a good manager, all of those skills can be part of the equation. However, so can other capabilities. If there is any skill that allows you to oversee a team or handle management-related duties more effectively, it counts.
Also, it’s crucial to point out that you don’t have to cram all of those skills into your resume. In fact, you shouldn’t. Not only would that make your resume incredibly long or cluttered, but not all of those skills will also be as relevant to a specific job as others.
Use the Tailoring Method as a guide. Figure out which skills matter most for the particular role and focus on those capabilities.
Plus, you’re going to need space to talk about other skills the hiring manager wants to find. If you’re curious about the different skills to put on a resume, we’ve covered that in-depth before. So, check that out to make sure you highlight everything you need during your job search.
Putting It All Together
Ultimately, management skills are the bee’s knees. Use the tips above to cultivate your capabilities and showcase them well. That way, when it’s time to find a new job, you’re well on your way to your dream position.