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Are You a School Leader? 6 Skills You’ll Develop & How to Highlight Them on Your Resume!

16 March 2022   |   by Explore Careers

Are you a Student School Leader this year? First off – Congrats!

Being a school leader is a super exciting opportunity to help your peers have a voice in the things that matter to them.

It’s a chance to develop as a leader, work with others, learn more about how your school operates and proactively engage in conversations to make things better for everyone.

We know you’ll not only learn a lot and challenge yourself but have heaps of fun as you team up with new people and work on some cool projects and events!

School Leader = A Great Step for Future You!

As you get started, something to be mindful of is keeping track of all the skills you’re developing and where/how you’re developing them.

This experience is superb for your resume – so you’ll want to make sure you take notes ready for future applications and interviews!

Here’s a short rundown of some of the skills you might develop and how to highlight them on your resume.

6 Skills You’ll Develop as a School Leader

1. Project planning & Resource allocation

As a school leader, you’ll take an active role in planning and coordinating some core activities around the school. This might include student-teacher exchanges, fundraising campaigns, social events, end-of-term/year parties – and lots more!

You’ll quickly learn that planning any kind of project or event is no easy task, and we bet there’ll be a little bit of trial and error along the way. All in all, this is a superb skill to reflect on.

To highlight this skill on your resume, focus on:

  • What went well and what didn’t when planning.
  • How you handled when something didn’t go well.
  • The active steps you took when putting a plan together.
  • How you worked with others to allocate appropriate resources.
  • The outcomes of the project.
2. Team building & Goal setting

Being a school leader will give you a little more autonomy around the goals you want to set and achieve for the year – but those goals will need to be based on what the school leadership team wants to accomplish on behalf of all the other students too!

This might involve quite a few different ideas and priorities. This will require you to actively work together to build a strong team ethos and agree on the essential goals you want to focus on collaboratively.

To highlight this skill on your resume, focus on:

  • How you presented your ideas to the team.
  • How you worked through disagreement as a team.
  • What you chose to prioritise for your goals and why.
  • How you made sure everyone felt like they had a say and felt included in setting goals.
  • How you made sure those goals aligned with bigger ideas of your fellow students and the school.
3. Decision making

Sometimes you’ll need to make decisions based on a wide number of variables – and this won’t always align with what you hoped to achieve or what other students were hoping would happen.

For example, if you’re planning a big yearly event, you’ll need to factor in budgeting, resource allocation, COVID-19 restrictions (where applicable), amongst other things; these all impact how you’ll decide how to approach different aspects of putting the event together.

Decision making involves taking the best steps forward based on these variables and communicating the decision and why it’s been made in the best way possible.

To highlight this skill on your resume, focus on:

  • Talk about when you had to make a big or new decision.
  • What variables or factors impacted the decision.
  • How you gathered enough information or data to help make the decision.
  • How you discussed it with your school leadership team and teachers.
  • Why you landed on the decision you did and why this was the right one to make.
4. Time management

As a school leader, you’ll have more responsibilities, tasks and activities you need to be a part of. Alongside all your other schoolwork, hobbies, and social life – this will take some vital time management skills!

You’ll need to carefully think ahead to any meetings or tasks you need to achieve and how you’re going to fit these around your existing obligations. You might need to do a little negotiating, and you’ll definitely be developing some core communication skills.

To highlight this skill on your resume, focus on:

  • What some of your key priorities were, and how you worked out what they were.
  • How you handled a clash in priorities that required your time; how did you resolve it?
  • What tips and tricks you utilised to improve your time management with your extra responsibilities.
5. Problem-solving

You might think your teachers will be there to bail you out if things go a bit pear-shaped, but one of the core learning opportunities of being a school leader is the opportunity to step up and problem-solve when needed.

Problem-solving is a vital skill for life and the workplace; developing this skill will help you to act proactively when things go a bit wrong, stay positive and innovative in the face of challenges, and also build the resilience and calmness to know that a problem can be solved (even if it takes a little work!).

To highlight this skill on your resume, focus on:

  • Examples when you were called to problem-solve
  • How you used your communication, decision-making, and team skills to work around a challenge.
  • If the problem was solved, why and how this happened – what was the outcome?
  • If the problem wasn’t solved – what did you learn instead for next time?
6. Reflection

Being a school leader is an amazing opportunity for you to grow as a person! When your time comes to an end, take a little time to reflect on everything you’ve achieved, everything you’ve learned, and the way you’ve grown throughout the year.

A few great reflection points include:

  • What personal skills have I gotten better at this year?
  • What professional skills have I gotten better at this year?
  • What are three things I’m proud to have achieved/delivered as a school leader?
  • What have been three of my biggest challenges, and what did I learn from them?

Next Steps

While being a school leader is fantastic for your resume, it’s also important to remember to stay engaged in the present moment and enjoy your time in this exciting role!

Keep learning, focus on building your team relationships and above all – have fun!


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