9 useful supervisor skills for CVs to help you find work

By Indeed Editorial Team

Published 22 April 2022

Many organisations have supervisors who are responsible for leading and supporting other team members. In addition to skills that are relevant to your particular job, it's important to have supervisory skills if you're interested in a supervisor position. You can show employers your skills by including them on your CV when you apply for a job, and knowing how to highlight these can strengthen your job applications. In this article, we discuss some useful supervisor skills for CVs and ways to communicate your skills when you apply for a job.

What are supervisor skills for CVs?

Supervisor skills for CVs are skills you include on your CV to indicate that you have the competencies to work in a supervisory job. Typically these are a combination of both hard and soft skills. Many of the skills that supervisors require are also useful in more senior management positions. Developing these skills and communicating them effectively on your CV can help you to find work as a supervisor and eventually progress into more advanced management positions. Indicating important skills for a supervisor on your CV helps to demonstrate to potential employers that you're a suitable candidate for the job.

Related: 15 leadership competencies and how to develop them

9 skills for supervisors to include on your CV

Including your supervisory skills on your CV can increase your chances of getting a job as a supervisor. This applies whether you already work in a supervisory role or are applying for this type of job for the first time. Job descriptions usually list the specific skills that employers are seeking.

If you have the right skills it's vital to show this on your CV. If you want to work as a supervisor it can be worthwhile to cultivate helpful skills for the role. Knowing what skills are useful can help you to identify where you can develop further. You can then make efforts to build your skill set. The exact skills that a supervisor requires are likely to vary between different organisations and positions but these are some of the skills that employers usually expect:

Communication skills

Communication skills are essential for supervisors because they work closely with the team members you're supervising. These skills help you to build relationships and communicate information to other team members. Good communication skills make it easier to lead a team and this is significant in a supervisory position. Employers are likely to want strong communication skills so demonstrating where you've used these skills in previous jobs is important on your CV.

Interpersonal skills

Interpersonal skills are vital for supervisors because they help you to build trust, loyalty and positive relationships with team members. Being able to do this is essential for leading a team effectively. As a supervisor, you might also interact with stakeholders at various levels so being able to build relationships with a diverse range of stakeholders can be important. You can indicate on your CV any jobs where using your interpersonal skills has been particularly important, even if these aren't supervisory jobs.

Empathy skills

Empathy skills help you to understand the feelings, opinions and challenges of team members and respond appropriately. Having empathy can also help you to build relationships with others effectively. It can also help to build trust and loyalty with your team. On your CV you can mention these skills as part of your interpersonal and relationship building skills.

Conflict resolution skills

Sometimes conflicts can arise at work and having effective conflict resolution skills is important in a supervisory role. These skills help you to resolve issues with other team members promptly and maintain a harmonious work environment. Conflict resolution skills help you to recognise the signs of conflict and work to find compromises and resolutions. It's advisable to indicate on your CV where you developed these skills and examples of times you've demonstrated them before.

Related: Conflict resolution interview questions (with sample answers)

Critical thinking skills

With critical thinking skills, you can analyse a situation and make appropriate judgements. These skills also help you to find solutions to challenges by understanding and analysing every aspect of the situation. These skills are necessary for supervisors because your responsibilities might involve making decisions on behalf of your team. On your CV you can indicate which jobs you've previously used these skills in, especially if it's in a supervisory job you've had before.

Problem-solving skills

As a supervisor, you're likely to face a range of problems and challenges so problem-solving skills are useful. These help you to resolve issues with your workload and support your team with resolving problems that affect their work. You can mention instances where you've used your skills to find a solution to a problem on your CV. Try to recall situations where a problem you helped to resolve had tangible benefits for the company and its objectives.

Prioritisation skills

When responding to multiple demands and challenges prioritisation skills are essential, and highlighting them on your CV can help your employment prospects. These skills help you identify which tasks are most important, organise your workload and delegate less important tasks to others. Having these skills can help you to be more efficient and productive. As a supervisor, you can also use these skills to set priorities for other colleagues.

Adaptability skills

Having the skills for adaptability helps you to work flexibly and be responsive to changes. This is useful for supervisors whose responsibilities often involve handling rapid changes and differing priorities daily. Being adaptable also helps you to cope with changes in your team or plans. These skills help you to be consistent as a leader. On your CV it's a good idea to show how you've developed and used your adaptability to skills to deliver a consistent and flexible service.

Time management skills

Time management skills are useful for supervisors because they help you to manage your workload and oversee others at the same time. You might have multiple demands and priorities but effective time management helps you to plan and use your time effectively. This helps you and your team to meet deadlines. It's worth showing that you can manage your time appropriately on your CV.

Related: 5 time management interview questions (with examples)

How to emphasise your skills when you're applying for a job

Ensure you emphasise your supervisory skills when applying for a supervisor job by communicating them in your CV and application cover letter. Discussing your skills can help you to show potential employers that you're qualified for the job and this can boost your chances of successfully getting the job. You can try following these steps to show prospective employers your skills when you're applying for a job:

1. Indicate your skills on your CV

It's wise to indicate your relevant skills on your CV, including supervisory skills. You could include a summary or a specific section to emphasise your skills. Alternatively, you can discuss the skills you used or cultivated in your past work or education experience when you list your job and education history.

2. Refer to your skills in your cover letter

Jobs applications have various formats but they often involve writing a cover letter outlining why you're interested in the role and why you're an appropriate candidate. It's important to mention your supervisor skills in your cover letter, as this allows you to discuss specific relevant skills in greater detail than on your CV. A well-written cover letter that communicates clearly why you're a suitable candidate for the job can increase your chances of progressing to the next recruitment stage.

Related: How long should a cover letter be?

3. Mention your skills in your job interview

If you attend a job interview, you have another opportunity to talk about your supervisory skills and how you developed them. Sometimes interviewers ask specific questions relating to your skills. An example is asking you to talk about a time when you used a particular skill that's relevant to the job. Another strategy is to discuss your skills when you answer other questions that relate to them. For example, when talking about a previous job where you learned an important skill, you can discuss what you did to cultivate that skill and how this development helped with your work.