Top CEOs reveal four qualities you should highlight on your CV to prove you’re a future leader

CEOs have revealed skills that leaders need to succeed in the modern workplace

Every jobseeker wants to make their CV stand out from the crowd, and now top business leaders have revealed the qualities to highlight on your CV to stand out from the crowd and show your leadership qualities.

In a blog post for LinkedIn the site’s founder Reid Hoffman, Thrive Global’s Arianna Huffington, CEO of Medtronic and Harvard professor Bill George and Hootsuite CEO and entrepreneur Ryan Holmes shared the essential skills candidates should have in the modern workplace.

Whether you’re applying for a promotion at work or submitting your CV for a new role, you need to make sure you’ve ticked all four boxes.


According to Arianna Huffington, one of the most important skills of a future leader is finding and maintaining a sense of what the purpose of the company stands for beyond profits and growth.

Companies that strive to make a difference or have a vision greater than simply making money tend to outperform those who don’t and tend to attract more talent.

To make this happen, employers want to hire staff with a sense of purpose that’s bigger than making money and hitting targets.

Bill George added: ‘They only want to work for leaders who are authentic: open, sharing, true-to-their-values, compassionate, committed to a clear sense of purpose and, most importantly, possessed with courage to make bold decisions.’

Think how you could contribute to this and make sure it stands out on your CV.


Companies are looking for candidates with critical thinking skills who are keen to learn, while employees are looking for ownership over their roles, purpose in their work and learning opportunities to advance their career.

So when you’re applying for a management role, rather than stating that you will lead a team to hitting their targets, suggest that you’ll empower employees by giving them learning opportunities as well as a sense of purpose.


Reid Hoffman stated that a future leader is someone who is always learning. As the business world becomes more automated and technology evolves, leaders will need to prioritise constant learning, giving Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg and Airbnb CEO Brian Chesky as two examples of people who excel.

‘As a CEO, you need to become an infinite learner to make yourself more adaptable,’ he said.

‘The world of business is changing, and you can’t rely solely on your previous expertise, no matter effective it has been until now.’

Your academic achievements are obviously important to state clearly on your CV, but you’ll impress an employer if you express a desire to keep updating your knowledge.


Recruiters will almost always run an online search on potential candidates – so your use of Twitter or Instagram can be seen as a major positive.

Ryan Holmes pointed out that your employees, competitors, investors, customers, partners and stakeholders are all likely to spend time on social media, so you could be missing out on crucial information if you’re not active too.

Use this online profile to also highlight your brand values and how the organisation delivers.

‘For CEOs, social media is, in no uncertain terms, a core competency,’ Holmes said. ‘Those who are able to master it tap into the most dominant communication platform today. Those who ignore it risk having the competition eat their lunch.’

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