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What to Include in a Supervisor Resume

There are many business sectors that employ supervisory personnel, and creating a resume to fit the area where you want to work will depend greatly on your experience, career path, and education. A nursing supervisor will have a very different resume than a construction supervisor. It's to your advantage to examine both the differences and similarities in the various supervisor resume samples provided here.

While there's no single right way to write your resume, and the content will differ based on many factors specific to your work experience, there are some essential sections that are common to any resume format.

If you have no employment gaps and are following a traditional career path, the chronological resume style will probably work well. It's also the most familiar to employers. In this approach, you'll detail each job, with the most recent first, and outline your work history. The recommended sections are:
  • Contact info (name/phone/email)
  • Resume summary
  • Work experience
  • Skills
  • Education

If, however, you have unexplained employment gaps, or you're considering a career change, the functional format may work best for you. In that case, you would add an "Accomplishments" section after your resume summary. This new section will hold all of your career achievements without relating them to a specific employer.

By reviewing the supervisor resume samples already identified, you'll be able to determine which format will represent your work history and your career goals most appropriately.

How to Write the Supervisor Resume Summary Statement

Every section of your resume is important, but the summary statement holds the distinction of being the element that a potential employer reads first. For this reason, it's important to take the time to carefully craft a 2-3 sentence paragraph that describes your experience in a way that the hiring manager will see you as a standout candidate. If you use the same old generalizations they see on every other resume, like "dedicated" or "highly organized," you'll sound like every other applicant.

Throughout the writing of your resume, your constant resources should be the job description and the supervisor resume samples. The job description tells you what's important to the employer, and the resume samples allow you to get a feel for the flow of a well-written summary.

Below are two examples of supervisor resume summaries from different industry sectors for your review:

RN with 20 years of nursing experience and 10 years as nursing supervisor in a 10-bed Intensive Care Unit. Hired, scheduled, and directed a staff of 20 nurses. Assigned nurses to particular patients based on patient needs and special talents of the nursing staff. Strong communication skills and understanding of patient and family concerns enabled calm discussions of medical procedures. Passed every audit of staff procedures with consistently high scores.

Construction supervisor who has supervised major commercial projects by selecting, assigning, scheduling, and disciplining employees. Communicated job expectations and managed sub-contractor's performance. Stayed within budget by monitoring expenditures, identifying variances and calculating required resources. Ensured all local regulations were met and codes enforced, avoiding fines and delays.

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How to Write the Supervisor Work Experience Section

Before you begin to document your work history, take another look at the supervisor resume samples to help determine which format will work best to represent your experience.

If you've decided to follow the framework of the chronological resume format, you can begin writing your work experience section immediately following your summary. Beginning with your most recent job first, each job should be listed as follows in this example (note how bullet points are used to clearly and concisely map out job responsibilities/accomplishments):

Midwest Sales Supervisor
ABC Products - Cleveland, OH
August 2008 - February 2016
  • Set difficult but attainable sales quotas for sales staff and provided incremental incentives for motivation
  • Developed and provided sales training for new hires to ensure consistent message was being delivered
  • Stepped in to negotiate deals to gain new customers while maintaining at least a 9 percent margin

If, however, you've determined it's best to go with the functional format, insert an "Accomplishments" section between your summary and work experience sections. Since this new section will contain your career accomplishments, you should shoot for 8-10 bullet points describing situations where you identified a problem, came up with a solution, and ended with a positive result.

The advantage to listing your achievements all in one place is that you don't have to stick to a chronological profile or match them to an employer, so you can better mirror the employer's job requirements to your career accomplishments.

Once you've completed this new section, you can move on to the work experience section, which will be a simple list of previous jobs. There's no need to mention employment dates, which helps diffuse the possible question of employment gaps.

Action Verbs to Include in Your Supervisor Work Experience Section

Most supervisor positions are very hands-on, so it should be fairly easy to describe your work experience using action verbs like the supervisor-related ones listed below.
  • Direct
  • Oversee
  • Schedule
  • Understand
  • Instruct
  • Correct
  • Solve
  • Liaise
  • Encourage
  • Advise
  • Maintain
  • Record
  • Report
  • Manage
  • Hire
  • Comply
  • Interpret
  • Collaborate
  • Respond
  • Supervise

You'll find more action verbs by referring to the job description as well as the supervisor resume samples already identified.

How to Write the Supervisor Skills Section

Your best resource to help determine which skills are most important is the employer's job description. You may have skills they don't mention, but keep their needs up front so they recognize them and see you as the employee they're looking for. You can add your additional skills to fill out the section.

By reviewing supervisor resume samples, you'll see various examples of how skills are listed and even suggestions of skills that you have but might not have thought of listing. For most supervisory positions, skills can be broken down into two categories - technical and interpersonal/personal. Following are two of examples for different industry supervisor positions:

Construction supervisor

Technical skills:
  • Microsoft Project
  • FranklinCovey TabletPlanner
  • Sage 300 Construction and Real Estate

  • Problem sensitivity
  • Motivating, developing, and directing crews
  • Organization and prioritization

Sales supervisor

Technical skills:
  • Spreadsheet creation using Excel and Access
  • Pipedrive sales tracking software
  • Act! Contact management software

  • Judgment
  • Clear communication
  • Initiative
  • Cooperative

How to Write the Supervisor Education Section

The education requirements for a supervisor vary quite a bit depending on the industry, but it should be understood that the highest level of education you've reached should be listed first. You need only to identify the school attended/school location/degree obtained. Refer to supervisor resume samples to see how to format the education section.

An industry sector where having a degree is necessary is in the medical field, so if you're applying for a nursing supervisor position, make sure to list your degree(s) and clinical internships.

Furthermore, don't discount the importance of some college or technical school programs. For many supervisory positions, certifications and licenses may be required, and you can't depend on the job description to identify those requirements.

Examples of certifications/licenses/continuing education include:
  • Licensed by the National Council of State Boards of Nursing
  • Internal front-line supervisor training
  • Internal course - Management skills for individual effectiveness
  • Medical management certification
  • Health information management certification
  • Certified Construction Manager (CCM)
  • Associate Constructor (AC)
  • Certified Professional Constructor (CPC)

If there are professional associations related to your industry, an active membership will demonstrate your commitment to the field. Joining a respected group will provide networking opportunities, and it will look good on your resume.
TIP: Need a cover letter? Click here to view our Supervisor Resume Samples.

Should I Include References in my Supervisor Resume

While you should have your references ready to go as a separate document, don't submit them with your resume and never include them as part of your resume. If you look back at the supervisor resume samples you've been referring to, you won't find any with references included. The simple statement that they're available upon request is good enough. If they're interested, they'll ask for them.

Then you'll have the advantage of being able to contact your references to let them know to be expecting a call. You can also ask them to call you when they've been contacted and to tell you how the conversation went.

Your references should be previous managers or directors for whom you've worked and had a good relationship. If you're in sales and aren't bound by a non-compete document, you might consider asking a high-profile client that might be a temptation to a new employer to be a reference.

Supervisor Resume Fails: Mistakes to Avoid

  • One of the most important qualities of a supervisor is leadership ability, so if you don't emphasize the fact that you can bring strong leadership to the position, you've missed a real opportunity to sell yourself.
  • Attention to detail is also critical to supervisory skills, and your error-free resume is a representation of your ability to focus and spot mistakes. It's difficult to proofread your own work, so even after you've read your resume more than once, it's best to let it marinate over night, read it again, and then have a friend read it.
  • It's important to be concise and clear in your resume presentation, keeping in mind that white space goes a long way towards making your resume easier to read. Densely packed paragraphs are less likely to be read than succinct bullet points.
  • In every section of your resume it's important to mirror the employer's requirements by using their own words to describe your qualities. Not only does this tactic let them see you as the ideal candidate, but it also satisfies an applicant tracking system that's programmed to look for the keywords used in the job description. Unfortunately, you're writing for an automated gatekeeper as well as a human being.

Job Prospects in the Supervisor

The Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) has projected the rate of growth for all occupations for the period of 2014 to 2024 to be 7 percent. For comparison, projections for the following supervisor/manager occupations are as follows:

Employment of supervisors in the medical and health services is projected to grow at a rate of 17 percent, which is much faster than the average. The industry as a whole will see an increase in demand because of the aging of the population, the widespread use of electronic health records, and the Affordable Care Act. Candidates with a master's degree will have an edge in the market.

Construction supervisors are projected to be employed at an increased rate of 5 percent over the same ten-year period, which is just slightly below the overall average. Population and business growth will determine the amount of new construction over the coming decade as well as the need to improve national infrastructure such as the upgrade or replacement of roads, bridges, and sewer pipe systems. In addition, the increasing complexity of construction processes and building technology will require greater oversight. While construction employment is dependent on the economy, attrition will result in additional job openings.

Employment of sales supervisors is project to increase at a rate of 5 percent and will depend on the growth or contraction in their respective industries. Since sales are crucial for profitability, sales workers are considered important personnel and are less likely to be let go than other supervisors. Because of the increase of individual shoppers resorting to shopping online, the focus will likely be on business-to-business rather than business-to-customer sales. The job market for these positions will continue to be competitive.
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