Servant Leadership Workplace-Resume

The Servant-Leader Resume: 5 Questions for Reviewers – and Applicants

I’ve hired a lot of people. And I’ve looked at hundreds of resumes during the course of my professional career.

As I’ve progressed along my own servant leadership journey, I’ve become increasingly committed to hiring only servant-leaders.


Because the more servant-leaders in a company, the more we reap the benefits of servant leadership in the workplace:

Meaning. Prosperity. Joy.*

In my efforts to hire servant-leaders, here are 5 questions I ask myself in the course of reviewing resumes. They might prove helpful for those of you who are hiring new team members – or applying for jobs yourself.

  1. Does the resume serve its readers? The resume is not about its author. It’s about the people reviewing it. Those people are busy. A good servant-leader would try to make their jobs easier. By tailoring the resume to the specific job and making it easy to read. Nothing says, “I don’t care about my readers,” like tiny fonts, skimpy margins and irrelevant content.
  1. Does the resume demonstrate a commitment to service? Customer service. Community service. Public service. Military service. Volunteer service. Including any of these things in a resume can signal that its owner has a desire to serve and wants to make the world a better place. Of course, that’s what makes servant leadership special!**
  1. Does the resume highlight leadership? Anyone can be a servant-leader. Servant-leadership has nothing to do with one’s place in the organizational hierarchy. A supervisor of hundreds can be a servant-leader. And someone without direct reports can be a servant-leader. For the latter person, leading a team, a project or an event are good examples of leadership for a resume.***
  1. Does the resume focus on results? In the workplace context, achieving results is one of a servant-leader’s top priorities. But, so often, resume writers write about their activities instead of their accomplishments. The better practice is to spotlight goals achieved. For employment purposes, it’s good to be a good person; it’s even better to be a good person who gets stuff done. ****
  1. Does the resume show humility? Humility is a cardinal virtue of servant-leaders at work. Humility in a resume is shown by drawing that fine line between bragging and advocating; between taking credit and sharing it; and between pride in self and pride in the team. Oh, and by the way, after two pages the amount of humility shown by a resume may begin to decrease . . .*****

What do you think? Are there other questions you would add?

As always, we appreciate your views.


And don’t forget to download our latest ebook, Servant Leadership in the Workplace: A Brief Introduction. It’s free!


For more on these subjects, enjoy these posts:

“Want More Meaning, Prosperity and Joy?”

** “What Makes Servant Leadership Special?”

*** “Who Can Be a Servant-Leader at Work?”

**** “Servant-Leaders Play to Win”

***** “3 Cardinal Virtues of a Servant-Leader”