Posted on 07/30/2021


How can you show that you’re a team player on a resume or job application? 

To help job candidates craft their resumes and applications to showcase their team player mentality, we asked hiring managers and business leaders this question for their best advice. From detailing your team leadership to emphasizing your enthusiasm, there are several tips that may help you craft your resume or job application to highlight your collaboration skills. 

Here are nine tips to show that you’re a team player:  

  • Detail Your Team Leadership
  • Give Specific Examples
  • Add Soft Skills to Your Resume
  • Discuss Cross-Departmental Projects
  • Include Your Sports Career
  • Describe Team Challenges
  • Show That You’re a Helper
  • Highlight Team-Based Extracurriculars
  • Emphasize Your Enthusiasm

Detail Your Team Leadership

Include team player phrases on your resume like “thrives in a team environment.” Demonstrate ways in which you managed or organized others to accomplish goals that required a team effort to complete. Be specific! What was the goal, and how did you motivate or encourage the team’s efforts to achieve success? Highlight ways in which you have used your team leadership skills to benefit local non-profit or charitable organizations.  

Rod Cullum, Cullum Homes

Give Specific Examples 

A good way to show that you’re a team player on a resume or a job application is to include it in the description of your relevant experience or skills. If you’ve led a team at a previous job, mention it in the resume. Getting as specific as you can with an example of exactly how you worked in a team is always a good habit to have. For example, if you were the chair of a subject department, you can mention it with specifics of how big the team was and what the department focused on. 

Jeanne Kolpek, Cadence Education

Add Soft Skills to Your Resume 

Working in a cross-functional team has helped me realize the importance of hiring team players within an organization. Cross-functional teams involve high levels of communication, reliability, organization, and problem solving, which are all skills that should be highlighted on a resume or job application. To highlight team player abilities uniquely, I suggest including descriptions in the soft skills portion of your resume. For example, you can mention your team-oriented personality or how you thrive in a team environment. These quick descriptions along with teamwork experience shown in the work history section will help emphasize your abilities as a team player.  

Adrian James, Markitors

Discuss Cross-Departmental Projects 

Including cross-departmental projects or collaborations is a way to exhibit teamwork on resumes. For instance, “provided support to the sales team by relaying relevant client feedback to advisors and onboarding clients during high-volume weeks.” Ideal examples include specific actions and responsibilities and not just vague allusions to helping other departments. It is a good idea to include the results of the collaboration as well. However, be mindful of using words like “helped” and “we.” Recruiters are savvy and may get suspicious of candidates who try to claim sole credit for overly impressive achievements. Sharing the win shows that you are a team player who possesses humility and cares about the good of the group and the company, not just your own glory.

Michael Alexis, TeamBuilding

Include Your Sports Career 

For entry-level employees, having played a competitive sport in either college or high school generally equates to the sense that you will be a strong team player! I have a hiring manager that always strongly favors candidates with a sports background, and he has had great success with them. For candidates with experience, make sure to describe on your resume or application a project at work that involved a team effort. Describe the project, your role, and whomever else was part of the team, and of course, the positive outcome.

Ronald Kubitz, Forms+Surfaces

Detail How You Overcame Challenges 

Having the ability to work well on a team is a crucial skill most companies are looking for while recruiting and hiring new employees, so it’s crucial your resume and job application showcase any skills you have to reflect teamwork! One of the most efficient ways to show your team player abilities is in your cover letter. Instead of only focusing on your specific job duties, you can talk about your contributions to a team project, how you helped your team reach their goals, or even talk about a conflict resolution experience that helped your team overcome a challenge. 

Jonathan Finegold, Medcline

Show That You’re a Helper

You can show that you’re a team player by emphasizing your compassionate and empathetic side. If you’re a natural listener and helper, hiring managers will take note, and they may possibly translate this aspect as one that could be beneficial for working with others. If you’re willing to help others, it’s likely that you’d be willing to help teammates, as well, and this could be a great thing for working in teams.

Chris Caouette, Gorilla Bow

Highlight Team-Based Extracurriculars

Include your team-based extracurriculars on your resume. Most job seekers prioritize professional experience they have, which is correct, but this makes you overlook your personal experiences that also were enriching for your skill set and capabilities. To show your capacity for teamwork, you can illustrate your volunteer and community work to help exemplify how team-oriented you can be. For example, if you worked in student government as a student, you can leverage the skills and team-building practice you gained as a resume selling point.

Nik Sharma, Sharma Brands

Emphasize Your Enthusiasm

Embody an enthusiastic personality, especially in your cover letter while describing why you are interested in the company and the role you’re going for. Even if you have not had extensive experience working with teams, showing that you’re an energetic and optimistic person will automatically allow the hiring manager to envision you working well with other people.

Matt Seaburn, Rent A Wheel

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