Supervisory Skills Definition, List, Examples

When applying to a management position, supervision is an important part of what will make you a great manager. Showing your supervisory skills through your resume can be a challenge. It requires a keen understanding of what supervision means, how to apply it to the workplace, and what you can do to communicate you have these core competencies that make your manager feel secure.

Supervisory and Supervision Definition

Understand what it means to supervise is important. The definition of supervision is, “Supervision is a process that involves a manager meeting regularly and interacting with worker(s) to review their work.” and “Supervision aims to provide accountability for both the supervisor and supervisee exploring practice and performance.”

This means that, at it’s core, supervision is the act of overseeing another employees performance.

Speaking to Supervision Skills on Your Cover Letter

When showing your future employer that you have what it takes to be a great manager, you can and should bring up situations where you had the opportunity to provide feedback, the opportunity to present career advancement paths, and the opportunity to oversee the general performance of your employee’s work.

When writing these situations, think through the business challenge you faced, the situation this put you and your supverisee in, as well as the actions you took to come out of that business challenge successfully, then the entire sum of outcomes.

This might mean discussing how your supervisee felt or the response they had when interacting with your work.

For example, you might say, “Supervised more than 10 Product Designers. While supervising these Product Designers we often met to discuss work in progress, ways to align our brand identity, and how to be more efficient with design time.”

While it doesn’t present a business challenge directly, it does present what your senior leadership might be wanting to see happen; efficiency, collaboration, the accuracy of work.

Including Supervisory Skills on Your Resume (Supervisory Skills List)

When implementing supervisory skills on a resume, consider including soft skills that support your supervision experience. Writing “Supervision Skills” under your “Skills” section isn’t sufficient enough.

Supervision skills would include:

  • Feedback taking
  • Feedback providing
  • Direction-giving
  • Performance reviews
  • Oversight skills
  • Coordination skills
  • Verbal communication skills
  • Leadership skills
  • Influence skills
  • Motivation skills

These are examples of supervisory skills that you should list on a managers resume. They are indicative of being able to manage, supervise, and control performance outcomes of employee’s.

Other Mentions of Supervisory Skills

Aside from your cover letter and resume, mentions of these abilities can support your experience of being a manager. These subject areas can be spoken about in your future job interview, during a phone interview, or when discussing your final employment contract.

Managing performance goals

Managing performance goals is a major indicator for great supervisors and leaders. It means that both yourself and the employee have come to an agreement upon a point of measurement for the success of their work. This is a great way to motivate employee’s and ensure their work is accurate.

Problem-solving and making decisions

Managers and leaders who oversee employees have to solve problems and make decisions. Often these decisions can be surrounding business solutions, team miscommunications, or other work situations where you need to provide solutions.

Leading and managing change

Managing adaptability in the workplace and encouraging the adaptable nature of the workforce is a great way to stand out as a leader. And it can show your future report to that you comprehend what supervising employee’s mean. It is more than simply assigning work but assisting with change.

Providing feedback

All great work requires feedback. It is a point of friction where you supply a new challenge, an alteration to the original challenge, or an additional factor that may impact the work. Supplying feedback is one of the most frequent skills that supervisors need to have.

Mistakes to Avoid

The biggest mistake is stating, without clarity, that you have supervisory skills. The act of being a great supervisor is a cumulative nature of multiple smaller soft skills. When you list “Supervisory Skills” on your resume, mention this as a talent in your cover letter, or tell your interviewer that you’re a great supervisor; it lacks color.

You should include business scenarios or background to what helped you develop these skills or which skills you feel particularly compelled by (or value the most) as a manager.

author: patrick algrim
About the author

Patrick Algrim is an experienced executive who has spent a number of years in Silicon Valley hiring and coaching some of the world’s most valuable technology teams. Patrick has been a source for Human Resources and career related insights for Forbes, Glassdoor, Entrepreneur,, SparkHire, and many more.


Help us by spreading the word