Proactive leaders

Pieces from a board game


The icon for Proactive leader

Becoming a proactive leader is more than simply telling people what to do. You need to communicate your expectations and agree these with those you lead. You need to convince people to buy in to the overall goal and your approach on how to get there. You need to be able to delegate tasks effectively, and you need to motivate and influence their behaviour effectively to move towards a common objective. There are a lot of different elements that make up effective leadership, such as discipline, support, creativity, insight, and values.

Are great leaders born or made?
  • Are you proactive and determined?
  • How have you influenced people to make a change? How do you bring people together, making sure everyone's included?
  • What else could you do to develop your leadership potential?

In the next section you will see how you can develop this skill.

Develop your proactive leadership skills!

Here you will find some suggested activities that you can do to enhance your proactive leadership skills:

  • Opportunities to lead on group projects within your studies.
  • Leadership roles within the University (societies, sports etc.).
  • Roles where you are meant to influence people (Course and School representatives).
  • Work experience/internships which give the opportunity to lead/influence teams.
The seagull

To learn more about employability and how to access opportunities to help you develop in this area, take a look at our employability booklet (aimed at new students) which provides all you need to know.

Demonstrate your employability skills

You will be asked to provide evidence of your skills through the job application and interview process – you can talk about where, when, why and how successfully you have used your employability skills.

We would recommend keeping a record of evidence of the skills you have developed so that you can refer to them when submitting applications or preparing for interviews. Our Employability Skills Checklist and Activity can be a starting point.

  • What skills you are using during your study?
  • Can you record experiences as you go along?
  • Are there skills and qualities that you are struggling to evidence?
  • How will you maintain your skills audit?
  • Do you need to take action to bridge a skills gap?


Developing belief in yourself and your skills


How to best demonstrate your skills to employers

Be positive and relevant

  • Give examples of the most relevant skills first from your job, internship or work experience
  • Use confident language to describe your skills, for example, praise employers have given you.
  • Better to focus on transferable skills than routine tasks on your CV, gained through part-time jobs.

Sell your skills in different ways

These are just a few examples:

  • Social Media including a Linked-In Profile
  • Networking opportunities
  • CV, Covering Letters, Application Forms
  • Interview and Assessment Centres
  • Presentations

Think beyond common skills

Our Employability Skills are probably ones you are familiar with. But there are some you might not be familiar with, such as meta-skills. A meta-skill like a master skill – it's something that can help you in lots of different environments.

Think also about:

  • Subject skills e.g. Software, use of Lab equipment or research methodology
  • Talents and abilities e.g. Languages, drawing skills, athletic
  • Personal qualities e.g. Calmness, tenacious, creative, supportive

Match skills to your employer

Research the employer – what is their company culture? Look on their website and see what their company beliefs are.

Look at the job description you have. You should be able to find some of the employability skills they are looking for.

Use the STAR technique to help you relate the employability skills into your answers and examples. Read our blog post written by our careers adviser, Adam Taylor, on the STAR technique.


Our experts have selected further Employability resources for you to use.

Speak to a careers adviser

Our Careers Advisers are on hand to help. Book an appointment on Advantage or by calling 0161 295 0023 (option 5).

Appointments are available for current students and graduates of the University of Salford only.