Shift Leader - Resumes

Build a great Shift Leader resume

Learn how to stand out in your application

Shift leaders, also called shift managers, are typically in charge of supervising employees at shift-based companies (like warehouses, restaurants, hospitals or retail locations). In many cases, they are responsible for ensuring the business operates and functions as needed to accomplish necessary tasks on a shift-by-shift basis. 

Shift leaders often lead, manage and organize employees and staff and ensure everyone works effectively and efficiently. They assist their team, monitor and track performance, train new employees, resolve disputes, create shift schedules, and complete a number of other tasks to ensure efficient and effective shift operation.

If you’re applying for a shift leader position, knowing how to structure your resume and what you should list and call out, including education, skills and objectives, can help your resume get noticed and selected and an interview scheduled. 

How to structure your shift leader resume

When formatting your resume for a shift leader position, you should include:

  1. A summary/career objective

  2. Education/certifications

  3. Relevant work history, including the company, dates worked, and brief description of the duties performed

  4. Relevant skills for the role

When creating your resume, you’ll want to carefully read the job description to ensure you include all relevant keywords, skills and experience that shows you are the best candidate. By tailoring your objective and resume to the job description, it’s more likely it will make it through any application tracking system software and to the desk of the hiring manager.

Shift leader job description

The duties of a shift leader can vary depending on the industry they are working in. For example, a shift leader at a hospital may have significantly different responsibilities than one working at a retail location. Generally, the job description for a shift leader can include duties such as:

  • Fill in for employees who are off

  • Manage cash deposits and withdrawals

  • Create schedules, honor time off requests, and manage overtime hours

  • Conduct employee performance reviews and share the reports with senior-level management

  • Assist in hiring and training new employees, as well as provide ongoing mentorship and coaching.

  • Monitor and track attendance for shifts.

  • Handle customer service issues and resolve problems.

  • Supervise employees, and assist on the floor when needed.

  • Ensure employees stay on task and complete their work efficiently and effectively.

Shift leader education

For many shift leader roles, only a high school diploma or GED is required. However, some shift leader jobs ask for an associate or Bachelor's degree in business administration or management, or a similar field. While not always required, listing this education can help set your resume apart from the others as it indicates a more advanced understanding of the role and necessary skills, which may help you get the job and earn a better salary. 

There are also a variety of certifications you can take relevant to the industry you’ll be working in, such as in food service, management, manufacturing, retail and hospitality. These can be found online, and some may even be free.

You may want to outline your education on your resume like the following:


XYZ College

City, State

Bachelor’s of Science degree, Business Management

XYZ High School

City, State

High School Diploma

When listing your education, here are a few tips:

  • Consider leaving off the years you attended school or your graduation date. Typically, that’s not as important unless you’re still pursuing your degree. In that case, be clear your education is in progress. For example,

Bachelor’s of Science (Hospitality Management); anticipated completion May, 2022

  • List the order of your education as the highest level first. For example, if you have a bachelor’s degree and high school diploma, list the bachelor’s degree first, followed by your diploma. 

  • If you have additional certifications or training applicable to the role, list them in their own section with the heading “Additional Certifications.” Include the organization that provided the certification, the title, and the date of completion or renewal. 

  • Unless you’re a recent graduate or it’s a requirement for the role, you don’t need to include your high school education.

What to include on your resume for a shift leader

Typically, a shift leader resume will list the education or formal training they have that makes them most qualified for the role. 

Then, in the work experience section, you’ll want to include duties related to the job description, such as:

  • Responsible for all management aspects during shifts while on duty 

  • Supervised staff and ensured adherence to company policies and procedures 

  • Wrote shift schedules for employees, including finding replacements for shifts when necessary 

  • Managed cash deposits and withdrawals daily and nightly 

  • Created an onboarding program for new hires that ensured proper and complete training for the role

The experience and skills you list should be relevant to the job you’re applying for, especially if you have experience in a particular industry. Try to go beyond simply listing duties you’ve performed, and instead show both duties and achievements with examples or numbers to support the statements. For example, if you worked in the restaurant industry, list industry-specific experience to prove you’re able to execute the job well. 

Shift leader skills and traits for a resume

There are many skills and traits you could list on your resume for a shift leader position. Here are a few to choose from to get you started:

  • Industry knowledge

  • Technology experience

  • Basic math

  • Communication skills

  • Leadership

  • Problem solving 

  • Conflict resolution

  • Customer service

  • Teamwork

  • Organization

  • Time management

  • coaching/mentoring 

  • Positive attitude

  • Attentiveness

  • Active listening

  • Priority management

  • Critical thinking

  • Delegation 

On-the-job training and ongoing experience helps shift leaders better transition into their roles. For example, you will need to learn the industry, as well as policies and procedures of the company you are working for. Because each industry and company can be so different, learning and improving your skills upon being hired will be beneficial. 

If you have previous experience working at a shift-based company or as a shift leader or supervisor, be sure to list it on your resume. If you don’t, you can still highlight experience and skills you may have that make you a great candidate for the position. Look at the experience (volunteer or employment) you have and figure out which of the above skills were learned or improved upon.

Action verbs to include on a shift leader resume

  • Ordered

  • Ensured

  • Hired

  • Trained

  • Maintained

  • Created

  • Developed

  • Strategized 

  • Coached

  • Mentored

  • Conducted

  • Assisted

  • Managed 

Should I include references in my shift leader resume?

Your resume is a professional representation of your career qualifications and skills that make you an ideal candidate. As a general rule, avoid including references in your resume unless they are specifically asked for. This is information that tends to distract hiring managers from the information you want them to see, and it can take up valuable space on the page. 

If references are requested, you can include them on your resume or as a separate document. Be sure to list the name, job title, company, email address and phone number for each reference. 

Shift leader resume objectives

A career objective, also known as a resume objective or summary, is a brief statement toward the top of your resume that explains your professional goals and intentions for applying to a job. In 1 to 3 sentences, you should mention the job title, add a couple of key skills, and share what you’re hoping to achieve in the job.  

Correct Examples:

  • Results-oriented professional with more than X years of experience in a leadership/supervisory role in the Y industry. Looking to obtain a shift leader position with XYZ company to help meet team performance objectives.

  • Confident, proactive individual with a results-oriented mindset and communication skills looking to provide excellent customer service, coaching and mentoring to customers and staff as a shift leader with XYZ company. 

  • Highly-motivated individual looking to apply my X years of experience in the Y industry in a shift supervisor position with XYZ company.

Incorrect Examples:

  • Shift leader looking for a position with XYZ company. 

This is too short and doesn’t include enough detail about your skills or intentions. 

  • Looking to obtain a shift leader position in the restaurant industry. Previous experience in a warehouse location and need something more challenging. 

While it’s important to share you’re up for a challenge and have a desire and ability to learn about a new industry, your resume may be put to the side if you immediately share a lack of experience. Instead, frame your work experience in other ways and call out transferable knowledge and skills that would still make you a viable candidate. 

  • Individual with 20+ years of experience looking for a shift leader position with XYZ company. Experience in all management aspects to ensure shifts operate smoothly.

While a shift leader isn’t typically an entry-level role, having too many years of experience may make an employer feel you’re overqualified and question why you are applying for this role, and not a higher management position. Instead of listing your years of experience here, highlight the top skills and proficiencies you have that are applicable to the role.