If you’re applying for a management position, talking about things you’ve “managed” in the past is helpful. However, you don’t want to overuse the word, so it would help to come up with some good alternatives that might create variety.
The preferred version is “ran.” It works to show that you were previously “running” your own team or project in your workplace. Even though it’s much shorter in length than “managed,” it’s still a perfectly acceptable formal word for many resumés.
“Ran” is the past tense of “run.” In this case, the verb means that you control or manage something or someone. It works well because it’s a versatile verb that means you’ve had a lot of control and practice being a leader in a work environment.
The definition of “ran,” according to The Cambridge Dictionary, is “to be in control of something.”
- I ran the company for six months while the manager was taking a personal break to work on himself.
- I ran the company for three years. I believe that my skills will translate appropriately to this new role.
- I ran and managed my own project team. I was given the responsibility, and I think I did a good job taking it into my stride.
“Led” is the past tense of “lead.” It means you were put in a position to “lead” a group of people you work with. This is a great way to demonstrate leadership skills based on previous employment and tasks you might have achieved.
The definition of “led,” according to The Cambridge Dictionary, is “to control a group of people, a country, or a situation.”
- I have led the operations for as long as I can remember. I am made for this role, and I think you should offer me a chance.
- I have led many tasks over the years. I am good when it comes to demonstrating leadership skills.
- I led my coworkers through the difficult period when our boss walked out. I have since taught myself how to manage my own business.
“Headed” shows that you were in charge of a company. It typically means that someone has appointed you as the “head” of a company, meaning that they trust your leadership qualities.
The definition of “headed,” according to The Cambridge Dictionary, is “to be in charge of a group or organization.”
- I headed the organization for a while. I didn’t think it was the right choice for me, but I’m glad I did it.
- I headed the business while it was still in the early years. Without me, it wouldn’t have been half as successful.
- They asked me to head the company from afar. This was due to my many merits as a manager in previous workplaces.
“Directed” works when referring to a team or project. You can “direct” people to do things, or you can “direct” projects to happen in a certain way. This is another great way to show that you have an eye for things that other people might not have.
The definition of “directed,” according to The Cambridge Dictionary, is “to control or be in charge of an activity, organization, etc.”
- I have directed many project teams in my time with them. I think it’s time to explore other avenues, though.
- I directed a few of the projects myself. I’m proud of the work they did under my guidance, and I’d happily do it again.
- I directed three teams while I worked for them. I think this experience has taught me all I need to know about management.
“Controlled” can work to replace “managed.” However, you should be careful with it as it might sound like you’re choosing to make people do things without the correct permissions in place to decide on this.
The definition of “controlled,” according to The Cambridge Dictionary, is “to order, limit, or rule something, or someone’s actions or behavior.”
- I controlled the flow of operations at my former workplace. They put me in charge of this because they recognized my talents.
- I controlled many of the different floorplans in the office. If it weren’t for me, it wouldn’t look like this at all.
- I controlled many teams in my time there. I’m happy to bring across my leadership skills whenever you’re ready.
“Oversaw” means you took a step back from the usual management style. Instead, it implies that you watched over other people while they completed a task. You might offer input here or there, but it works best when you just watched them complete it.
The definition of “oversaw,” according to The Cambridge Dictionary, is “to watch or organize a job or an activity to make certain that it is being done correctly.”
- I oversaw the day-to-day operations of the business. I was happy to be given the opportunity to take on this responsibility.
- The day-to-day operations were overseen by myself and one other. I’m looking to be a sole manager for once.
- I oversaw a few of the projects around the office. I think I can be a valuable asset to your team with my knowledge.
“Supervised” is similar to overseeing. It means you were looking over the tasks to make sure nothing went wrong, but you might not have had much of a say on what to do (unless they went off track).
The definition of “supervised,” according to The Cambridge Dictionary, is “to watch a person or activity to make certain that everything is done correctly, safely, etc.”
- I have supervised many teams in my team. Sometimes, I wouldn’t be asked to do so, but I felt like it was my duty.
- I have supervised a lot of my coworkers. They are always impressed with what I fed back to them.
- I have supervised my managers in some cases. I think it helps me on a professional level, and I’m eager to show off what I can do.
“Governed” isn’t the most popular choice. You can use it, but it refers to controlling people in a specific way, and some people don’t like how it sounds. It’s still good as a management choice in some cases.
The definition of “governed,” according to The Cambridge Dictionary, is “to control and direct the public business of a country, city, group of people, etc.”
- I governed the office for a few years in between bosses. It was my duty to oversee everything they did.
- I governed a few of the projects you can see below. I think this has helped me to develop my own sense of management.
- I governed a lot of these tasks because I was put in control of them. I’m well aware of what that allows me to do now.
“Organized” shows that you had a lot of control over a team or project. Usually, when you organize something, it means you plan for it to happen in a specific way. It’s a good way to show that you have strong leadership qualities.
The definition of “organized,” according to The Cambridge Dictionary, is “planned and arranged for you to do, especially as part of a group.”
- I organized a lot of the team projects in my time there. I am a team player, and I always know the best ways to tackle projects.
- I organized a lot of this myself. I think it’s worth you looking into to find out some of the things I did.
- There were many teams that I organized. Each one would tell you just how much of a success they were.
“Conducted” is a bit more specific. It usually refers to things that you can organize as an activity. For example, you might “conduct a meeting” or “conduct research.” Nevertheless, it’s still good to include in resumés.
The definition of “conducted,” according to The Cambridge Dictionary, is “to organize and perform a particular activity.”
- I conducted a few meetings with the people I worked with. I think this has helped me develop my leadership skills.
- I conducted a lot of the interviews in my former workplace. That’s why I know so much about the hiring process.
- I conducted my own team. My boss put me in charge of it, and I learned a lot from experience back then.
“Handled” mainly refers to your control or management over other staff members. You tend to “handle a team” or “handle complaints” from others. Both of these show that you’re able to work well on a team and listen to those around you.
The definition of “handled,” according to The Cambridge Dictionary, is “to deal with, have responsibility for, or be in charge of.”
- I handled a few of my own team members. They would always come to me for help in these matters.
- I handled a lot of complaints when I was put in charge. I know how to handle them with assurance now.
- I handled a few of the teams while I was there. I think I learned a lot about what I need to do in this role.
Martin holds a Master’s degree in Finance and International Business. He has six years of experience in professional communication with clients, executives, and colleagues. Furthermore, he has teaching experience from Aarhus University. Martin has been featured as an expert in communication and teaching on Forbes and Shopify. Read more about Martin here.