Core competencies refer to knowledge or expertise in a given area. It's wise to include a list of core competencies on your resume, especially as Applicant Tracking Systems (ATS) continue to grow in popularity. These are systems that scan resumes to see if someone's a good fit before their resume makes it to a hiring manager's desk.
That means, with the right keywords, you can catch the eye of an ATS and subsequent recruiter. Your core competencies should include industry-relevant terms while highlighting the skills that make you unique. Let's explore some core competency examples.
Core competencies are concise bullet points, not phrases or sentences. This makes your job a little bit easier, in terms of creation. The difficult task is choosing how to limit your list and/or select the most important competencies. A good number to aim for is ten. See how many of these examples apply to you:
Analytical Thinking - Applies logic to solve problems and get the job done
Client Service - Responds to the clients and anticipate their needs
Conflict Resolution - Works to resolve differences and maintain work relationships
Corporate Training - Implements professional development and training
Creative Thinking - Looks outside the box, develops new strategies
Decision Making - Makes decisions and takes responsibility for them
Empowers Others - Gives employees confidence and allows freedom to complete tasks
Ethics - Fosters a diverse and respectful workplace
Evaluation Skills - Evaluates according to accepted methodologies
Even Temperament - Controls emotions without retaliating against negative behavior
Excellent Communication - Uses language effectively to gather information and facilitate an exchange of ideas
Flexibility - Adapts to changes while remaining focused on goals, applies knowledge to new circumstances
Influence - Enlists the support and cooperation of others and encourages them to be proactive
Initiative - Remains proactive when suggesting improvements and solving problems
Interpersonal Relations - Exhibits respect and understanding of others to maintain professional relationships
Leadership - Establishes and guides a team effort that promotes a common goal
Management Skills - Possesses financial and people management skills, as well as the management of information
Persuasive Communication - Displays verbal and written communication that influences others
Problem Solving - Solves problems while ensuring rules and directives are followed
Project Management - Brings together every component of a project, including resources or planning, that are needed to complete it in a timely manner
Results Driven - Achieves goals in a timely manner while providing excellent client service
Risk Management and Assessment - Evaluates and minimizes risks to the company and its employees
Verbal Communication - Speaks with clarity, precision, and purpose in small and large groups
Writing Skills - Possesses excellent writing and grammar skills, including the ability to write concisely, clearly, and logically
Not everyone includes this section on their resume. That means this could be a nice standout moment for you. Here are some tips:
Include them in a sidebar on your resume, as they should be short bulleted lists.
Use sentence case in each bullet point. That is, capitalize as you would in a sentence (the first word only).
Or, instead of bullet points, you might opt to list them on a single line under your resume summary. If you choose this route, use title case (capitalizing each word) and separate each competency like this:
Empowering Leader | Persuasive Communicator | Digital Marketing Leader
Link your core competencies to industry buzzwords (e.g., Results Oriented Data Analyst).
Don't inundate your resume with competencies. Rather, aim for approximately ten attributes that will leave a lasting mark on recruiters.
Job hunting can be an arduous task. But, taking time to formulate a beautiful resume provides a strong foundation for everything that's to come. Gone are the days of basic Word documents. Nowadays, it's easy to achieve a stylized resume filled with all the right keywords. For more, here are the best tips for writing a professional resume. Good luck out there!