core competencies

How to Write your Core Competencies in a Resume

Resume designing is a very complex process to master. And yes, you write a cover letter but you design a resume (I digress from time to time). You have to mention all the things you have done throughout your life in 2 pages or less, mainly due to a lack of attention span and an abundance of applications. However, this is where mentioning your core competency in a structured manner can shine your resume. 

The concept of core competency is derived from the 1990 article written by C.K. Prahalad and Gary Hamel and published in Harvard Business Review. They said, “(employees would) be judged on their ability to identify, cultivate and exploit the core competencies that make growth possible.”

By mentioning your core competencies in your resume, you make sure that the employers get to know about your personality while getting a glimpse into your experience.

What are the main core competencies?

According to C.K. Prahalad and Gary Hamel, the core competency of a person can be summed up under 12 skills worth mentioning in your resume:-

    1. Time Management: Shows results on time and understands the meaning of punctuality.
    2. Reliability: The skill of being consistent with work and taking personal responsibility.
    3. Motivation: Shows motivation towards personal and organizational growth while keeping the comrades motivated as well.
    4. Teamwork: The skill of being able to work and thrive with a team in a cooperative environment.
    5. Critical thinking: The ability to identify and analyze data systematically to make a sound decision
    6. Initiative: Showing willingness to go a step ahead and give suggestions to improve the working standard.
    7. Work Ethics: Shows loyalty towards the organization and works together with everyone to attain the organizational goals
    8. Decision Making: Able to make good decisions based on deep analysis and sound judgment.
    9. Adaptability: The ability to adapt to changes and advancements, both industry-wide and organizational.
    10. Problem Solving: Analyzing problems based on data available and establishing cause and effect relationships.
    11. Planning: Working on schedules and allocating personal energy and organizational resources properly.
    12. Communication: Shows the ability to work together with teammates, clients, and partners.

How to form your “Core Competencies” section

As I mentioned before, a resume is not written but designed. So, it is very important to decide how and where you want to showcase your core competencies. Here are some suggestive guidelines to help you out:

1. Introspect

Be true to yourself and your resume. Make a list of all the skills that you have acquired over the years and analyze what will make your application shine through. Be confident with what you show in your core competencies and make sure to back them up with real-time examples.

You can read this article to inculcate 4 Personality traits that will get you hired. Looking into oneself and finding the personality traits which assist your core competencies gives a personal touch to the experience provided. Introspection can also make you a great problem solver and give you the confidence to trust your instincts.

2. Personalize your Content

To make a great impression in front of employers, personalizing your core competencies according to the job position and the company industry is of utmost importance.

A well-personalized core competency section can help the employer gain confidence regarding your capabilities and make the hiring decision in your favor. To personalize your core competencies, it is important to know what industry you are going in and what kind of skills you find useful. Knowledge of the company you’re planning to work in is also a big check in the eyes of the employers.

Core Competencies | Receptix

One great way to mention your core competencies is to give yourself a rating according to the experience. Source: resume genius

3. Visualize the layout

Designing a resume is as important as deciding the content. So, in order to ensure that your core competencies get all the eyes they deserve, you have to mention them in a very attractive stand-out manner.

You can choose the most common way of mentioning the competencies by mentioning it just below the name, or you can also spice it up by making a separate corner. For example, you can write your technical and interpersonal skills in bullets format like this:-

Technical skills

  • Skill 1
  • Skill 2
  • Skill 3
  • Skill 4

Personal skills

  • Skill 1
  • Skill 2
  • Skill 3
  • Skill 4

You can also use this place to back your technical skills by mentioning the certifications you have acquired over the years.


Thorough research on core competency research can take some time. But rest assured, with introspection and the right personalization, you can make a great first and lasting impression in front of the employers

Please remember that in the world of job hunting, relevance is key. And even if you are generally sending your resume to a company, your core competencies make it crystal clear about your position and whether you are suitable for it or not.

So, go on and use these steps to mention your core competencies in a relevant and attractive way. Also, while you are at it, you can also use this article to know how to write a great cover letter that will pair great with your resume.

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