What Are Core Competencies For A Resume? (With Examples)

Updated 15 February 2023

When applying for a job, submitting informative application documents helps you outline your strengths and the value you can bring to an employer. Your resume is such a document that typically includes a skills section that lists your core competencies. Understanding what these are and why they are important to add to your resume can help you make a positive first impression on an employer. In this article, we define what core competencies for a resume are, review how to create this section of your resume and provide a list of 10 examples.

What Are Core Competencies For A Resume?

Core competencies for a resume are the areas of your personal and professional life in which you excel. They may include soft skills, such as active listening and interpersonal communication, that may benefit you in a variety of roles. Other competencies may include industry-specific skills and technical knowledge required for your unique role. For example, if you are a data analyst, your core competencies may include hard skills such as data visualisation and mathematics.

This section can gain the attention of an employer while they are reviewing your resume. When hiring managers look at a resume, they may only review it for a few seconds, meaning that you have a short amount of space and time to gain their interest. By listing your major skills and competencies in one section, you give potential employers an overview of your abilities and why you are the right candidate for your prospective role.

Related: Soft Skills: Definitions And Examples

How To Create Your Core Competencies Section?

You can follow these steps to create a core competencies section for your resume:

1. Create a list of your strengths

A core competencies section typically contains up to 10-30 qualifications or skills, depending on your position and skill level. When creating this section, make sure you use the qualities that describe you as the best candidate for the job. Include skills you are proficient in or certifications that show your dedication to the profession.

Review the job description for any keywords that apply to your skill set and can add to your application documents. Try to make each ability unique to demonstrate your diverse set of strengths and expertise. Using qualifications that are consistent with the job posting in this first section can quickly gain the interest of the hiring manager and show that you are prepared to handle your prospective job duties.

Related: 10 Best Skills To Include On A Resume (With Examples)

2. Keep it short

In the core competencies section of your resume, use one or two words to describe each skill or qualification to make it easy for a reader to read and understand quickly. You can use bullet points or separate each skill with a vertical line. You can also add them in a row instead of a column to use as little space as possible. For example, you can list your skills in this format:

Skill 1 | Skill 2 | Skill 3 | Skill 4 | Skill 5 | Skill 6

Related: How To Acquire New Skills (With Examples Of Skills To Learn)

3. Tailor it for each application

You want to tailor every aspect of your resume to that specific role and company rather than sending out the same resume to every open position. Changing your core competencies section for each application shows your interest in the position and can help you ensure you meet an employer's expectations and requirements. It can also show a hiring manager that you are familiar with their expectations and feel confident in your ability to meet them.

Examples Of Core Competencies

Here are some examples of skills and qualifications you may find in a core competency section:


Adding your leadership strengths to your resume can describe your ability to assemble and direct a team. This can be a valuable skill if you are pursuing a role in management. It may also benefit you if you know you may be a member of a cross-functional team in your new position.

Related: How To Highlight Leadership Skills On A Resume (With Template)


Including flexibility as one of your core competencies highlights that you are able to adapt to new situations in your role. This can be an important skill to list if your new position requires you to handle a variety of clients, such as a graphic designer or copywriter. It can show an employer your willingness to learn new strategies or methods to handle industry, or company-wide changes.

Related: Adaptability Vs Flexibility: Definitions And Differences


Possessing strong communication skills can allow you to share information and ideas with clients, coworkers and managers. This is an essential competency across a variety of roles and industries. Employers may look for candidates with both written and verbal communication skills that help them collaborate and inform others across a variety of platforms.

Related: Top Communication Skills For A Resume (With Examples)

Time management

Including time management in the skills section of your resume shows an employer you feel confident developing timelines and completing projects according to deadlines. If your prospective role requires you to handle a variety of tasks or oversee their completion, this can be an important skill to list. Time management can be useful if you are pursuing an entry-level or management position.

Related: Time Management Skills: Definition And Examples


Employers may look for individuals with strong problem-solving skills if they handle client interactions directly, such as roles in public relations, or if they complete complex technical tasks. Including problem-solving as a skill on your resume can demonstrate that you feel comfortable evaluating situations and can find effective solutions. This competency can also help upper-level management implement effective strategies for improving performance and productivity.


Employers may look for team members who feel comfortable collaborating with their colleagues and completing tasks or brainstorming ideas together. Listing this competency on your resume indicates you work well with others and thrive in a team environment. Whether you are interested in a leadership position or you plan on joining a team environment in your next role, it can be beneficial to list your collaborative strengths.

Related: Collaboration Skills: Definition, Benefits And Examples


Companies typically look for candidates for leadership or self-paced roles to possess skills like responsibility. Responsibility shows that an employer can rely on you to complete tasks and projects they assign to you according to quality standards and deadlines. It can also demonstrate your commitment to honesty, and taking accountability for your actions and contributions.

Commitment to excellence

Listing your commitment to excellence illustrates that you are someone who strives to meet and exceed a company's quality standards. This can also show that you want to help develop better ways of handling situations or completing projects. Employers may look for someone who takes pride in their contributions and strives to create high-quality work.


Motivation can be an essential competency in a variety of roles that require you to complete self-paced tasks or projects. A manager may want a team member who can handle their own schedules and stay focused on completing their job duties. Listing your ability to stay motivated can show a company that you can not only handle your responsibilities but can complete them with focus and accuracy while meeting required deadlines.

Related: Why Employee Motivation Is Important: A Complete Guide


Listing integrity on your resume demonstrates that you only submit projects and complete tasks according to your own high standards. It also can show an employer that you value honesty and want to give team members credit, and recognition for their contributions. Companies make look for candidates with integrity if they plan to trust them with handling important tasks or leading other team members to meet deadlines, and complete projects.

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