Letter & Resume Tips

How to Write your Core Competencies in a Resume

Read­ing Time: 4 min­utes

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 lack of atten­tion span and 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 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 estab­lish 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

Like 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 all 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 the 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 the find use­ful. Knowl­edge of the com­pa­ny you’re plan­ning to work in is also a big check in the eyes of the employers.

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

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.



A thor­ough research on core com­pe­ten­cy research can take some time. But rest assured, with intro­spec­tion and 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.


An optimistic nihilist who has a keen interest in marketing and all things content.

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