Why the Core Competencies Resume Section is Important
- Recruiters and potential employers are usually in a time crunch. They’ve got a lot of resumes to review for each job posting, so they are forced to make judgements based on a quick scan of each resume. If you keep your core competencies resume section concise and tailor it to the specific job you’re applying for, you give recruiters all the key info they are looking for in one place. This shows that you value their time, and it also underscores your skills and attention to detail.
- It’s a great place to use keywords from the job description, and it can help you pass ATS scans. Many recruiters and employers these days use Applicant Tracking System (ATS) software to scan resumes and score candidate qualifications based on keywords found in their qualification lists and career summaries. Your core competencies section is a natural place for you to list keywords from the job description, which will help you pass ATS scans and demonstrate to recruiters that your resume is tailored to the specific job.
Where the Core Competencies Section Should Appear on Your Resume
Tips for Writing a Core Competencies Resume Section
- Write a list of your strengths, then tailor them to the job description. Write down 10 to 30 of your qualifications and/or skills that are relevant to the job you are applying for. Then, pull up the job description and look for keywords that correspond to the skills and qualifications you possess. Wherever you can, describe your competencies using keywords found in the job description. For example, if you’ve listed “writing” as one of your core competencies, and you notice that the description for the job you want includes the keyword “content creation,” then you should change that competency to “writing and content creation.”
- Keep it short but specific. Ideally, your resume should be no longer than two pages, and though the core competencies section is important for helping you stand out to recruiters and pass ATS software scans, your career summary section should be the true focus of the document. Use as few words as possible to describe each core competency, and make each word count. Format the section with columns and bullet points to make it clear and easy to read, especially if you are listing more than 10 or so skills/qualities.
Examples of Core Competencies You Might Want to Include on Your Resume
- Time management
- Problem solving
- Customer service
- Organization and scheduling
- Critical thinking
- Project management
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