The resume is an essential part of your job search toolkit.  It provides a clear snapshot of your skills, qualifications, and background, in a format that is easy for an employer to digest.  Despite the rise of technology in the recruiting industry, the resume still persists as the key way for you to communicate your credentials to a potential employer. However, many job seekers struggle to decide what to include or exclude in the resume.  And conflicting feedback from colleagues, friends, and family can make it even more difficult to develop the most effective resume.


The reality is that studies show that most recruiters spend less than 10 seconds on reviewing a resume.  Therefore, it is critical that you make impact quickly on the resume.  One of the ways to make this impact is by including a Competencies section to your resume.  By doing so, it enables the recruiter to quickly assess your fit with their needs, increasing the probability of an interview. The following are tips on how to integrate the Competencies section into your resume for maximum effectiveness:


  1. Make Them Job-Specific – the key competencies you will add should be based on the skills identified on the job description and clearly align with the qualifications, which the employer is seeking (e.g. Strategic Planning, Operations Management, etc.)
  2. Be Flexible – based on the job description, you may need to change the Core Competencies that you include on the resume.  
  3. Align Them with Industry Standards – in addition to adding competencies that are noted on a job description, you should include ones that are crucial industry-specific ones, even if they are not in the job description (e.g. CRM, Data Analytics, etc.).
  4. Vary Competency Areas– make sure that the competencies reflect both key technical and soft skills (e.g. leadership, communication, etc.), to demonstrate your broad array of talents.
  5. Keep Them Concise – you may be tempted to include as many competencies as possible.  However, since it should be a snapshot of key skills, limit it to 9-12 competencies.

By utilizing these tips, you can position yourself to be the ideal and most visible candidate for your dream jobs.