Best Competencies to List on Your Resume

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It is important to recognize the value of competencies and how they can benefit your job search before you list them on your resume. An employer looks at the competencies on your resume to find out if you have the professional and educational experience to match the job description and qualify you for an interview. In this article, you can learn what competencies are, why it’s so important to add them to your resume and the best competencies that can make you a marketable candidate for the job.

What are competencies?

Competencies consist of qualities that make you a viable candidate for a job you’re interested in. An employer can set a benchmark in the job description to see what competencies they’re looking for in addition to a benchmark for years of experience in a certain industry. Competency-based questions are common during interviews. Therefore, it’s a good idea to list your competencies on your resume, so you can prepare to talk about the importance of each one during your interview.

Why is it important to add competencies to your resume?

Here are some reasons why you should add competencies to your resume:

To attract an employer’s attention

An employer may only have time to skim your resume, especially if the position has a lot of applicants. You can list your competencies on a separate section of your resume, so the employer can directly notice what you’ve learned from your experience in the workplace.

To be prepared for Applicant Tracking Systems (ATS)

If a company is preparing to receive a lot of resumes from applicants, they may use an Applicant Tracking System (ATS). An ATS is a software program that scans through resumes and quickly reviews the content of them. They can find keywords that an employer is seeking to identify the right applicant for a specific position. If the keywords are present, the resume is eligible for further consideration for the position.

Best competencies to include on your resume

Here are some of the most common competencies to include on your resume:


Teamwork is a highly coveted competency in the workplace because it shows that you can work with other people to complete projects. It can display your willingness to collaborate on large projects that greatly affect the success of you and your coworkers. This skill can highlight your ability to prioritize deadlines and take on projects of larger importance.


Responsibility is the act of taking ownership of your performance on a certain project. By taking ownership, you’re putting faith in yourself to undertake the job you’re hired to do. This way, you can be more comfortable in approaching your work and when facing a challenging task. You should outline how this competency has given your team measurable results and the reward you’ve gained from it.

Commercial awareness

Commercial awareness can be a complex competency, but it explains that you have a complete understanding of the industry and the company you work for. Adding this competency on your resume showcases your inclination to stay up-to-date on industry trends and technological changes that you can apply to your job.

It can imply that you’re interested in reviewing SWOT analyses that evaluate the position of your company and your competitors within the market. A few positions that this competency can be useful for include a project manager, content writer and sales representative.


Your decision-making abilities can show how you can make quick choices in high-stakes situations. It can reveal how you can work under tight deadlines and deliver effective results that can increase the performance of your team. If you’re applying for a senior-level position, it may convey how your decisions account for the expansion of your current company and the role you played in getting it there.

By establishing decision-making competencies, you can analyze information, receive timely feedback, review the current situation and purpose efficient solutions while being mindful of your decision’s impact. Interviewers might request more information on your thought process behind the decision you made to see if this competency meets the performance benchmarks they set for applicants.


Communication is one of the most crucial skills people need to be successful at work regardless of the position. Employers want to ensure that you can absorb and communicate information in a professional manner. You want to display how you can communicate in a positive tone to coworkers, managers and members of the executive team.


Leadership is a competency that demonstrates how you manage other people at work. If you’re applying for a management position, you’ll want to have it near the top of your competencies on your resume. Even if you’re applying for an entry-level or mid-level position within an organization, a company values an applicant who’s adept at motivating others to accomplish a common goal. When you’re leading, you’re assigning tasks to staff members, setting firm deadlines on tasks and cultivating relationships with key external stakeholders.

Trustworthiness and ethics

Your level of trustworthiness and ethics shows how loyal you’re to an organization. It can be an indicator of how well you connect with clients and colleagues. It reveals that you’re committed to being honest with stakeholders while serving the company you currently work for. An employer can conclude that your ethics make you a reliable person to address conflicts and have the potential for a high return on investment.

Results orientation

Results orientation highlights a goal-oriented employee who strives to execute the goals given to them by their manager. An employer may get the impression that you love the process of achieving your goals and working with others to complete them. If this competency is on your resume, you may be perceived as someone who looks for realistic solutions and is passionate about overcoming obstacles.


Although problem-solving is a common competency, the way you describe this competency shows how well you can remain calm when facing adversity, research the origin of the problem and come up with a timely solution. If you’re applying to a legal or customer-service based position, then you should have this competency at the top of your resume based on the need for the skill in customer-facing roles.


Organizational competencies can show your ability to manage and prioritize your workload. When you put this competency on your resume, employers expect you to have remarkable time management skills that help you use the necessary resources to earn measurable results. Also, it can set you up to answer an interview question about how you organize at work.

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