Core Competencies Section in a Professional Resume

I find Core Competency sections to be fairly worthless in a professional resume and I’ll tell you why:  It doesn’t matter if you’re a waitress, an administrative assistant, a nurse, a teacher, a sales executive, or a district manager – it doesn’t matter what kind of background you have – anyone can describe themselves as “Self-Motivated”. Anyone can say they are “Goal Oriented” as well. In fact, most people do. Especially if they include a Core Competencies section in their resume.

This, to me, is a big waste. Yes, it includes keywords which can be scanned into HR software, but those keywords can also be inserted into the context of the resume with the better results and it doesn’t look half as tacky. 90% of hiring managers will skip right past that section anyways. It’s fluff. It’s unnecessary.

Your experience, both work-related and academic, should say everything that needs to be said in your resume. Your accomplishments speak volumes. Let them do the talking!

If you do choose to include a Core Competencies section, or another such bulleted overview, do yourself a favor and make sure the terms you use are accurate and applicable. Focused resumes are effective resumes. Again, vagueness will often work against you in a Core Competencies section because it cheapens the experience of reading your resume.

Remember: Anyone can be “Results-Driven” and everyone has “Strong Verbal and Written Skills” when they’re applying for a job. Stand out by SHOWING a manager how you are results-driven instead of just TELLING them!

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