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SAMPLE CV SERIES: Skills and Core Competencies

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SAMPLE CV SERIES: Skills and Core Competencies

Isabelle was so excited and at the same time nervous. She’s included some key skills and core competencies on her CV as seen on Esther’s resume, her bosom friend. At last, she’s seated in front of her potential employers: a number of three managers were set to interview her.

A look by one of the managers at the core competencies resume examples instigated the following below:

“Sell this pen to us” said the first interviewer

“…em. Hmm! Okay. You, yo..” Isabelle  hesitated.

She did not know what to say. Sales is never what she’s good at or done before (professionally). She only copied it from Esther’s resume and paste it on hers. Her CV was not evidence based. It only got her the interview but could not, the job.

Other than your educational qualifications and work experience, most employers bank on your skills and core competencies in order to get you on the team. After your Header/Heading and the Personal or Career Statement, what should come next on your CV is your Key Skills and Core Competencies (for a Chrono-Functional or Mixed type of CV which we’re dealing with here)

Skills and Core Competencies:

Your skills and core competencies are the qualities and attributes to your abilities that you’ve acquired as a result of either experience, study or training. In some cases, some professionals refer to them as specialties or mix it up with personal qualities. None is wrong. Like I said from the beginning of this Sample CV series, you own your CV, if you plan to write it yourself all you need to do is follow simple CV rules and tailor the resume to how you want it. We shall look at some core competencies resume examples that suit you for the kind of job you’re applying for. But first, let’s talk about skills.

Types of Skills

For the purpose of putting together a CV or fitting into the workplace and diverse teams, there are two types of skills everyone should include on the CV.

Soft Skills: These are primary skills needed for any work environment. They are skills of interaction, professional relationship, communication, team bonding etc. Examples of such skills are interpersonal skills, communication skills, team work, motivation and much more that may be germane to your field.

Hard Skills: These are skills considered innate integrates of a particular professional field. These skills are needed for a particular job position or in an industry. It is mainly like an industry requirement for you to be able to work efficiently on tasks in the work place. Examples of hard skills are Proficiency in a foreign language, Event management, Negotiation, Salesmanship, Programming etc

Usually, when writing the skills and core competencies, you include both the hard and soft skills. They are equally important to the employer.

How to Write the Skills and Core Competencies

Different persons have their different ways of writing the skills and core competencies section of the CV. There are two different ways you can do that: You could either use the list/vertical style which may require you utilize sentences or use the horizontal style which may require just phrases or words. Examples are provided below.

Skills and Core Competencies (vertical)

  • Proficiency in the use of Microsoft Software packages
  • Strong Interpersonal communication skills
  • Sound writing and copy editing skills
  • Ability to prioritize for results
  • Effective time management skills
  • SEO expertise
  • Innovative thinking power
  • Digital marketing expertise
  • Social media strategist
  • Self motivation
  • Content editing and development
  • Exciting and savvy personality
  • Mastery at beating deadlines
  • Rapt attention to details and SEO mechanics
  • Fast learning abilities

Skills and Core Competencies (Horizontal)

.    Microsoft Software packages     .    Copy Writing                       .    Copy Editing

.    Digital Marketing                         .    Content Development       .    Social Media

.    Innovative Thinking                    .    Fast Learning Abilities      .    Savvy Personality

.    Team Work                                    .    Web Administration          .    Result Oriented

You can list as many as you have and you can prove with experience, training or certifications. But be careful; make sure there is enough space to accommodate other parts of the CV. As earlier said, some professionals name this part of their CV, ‘Specialties’.

The Skills and Core Competencies or Specialties part of the CV/resume is very important for your CV. They serve as keywords for search by recruiters who seek for candidates anonymously or without going public. When they are not on your personal or career statement, they should be on your skills and core competencies or specialties. When employers search for CVs in the database of recruitment firms, yours pop up if it contains keywords they search with.

Moving forward from the screenshot of each part of the CV last uploaded, below is another screenshot of the CV with the Skills and Core Competencies included

 Core Competencies

Thank you for reading. Please kindly share and do not forget to drop contributions, questions or thoughts by using the  comment box



  1. Belinda

    September 21, 2018 at 7:50 am

    Thank you this was so helpful to me keep on the good work

    • John Bassey

      September 21, 2018 at 9:45 am

      Thank you Belinda. I’m glad it was helpful.

      More of the series can be found here –

      • Vickie Wales

        September 28, 2018 at 11:04 pm

        Hi John Bassey

        How are you I hope all is well? I would like to know if you would be so kind to take a look at my resume and let me know what you think of it? Thank you, Vickie Wales

  2. Nidhi gupta

    December 11, 2019 at 4:11 am

    Thank you so much,your description about skills is understanding easily.

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