Resume Core Competencies by Industry

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Specific key skills to include in your resume

Core competencies and key skills sections are hot topics among today’s discussions about resumes. In fact, “core competencies,” “ key competencies,” “area of expertise,” “core qualifications,” and “key skills” are among the top search engine terms that land job seekers on my blog. Commonly individuals are looking for industry-specific skills to include on their resume, searching for things like “office manager resume key skills” and “sample science resume with core competencies.”

Below is a list of sample keywords per industry the iHire Resume Writing Team has compiled. Use this as a guide only – your best source for the right keywords are job postings themselves, which we cover in a previous blog on how to analyze job ads and create your core competencies section.

Don’t see your specific industry below? Leave a comment on this post and I’ll add yours to the list.

Accounting Resume Core Competencies

Financial Analysis, Tax Preparation, Accounts Payable/Receivable, Internal Controls, Reconciliation

Construction Resume Core Competencies

Project Management, Material Planning, Vendor Relations, Regulatory Compliance, Design and Development

Culinary Resume Core Competencies

Menu Development, Budget Administration, Inventory Control, Customer Satisfaction, Kitchen Management

Customer Service Resume Core Competencies

Conflict Resolution, Records Management, Workflow Planning, Scheduling, Customer Satisfaction

Dental Resume Core Competencies

Case Management, Scheduling, Recordkeeping, Patient Relations, Pre- and Post-Op Care

Engineering Resume Core Competencies

Product Design, Value Engineering, Root Cause Analysis, Process Improvement

Human Resources Resume Core Competencies

Talent Acquisition, Performance Evaluation, Succession Planning, Change Management

Legal Resume Core Competencies

Case Management, Complex Litigation, Alternative Dispute Resolution, Legal Research and Writing

Logistics Resume Core Competencies

Warehouse Management, Inventory Control, Production Planning, Shipping/Receiving

Network Administration Resume Core Competencies

Network Setup/Installation, Server Architecture, Intranet Infrastructure, Configuration Management

Nursing Resume Core Competencies

Case Management, Patient Relations, Treatment Planning, Scheduling, Emergency Response

Pharmacy Resume Core Competencies

Inventory Control, Drug Utilization Review, Prescription Verification, Customer Service, Regulatory Compliance

Quality Control/Quality Assurance Resume Core Competencies

Regulatory Compliance, cGMP, Sample Preparation, Statistical Process Control

Radiology Resume Core Competencies

Diagnostic Imaging, Case Management, Patient Relations, Recordkeeping, Patient Safety

Science Resume Core Competencies

Research Methodology, Laboratory Management, Data Collection and Analysis, Report Generation

Secretarial/Administrative Resume Core Competencies

Records Management, Customer Service, Data Entry, Report Generation

Social Services Resume Core Competencies

Case Management, Crisis Intervention, Community Outreach, Substance Abuse Counseling

16 thoughts on “Resume Core Competencies by Industry

    • No problem! A few medical sales/general sales core competencies are Client Relationship Management (CRM), Account Management, Product Knowledge, Market Expansion, Client Education, Contract Negotiation, Customer Satisfaction & Retention, Needs Assessment, etc.

    • Sure thing! Potential resume keywords for your field may be:

      • Asset Management
      • Alternative Investments
      • Tactical Allocation
      • Customer Relations / Retention
      • Territory Management
      • Distribution Development
      • Leadership & Teambuilding
      • Strategic Planning
      • Due Diligence

  1. Hi, Excellent work, thanks. Looking for core competencies for IT infrastructure & support leadership/management role? Thanks in advance

    • Thank you Francois! I’m glad you found this post helpful. Possible keywords for IT infrastructure support/leadership/management could be:

      • Application/System Implementation
      • Process Improvement
      • Project Management
      • Policies/Standards Development
      • Staff Training & Leadership
      • User Instruction & Support
      • System Integration
      • Testing & Deployment
      • Requirements/Needs Analysis

      For my IT clients, I also create a separate section dedicated to listing specific software, hardware, databases, languages, frameworks, testing methods, etc. These terms in addition to the skills listed above will help the resume get past the initial applicant tracking system scan.

    • Absolutely! QA/QC Supervisor core competencies could be (of course, in addition to Quality Assurance/Quality Control):

      • Database Management
      • New Product Launch
      • Leadership & Team Building
      • Statistical Process Control (SPC)
      • Total Quality Management (TQM)
      • Resource Allocation
      • Conflict Resolution
      • Auditing & Investigation
      • Inventory Control
      • Contract Negotiation
      • Corrective & Preventive Action
      • Regulatory Compliance
      • Quality Systems Development
      • Continuous Improvement
      • Root Cause Analysis
      • Vendor / Client Relations
      • Lean Manufacturing

  2. Hi.. thanks for this post!
    Do you have a section for IT-specific competences? E.g. specific software, hardware, databases, languages, frameworks, testing methods,

  3. Hi Akinola! Here’s a “technology portfolio” example that may be useful to you:

    COBOL/OpenVMS Environments: DecForms, RDB, TDMS, ACMS, FMS, CMS, MMS, RMS, Datatrieve, Dec Scheduler, DCL, SQL, MQ
    Languages: AcuCOBOL, BASIC, Pascal, DIBOL, Fortan 77, HIBOL, SPSS
    Systems: VAX/VMS, PDP-11, RSTE/E, PDP-8, COS 310, Windows 9x, DOS, NT, XP
    Other: DB-1032, VTX, Microsoft Office Suite, SharePoint, CITRIX, POWERHOUSE, RSTS/E, BATCH

    Also, check out the “after” resume sample here to see the entire document:

    Hope that helps!

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