Design Ideas for Resume Core Competencies

Effective ways to display your key skills

We have covered the importance of resume core competencies in past posts, and you likely understand by now how application tracking systems (ATS) work and how prevalently they are used by employers. While it is critical to know what to include in this section of your resume, it is also very important to carefully consider how you present your key skills. Remember, your resume will be viewed by a human after the ATS approves it, so make sure you appeal to both audiences.

Your core competencies section serves two purposes: to help you get past the ATS and provide the reader with a succinct and easy-to-read list of your top skills. Be sure your key skills are brief and dynamic action phrases (project management, client satisfaction, database management), not complete sentences or vague descriptors (go above and beyond, organized, think outside the box).

Quick Recap of Core Competencies Tips:

  • Review job postings to see the latest buzzwords employers are scanning for.
  • Gather a list of 10–20 key skills.
  • Place your core competencies section in the top half of your resume.
  • Create a visually appealing design.

Design Ideas:

Beneath the Summary

Beneath

Above the Summary

Above

To the Side of the Summary

Side

Key Skills Headlines

Headline

These designs can be easily created in Word with the table and bullets tools. Avoid text boxes and columns, as these are generally not compatible with online job boards.

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