10 Core Competency Examples To Put on Your Resume

By Indeed Editorial Team

Updated 22 August 2022 | Published 23 August 2021

Updated 22 August 2022

Published 23 August 2021

The Indeed Editorial Team comprises a diverse and talented team of writers, researchers and subject matter experts equipped with Indeed's data and insights to deliver useful tips to help guide your career journey.

Employers trying to fill vacant roles may seek applicants who have fundamental and universal characteristics that demonstrate their ability to contribute to the organisation. On your resume, your previous employment and life experiences can serve as a personal list of talents and abilities that attract further hiring discussions. The hiring manager may use such abilities to compare you to other candidates. In this article, we define core competencies and provide a list of core competency examples along with their descriptions to assist you in identifying, explaining and developing such traits.

Related: What To Include in a Resume: 7 Important Components

What are core competencies?

Core competencies entail the characteristics and talents you possess. They're innate parts of your personality or traits you've acquired over your professional experience. Core competencies assist you in achieving workplace success by strengthening interactions with colleagues and aiding you in working efficiently toward reaching your career milestones. The organisations you intend to work for may take advantage of your key talents as benchmarks in hiring decisions and other career progression opportunities.

Related: How To Prepare for These Competency-Based Interview Questions

10 common core competency examples

Showcasing yourself as a person with good character and admirable traits may be just as remarkable as demonstrating the hands-on professional abilities you've acquired along your career journey. Discussed below are some core competency examples that you can reflect on and consider refining:

1. Accountability

Accountability is also known as dependability or trustworthiness. It entails following through on tasks, finishing all needed elements of a project and acting in an honest and respectable manner. You can demonstrate accountability by working successfully without much supervision or monitoring, demonstrating to your supervisor that they can rely on you to accomplish your task independently. Personal accountability demonstrates that you're dedicated and guided by a set of principles.

2. Dedication

You may showcase dedication and ambition in both your short-term and long-term career objectives. If you're looking for a new job, you are recommended to carefully design the objective on your cover letter and resume to match your current goals.

Outline a long-term strategy for your professional career path in your current employment, such as a sequence of promotions you want to attain and the short-term actions to get there. As you establish your reputation, consider doing volunteer community service initiatives, participating in a professional association, obtaining certifications in your area of interest or enrolling in continuing education programmes for personal development.

3. Communication

Most workplaces have employees from various backgrounds and communication styles. Your ability to successfully interact with your colleagues and direct supervisors might demonstrate your eligibility and potential for leadership roles or promotions. Excellent communication frequently begins with being a good listener, which you may practise by establishing and maintaining eye contact, not interrupting and letting the other person organise their ideas, even during breaks or pauses in the discussion.

Communication also entails being able to express yourself. If you find this challenging in a group environment, such as a meeting, you might request that critical talks take place in a setting that allows you to remain composed and focused on the issue. You might make some notes ahead of time to assist you to clarify all you plan to say. Good communication also involves keeping optimistic thoughts and being helpful to others. To achieve all these, it's essential that you cultivate and refine both your verbal and nonverbal communication skills.

4. Conflict resolution

The capacity to settle disagreements quietly and constructively is a key element of excellent communication. Throughout your career, you often encounter and come into contact with people whose working methods and perspectives on how to approach work differ from yours. Organisations in sectors whereby work is typically collaborative may want to know how you handle a disagreement with others, maybe with a particular instance of when your tactics worked successfully for you in the past. Regardless, you may try some strategies listed below the next time a disagreement arises:

  • Refrain from discussing the problem until you're calm and composed

  • Have a private discussion with the other party or in the presence of a mediator, such as a human resources professional or manager

  • Listen carefully and attempt to let the other party explain themselves before offering your own reasoning

  • Employ non-accusatory language like “when you skip meetings, I'm concerned that you're not obtaining and gathering all of the information you require to complete the project.”

  • Be open to forgiving and embracing the many approaches people take to do their job

5. Decisiveness

You may frequently hear "I will check on it and follow up later" or "I will think about it and inform you later" in your workplace. Although there are inevitably times when a return follow-up is necessary, the ability to make rapid judgments is a vital skill for keeping projects going and increasing productivity. Wherever you can make a decision or provide a solution during a discussion rather than later, do so to demonstrate your decisiveness and desire to respect timelines and other people's time.

Strong decision-making ability entails making and accepting responsibility for objective and proper judgments, as well as displaying commitment to them in a timely way. It's also important that you ensure that choices are made in accordance with policies, regulations and organisational directions. You can attempt some of the following exercises to hone this skill:

  • Embrace that you won't know every element or conclusion of a project and that pushing forward is sometimes more essential

  • Believe in your intuition, knowledge and experience to lead your decision-making process

  • Recognise the importance of having several "good" options and believing that any of them may result in a positive outcome

  • Participate in activities that require you to learn to respond fast and adapt promptly, such as playing table tennis or video games

6. Delegation

Many job tasks need the participation and efforts of more than one team member. The ability to delegate enables you to select other colleagues to assist you so that your burden is manageable and the project is completed effectively. This is a very crucial ability to demonstrate if you want to advance to a position where you can manage people. Delegation indicates that you've got faith in others to do a good job and respect their contribution to the team. It can also foster friendship and a collaborative spirit.

7. Flexibility

When a project evolves, you may be required to be adaptive, which means you are to be willing to alter your work or priorities. Most projects begin with extensive pre-planning in which the goal and planned tasks are outlined. Your capacity to adapt as things change demonstrates your dedication to the project's end and deliverables, as well as your innovativeness when new solutions are required.

Related: Workplace Flexibility For Employers and Employees

8. Initiative

While having objectives and ambitions is vital to assist you in achieving your personal and professional goals, demonstrating initiative at work may also be an excellent approach to offer new thinking and dedication to the team. When you demonstrate initiative and be proactive, you take action rather than react. You can recognise and capitalise on opportunities that others overlook and do meaningful actions without being told. Outlined below are some examples of how you may demonstrate your initiative:

  • Maintain a broad variety of thoughts about your industry by attending classes, joining organisations or networking with other experts to stay up to speed on any developments in your field

  • Offer to take on additional responsibilities when a project is under strain or the due date is approaching

  • Ask yourself in every project what chances for growth and improvement exist and how you can maximise the effectiveness of these opportunities

9. Stress management

Maintaining a healthy work-life balance is critical for reducing stress while staying focused and being productive. An employer may be interested in learning about your coping strategies in stressful and pressuring situations pertaining to approaching deadlines or finishing up time-sensitive tasks. The better you deal with stress, the more likely you can focus and stay organised at work. Listed below are some strategies you can consider for dealing with stress at work:

  • Keep a journal or a list of things that stress you out and look for patterns where you might make improvements and adjustments

  • Speak with your direct supervisor or manager if you've got ongoing issues about members of your team or your responsibilities

  • Resolve issues via dialogue and conflict resolution strategies prior to escalation

  • Identify some relaxation strategies that you may utilise at work, such as taking a brief stroll outside, meditating or practising breathing exercises

Related: How To Deal With the Stress of Losing Your Job

10. Teamwork

Your ability to collaborate successfully with others on projects may be extremely beneficial in a work environment whereby collaborative work is common practice. Employers may assess your dedication to the company's mission statement and the stated aims of a specific project. Sharing information, meeting deadlines that impact others' work, conveying milestones and completed tasks and sharing credit for success are all aspects of teamwork.

Explore more articles