Writing a resume is an essential skill for any job seeker, and perfecting one can take quite a bit of work. There are so many components to pick and choose from when crafting a resume, and in today’s job market it is necessary to customize your resume for each job you apply for. Almost every talent acquisition organization uses an Applicant Tracking System that searches your resume for key words, often the same words used in the job description. A hiring manager’s goal is to identify the select few candidates that are most qualified for a particular role.
Although there are several components that you can afford to leave out of your resume, such as an objective, repetitive lists of duties, or excessive personal info, there are several critical things to include as well. No resume is complete without a strong value proposition (a statement of the benefits you bring to an employer), action oriented statements and metrics, clear consistent branding, and perhaps most importantly, a list of core competencies.
Core competencies can be tailored to match the keywords and skills listed in the job description you’re reading. By using them in your resume, you can target keywords you know employers want to see, and identify the most relevant skills you possess. Having a core competencies section in your resume also gets a hiring manager’s attention. Instead of having to scan through your entire resume they can see right away what skills you bring to the business. If an employer wants someone who is trained in X, adept at Y, and has used Z software – your competencies can clearly and quickly communicate that information.
Skipping the core competencies section means you are missing out on showcasing your qualities to potential employers. It can reduce your chances of making it past Applicant Tracking System scans, and means employers have to dig through your resume a bit more to find the relevant information.
If you are an employer reading this article, you can see why resumes that include core competencies are more likely to yield top candidates. They are the candidates who understand whether or not they are suited for a position, and are prepared to demonstrate their qualifications with observable behaviors.