Mentioning competencies on your CV: why and how?

CV´s are the best known way for employers to get an impression of the applicant. 

It is therefore important that you always draft a document that explains in the clearest possible way who you are, what you can do and the knowledge you have.

Fixed parts of a curriculum vitae therefore include personal details, education and work experiences. However, there is one more element that might be worth a mention: your personal competencies. Below we examine this concept in detail, how such a mention can be valuable for a CV and how you can best integrate your competencies into the whole.

Competencies: what are they?

The term "competencies" is currently used for virtually every study. They are the building blocks that compose such an education: a set of characteristics that in any event you will have to master if you want to earn the diploma in question. Example: did you pursue studies related to marketing? Then the corresponding competencies include e.g. result-oriented working, collaborating, thinking commercially and being creative. There are many different competencies, but often there are only a handful that are relevant for your future employer.

Technical competencies

The above-mentioned competencies are also referred to as personal competencies: skills that are associated with a few unique personal characteristics. However, there also exists a different type of competency that depends more on specific, technical activity. This version we call “technical competency”. Examples of this are:

  •  Knowledge of online marketing
  •  A specific sales technique
  •  Mastery of a particular software package

Why mention competencies on a CV?

Mentioning competencies on a CV is recommended for several reasons. First of all, it gives the employer a better insight into just who you are. Competencies are unique to the individual - for example, when you state on your CV that one of your strengths is developing creative concepts, this might give the recruiter an extra reason to invite you for an interview. They thus go further into you as a person than merely the education you´ve enjoyed: you give a corresponding insight into your personal skills. Another reason is that it becomes easier for the employer to already determine in advance what he or she is bringing into the company. Finally, the work experience says something about where you earlier had a job, but nothing at all about what your strong points were there. The possible mention of competencies does do this, as a result of which an employer can form a much better picture of who you are and what you can do.


How do I mention competencies on a CV?

As with other elements of a curriculum vitae, it is useful to present competencies schematically. After taking a hard look in the mirror, do you conclude that you are assertive, disciplined, flexible and loyal? Then it’s useful if you put all these competencies together in one place, accompanied by a concise explanation of why you think these competencies will prove useful for performing the activities entailed by the new job. It’s also a good idea to reflect about which is the most important competency and put it at the top of the list: in this way you subtly emphasise your most valuable skill.

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