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IDear Workforce -IAny Info on Competency-Based Resumes

An example from a large publishing company.
April 19, 2000
Related Topics: Dear Workforce

Dear Workforce:

We are looking for information on resume writing, to revise our guidebook, incorporating the fact that competencies are now a part of our culture. We have lots of information regarding resume writing techniques...just none on how to incorporate the competency side of things.
Bill Neil, Manitoba Hydro, Winnipeg MB Canada


Dear Bill:

It s a great time for job candidates to begin integrating competencies into their resumes because an increasing number of companies are realizing the importance of assessing potential hires based upon their professional behaviors.

Competencies are defined as critical behaviors that demonstrate the knowledge, skills, abilities and personal characteristics of excellent performers. Competencies focus on how an employee creates value, and what is actually accomplished.

For example, some of the more common "core" competencies across companies include teamwork, integrity, business acumen, and customer focus. To reflect competencies on a resume, someone would need to show how their work experience demonstrated each of these qualities.

Most resumes today simply capture knowledge and expertise--which only imply competencies. On the flip side, a resume that associated behaviors with results, for example, might read "Managed multiple client engagements over six-month period to client s satisfaction and within budget, demonstrating strong team leadership and business acumen."

For your resume guidebook, you may want to include a list of competencies--and behavioral examples--that seem critical to corporate America today. Then, develop a list of key outcomes, or evidence, of each definition. For instance, a large publishing company developed ten core competencies for managers and supervisors. A successful manager with "innovation" demonstrates the following behaviors:

  • Identifies commercial applications for ideas;
  • Develops innovative ideas and ways of accomplishing results or improving processes;
  • Anticipates and responds to opportunities created by change;
  • Establishes processes for continuously improving work activities and systems.

Best of luck in your quest to suggest ways to incorporate competencies into resumes. Since companies are realizing significant business improvements by using them in the long-term (such as up to a 10 percent increase in hiring successful candidates, 20 percent increase in retention of desired employees, and 25 percent increase in boosting employee morale), more companies will be looking for specific competencies during the hiring process.

SOURCE: Don Nemerov, Principal, Arthur Andersen Human Capital practice, Chicago, IL.

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