Core Competencies Needed for Any Job

Competencies can be “job-specific competencies” or “core competencies”. In order to succeed in a particular type of job, you need to be good at competencies specific to that job. For example, an architect must know how to draw and interpret blueprints. Core competencies are the general skills that could be required to succeed in any job. Here are 10 commonly defined core competencies that are valued in professionals at UCSF:


Can be counted on to do what one says is going to be done; follows up personally and monitors progress to ensure that things stay on track; exhibits attention to detail.


Changes behavioral style or method of approach when necessary to achieve a goal; adjusts style as appropriate to meet the needs of the situation.


Conveys information in a clear manner and ensures that others understand; asks for input, listens actively and makes sure others’ opinions are heard; shares information appropriately and openly; is accessible and receptive to both good and bad news.

Continual Learning

Demonstrates an interest in personal learning and development; seeks feedback from multiple sources about how to improve and develop, and modifies behavior based on feedback or self-analysis of past mistakes.

Customer Focus

Demonstrates a desire to understand customer needs; listens to what customers are saying and asks questions as appropriate; provides prompt, efficient and personalized assistance to meet the requirements, requests, and concerns of customers.


Goes beyond the routine demands of the job; takes initiative in seeking out new work challenges and increasing the variety and scope of one’s job; seeks opportunities to influence events and originate action; assists others who have less experience or have heavy workloads.


Abides by a strict code of ethics and behavior; encourages others to behave accordingly; treats others with honesty, fairness and respect; makes decisions that are objective and reflect the just treatment of others.


Demonstrates self-control by maintaining composure and keeping emotions in check even in very difficult situations; deals calmly and effectively with stressful situations; dresses appropriately for occupation and its requirements; demonstrates a positive attitude towards work; takes pride in one’s work and the work of the organization.

Systems Thinking

Demonstrates an understanding of the link between one’s own job responsibilities and overall organizational goals and needs, and performs one’s job with the broader goals in mind.


Works in concert with others toward shared goals; participants in a supports positive conflict resolution; puts needs of team over personal needs.