45 expressions to describe your competence

When writing about your level of skill in a resume or application you will need some words to convey your level of competency in that skill. Writing something like ‘good communication skills’ doesn’t carry much impact. Expressions like ‘highly skilled’, ‘effective’, ‘competent’ are options, however overuse reduces their impact.

Here are 45 other expressions, with examples, you can use to convey your level of competence. They vary in formality. Some sound more ‘grand’ than others. You can pick which ones you feel comfortable with and what would be appropriate to the job your are applying for.

  1. able: I am able to solve problems quickly
  2. accomplished: I am accomplished in seeing projects through to completion
  3. ace: I am an ace when it comes to changing tyres
  4. adept: I am adept at picking up errors
  5. agile: I am agile in my thinking
  6. aptitude: I have an aptitude for sensing people’s discomfort
  7. authority: I am a recognised authority on quality assurance
  8. capable: I am capable of meeting competing deadlines
  9. clever: I am clever at mathematical calculations
  10. deft: I am deft at finding extra resources
  11. dexterous: I am a dexterous blues pianist
  12. effortless: Preparing media releases is effortless for me
  13. excel: I excel at training people in Excel
  14. expert: I am a recognised expert in governance
  15. first-rate: My track record in meeting deadlines is first-rate
  16. flair: I have a flair for negotiating contracts
  17. gifted: I am a gifted cabinet maker
  18. good head for: I have a good head for figures
  19. handy: I am handy around car engines
  20. innate ability: I have an innate ability to spot patterns
  21. knack: I have a knack of identifying what blocks progress
  22. know backwards: I know the procedures backwards
  23. know-how: My know-how in accounting is extensive
  24. know the ropes: I know the ropes of parliamentary processes
  25. masterful: My presentations are masterful
  26. masterly: My grasp of international relations is masterly
  27. nimble: I am nimble on my feet
  28. practised: I am a practised and experienced accountant
  29. practised hand: I am a practised hand in car maintenance
  30. practiced eye: I have a practised eye for diagnosing software bugs
  31. prize-winning: I gave a prize-winning presentation
  32. proficient: I am proficient in using Microsoft Office Suite
  33. qualified: I am qualified in project management
  34. resourceful: I am a resourceful when it comes to building teams
  35. seasoned: I am a seasoned presenter, with more than ten years experience
  36. shine: I shine in ambiguous situations
  37. show a talent for: I have shown a talent for organising major conferences
  38. sound player: I am a sound team player
  39. strong point: Writing reports is my strong point
  40. trained: I am a fully trained and qualified accountant
  41. versatile: I am a versatile write
  42. versed: I am well versed in parliamentary processes
  43. veteran: I am a veteran of multiple restructures
  44. wizard: I am a wizard trouble-shooter
  45. walking encyclopaedia: I am a walking encyclopaedia on the history of this project.
Dr Ann Villiers, career coach, writer and author, is Australia’s only Mental Nutritionist specialising in mind and language practices that help people build flexible thinking, confident speaking and quality connections with people.