9 Synonyms for “Basic Knowledge” in a Resume

Do you want to know the best ways to show you have a basic understanding of something?

Perhaps you’re concerned that “basic knowledge” is overused or generic and won’t work well in a resume.

Well, you’ve come to the right place to learn more.

This article will show you how to say “basic knowledge” in a resume.

Is “Basic Knowledge” a Good Resume Word?

Generally speaking, “basic knowledge” is not a good resume word.

You should often avoid mentioning your basic knowledge in a resume. The only exception is if your basic knowledge has a direct correlation to what’s expected of the role you apply for.

For the most part, it is professional. However, it’s not a particularly useful way to sell yourself or your abilities.

You should also check out the following resume sample to learn more:

I have basic knowledge in this field, and I’m willing to learn a lot more. Therefore, I’m happy to apply myself.


  • It’s a simple and effective way to share how much knowledge you have.
  • It often works well if you can relate your basic knowledge to the field you apply for.


  • It’s usually unnecessary to include, especially if your knowledge has no impact on your job role.
  • It’s generic and overstated.

So, “basic knowledge” might not be the best phrase to include in a resume. But it’s okay! There are plenty of other options out there for you! Now, it’s time to explore them.

Keep reading to learn how to say you have basic knowledge on a resume. We’ve gathered a list of some fantastic synonyms to show you what’s going to work best.

What to Say Instead of “Basic Knowledge”

  • Foundational knowledge
  • Fundamental understanding
  • Core competencies
  • Essential understanding
  • Fundamental skills
  • General proficiency
  • Primary expertise
  • Rudimentary knowledge
  • Basic competence

1. Foundational Knowledge

We recommend using “foundational knowledge” as a professional way to say “basic knowledge.”

As you can tell, we haven’t changed much from the original phrase.

Simply switching “basic” to “foundational” goes a long way. It keeps your resume interesting and ensures you’ll be able to impress a recruiter.

It also makes your knowledge sound more relevant and useful. So, it can make it seem like you know more about what an employer is looking for.

You can also check out these resume samples to learn more:

I have foundational knowledge that helps me to understand more of the intricacies of projects like this.

My foundational knowledge allows me to explore new avenues. I’m very proud of the work I’ve put into getting here today.

2. Fundamental Understanding

Next, you can include “fundamental understanding” as a synonym for your resume. It shows you know the basics of something, which often helps you to learn something deeper.

The more you understand the fundamentals of a field or system. The easier it is to understand everything associated with it.

Therefore, this phrase is great to use when applying to a new role. After all, it suggests you won’t need much training, as you already have a handle on something.

It might be worth reviewing the following resume examples to learn a bit more:

I have a fundamental understanding of this system. So, I know that it won’t take me long to master it.

My fundamental understanding of this field goes a long way. I’m excited to see what more I can learn.

3. Core Competencies

To mix things up further, you can use “core competencies.”

Now, “competencies” is another word for “basic knowledge” that shows what you know about a field or project.

You can refer to things that relate directly to your job application.

After all, you’re only going to want to share things you’re competent in if you think they’re going to help your chances of securing a job role.

The closer the relation, the more impressive you become. Recruiters look for phrases like this, so you best try to include them where you can!

If you’re still unsure how it works, check out these examples:

My core competencies are relevant to this job role. Therefore, I’m sure I’ll be a suitable fit for it.

I have many core competencies that align with what you’re asking for. I’m certain you’ll be impressed by what I can do.

4. Essential Understanding

You may also use “essential understanding” in your resume.

It’s an excellent choice to include in most CVs that suggests you know all the basics to get by.

The more essential your understanding of something, the easier it is for you to learn more about it.

Therefore, you won’t need quite as much training as other applicants. It’s a direct and formal way to show someone that you mean business and already have decent experience.

Here are some helpful examples to show you more about how to use it:

I have an essential understanding of the inner workings of this system. However, I know I can still learn more.

My essential understanding of these moving parts goes a long way. I’m sure I’ll understand the basics.

5. Fundamental Skills

Feel free to use “fundamental skills” as another way to say “basic knowledge.”

Often, this comes across as more formal. So, you can use it to impress a recruiter when you want to show them what you understand.

Also, using “skills” instead of “knowledge” implies that you’ve taken time to learn things. Skills are often harder to acquire than knowledge as they require a deeper time investment.

Therefore, this could go a long way when applying for jobs and trying to get people to consider you for an interview.

You can also review the following resume samples to learn more:

I have a lot of fundamental skills to share in this field. That’s why I know it’s the right move for me to apply here.

My fundamental skills help me in this situation. I’m certain you’ll be impressed with what I can bring to the table.

6. General Proficiency

To simplify things, you may want to write “general proficiency.”

This is an excellent choice that suggests you already have a good understanding of something. However, using “general” only ever refers to the basics of a situation.

So, you shouldn’t use something like this if you consider yourself to be an expert.

Instead, stick to using it as a formal way to explain your knowledge. It shows you’ve got a good baseline and you’re willing to learn more.

Perhaps these CV samples will also clear up some confusion:

I have general proficiency in most of the areas you’re looking for. Therefore, I will require less training overall.

My general proficiency in this field could be improved, and I’m willing to learn everything there is to know.

7. Primary Expertise

Next, you might want to write about your “primary expertise.”

Generally, it’s an excellent way to show that you have already explored the first steps of something.

Of course, “expertise” refers to knowing so much about a field that you would consider yourself an expert.

However, using “primary” beforehand shows you’re still in the early days of learning about something.

Therefore, this is a great way to show you’re willing to improve your knowledge if your new job requires you to do so.

You can also review these resume samples to learn more about it:

My primary expertise will allow me to learn more about this field quickly. I’m sure that will go a long way moving forward.

I’ve got a lot of primary expertise in these matters. So, I know quite a few things that’ll help me out.

8. Rudimentary Knowledge

You can also write “rudimentary knowledge” as an alternative way of saying “basic knowledge.”

We’re keeping this synonym quite close to the original phrase.

The only thing we’ve changed is switching “basic” to “rudimentary.”

Generally, this allows you to impress a recruiter quickly. It suggests that you already have a baseline level of understanding when it comes to a field or subject in your workplace.

This goes a long way when recruiters are looking to hire people that require less training than others.

You could even review the following CV examples to learn a bit more:

While I only have rudimentary knowledge of this field, I’m certain I’ll be able to put that to good use here.

I have rudimentary knowledge in most areas associated with what you’re looking for. That’s why I know this role is designed for me.

9. Basic Competence

Finally, it’s worth using “basic competence” to help you mix things up.

Saying you have a “basic competence” suggests you know the fundamentals of a field and are willing to learn more.

Also, “competence” implies you understand a lot and know how the best methods to learn to ensure you keep improving what you already understand.

We recommend using this to be short and to the point. It’s formal and goes a long way in most resumes.

Also, it’s good to review these examples to find out a bit more:

I have a basic competence that will help to accelerate my learning here. I’m hopeful that you’ll see that during my interview.

My basic competence is a great opportunity for me to unload my experience. I’m ready to bolster what I already know.