11 Synonyms for “Basic Knowledge” on Your Resume

So, you want to learn about some synonyms for “basic knowledge” to use on your resume. Sure, the phrase “basic knowledge” is a good start, but it’s not the only thing you can say.

This article will explore some great words and phrases to show you another way to say “basic knowledge.”

Basic Knowledge Synonyms

  • Fundamentals
  • General understanding
  • Familiarity
  • Basic level understanding
  • Low-level knowledge
  • Vague familiarity
  • General idea
  • Rough idea
  • Understanding
  • Key knowledge
  • Principal knowledge


  • “Basic knowledge” shows you understand something but may not be wise to include it in a resume.
  • Try “fundamentals” if you want to sound more professional on a CV.
  • “General understanding” is a phrasal alternative to use in some instances.

There’s more where those came from! Keep reading to learn more about the most useful synonyms and how they work.

We’ve also explained whether “basic knowledge” is acceptable on your resume. You can skip to the final section to learn more about that.


“Fundamentals” is a great formal alternative to “basic knowledge.” You can use it to demonstrate a simple understanding of something by only knowing what’s most important.

The Merriam-Webster Dictionary defines “fundamentals” as “serving as a basis supporting existence or determining essential structure or function.”

It’s much better to use “fundamentals” over “basic knowledge.” It shows that you have learned everything necessary about something without diving too deeply into it.

With “basic knowledge,” the implication is that you don’t know much. Conversely, “fundamentals” suggests you know exactly as much as you deem necessary for the job you’re applying for.

It’s quite a good professional option as well. You will certainly impress an employer if you can fit a word like “fundamentals” somewhere in your CV.

You may want to check out these examples:

I understand the fundamentals of anatomy. That’s why I think I’ll be good at a job with these demands.

The fundamentals were very easy for me to grasp. I believe I can bring that to the role to show you what I know.

General Understanding

“General understanding” is a good example of how to say “basic knowledge” on your resume. It shows that you have familiarity with something you’ve already seen in the job description.

For instance, if you apply for a job that asks for data management, you could say you have a “general understanding.” That way, you show that you know what’s expected of you but may still need some training before you are fully confident.

While it’s not the most impressive phrase for a potential employer, it still shows you’re willing to broaden your understanding. You can use it when you know you have more to learn and want to do the job well.

You should certainly use “general understanding” over “basic knowledge.” It’s a bit more open, allowing you to learn more about something rather than simply saying you don’t know much (which is what “basic knowledge” implies).

Here are some great examples to help you with it:

I have a general understanding of the operational side of things already. So, I feel I’ll have a lot to offer.

It helps to have a general understanding of these things. Now, I know that I can complete these projects easily.

Should You Say “Basic Knowledge” on Your Resume?

You should not say “basic knowledge” on your resume. There are plenty of better alternatives available that make you appear more knowledgeable.

The issue with “basic knowledge” is that it only shows a bare minimum in your understanding. It doesn’t suggest that you know much about a specific subject, which doesn’t often correlate well if you want to impress a potential employer.

There’s not much of a reason to include “basic knowledge” on your resume. After all, you’re not going to demonstrate much with it.

Instead, you might be better off talking about things you understand better. That way, you will show your employer what you know well rather than what you don’t.

You should also bookmark this page to remind yourself of the synonyms. You never know when you might encounter “basic knowledge” again in your writing, and an alternative will always help.