Your next career move is highly important to you. It may be that you are looking for your:

  • next management role
  • the ideal company to learn and develop your skills with
  • the next four weeks work to get some cash together to go on holiday
  • or the next role to give you the skills you need for your chosen career in customer service

Each job search is an individual as the person looking for it and it’s important that you do a bit of preparation to identify (realistically) the strengths you have.

The agency you choose to work with should spend some time with you to help you ascertain just what your strengths are ; because (if you’re anything like me), you get up and do the things you need to do every day subconsciously in the main. We’ve worked for a period of time, and our skills (and strengths) are not always clear to us … we just… get things done.

Determine your Strengths with These Questions:

To accurately identify your strengths, you only need to answer five questions about yourself – none of them have a ‘right’ or ‘wrong’ answer, because the answer will be different for every candidate.

1) Your motivators

What do you feel inspires you to excel at your work? Knowing your motivators gives your recruitment agency a lot of clues as to what could be the right position for you. When thinking about the answer to this question, think in terms of what is more important to you in a job. Is it the team or the environment? Or do you get your inspiration from the location of a job? Literally anything can be a motivator!

2) What makes you unique?

Everyone has their own unique talents and skills. What are yours? More to the point, what talents or skills do you possess that would make you ideal for a particular job? You may also want to think about any significant achievements you may have recently obtained, such as a degree or certification, in house training or personal development – have you taken on some extra responsibility ?

3) What do you enjoy doing?

We all have different preferences with regard to what we enjoy doing most. What are yours? Perhaps you like to write, or maybe you prefer working with numbers. Working alone may make you happier than working with people. Or maybe you are great at thinking up ideas. Whatever your preferences are, write them down.

4) Situational examples

A common format for interviews today is to ask for an example where there was some kind of challenge at your work place, and describe how you handled it. So why not address it early on? Try and think of a situation that caused you to think and take action. It may be that a colleague was not pulling their weight, that your team didn’t get on well together or that you were given several tasks to complete as the same with no real deadline – what did you do to improve the situation?

If you have examples ready, it will give an insight into how you react in common situations in the workplace, thus giving you (and the employer) an idea of your strengths.

The benefits go beyond getting the Job

In addition to helping you land that dream position, listing your strengths can benefit you in other ways. Being able to see all of your strengths listed on paper in front of you is a great confidence booster. It can also throw up areas for development before starting the hunt for employment which will give you the best possible chance when you’re ready.

The key to forming your lists of strengths is to be as honest and open. A good friend will not hesitate to tell you what they think are your strengths, and so this can be another great starting point. The more clearly that you understand your own strengths and your desired career path, the clearer a picture a recruitment agency can get of you. This is what will help them to find you the job which most closely matches your goals and personality.

Tricia Hay

Tricia Hay is Owner, Director of First Base Employment Limited