When is the last time you gave yourself a self-evaluation? Can you easily discuss and demonstrate your professional strengths? When searching for a job, you need to know what makes you different and how you can stand out from the crowd of competition.
Discovering Your Strengths
While you probably have an idea of what you are good at when it comes to your main strengths, you likely take many of them for granted. Perhaps you don’t realize how much you do excel in certain areas in comparison to other people in similar positions, especially in the beginning of your career or if you work in a company that doesn’t offer much feedback.
Look at what you enjoy doing and listen to when you receive a compliment. What skills did it take to accomplish the project you were complimented on? Make a list of the activities or responsibilities you enjoy and that you accomplish easily.
Ask for feedback from friends and colleagues. Save your old performance reviews to reflect upon the comments your previous bosses have given and areas where you have continued to professionally develop.
What to Do with Weaknesses
It’s just as important to understand your professional weak spots. Be honest with yourself. What do you typically try to avoid doing in your job? What tasks tend to be delegated to other team member regularly? The answers are signs that will help you determine some of the areas you need to work on.
Improving Your Resume
Once you’ve identified both your strengths and weaknesses, take another look at your resume. Find ways to inject more of your strengths in for each job listed on your resume. And if you’re applying for a specific job, look to see what the role requires and match your skill set to those responsibilities.
The more detailed you are in terms of numbers, the more qualified and confident you come across on paper.
How to Sell Yourself
When it comes to the job interview, your resume will get you in the door, but it’s up to you to sell yourself. Don’t be afraid to point out your best qualities and show prospective employers how you have taken initiative to work on your weaker areas.
If you’re asked one of those difficult questions, like “what is your greatest weakness,” use it to show your self-confidence and show you are self-aware. Admit where you’ve faltered in the past, and explain how you identified this as something to work on, as well as your progress in that area.
Knowing your professional strengths can only help your job search and will enable you to craft a more appealing presentation to future employers.
Photo credit: Alex Abian
Date: December 28th, 2011 / Author: Lindsay
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