Self-Assessment is the process of determining where you’ve been, where you are, and where you are going by examining your current needs, your personal strengths and your personal weaknesses. Once you have identified these factors you can begin to build a career roadmap.

Personal Strengths and Weaknesses

Lets start with your personal strengths and weaknesses. Many hiring decisions are ultimately based on a perception of an individual’s personal strengths. More accurately, they are based on how closely an individual matches the “personality” of the company and the image of the ideal candidate. Listed below are several mostly favorable personal characteristics and traits. The key is to select those that translate to success on the job. For example, to describe oneself as loyal, dependable and a perfectionist is all well and good, but these are qualities that would be more appropriate for a secretarial position than, let us say, a sales position. The candidate for the sales position probably would do better with: aggressive, ambitious, and competitive. Which of the following most accurately reflects your personal characteristics?

___ Aggressive

___ Persistent

___ Analytical

___ Determined

___ Ambitious

___ Intuitive

___ Instructive

___ Objective

___ Conceptual

___ Logical

___ Flexible

___ Shrewd

___ Perceptive

___ Astute

___ Proficient

___ Talented

___ Resourceful

___ Honest

___ Daring

___ Dependable

___ Energetic

___ Forceful

___ Creative

___ Compatible

___ Inventive

___ Enthusiastic

___ Detailed

___ Perfectionist

___ Self-reliant

___ Sincere

___ Persuasive

___ Diligent

___ Competitive

___ Reliable

___ Tactful

___ Discerning

___ Demanding

___ Adaptable

___ Adept

___ Active

___ Straight forward

___ Consistent

___ Loyal

___ Disciplined

___ Courteous

___ Thoughtful

___ Strategic

___ Observant

___ Genuine

___ Effective

___ Efficient

___ Methodical

___ Imaginative

___ Exacting

___ Independent

___ Productive

___ Fair


___ Broad minded

___ Systematic


Special Skills and Experience

What special knowledge or job experiences do you posses? Start to think about your skills and knowledge and how you plan to communicate these experiences in an interview setting. Look through this list and identify the areas that match your background and experience.

___ Accounting

___ Acquisition

___ Administration

___ Advertising

___ Business Development

___ Customer Relations

___ Customer Service

___ Data Processing

___ Distribution

___ Economic Analysis

___ Engineering

___ Financial Planning

___ Government Contracts

___ Graphics Design

___ Law

___ Maintenance

___ Management Information Services

___ Marketing/Sales

___ Merchandising

___ Organizational Planning

___ Packaging

___ Personnel Administration

___ Policy Development

___ Product Process  and Design

___ Production Planning  and Scheduling

___ Project Management

___ Promotion

___ Public Relations

___ Purchasing

___ Quality Control/Assurance

___ Research and Development

___ Safety/Housekeeping

___Strategic Planning

___ Systems Analysis

___ Taxes

___ Teaching

___ Technical Services

___ Law

___ Maintenance

___ Marketing/Sales

___ Merchandising

___ Organizational Planning

___ Packaging

___ Personnel Administration

___ Policy Development

___ Product Process and Design

___ Production Planning  and Scheduling

___ Project Management

___ Promotion

___ Public Relations

___ Purchasing

___ Warehousing

Past Accomplishments

Here is a list of questions that will help you place your past accomplishments in perspective. Also, start to think about how you will respond to these questions if they are asked during an interview.

1. Why did you select the career opportunities or jobs you have held in the past?

2. Have you been doing what your felt you wanted to do or what you had to do?

3. Do you feel you were well suited for your most recent position?

4. What did you like about your most recent position?

5. What did you dislike about your most recent position?

6. What would your previous employer say is your best skills or personal qualities?

7. What would your previous employer say is your personal weaknesses?



Financial Assessment

Have you thought about your financial situation and how it may impact your job search? In order to plan your job search you need to determine how long you can afford to be out of work and what belt-tightening measures you are willing to accept. Setting high career goals, job preferences and salary requirements may demand a longer job search timeframe.

In order to plan your budget realistically here are some factors you need to consider:

Perseverance – the amount of time and energy you are willing to devote to your job search can expedite the process. Being prepared, aggressive and assertive can greatly reduce the search time

Job Market Conditions – Entry level positions are often easier to find than higher level positions. A demand or surplus of skilled labor positions can also affect your chances of finding employment

Job and Salary Expectations – Entry level positions are easier to find then specialized or upper management positions. Pricing yourself high in a marketplace where there is heavy demand for only a few job openings in your field could also extend the search process.

Geographic Limits – Limiting your job search to your hometown may not be in your best interest depending on the supply and demand for your skills. Covering a wider area is often worth the effort. Keep in mind that many expenses involved in the job interviewing process are tax deductible. Save your receipts.

Given all these factors expect to spend several months searching for a job. If your financial position is not urgent you may have more time to explore the job market for the ideal position. In today’s economy there is job for anybody who wants one. The key is to remain positive and avoid

placing yourself in a position of excessive financial pressure where you may be forced to compromise the pursuit of your career objective.

Career Priorities

Have you thought about what are the most important job factors? If you could do any kind of work what would your ideal job preferences be? Identify which of the following priorities are most importance to you:

Geographic location

Length of commute time

Compensation Plan

Healthcare Benefits

Investment Savings Plan

Stock Ownership

Company Car

Company Size

Number of Employees

Annual Sales

Profitability Trend

Diverse or Specialized

Public or Privately Held

Production oriented

Service oriented

Promotion Factors


Years of Service


Job Performance

Company Culture

Highly structured

Management Style


Working climate

Type of Boss







Gives lots of freedom

Willing to accept learning mistakes



Identifying Your Strengths, Skills and Job Preferences

After reading through these self-assessment areas, you may have begun to raise some questions in your own mind about your career goals and objectives. Once you can begin to identify your personal strengths and job preferences your can begin building an approach for communicating and marketing your personal assets to prospective employers.


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