Building a List of Your Strengths

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In most industries, you can expect people to question you about your strengths at some point during the job-search process. Even if an interviewer never poses the question directly, knowing your strengths can help you craft your resume to highlight your talents and skills and focus your job search on the positions in which you’re most likely to succeed. For many job searchers, however, identifying strengths can be difficult. The following techniques can help:

Brainstorm

To find your hidden strengths, give yourself complete freedom of thought. Start with a blank document or sheet of paper and start listing anything that might be a strength. Include experiences you’ve had, soft skills you possess, training and education, and talents. Err on the side of including more rather than less. You can pare down this list later to focus on the strengths about which you feel most comfortable talking.

Think about what’s easy for you and hard for others

If you look forward to a particular type of task, but your friends or coworkers struggle with it, this type of activity may be one of your biggest strengths.

Examine your values

Sometimes your strengths stem from who you are as a person. Make a list of the best qualities that you demonstrate regularly. Focus on who you already are rather than who you want to be. Try to list qualities so inherent to you that you rarely even think about them. Creativity, confidence, spontaneity, warmth, and flexibility are good examples.

Complete an online assessment

Strength-finding tests have their limitations, but they might give you a good starting point. Online strengths finders will ask you questions about your natural inclinations and aptitude at various tasks, then generate results.

Look for things that excite you

Many people react physically to tasks that at which they excel. If you speak animatedly, sit up straight, and feel more alive while working on a project , it’s probably something that plays to your strengths.

Practice patience

It may take many years and a lot of trial and error to find your dream career. This is normal. Focus on your successes and moments of positive momentum, and keep searching until you find the job you want.

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