IDENTIFYING YOUR STRENGTHS

By Carole Martin

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By doing some basic preparation, you can determine your uniqueness and where you should focus your attention.

The first step in this process is to identify your five strengths.

These strengths are the areas where you do very well.

This may take some thought on your part.

What are your strengths?

Think about previous performance appraisals – what was said or written about you? What would your co-workers or ex-bosses say about you? Positive things, of course.

  • List the skills and experiences you have that would be required in the type of job you are seeking.
  • For instance, a technical job would focus on programs, languages, and platforms, etc.

  • Give some thought to those skills in which you excel, those that are referred to as the “soft skills.”
  • These skills can be viewed as transferable– you can take them with you to any job you hold.

    Examples of these skills are your communication and people skills, or your time-management and project-management skills, or your ability to build strong relationships, or your ability to influence others.

  • Lastly, think of the personal traits that make you unique.
  • Maybe you never miss deadlines, or perhaps you are willing to do above and beyond what is asked, or perhaps you have a great attitude. (Don’t dismiss these traits—many people have been fired for negative personal traits rather than for lack of knowledge).

    When you have identified your five strengths, make a list of those strengths and some examples of when those strengths have helped you achieve results on the job.

    It will be essential that you can not only identify your strengths, but that you also have examples and stories of times when you demonstrated those strengths in the past.

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