Playing up your strengths is key to marketing yourself successfully. But what if you don't know what they are?
Some of the most common advice given to job seekers is to play up their strengths in their resume and during their interview. The problem is, many of us aren't really sure what those strengths are and how to leverage them effectively.
If you aren't sure what your strengths are, there is an interesting test you can take at VIA website, that can help you determine your best character strengths. Once you know what they are, then you can move on to marketing them.
So, what can you do with this information? Once you have the list of your character strengths, you should:
- Discuss the list with a trusted friend or co-worker – Survey style tests can be accurate, but occasionally they can point to things you hadn't thought about before. Talk about your results with a trusted friend and think about how they relate to you. Pick a few that really resonate for you.
- Think about how you use them – In order to market them effectively, you need to think of the correct context in which they are best showcased. For example, if one of your strengths is courage, think about a time when being courageous helped you in your career or benefited your employer. These examples are going to be important when you are marketing yourself, because people want you to show them rather than just tell them.
- Look at strengths that go together – Some strengths are focused inside of yourself while others are focused on how you deal with others. Look for strengths that go hand in hand, because those are the easiest to build upon. For example, people who are kind are typically more compassionate and forgiving. If you have several strengths that all work together, then it's easier to see how these traits are a huge part of who you are.
- Think of ways that you use these traits in your job – If you don't think that the character traits relate to your current profession at all, it may be worth thinking about how you could change your job to better utilize your skills.
- Consider which traits make you feel energized – If there are certain traits that come up that make you feel energize when you use them, then you can be fairly certain that they are going to be ones that benefit you and ones you should use more often.
Once you have a clear idea of what your particular character strengths are, write them down. After isolating the ones that are the most beneficial to your career and maximizing them with real world examples, you have the basics done to make marketing your skills easy.
Did you take the survey? Were you surprised by the character traits it revealed? Let me know in the comments.
By Melissa Kennedy- Melissa is a 9 year blog veteran and a freelance writer for CollegeJobBankBlog. Along with helping others find the job of their dreams, she enjoys computer geekery, raising a teenager, supporting her local library, writing about herself in the third person and working on her next novel.