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Less-Is-More Blog by Pierre Khawand

Your strengths – Why it’s important to know yours and how to do so, by Kathleen Sexton

Posted by Pierre Khawand on Mon, Jun 27, 2011 @ 12:00 PM

Guest blog article written by Kathleen Sexton, Career Counselor, Founder & CEO of Kairos Learning

strengthCan you list your top 5 strengths easily if someone asked you?  Being able to acknowledge your top strengths is very helpful during different phases of your career path.

Informational interviewing/networking
During informational interviewing to explore new career opportunities, it’s very helpful to ask the people you’re talking with a question like “I’m very good at strength #1, #2, & #3.  Where do you think I could put those to use?  What type of career fields or jobs would let me use them frequently?”

Resume development
When you’re creating your resume, you want to highlight your strengths frequently.  You can use accomplishment statements to demonstrate your strengths.

Job interviewing
You want to showcase your strengths in your responses to interview questions.

Performance reviews
When you’re talking with your manager about your development plans for the next year, it’s helpful to articulate your top strengths. Talk about how you’d like to use them more and the benefits of doing that for the team as well as your career satisfaction.

If you would like to assess your skills, check out these websites’ online tools:

  • VIA Signature Strengths Assessment is a free, online assessment through the University of Pennsylvania’s homepage of Dr. Martin Seligman, Director of the Positive Psychology Center at the University of Pennsylvania and founder of positive psychology, a branch of psychology which focuses on the empirical study of such things as positive emotions, strengths-based character, and healthy institutions.  http://www.authentichappiness.sas.upenn.edu
  • Skillscan’s Career Driver is an online, self-directed skills assessment tool that provides you with a profile of your transferable skills and preferences — knowledge essential to identifying satisfying work options, creating a career development plan or strategizing your next career move.  There are 2 different reports you can get -- Career Launcher Report for individuals planning their first careers or Career Transitioner Report – individuals considering a career change.  It’s $14.95.  http://www.skillscan.com/
  • Marcus Buckingham, a leader the strengths movement, has several assessments out and a new one being released this September.  Access to the assessments requires that you to buy his books and then get a link to the online assessments.  Now, Discover Your Strengths (Clifton Strengths Finder) and Go Put Your Strengths to Work (Strengths Engagement Test)

Additional Resources

Discovering Your Strengths and Putting Them to Work (60-minute webinar, 7/27, 8:00 am PT)

Career Management in the Age of the Apps (2x60-minute webinars, 7/11, 7/18, 12:00 pm PT)

Social Networking for Career Development (2x90-minute webinars, 8/12, 8/19, 9:30 am PT)

Topics: career, productivity