• Sep 08, 2005
  • Vicky Smith
  • Career advancement

Over the summer months, the Career’s articles will cover the whole process of an effective job search.  The fall is always the peak time for recruitment so now is the time to get organized.  The first step, which is the most critical and painstaking one, is doing a proper self-assessment to determine what type of job do you want to go after and what are your transferable skills to land the job.

 The first thing most people do when faced with making a change is to react to the situation.  Often when people are making job/career changes, they very quickly put together a resume, pull out newspapers and send out resumes to whatever job ad looks like a possibility. Resumes are also sent out to companies that are the largest and best known in the city because the perception is they pay the most and there will be security.  When there is no response from these activities, the attitude becomes – “THERE ARE NO JOBS!”   

The most critical activity in any successful job search is to take time to do self-assessment first.  We would never think of taking an expensive vacation without mapping out how we will reach our destination.  We would never make a big purchase without researching the product.  Self-assessment is the map, which will lead you to make the best career decision not jut any decision.

 A strong foundation for your job/career search is to match:

Understanding your values, strengths, skills and aptitudes is the foundation on which career decisions are built on.  Self-assessment is important because you will be able to:

·         Make better decisions about your goals

·         Write an effective resume that is a marketing tool

·         Communicate more effectively when talking with potential employers because you know what you want and you know what you have to offer

·         Present yourself more confidently in an interview

Barbara Moses in ‘The Good News About Careers – How You’ll Be Working In The Next Decade’ states:  “Once people gain a sense of their own marketability, they will be more confident in themselves and less anxious about their future.”

Start off by examines your values.  The most important factor that influences positive, lasting change is being aware of your main values and insuring they are met in the decisions you make.  If one of your central values is to have a balance between family and work, then choosing to go and work for an employer that demands excessive overtime would not be a good job choice for you.

The next area to examine is to identify what personality traits are unique to you.  This is a tough one because we generally do not consider ourselves unique.  But each of one us has a set of personality traits that when combined are the individualized offering we have to employers – just like our fingerprints.  Ask your self the following questions:

1.       What would my best friend say about my personality?

2.       If a reference check were done, what would my past employer say my personality strengths were?

3.       What are some of the comments others have said about me in my performance reviews or reference letters?


Then look at the skills you have developed through work/life experiences.  Identify your skills related to working with people, using your hands and dealing with things, working with information and using words and ideas.

By doing a self-assessment you can pull together a profile of what values are the most important to you, what are your key personality strengths that you use to achieve your goals and what are your main transferable skills. Now you are better equipment to prepared a resume and apply for suitable jobs.

 The following are great Internet sites, which have exercises to help you with your self-assessment.