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Understand your personal strengths

Understand your personal strengths

By focusing on our strengths, we can further develop and improve certain abilities and skills. Rather than spending a lot of effort on reinventing yourself, you can optimise your job search by improving your strengths.

Why focus on strengths?

Far too many candidates attempt to improve their weaknesses, also known as areas for improvement. Each and every one of us has a unique set of strengths, which is what makes us stand out from other candidates. By focusing on our strengths, we can further develop and improve certain abilities and skills.

How not to describe your strengths

Most candidates I have interviewed would tell me that they are good communicators. It is interesting that when they are asked why they are good communicators, they often find it difficult to provide clear examples of their specific strengths.

Discover your strengths - 3 things to do

1. Think about what you are good at, and what you enjoy doing. Make a long list of potential strengths.

2. The next step is to narrow these down to between three and five. It is important to be as specific as possible.

3. Validate your strengths by using clear examples of how you have developed each strength.

Asking for feedback

Other people in our lives, such as friends, colleagues, and family often see us in situations where our strengths will stand out. When you ask for feedback, you can use the blank sheet approach and ask them to indicate their perception of your strengths, as well as their reasons. This is useful especially when they know you very well. For others, you may list your identified strengths and ask to rate them from highest to lowest. Again it is useful to ask for their reasons.

Feedback is important, but keep in mind that their feedback is always situational, and that ultimately you are the best person to assess your own strengths.

Leveraging your strengths

It is not enough just to identify your strengths, you also have to maximise your strengths. Rather than spending a lot of effort on reinventing yourself, you can optimise your job search by improving your strengths. It is important that you can clearly demonstrate to your potential employer how your strengths have contributed to your achievements.

TOOLKIT  

 The Career Development Toolkit includes „Know Yourself? to help you to identify your key strengths, skills, knowledge and competencies. Use the „STAR Achievements? to show how you have applied your strengths.

 

Expert
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JOB SEARCH Information & Resources

Charles is an HR careers expert with a strong focus on talent management. He has been an HR Director in three countries, a senior line manager and a consultant. Charles holds a degree in Psychology and has completed advanced studies in HR and change management.

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