There are very few office support positions today that are protected from corporate restructuring and layoffs; therefore, it is important that you know how to plan an effective job search based on your skills, personality, interests and values. A skills assessment will help you learn about yourself and what job opportunities match your unique qualifications. A skills assessment will also prepare you to make better career and school decisions and become a better employee. After you complete your skills assessment, you’ll be able to match your results to a list of careers that best match your abilities, interests, personality and values.
What are Skills?
Skills are being able to do a certain task. For example, someone with good office skills can create documents, spreadsheets and databases. Having good people skills or being a team player is another example of a skill. Keep in mind that skills are learnable. You can always gain or expand your skills with practice or training. You can take classes in Office Skills to improve your Microsoft Office Suite skills or improve your phone skills by taking a course in Telephone Etiquette training. You will use your skills on your resume, cover letter and during the interview.
Types of Skills
There are many types of types of skills but some of the most important are what’s called the Transferable Skills. These are skills that you can transfer from job to job. A detailed list of common transferable skills can be viewed at jobseekersguide.org but the most common ones are:
- Basic Skills
- People Skills (Soft Skills)
- Management Skills
- System Skills
- Technical Skills
So how can I choose a career that matches my skills, interests, personality and values?
The answer is to take a Detailed Skills Assessment. You can take a skills assessment either online or using the forms below. Start with the Basic Skills Assessment and then take the interest and values assessments as explained below:
The Basic Skills Assessment
The Basic Skills Assessment lets you rate yourself on skills from five different transferable skills (Basic, People, Management, System and Technical Skills) and then see which occupations are a match for the skills that are important to you. Follow the instructions carefully on the forms below and be sure to read the detailed list of Common Transferable Skills at jobseekersguide.org. You can use the results of your skills assessment to search for occupations and to help you prepare your resume, cover letter and job application.
Online Assessment: http://www.iseek.org/careers/skillsAssessment.
Match Skills to Occupations: http://www.onetonline.org. (From the Advanced Search option, select Skills from the drop down box)
People who choose to work in an environment similar to their personality type are more likely to be successful and satisfied. According to John Holland’s’ Theory of Career Choice, most people are one of six personality types:
- R = Realistic people are DOERS.
- I = Investigative people are THINKERS.
- A = Artistic people are CREATORS.
- S = Social people are HELPERS.
- E = Enterprising people are PERSUADERS.
- C = Conventional people are ORGANIZERS.
Find an occupation that suits your personality by starting with your unique interests. You can take an interests assessment either online or using the forms below.
Match Interests to Occupations: http://www.onetonline.org. (From the Advanced Search option, select Interests from the drop down box)
Some experts believe that Job satisfaction comes from having a job that meets your needs and fits your goals. It is important to choose an occupation that meets most of your work values as you’re more likely to enjoy your job and be more motivated to succeed. The Values Assessment lets you rate yourself on skills from five different values (Achievement, Independence, Recognition, Relationships, Support and Working Conditions) and then see which occupations are a match for the values that are important to you.
Find an occupation that fits your unique values. There is no online option but the form below will suffice.
Match Values to Occupations: http://www.onetonline.org. (From the Advanced Search option, select Work Values from the drop down box)
Putting it all together
Once you’ve completed your skills, values and interests assessments, it’s time to put it all together. Jobseekersguide.org recommends that you list the occupations that show up on two or three of your assessment lists. They suggest writing down the 5-10 occupations that showed up on more than one of your assessments using this form. Once you’ve identified the occupations that may be right for you, you will start to set some short and long term goals for your career plan.
For information on making a career plan, visit our main Job Skills Search page.