The professional field is becoming more and more competitive with each passing year. As a result of this, prospective employers are forced to seek employees that possess the precise mix of talents, personality, and drive that fits like a well-oiled cog within the business machine.
But how can employers be sure that the employee candidate they choose has that precise mix? If they can’t be sure, today’s ultra-competitive business environment often forces them to pass on that potential candidate. Even more tragic is that the candidate may indeed have had the mix the company was looking for, but he or she just could not convey that fact.
How do we prevent situations like this from occurring over and over again? The answer is the self-assessment. Completing a self-assessment not only helps a potential employer to recognize your talents, it will also help you to better understand which career path you should choose in order to find a fit for those particular talents.
The term self-assessment encompasses many different formats. While the goal of the self-assessment always remains the same, the following is a list of formats that have become popular.
- Psychological Tests: The use of standardized psychological testing has become a popular method of determining a potential employee’s personality and talent profile. Many companies are employing these tests to ensure that their job candidates meet the specific needs of the particular position.
- The Personal Inventory: The personal inventory most closely resembles the traditional resume format, in that the writer will provide a listing of key words or phrases that describe his or her particular mix of talents, competencies and personal values.
- The Autobiography: Composed in the traditional narrative or expository format, many self-assessment writers prefer the autobiography format because it enables them to describe themselves at a more detailed level. This is a definite advantage, but writers that choose this format must be careful not to become too verbose, as this can dissuade readers.
- The Combination Format: Many self-assessment writers are now combining the autobiographical format with the personal inventory format, taking the best of both worlds.
Areas to Consider
The following is a list of areas that anyone writing a self-assessment should take into consideration during the writing process. While this list is in no way exhaustive, it provides a strong backbone through which a solid self-assessment can be constructed.
- Values: A potential employee’s values are of particular importance to a prospective employer. The writing of the self-assessment allows the writer to better understand his or her own values, which in turn allows for a better understanding of a proper career choice. In order to determine these values, the writer should make a list of all the facets of his or her life – educational, family, friends, professional – and then rank them according to importance.
- Interests: While interests may seem closely related to values, they differ in that interests are more transitory. A person’s interests may change from time to time, but he or she will find that value systems remain somewhat constant. However, listing current interests is still an important part of the self-assessment.
- Skills: Possible inclusions within the skills category are exceedingly broad due to the wide range of skill sets required to succeed in the professional world. An exhaustive list would be impossible to contain in such a limited space. Therefore, the following is a list of some of the most common skills that are required for a successful career, regardless of the particular path.
– Analysis – Observation – Improvisation
– Problem Solving – Evaluation – Coordination
– Planning – Supervising – Organization
– Listening – Delegation – Writing
– Motivation – Speaking – Coaching