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Identify Your Strengths

When you enjoy what you are doing at work and excel, it means you have found the best opportunity for you. One that fits both your expertise and interests. Your employer is also pleased, because you are a productive and profitable part of his business.

The worksheet links to the right will help you identify your strengths and achievements, which you can use to persuade employers that hiring you will benefit their business.

Strengths come in three broad categories: traits, universal or transferable skills, and occupational or technical skills.

Traits are rooted in our personalities and include characteristics such as, optimism, reliability, responsibility, curiosity, and so on. These qualities are often called "soft skills." Although some traits come more naturally to certain people, we can strengthen traits that contribute to our success, and either dampen or compensate for traits that interfere with success.

Universal or transferrable skills, as their name implies, are general abilities that are valued by almost all employers. These include an ability to detect and solve problems, communicate effectively, collaborate with coworkers, and resolve customer complaints.

Occupational or technical skills allow us to perform tasks related to a specific job or profession. Some examples include driving a bulldozer, overhauling an engine, writing a software program, or generating a profit and loss statement as an accountant.

Employers will place different levels of emphasis on these three types of strengths when hiring.

If the tasks related to a particular position are relatively easy to learn, or involve specialized unique skills that will require in-house training, the employer may be primarily interested in a jobseeker’s traits and universal skills.

Other employers are looking for people who already possess specific occupational skills.

A key element of a successful job search is identifying your signature traits, universal skills and occupational skills, and then finding employment opportunities that match your strengths. The worksheet below will help you pinpoint your own traits and transferable skills. Taking the time to do this will help you not only write a better resume and confidently fill in job applications, but also feel confident during an interview.