Self-Assessment the Skills Inventory

The reason for doing a skills-assessment is to increase your level of self-awareness. It's also a way to build a library of tools to help with your resume and interview preparation.

When it comes to skills, you have different levels. You can have a beginner skill or set of skills, or more advanced ones.

Imagine it as a pyramid. The base is the beginner or student level. It's where you're learning the basics. When you've reached the top of the pyramid that's the craftsman level. This is where you're able to innovate with the skills you've gained. In between are (from lowest to highest) the apprentice, specialist, and expert levels.

The first exercise concerns your organizational skills. These are the tools that help you sort the mess in your life. Some examples include: filing paperwork; scheduling appointments; making calls; sending emails; following up with hiring managers.

For the next few hours think about, then write down your organizational skills in the following columns:

  • Skill Name
  • Skill Description
  • Example of the skill
  • Skill Level
  • Validation

What are your top 10 organization skills? Think about what they are, then write a brief description of each. Don't use the formal definition.

Use your own words. Give an example of what that skill looks like. Go and rank your level in that skill (student, apprentice, specialist, etc.). Be honest about what level of skill you have. It may be helpful to take into consideration factors such as gender or race.

For example, studies have suggested that women tend to downplay how their managers would rate their skills. Don't be overconfident about them either. Think back to the Dunninger-Kruger effect that was discussed previously.

For the last column ("Validation"), ask someone you trust to confirm your self-assessment of the organizational skills you listed.

This will mean asking for help, as well as being open to feedback. However, having someone you trust in your corner can push you to grow.

Life skills are the behaviors that help you manage your non-work life. There can be overlap with organizational skills.

Some life skills can include: being able to drive; household budgeting; scheduling appointments; managing stress; ability to focus on tasks.

Just like with the organizational skills exercise, take a few hours to do a self-assessment of your top 10 life skills. Write them down using the above title headings.

For the final self-assessment exercise, take the two lists that you made and then ask yourself, "Where do I want to grow and develop?"

List 10 skills you wish you had. Also, list the 10 that you want to improve upon. Use the same title headings as before ("Skill Name," Skill Description," etc.). In the Skill Level column, list what level you want to achieve, not where you are now.

Job searching is hard work. It's a full-time commitment on top of all the others you may have. The self-assessment exercises you're doing here (technical, leadership, organizational, and life) help you to get a handle on the skills you have or want to get better at.

This self-awareness allows you to more effectively put your energy into actions that benefit you in getting a job.

Read on for more ways to make your job search a success: Making Interviews Memorable: Using Jokes in the Job Search

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