Identify your capabilities

Self-Assessment before Job Hunting

As a job seeker, you should have a well-thought-out plan in order to reach your job search goal. Self-assessment before job hunting is key. You already know what you want to do, where you want to work and what you have to offer.

Self-assessment before job hunting

Making time for self-reflection can help you stand out from other applicants

When you sit down for an interview, they’re going to want you to be able to tell them who you are, what you know and what you can contribute. If you’re unable to immediately describe your skills and abilities, interests and passions, motivations and aspirations, you’re not going to get the job.

Self-assessment before job hunting: The first set of questions to ask

  1. What do you want to do? What can you do? (Skills and Occupations) Along with a list of specific skills, note down general occupations that interest you.
  2. Whom do you want to work for? What industries interest you? What type of employer? (Industries and Employer Preferences) Add specific companies you’ve always wanted to work for.
  3. Where do you want to live and work? (Location)

The second part of the assessment is to understand what you have to offer before actively pursuing any opportunities. In times of tough competition, too many job hunters immediately jump into the search without considering what they have to offer.

It’s inefficient to market yourself without knowing what makes you the ideal “product”. Identifying your unique skill sets will give you a distinct advantage over your competition and make you far more attractive to a potential employer.

Self-assessment before job hunting: Job readiness assessment

Jumpstart your job search by first identifying your core strengths and competencies – what you are good at. Learn how to identify your strongest skills and articulate them effectively. Think about your interests and how they relate to your skill sets. Combining your interests and skills will increase your motivation and make you a stronger candidate – always important, but especially critical in a tough job market.

The 3 critical self-knowledge points for self-assessment before job hunting


If I asked you what your best personality traits were, what would you say? Understanding your personality will help you focus your job hunt and sell yourself during interviews. There are both general and work-related aspects of your personality:

a) General personality traits provide insight into your overall personality, both inside and outside the workplace. Descriptions such as positive, creative, people-oriented, competitive, driven, empathetic, assertive, flexible, and motivated are examples of general personality strengths.

b) Work-related personality traits are more relevant to the workplace and on-the-job performance. Descriptions such as team-oriented, goal-oriented, a strategic thinker, a natural leader, conscientious, detail-oriented, and a problem solver are examples of job-related personality strengths.

Technical skills

These are skills that relate to a specific technical competency.

Examples might be proficiency in computer software programs, fluency in a foreign language, or the ability to use a certain type of mechanical equipment. Look back throughout your career and make a list of your key competencies and knowledge.

Transferable skills 

These are skills related to how you interact or communicate with other people.

Examples could be presentation skills, supervisory skills, or writing skills. Transferable skills are also sometimes called “soft” skills because they are needed in a variety of different work environments and career fields.

Cognitive skills describe the capabilities of your mind and personality and provide insight into your thought processes. Examples include problem-solving skills, interpersonal skills, and creative skills.

Functional skills describe what you are physically capable of doing on the job. Examples include managing people, reducing expenses, implementing rollouts, developing budgets, quality control, generating reports, large account sales, graphic design, and customer service.

Identifying your positive attributes is half the battle won. The second aspect is your ability to translate how they will benefit your potential employers. Think about some of the jobs for which you might want to interview.

Put yourself in the shoes of an interviewer. If you were the interviewer, what kind of strengths and competencies would you want your ideal candidate to possess? Why? Then, think about how these skills and aptitudes would benefit the company. What would you come up with?

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