5 ways to identify your strengths and stand out
Knowing what your strengths are is never more important than when you’re applying for a new job. Simply because, you want to present the best possible version of you to the employer – and ‘sell’ yourself on what you bring to the role. Knowing your strengths also means you can leverage them to help you…
Knowing what your strengths are is never more important than when you’re applying for a new job. Simply because, you want to present the best possible version of you to the employer – and ‘sell’ yourself on what you bring to the role. Knowing your strengths also means you can leverage them to help you stand out amongst a sea of candidates.
So how do you identify what your strengths are, and use them to set yourself apart? Here are 5 ways to get you started.
1. Think about feedback you’ve received over the years
Sometimes, it’s hard to identify your own strengths in a way others can – and this is where feedback, references, employee evaluations and testimonials come in. All these things can offer valuable intel in helping you see where you excel.
For example, a written reference you received from a former boss may talk about projects or environments in which you thrived as an employee. Or, you may remember comments from superiors or co-workers who’ve given you feedback or talked about certain traits of yours that have proved helpful. Similarly, think back to the compliments you’ve received about your work. Write them all down and stick it somewhere you’ll read it often – it’ll help you become more aware of what you’re good at, and it’ll become easier to talk about your strengths in interviews.
2. Realise that your strengths are separate from your skills
You may have years of experience on certain operating systems or know your way around a POS machine (if you’re in retail or hospitality). These are all essential, of course, and what employers refer to as ‘hard skills’. But your strengths are more about soft skills – those innate human characteristics you have that a machine can’t really replicate.
And being aware of your strengths, soft skills and technical skills when going for any role is key, so it’s easier to articulate to the hiring manager exactly why you’re a good fit.
3. Identify your strengths from our soft skills checklist
Chances are, you’ve picked up lots of soft skills throughout your career – even during unpaid internships or training. You may know how to operate in a team, collaborate on projects or meet deadlines. You may be a great people person who can charm the most difficult customer. Maybe you’re a natural problem-solver or able to pivot quickly when things change. All of those skills are transferrable in the workplace, and considered valuable by employers, so make sure you reference your soft skills and link them to specific achievements when you’re going for a job. You’ll definitely stand out.
Here are the top soft skills employers are looking for:
4. Think about your passions (outside of work!)
We all have hobbies and things we enjoy doing that are separate to work, but sometimes, these skills and experiences can become your key strengths in the workplace, too. For example, maybe you’re great at fixing things and troubleshooting until you find a solution. That’s gold in any workplace.
Or, if you work in a retail store but have a passion for social media and a love of technology, you could find that you can leverage that strength to take on some of the store’s digital marketing tasks and boosting its social media presence.
5. Take a personality test
There are lots of personality tests out there and they can help hone in on the strengths you have that you already know about, and identify others you might not be aware of.
Some tests to consider include a free Myer Briggs personality type test, or Adobe’s My Creative Type test, which can give you a surprisingly accurate idea of who you are and how to leverage your strengths to fulfil your true potential.
Need a hand identifying your strengths?
It may not sound easy, but it is with a bit of support and guidance. That’s where we come in. We provide expert career advice, help prepare you for interviews and support you in your transition, all for free. Let’s find you the perfect role today!
Contact firstname.lastname@example.org today and let us help you find your people.