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Self-Assessment Tools Can Help You Understand your Strengths, Weaknesses, and Preferences Tara Duffy, Resource & Information Specialist, JobSkills

About Author

Tara Duffy is a Resource & Information Specialist for Job Skills Employment & Business Services and has been working in the Employment Ontario Full Suite Model since August 2010. Having graduated from Ryerson University with a Bachelor of Commerce and a background in Human Resources, Tara has helpful insight into what employers are looking for and how job seekers can be successful in their job search. Most recently Tara received her Diploma for Career & Work Counseling from George Brown College and now works assisting unemployed individuals find meaningful and fulfilling employment.

The first step for any job searcher should be self-reflection, which is simply a process by which you learn more about yourself. This could be as simple as making a list of what you like, what you are good at, what you do not enjoy and your areas of weakness. Having a solid understanding of yourself is instrumental in finding work that is best suited for you. That in turn will provide you with a better chance of success and satisfaction in the long run. I often hear people say, ''I want a job that I enjoy'', or ''I donít want to dread going to work everyday.''

But how can you know what you would enjoy or dislike doing without some knowledge about who you really are? This section is the foundation of your job search and skipping this will most likely result in a job that is a poor fit and major dissatisfaction in your working life. There are many great tools out there to help with the task of understanding yourself better, many of which can be found online. Some are listed below:

    The Keirsey Temperament Sorter is the most widely used personality instrument in the world. It is a powerful 70 question personality instrument that helps individuals discover their personality type, which is extremely useful in the job search process.

    The University of Waterloo has created the Career Development eManual, which breaks the job search process into six sections and has step-by-step instructions on how to complete the exercises provided. The first step focuses on self-assessment and covers personality, interests, values, skills and more.

    This site requires you to sign up, although it is free and all you need is an email address. You can take the assessments online and an overview of the results will be generated for free. If you would like a more in-depth explanation of your results there is a fee.

  • Here you will find links to other assessment tools as well as helpful information on how to use them and the limitations they may have.

There are also many books that can help with self-exploration and can be found at your local library. One book that I really like and would recommend is ''What Color is your Parachute - A Practical Manual for Job-Hunters and Career-Changers'' written by Richard Bolles. This book also has a website that has a ton of useful information and can be found at: .

Warning Ė Assessments are not crystal balls: When doing any kind of self-assessment exercise remember that it is merely a tool for you to explore and if you do not agree with the results donít worry about it. You are the expert on yourself and these tools are merely meant to guide the introspective process. Non-profit employment services organizations in your home community may offer self-assessment tools and seminars for job seekers. In York Region, for example, JobSkills offers great tools to help with the task of understanding yourself better.

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