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3 Ways Your Personal Strengths Can Transform Your Job Search

Whether you’re starting a new job search or just keeping your eyes open for that next-level position, spending the time to identify—and fully understand—your personal strengths can be a game changer.

Strengths are the patterns of thinking, feeling and acting that come naturally to you, energize you and help you perform well, both at work and at home. When they’re leveraged effectively, research shows that strengths produce stronger growth, greater well-being, more energy and happier work lives. But while more companies are using strengths identification as a tool inside the workplace, many job seekers aren’t putting it to work for themselves.

Here are three ways that you can use a deep dive into your strengths to transform your job search:

Know yourself and what energizes you

Even the most skilled Jack (or Jill) of all trades isn’t great at everything. We all have natural abilities, talents and patterns, as well as skills and mindsets that do not come naturally for us. We may also be so good at something that we become blind to the fact that it’s a unique strength of ours, versus something “anyone can do.”

There are many ways to identify your strengths, from working with a career coach to taking assessments to surveying your colleagues and friends about where they’ve seen you shine. Ideally, employing several methods will give you the broadest understanding of your unique combination of strengths.

Questions to ask:

  • Where have I made an impact at work, on others or in my community?
  • What comes so naturally to me that I could do it in my sleep?
  • When I think about something I am proud of, what was I doing?
  • What do I most look forward to doing at work? What results really excite me?

Find the right fit

While it’s tempting to jump right into the search part of the job search process, that approach can waste a lot of time and energy. Instead, think of your strengths as a simple and authentic decision filter that you can use to evaluate every potential opportunity.

No matter how great the job sounds on paper, if it doesn’t fit with your natural strengths, chances are high that you’ll be thinking about moving on sooner rather than later. Taking a strengths-based approach to looking for a job can help to avoid that scenario.

In addition to the actual tasks of the job and the outcomes expected, think about the workplace, the culture and the way that you’ll be expected to work with others when analyzing potential opportunities. Using your strengths as a gauge can help you quickly narrow your search to a particular field or role type, filter potential opportunities and focus your search on the best possible matches.

Questions to ask:

  • Would this role be a good match for my strengths? Would it develop them further?
  • How would I use my key strengths to meet the responsibilities of this role and deliver outcomes?
  • Will my strengths fit in—or be a challenge—in this workplace or corporate culture?
  • Which parts of this opportunity am I excited about (and which not)?

Communicate clearly and confidently

When you know what you’re looking for and how your strengths fit into that role, you’re in a much stronger position to tell that story. That kind of self-assurance is priceless when putting yourself out into the marketplace.

When you can connect your strengths to the work that you’re looking for, you can communicate more powerfully to your network, as well as to potential employers. You can also more easily reframe your resume and social media profiles in a way that showcases what you offer. You are more easily able to take the reins of your job search, set strong intentions for what you want and interview with confidence.

Questions to ask:

  • How can I reframe my previous work experience to reflect my top strengths?
  • What am I great at that would be an asset to someone in this position?
  • What type of organization would be a great match for my strengths?
  • How am I different than someone else seeking this type of role?
  • What do I need to know to fully evaluate this opportunity against my strengths?

Don’t get overwhelmed – or stressed out—by your job search. Instead, spend some time getting clear on your strengths, answer these questions and move confidently into action to find the right job for you.

Thinking of hiring a career coach to help you with your job search? Connect with Sally, browse our directory of career coaches and get a FREE consultation or request a personalized coach recommendation!

About the Author Sally Anne Carroll

Sally Anne Carroll is a life/career coach for professionals and entrepreneurs who want to re-tool their work, define success on their own terms and design healthy, balanced lifestyles that match their strengths and priorities. She’s a freedom-focused advocate for helping clients reimagine, redefine and reinvent the status quo to achieve their personal vision of success and fulfillment. Sally splits her time between Portland, Oregon, and Christchurch, New Zealand. Visit her website to learn more and connect.

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