You will be more likely to get a job if you clearly describe your skills and strengths in CVs, applications, and interviews. So, it is important that you know your skills and strengths.
Ways to discover your skills and strengths
1. Explore strengths and skills employers want
Some skills and strengths are required by most employers, and some are specific to the job. Discover the skills and strengths employers want and note down the ones you are good at.
Take time to think about ways to improve your skills and strengths. Employers will value experience and activities that improve your skills and strengths.
2. Ask others what they think you are good at
Talk to people you trust and ask them what they think you are good at. They have told you some of your strengths. Note these down.
- One of your friends may tell you that they think you are a good listener. Being a good listener is a skill
- A relative tells you that they think you are very good at planning and organising the family gatherings and events, including family days out. Planning and organising are skills
3. Ask yourself what your interests are and what you like to do
Note down what activities or tasks you enjoy doing. It’s likely that you enjoy them because you are good at them. The list of what you enjoy doing are some of your skills and strengths.
- One of your hobbies may be repairing motor bikes. You can identify what the problem is, and have the skills to fix the motor bike. You also source the best value parts online. Problem solving, practical and technical mechanical skills, IT skills to search for parts online, and budgeting are all skills
- You might enjoy helping your elderly neighbour and spending time with them. You enjoy listening to their stories, and you do their shopping and help with gardening. Caring for others, being a support to others in time of need and giving practical help are skills
4. Think of a typical day and all the activities you do within the day
List all the actions you take. It could include at home, at work, at school, college, on work experience or volunteering, hobbies, interests or helping others in some way. You have just listed the things you can do – these are also likely to include your skills and strengths.
- At work you may work with customers in a shop, greeting them, helping them to locate items, and handling complaints. Giving great customer service, being helpful, patient, friendly and keeping calm in conflict are all skills and strengths
- You might be part of a sports team. You train to keep fit, attend practices, obey the instructions of the team captain and coach, and also work as part of a team on the pitch. Self-motivation (to keep fit and attend practices), following instructions and working as part of a team are all skills and strengths
5. Take Career Match Quiz
Career Match Quiz can help you identify your skills and strengths in 2 ways:
- Find out what careers might suit you, based on your skills and interests. Click on careers that interest you to find the skills and strengths needed for that job
- After you complete Career Match Quiz, you can view your skills matches. You can then rate your skills to see the skills you are good at already, and the ones you might want to improve
6. Think about what motivates you
If you are motivated to do certain tasks then this is a clue that these might include your skills and strengths.
- Doing DIY projects around the house might be something that motivates you. Practical tasks, and working with your hands are likely to be your strengths
- Volunteering as a driver for a local charity might be something that really motivates you if you enjoy driving and helping people in need. Driving safely, having good concentration on the roads, good navigation, and supporting people in need are skills and strengths
7. Ask us for support and help
At Careers Wales we can help you to identify your strengths. We can also help you to find places where you can grow and develop new strengths and skills. Contact us.
Where to use your strengths and skills for job search
You will need to be able to describe your strengths to employers in a variety of ways.
In a CV
You state your skills and strengths in the profile of a CV:
- Get help to Build a CV, including viewing example CVs
- Download our pdf guide to writing a CV
In a job application form
You provide real life examples of your strengths and skills in personal statements and competency questions:
- Find out how to write application forms
- Get specific help with writing a personal statement, including an example personal statement to help you get started
In an interview
In interview you may be directly asked ‘What are your strengths?'. Sometimes you will need to describe your strengths and skills answering questions like ‘Tell me about yourself’:
- Get help to develop successful interview techniques including describing your strengths
- Competency questions are questions that ask you to give real life examples to prove you have the skills and strengths required. They are often asked in both applications and interviews
More about skills and strengths
Increase your chances of getting work by matching your skills and strengths to what employers want.
Improve the skills and strengths you have, and increase your opportunities to get a job, get promoted or make a career change.