Explore & Set Goals: Assess Your Skills, Strengths, and Interests


Assess Your Skills, Strengths, and Interests

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We can't overstate the value of taking the time to do an honest and thorough self-assessment. This is the process of evaluating your skills, strengths, and interests. We recommend completing this exercise at the start of your program to boost your success. It is also a critical step to take on a regular basis, updating it each term and throughout your professional career.


Self-assessment delivers 5 important benefits:

1. You will be able to communicate your skills and strengths as part of your professional branding tool kit and highlight specific examples. This will strengthen your resume, cover letter, and elevator pitch.

2. You will be well-prepared to talk about and give examples of your skills and strengths in formal interviews, informational interviews and when networking.

3. The opportunity to identify any skills gaps that stand in the way of your dream job. You may want to work on filling these through self-study, courses, experiential learning.

4. The indentification of skill matches between current and future positions that are a good fit for you.

5. In-depth preparation for performance reviews at a current employer.

Don't sell yourself short.

A thorough inventory of your skills and strengths should include the full range of your experiences—not necessarily just paid experiences! Often students worry that they do not have enough or any paid experience. Or someone changing careers worries that all of their past experience is not applicable to their desired future career path. This couldn't be further from the truth! Be sure to reflect on your full range of experiences as you evaluate your skills and strengths.

These may include:

  • Professional experiences
  • Volunteer activities
  • Academic projects
  • Leadership activities
  • Education and academic achievements
  • Awards and outstanding accomplishments

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