Why Career Assessments Are Helpful to Your Job Search
By Rebecca Ferlotti/The Nelson Team
Whether you are just entering the workforce or are a seasoned professional, career assessments are an important tool to determine what types of jobs to take and whether you’ll be a good fit for certain roles or even certain companies. Using these career tests can aid in your job search decision-making process, as well as proactively reassess your career trajectory.
What are career assessment tests?
Career assessment tests, also known as career aptitude tests, help determine your job interests and strengths (which can save you time and frustration when deciding on the best role for yourself). The effectiveness of these assessments depends on a person’s self-awareness; career tests can ask individuals to evaluate job situations, determine solutions to everyday problems, identify their personality traits, or any number of scenarios. The majority of the time, career assessments do not have right or wrong answers, as there are plenty of personality types that produce competent employees. Upon completion, career assessment reports can help you understand where to focus your efforts.
Aptitude tests do not provide job seekers with the name of the career they are meant to have; rather, the tests supplement the self-assessment process by identifying both your proficiencies and areas for development.
When can you use career assessments?
Career assessments can be used at any time in the job search – and they may even be used by employers during the interview process. Used in conjunction with interviews and performance reviews, career assessment tests will help HR departments understand their team members and potential team members on a deeper level. You can also take career assessments after you’ve been hired or at any point in your career to help you better understand how you fit within your current team and how to develop yourself in your current role or to prepare yourself for future roles.
Some common career assessment tests are:
- Myers-Briggs Type Indicator ®
- CliftonStrengths by Gallup
- Self-Directed Search
- The Big Five Personality Test
- MAPP Career Test
There are many other career assessment tools available, both free and paid, that will highlight personality traits you might not even realize your exhibit.
Career assessment strengths and weaknesses
Aptitude tests are commonly used and widely accepted; however, they sometimes face scientific scrutiny. To alleviate concerns, select a well-established career assessment tool backed by industry experts. Be clear with yourself about what you’re hoping to learn from taking this test – and either work with a career coach or recruiter to position yourself for roles that leverage the knowledge you’ve gained about your strengths and opportunities.
When you are able to pinpoint your interests, you can find professional environments wherein you will thrive. Through career assessments, you may discover that you are in the incorrect department or role for your skill set. Understanding your own personality can enhance your work performance and increase job satisfaction – you seek roles and tasks that suit your strengths and interests.
Career assessment tools can be useful for candidates seeking to gain a better understanding of their needs and desires of a future job or company during the job search. These tests illuminate personality traits that can impact employee effectiveness over time. Although aptitude tests are a time – and sometimes monetary – investment, using a career assessment can improve your effectiveness both as an employee and as a job seeker.