Identify Yourself

Don't skip this important step! How can you seek a position if you don't know what you want from a job and/or if you don't know what you have to offer prospective employers? Beware of the temptation to find just "any job." Try to find the "right job." Start by identifying the answers to the following questions:

  • What do you like to do? (Interests)
  • What are you good at? What do you have to offer an employer? (Skills)
  • What are your strengths and weaknesses?
  • What are you looking for? What would you value most in a career?What is most important to you? (Values, Motivations)
  • What experiences or past accomplishments do you have?

These are not easy questions. Answering them will take time and reflection. Begin by reflecting on things you are proud of and have enjoyed doing while at college or during semester breaks. Write them down on paper, and describe the skills you used to be successful in those activities. If you need assistance, Career Services has several resources to help you define your interests, skills, values, and personality preferences. For example:

Career Services' Self-Assessment Tools

Myers-Briggs Type Indicator (MBTI) is a paper and pencil self-assessment that allows you to learn more about your personality preferences. The MBTI provides a useful way of describing people's personalities by looking at their preferences on four scales (extraversion vs. introversion, sensing vs. intuition, thinking vs. feeling, and judging vs. perceiving). This tool is helpful in making decisions about majors and what careers may fit better than others.

Self-Directed Search is a short interest inventory that helps match your interests to six different occupational areas. From this paper and pencil assessment, you most likely will find an assortment of occupations that will match your interests.

Campbell Interest and Skill Survey is a career self-assessment tool designed to identify activities of interest and your confidence level in performing these activities. The CISS provides suggestions on areas to explore, pursue, or avoid.