What Are Your Strengths?

If you read my post on the importance of adapting then you should be able to answer this question. I know you’ve heard this question asked millions of time at almost every job interview you’ve attended but this time it’s different.

When you want to find a job by using social networks such as LinkedIn and Twitter you need to know what your strengths are? What makes you unique?

Fear

When creating a profile on any site and making it public and therefore anyone in the world can view it can be a bit scary for some people. What should I say? Should I be funny? Should I be serious? First, you need to think about why you decided to join this site. Are you trying to find a job? Are you trying to find a date? Either way you want your profile to be positive and engaging.

You want to create a few sentences that really speak volumes about you. Why people think this is difficult is because they are scared what other people will think. Who care’s what people think?!…right? Well easier said than done. As human beings we want people to like us. If you’re genuine people will like you. If you’re fake or a douche bag than only certain fake and douche baggery kind of people will like you. It all depends on who you want to attract.

Confidence

All of these sites are trying to help you connect with people. If you’re looking for a job than you want your profile to be a summary of all your accomplishments, your career goals and of course what skills and experience you have. It may sound sorta dry at first but once you start building your confidence you will create an attractive profile. If you need help, try searching other people on LinkedIn or About.me and see how they describe themselves. Here is my LinkedIn profile:

Summary

Virtual Recruiter and HR Consultant who embraces and encourages the use of the Internet and social media for the 21st century jobseeker. I am very involved with blogging and started a website of my own. I also love traveling (visited 19+ countries so far) and cooking.

Iā€™m pragmatic, creative and genuinely passionate about what I do. I am interested in helping both candidates and clients (of any size) and find the best solution for them.

Specialties

Extensive experience in Recruitment and HR management issues, ranging from academic experience – with a BA in Social, Urban Economics and a Human Resources Management Certification – I have over 9 years of experience and during this time I have saved companies over $2 million by reconciling group benefits, negotiated with over 11 unions and hired thousands of contract employees for the Olympic and Paralympic Games. I am friendly, professional, and goal oriented.

The most important thing that you need to know about yourself is figuring out what your strengths are and what makes you unique. I am a recruiter. There are thousands of recruiters each with there own blogs. Of course I was first a little intimidated to write about recruitment but then I thought to myself, I have been recruiting for almost 10 years and I know what I’m talking about. I read other HR blogs and tried to see how I can make myself a little different. Well, I knew that I would stand out because I am not a writer. I make punctuation, grammar and spelling mistakes. This is one of my weaknesses but I found that people who read my blog either point out my mistakes (thank you!) or don’t mind them because the subject I’m writing about is more important.

I also decided to be myself. I write like I speak and people seem to like that. I’ve read too many blogs from recruiters who find a way to make you feel like an idiot. The point is, I took a long look at myself and figured out that I am a GREAT recruiter. I am passionate about my job and I WANT to help people find jobs and help companies find the right person for the job. You need to have the same attitude. If you think of yourself as just an administrative assistant than your confidence needs a boost.

Think for a second what parts of your job that you love and that you are really good at. Maybe you love scheduling appointments, making flight arrangements, ordering lunch for 50 people etc. These are all fantastic things that makes you unique. There maybe thousands of administrative assistants out there but you will be the only one that gets excited when a flight is cancelled, a meeting has to be moved to another week or a last minute conference needs to be organized. Finding the reason you love your job might lead you to find out what your strengths are.

Time to Shine

Once you figure out what makes you amazing (and we are all amazing šŸ™‚ ) at what you do you’re going to want to tell the world. You will update every profile you have ever created online and make sure that when someone searches your name they learn that you are an outstanding and confident person who has the skills to back it up. Write a profile that makes you shine. Don’t you want people to know how amazing you are? If you’re looking for a job your #1 goal is to tell people that you are an incredibly talented person who would be an asset to any team.

At the End of the Day

One of your strengths needs to be confidence. Once people read your profile they are going to want to meet you, email you, tweet you etc. When they do meet you they want to meet the same enthusiastic person that they read about on your profile. So be yourself. If you’re funny than make sure your profile has a sense of humour. Have fun with your profile, really focus on finding out what your strengths are and people will start to connect with you.

Meeting people can be fun, profitable and romantic but you need to be comfortable in your own skin first.

Photo by: SashaW

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4 thoughts on “What Are Your Strengths?

  1. Sandra
    December 28, 2011 at 4:13 pm

    I have a question along a similar line. I’ve been asked “Give me three words that describe you best.” Of course I realize they should be positive, work-related words.

    However, I have trouble deciding which words would work in which environment. For the past 15 years I’ve worked in a creative field. There are hardly any job openings there. So I’ve been “under-interviewing” for clerical jobs (which I have a snowball in hell’s chance of getting, because I think they realize I’m not going to stay there long and the pay is too little etc.). I’m not sure what words I should use for the clerical jobs. Diligent? Hard working?

    I accidentally said “creative” and “intelligent” in a clerical interview. I think I blew it, when I thought about it afterwards. Who needs to be creative when typing data onto a screen?

    And while we are on the subject, I don’t know what to do. I’ve been out of work for more than two years now, and I’m either overqualified or underqualified for the jobs I see. I’m getting desperate. Everyone says “the right match” will come along, but in the meantime, I’m out of UC benefits, out of savings, and growing more depressed by the day. Do you have any suggestions?

    Thank you, Dorothy.

  2. December 28, 2011 at 4:51 pm

    Hi Sandra,
    Hard working, honest, and confident are great examples to use when asked to give three words to describe yourself. Remember that you are looking for words that best describe you so think of other words such as funny, thoughtful, passionate, enthusiastic, efficient, persistent etc. Being out of work is hard and not just on your wallet but emotionally. I really believe in volunteering and socializing. You need to get out there and try new things and meet new people. Tell everyone you know that you are looking for work. The more people you talk to the better chance you have to meet the right person who can help you. Volunteering or going back to school are great answers because they help explain employment gaps and it helps you fight depression because you’re not just sitting at home and passively applying to jobs online. Hope that helps.

  3. Sandra
    January 5, 2012 at 12:16 am

    Dorothy–thanks for your help on this one. I will keep it in mind.

    Do you mind if I ask you one more thing? Do you think it’s wise to “leave out” my higher education because that makes me “overqualified” for clerical jobs? I was a secretary for 13 years before I went to night school, got my BA, and went into other fields. As I explained above…

    I don’t think it’s ever good to lie, but maybe…?

  4. January 5, 2012 at 1:04 pm

    Hi Sandra,
    You’re not lying when you leave something off your resume. The key is to present the most relevant experience and skills for the specific job that you are applying to. This sometimes means leaving out past work history or education. Why not create two resumes and see what kind of response you get from both?

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