3 Ways to Utilize your Top 5 Strengths in the Job Search
By: Christina Hernandez
You might have heard people on campus talking about their “top 5” or the Clifton Strengths assessment. * Before you write it off as just another self-assessment, though, know your Top 5 Strengths can serve as an invaluable tool to get you ready for the job search process. So, dust off those results and keep reading.
1. Reflect on them before the search.
Your Top 5 Strengths can guide you in reflecting on what it is you are looking for in an internship or job and also give you clues to find a good fit. Before approaching your search, ask yourself the following questions:
- What do my strengths say about me?
- How are my strengths connected, if at all?
- What kind of work/job environment would further these strengths?
Once you’ve brainstormed some responses, start to look for positions that will allow you to use these strengths on a regular basis and generally match the answers you gave. This will likely translate into greater internship/job satisfaction and overall fulfillment.
2. Incorporate them into your resume.
Your Top 5 Strengths can also help you take your resume to the next level. By knowing what you naturally excel in and showcasing what you do well on a resume, you can increase your likelihood of leaving a great first impression with an employer. Now, you may be asking yourself “how do I go about doing that without simply listing them out?” Check out some examples below:
If you have “Restorative” as one of your Top Strengths, you’re probably naturally adept at problem-solving. An example of how this might show up on a resume is:
“Redesigned existing product to be compatible with new customer equipment.”
If you are “Analytical,” you have probably found yourself considering all the possible factors that may affect the situation at hand. An example of this may be:
“Performed detailed cost-benefit analysis.”
Maybe you are a “Relator” who enjoys close relationships with others. Consider adding a bullet point that talks about a time you worked on a team to achieve a goal, like in the bullet point below:
“Collaborated with five other shift leaders to create and implement a streamlined check out process, reducing customers’ wait time by five minutes.”
3. Use them as talking points in an interview.
In addition to strengthening your resume, your Top 5 Strengths can serve as great talking points for your interview. You’ve probably heard common interview questions like “What is your greatest strength?” “What is your greatest weakness?” and “How would you describe yourself in three words?” But, your Strengths can help you formulate strong answers to questions that are situation/behavioral based in nature.
Let’s say your interviewer asks you to talk about a time you made a difficult decision.
If you have ‘Deliberative” in your Top 5, you can take this as an opportunity to highlight your natural ability to anticipate obstacles and the serious care you take in making decisions/choices.
Similarly, if you have “Adaptability” as a Strength and are asked to describe a situation that required you to work under pressure, you can draw inspiration from your “go with the flow” attitude, emphasizing how you tackle things one step at a time.
While it may require some practice to get into the “Strengths” mindset, you will find it can be an excellent tool to help you learn about yourself and land experiences that can change everything!
To receive additional support in the job search process, you can stop during the C3’s Express Drop-In hours on Monday through Thursday 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. and get tips to kick off your internship/job search. You can also schedule an appointment with a full-time staff member through Gator Career Link.
*If you have not taken the assessment, but would like to, go to StrengthQuest.com. Be sure to use your Gatorlink email address to receive a student discount!