When you want to apply for a job it is very important to be aware of your strengths and weaknesses so you can explain to your potential future employer how you will perform your responsibilities and duties using them.
There are many personal characteristics (attributes) and general characteristics (attributes) related to jobs and your task is to choose those that best describe you as a person and present them as your strengths in a way that your potential employer sees the benefits of hiring you for the position.
Strengths are the personal characteristics which a person uses in some role or situation and the strength are crucial to use them better than the other personal characteristics so makes that person self-satisfied and can be more efficient.
When you are able to use your strengths there is a high probability that you will be more motivated and perform better giving much better results which ultimately will make both you and your employer more satisfied.
Social skills concern your interpersonal qualities and your ability to adapt. If you cannot describe them then ask someone who is close to you to help you with describing how one perceives you in different situations.
Factors that says something about your social skills are:
- Attitudes, norms, principles, and values
- the extent to which you show respect for others, are inclusive and do accept differences in opinion.
- Empathy – do you notice other’s feelings. To which extent you have the capabilities to put yourself in other’s shoes.
- Communication skills – how do you communicate with your surroundings.
- conscious about body language
- when you will say something, what will you say, when you will not say anything
- being good listener
- To be able to observe and evaluate a situation
- analytical abilities
- strategic abilities
- rationality – to be able to think reasonable
- consequence awareness thinking
Strengths And Social Skills Mapping Template
We have created a Word document that you can download and use to write down all your strengths and social skills. In addition, you can write down all the other cornerstones as well in the same document so you can have an overview of all of them in one place.
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How To Assess And Select Your Best Strengths And Social Skills
There are so many strengths and social skills that you are using while performing different tasks of dealing with different situations but you want to shorten that list and here are some useful tips.
1. Identify Your Best Strengths And Social Skills
If you cannot choose which one should be on your top list please consider taking into account the next tips and come back later to make your top list.
At the end of this article, we have personal characteristics wishlist with some 50 ideas that might boost your imagination just in case if you have stuck or blocked.
2. Link Your Strengths And Social Skills To The Job Requirements
Job Vacancy Analysis
When you find the Job Vacancy worth spending time to apply for the position you will do a Job Vacancy Analysis. One of the tasks of the analysis is to identify all the personal attributes that the employer is seeking in the right candidate and they are written in the Job Vacancy. Your next step is to match these with your own strengths and social skills.
As you can see on the infographic below as you do Job Vacancy Analysis you will look for Duties and Responsibilities in advertisements and match them with your strengths and social skills presented as contributions to the company. How to present them as contributions we will discuss in point 4 just a bit. Next, in the advertisement, you will look for personal qualifications required for the position and again match them with your own strengths and social skills.
Please notice that you are matching data from two worlds one is coming as a result of Job Vacancy Analysis and the second is coming as a result of Competencies Cornerstones mapping that you are doing right now in this article.
Competencies Cornerstones Mapping
Competencies Cornerstones is a professional and personal mapping of your competencies (both formal and real), motivation, values, personal characteristics (attributes) that will turn into strengths and social skills (you are doing this mapping in this article). You can do the mapping separately and then use the results in your job application process or you can combine the mapping with Job Vacancy Analysis (which we recommend) and do a certain matching between the two.
As you can see on the infographic below strengths and social skills come at the end of Competencies Cornerstones mapping and you have links to all the previous cornerstones and Competeneciese Cornerstones mapping itself so please read these articles to get to know more about each of them.
Phone Call To Job Vacancy Contact Person
An additional source can be a phone call to the contact person. Phone calls help you to gather information about which strengths and social skills have the highest priority in the eyes of your potential future employers.
Based on your own research and phone call as your source of information you will emphasize which of your own strengths to present first in your Cover Letter and Resume so the employer can see immediately the benefit of hiring you.
Concerning the employer’s values, you either need to look on companies website for vision and mission statement or ask when you are doing the first phone call to the contact person.
3. Think Quality Over Quantity
Focus on the shortlist of strengths and social skills and how you will present them. Be aware that too many in the list might perceive you as arrogant and a few in the list might perceive you as a person with a lack of confidence or even worse lack of skills.
4. Backup Your Strengths And Social Skills With Contribution Examples
Make sure that you present each of your strengths and social skills with examples that show your contribution and how the future employer will benefit if you get the position.
We have presented to you two techniques Value-Based Communication and the STAR presentation technique so apply the one that suits you better. These techniques will give the impression of you as a person that knows how to present and how to deal with challenges using your own strengths so start using them.
Value Based Communication presents your strengths as your comparative advantage that gives value to the employer.
STAR Presentation method goes a little bit more in detail and presents your strength as contribution going from a situation before implementing your strength, tasks in the project involved, your actions performed to improve the situation, and finally presenting the results and outcomes that improved the starting situation.
How To Approach Weaknesses
Both strengths and weaknesses are depending on the context. In one situation your strength can be positive but in another, the same strength can be perceived as a negative or weakness.
For example, you might say that you are thorough and that is positive when you need to be precise but that could mean that you take a longer time to accomplish your tasks. So if the requirements for the job are to be quicker then being thorough might not be something to consider as a good match for the job requirement.
The best approach is to be aware of own weaknesses but to be able to handle them and turn them into something positive.
What To Do Next With Strengths And Social Skills In Job Search Process
When you have mapped your Strengths and Social Skills it is time to see how to use them and present them to your potential future employer. Please pay attention to this since there are so many opportunities to do so and you do not want to miss them out.
Here are the stages in Job search and application process when you want to have your strengths and social skills prepared, ready, and to use them:
- Fill Out Competencies Cornerstones mapping
- Value Based Communication
- Present own job-related contributions using the STAR method
- Analyze Job Vacancy
- Prepare Our Elevator Pitch
- Phone Call Job Vacancy Contact Person
- Write Cover Letter
- Write Resume (CV)
- Prepare For Job Interview
- Reference Check
We have already mentioned Job Vacancy Analysis, Competencies Cornerstones mapping, phone calls, Value Based communication, and STAR presentation method of contributions, so no need to repeat ourselves. However, there are plenty more opportunities to mention.
Cover Letter has About me section where you will present your strengths and contributions for the job. You can again decide which presentation technique is more suitable for you either Value Based Communication or the STAR method.
The Key Qualifications section of your Resume (CV) is the right location to present your personality at its best using Value Based Communication so do not miss out on that opportunity to shine and stand out from other CVs.
Whenever there is a need for personal presentation either during a job interview, introduction round, some event, etc. You should present yourselves as beneficial personal that have value so you can slowly build up credibility with the audience.
A classical example of the need to present yourself at its best is during a Job Interview. Present your strengths and social skills as contributions in the candidate presentation section of a job interview.
Here we will list some characteristics as ideas for your potential list of your own strengths. Try to present each of your strengths in value base communication way or using the STAR presentation method of your contributions.
|15||Good communication skills|
|17||Handle stress in the right way|
|37||See others needs|
|41||Strong in the field|
|45||Thinking out of the box|
|50||Willing to learn|
Here are some useful words in Norwegian used in this text.
|3||Social Skills||Sosiale ferdigheter|
You are finished with Competencies Cornerstones Mapping so congratulations. Now you are armed with valuable data that can be used further in the job application process. Do not forget to update your mappings as you gain new competencies and skills. Now, you are ready for Job Vacancy Analysis.
Don’t forget that this article is part of a text serious about finding a job in Norway. Depending on the phase you are in at the moment maybe you can find some articles useful for yourself. So please check them out.
Below you can see the infographic with an overview of all the texts in the series. If you click on the link above you will be sent to the page where all these steps are listed.
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Author: Dejan Mladenovic
I moved my family of 3 to Norway in 2008 and created this website so that I can share what I’ve learned with anyone that’s thinking of moving or traveling to Norway. It’s such an awesome place, and I want you to get the most out of it!
Learn To Use Competencies Cornerstones For Job Search In Norway
Competencies Cornerstones is mapping of your formal (documented), real (undocumented) competencies, motivation factors, values, strengths and social skills.
Learn Value Based Communication
Learn Value Based Communication of your personal qualifications. Present them as win-win both for you and the employer.
Know Your Contributions To The Company
Learn STAR presentation method for your company contribution examples. STAR stands for Situation, Task, Action, and Result.
Map Your Formal And Real Competencies
Map your formal (documented) and real (undocumented) competencies. Use our template Word document to have overview.
Map Your Job Context Motivation
Map your job-related motivation factors. Use our Word template document to save them and have overview of them.
Map Your Values And Attitudes For Job Search In Norway
Map your professional values. Give answer to a question. What do I stand for? Use our Word template to list your values.