Strengths for Career

StrengthsGraphic12Your five talents work together in unique ways to help you perform with excellence in your chosen career. An ideal work environment would require you to call on your talents frequently. People performing similar tasks may have unique approaches/styles of accomplishing the goal. This uniqueness stems from an individual’s personal talents.

How can I use StrengthsQuest results in my career development?

There are multiple platforms where you could utilize your talents to achieve career success. Some are as follows: resume, cover letter, interviewing, networking and performing tasks on the job.

The following are reflection questions to consider how you are currently using your talents in your career development:

  • How do you describe your talents to others?
  • What are ways you have used your unique talents in your job?
  • How could you further use your talents in your current job?
  • What talents do you want to emphasize in your job search or professional documents?

How can I demonstrate my talents in a resume?

Talents play a great role in defining your “brand” or personality. Building a resume using a Strengths-based approach helps one stand out by effectively communicating their uniqueness. It is important to choose the right action verbs to bring focus to your talents.

Here are some examples of resume sections where you could incorporate your talents:

  • Bullet points (all experiences)
  • Skills section
  • Summary of qualifications

Consider the past experiences you have had and the language you choose to describe those experiences.

Resources for incorporating talents in a resume

  • Guide to Resumes provides a helpful list of action verbs to consider when writing your bullet points.
  • Individual Strengths handouts (available at the MU Career Center) have beneficial application suggestions regarding action verbs for your resume.
  • Strengths Based Resume is a sample resume that shows how to incorporate your talents cohesively into your bullet points.

How can I discuss my talents in a cover letter?

In a cover letter, it is vital for you to emphasize your talents through your experiences and stories. Elaborating on your skills and supporting it by an experience can help you legitimize your story and make it more personalized.

For example, here is a way to discuss working as a camp counselor with Relator and Individualization talent themes.

In my role as a camp counselor, I established connections with 15 middle school campers over the course of a two week camp. I treated each camper as a unique individual and used my relationship building skills in one on one conversations with campers to make them feel understood and supported even though they were away from home. As I got to know each camper, I was able to tailor the activities to their interests and ensure that they had a positive experience.

Activities and resources for incorporating talents in a cover letter

StrengthsGraphic22How can I talk about my talents when interviewing?

You will often be asked about your strengths and talents in an interview. The language you use to describe yourself and your experiences will be much more meaningful if told in a way that is true and unique to you. It is vital that you do not simply state your talent themes in an interview, but describe and align it with your personal “brand.” For example, rather than saying “I am an Achiever” provide examples by saying “My Achiever talent helps me…” or describing your talents in your own words.

Activity for discussing talents in interviews

  • Meaningful Roles prompts reflection about your past experiences and how you have leveraged your talents in those roles.

What are some ways I can use my talents when networking?

It may be natural for you to walk up to a group of people and strike up a conversation, or you may be the kind of person who enjoys one on one conversations. You may rather have an intellectual discussion or get to know the other person or equally enjoy both. The key is to know how your talents work and use it to your advantage.

Activities and resources for utilizing your talents when networking

How can I use my talents to perform tasks on the job?

Using the awareness you have gained about your talents, determine how you are currently using your talents in your job. Also, consider elements of your role and new ways you could implement your talents in those.

How will my StrengthsQuest results help me decide on a major or career?

While there are no set talent themes that are required for particular jobs, it can be helpful to consider how your unique talents would make you a good fit for a particular profession. It is important to keep in mind that there are many different roles in a particular occupation. For example, consider the profession of teaching. While there are many overlapping elements between teaching preschoolers and teaching college students, different talents would likely be beneficial for those two different roles due to the different environments and developmental level of the students.