Friday, July 19, 2013

Skill Assessment Treasure Trove

I have been digging out materials from my past professional life to help me with my job search.  Specifically today I was looking for things I can use on my resume to quantify various contributions I've made at different jobs.  (I actually think that what is on my resume now, as I remember it, is pretty solid already, but I never truly updated my resume for the professional, as opposed to academic, market after I left my last big job, so there are things that I might want to add/tweak.)

But in the process of doing this, I found my personalized results from the management training I took (and that I blogged about more specifically before).  I think this is going to be a great place to find some answers to the perhaps most-dreaded interview question: What are your weaknesses?

The current standard advice for dealing with this question is to select a relatively minor weakness that you had in the past, the steps you took to improve upon this weakness, and the outcome.  I have found that this is hard to do, in part because it's somewhat difficult to generate a list of skills that are both relevant to your job/profession but not so important that they are potential deal-breakers.  But looking at things that my boss and co-workers suggested as relative weaknesses for me in the past seems like a good start, and just getting this reminder that I have taken management training also gives me an easy answer to the "how did I improve this skill" part -- by taking management training!  As I know from my management training, most first line managers are people who excelled in their individual contributor roles and then were promoted to management, but who do not necessarily have the skills that a manager needs.  I think answering the weakness question by referencing management training is a nice way to sneak this unusual experience/qualification into the conversation.


mom said...

Very smooth!

Sally said...

Thanks - let's hope it works!