Do you know what your skills are? Self-assessment can help.

By Lt. Col. Paul Capicik (USAF, Ret.), American Sentinel University

I recently read that “almost 90% of people who are interviewed for jobs are unable to clearly state what their skills are.” If you, the job seeker, can’t express your skills and talents clearly, how is a potential employer supposed to appreciate or consider them?

People rarely start out in any career or job with all of the skills, experience, & knowledge they need to truly excel in that position. But by conducting self-assessment exercises, you can establish your baseline early. This will help you see where your strengths lie, what your weaknesses are, and to plan ahead so you can prepare for your promotion potential or make yourself more saleable in future job hunting.

If you are interested in changing careers, you can research what credentials are needed for the new career direction, match them to your most recent self-assessment, then look to fill in gaps by gaining the needed education, training, and experience.

What is “self-assessment”?

There are 2 common uses for the term:

  • As a reference to career planning (the topic of this article). It focuses on a person’s values, interests, skills, experience, education, accomplishments, and goals.
  • As an evaluation of how either an organization or a person in the organization functions over a period of time.

A self-assessment is NOT a test that will tell you outright what career or job is right for you. Rather, it is a set of tools, focusing on everything from personality to job skills, to help steer you in a direction in which you could likely be successful. The tools include self- or professionally administered evaluations through online, agencies or books. (Military installation education offices often have computer-assisted guidance assessment tools available.)

When to Conduct a Self-Assessment

You need to re-evaluate yourself periodically. Typical times to do this include:

  • After significant progression in your experience level, training or education.
  • When you start considering a major change in your career direction. As mentioned above, this can help you fill in gaps to help you make that career change.
  • Any time a job, promotion, or employer change is possible, you need to understand your potential to meet the demands of the new position. A self-assessment can help in that preparation.

Using Self-Assessment Results for the Transition

Once a transition is considered, your self-assessment results will play an important role in tasks and events that will take place in making the change. First, make sure that your job search matches what you are qualified for. Then, once in the hiring process, an employer will want to know why they should hire you. You have to be able to provide them with that answer.

With a comprehensive understanding of your make-up, abilities and accomplishments, especially as these relate to the job position opening being considered, you can better develop a compelling cover letter and a great resume, which can lead to a fruitful interview and eventual job offer.

Don’t underestimate the value of self-assessments. The results they deliver make all the difference in your cover letter, resume and job interviews. And the interview is what is going to get you the job, so you need to be clear and confident about what you say.

Help yourself be part of the top 10% by conducting a self-assessment – and get to know yourself!

About American Sentinel University

Named a Military-Friendly School by GI Jobs and Military Advanced Education for the third year in a row, American Sentinel University offers outstanding military benefits for service members, spouses and veterans, including reduced tuition rates, an expansive transfer credit policy, no-cost books for active-duty, and personal support for the unique military lifestyle. American Sentinel provides accredited, quality Bachelor’s and Master’s degree programs for high-job-growth industries, combining the flexibility of its100% online platform with dedicated personal support. Programs include IT, computer science, GIS, nursing, business intelligence, management, and IT industry certifications.

Lt. Col. Paul Capicik is a 26 year veteran of the U.S. Air Force who served as a command pilot qualified in both fixed and rotary wing aircraft and held several strategic and operational plans and program positions. Following AF retirement, he spent more than 12 years with Civil Air Patrol as director of several departments and Chief Information Officer for that nationwide 60,000-member organization. An Air Force Academy graduate who also holds a Master’s in Information Technology, Lt. Col. Capicik is Vice President, Military Programs at American Sentinel University.