By: TSP Blog | @TSProckstars
When working with others, it is easy to recognize their unique talents and opportunities for growth. But, oftentimes it is much more difficult to reflect on our own weaknesses and areas of expertise. If you're having trouble identifying your talents and areas for growth, a skills assessment is an excellent place to start.
Skills assessments are surveys or interviews that identify and define an individual’s actual skills. They pinpoint soft skills, which are personal attributes that enable a person to interact with others (e.g. attention to detail), and hard skills, which are specific, technical attributes that can be measured (e.g. math). Mastery is most often measured on a Likert scale, where 1 is emerging and 5 is mastery. Skills assessments are an excellent opportunity to identify gaps in your hard and soft skills and potential.
Learn more about the benefits of skills assessments below. The many benefits will have you wondering why you didn’t take a skills assessment yesterday!
SKILLS ASSESSMENTS ARE NOT ONE SIZE FITS ALL
Skills assessments can be unique to a particular career or field of knowledge. For example, there are typing skills assessment tests, which identify a professional’s speed and accuracy when typing on a computer keyboard. Other types of skills assessment tests measure leadership characteristics, data checking, sales and more. Rest assured that there is a skills assessment fit for your area of expertise!
SKILLS ASSESSMENTS REQUIRE LITTLE TIME COMMITMENT
There are many misconceptions about skills assessments, the most common being that they take an extensive amount of time to complete. This could not be farther from the truth, as most assessments take less than 30 minutes. For example, CAREERWise’s Interest Assessment takes only 10-15 minutes to complete. Skills assessments can easily be completed during your lunch break, over breakfast or when you have some down time on the weekend.
SKILLS ASSESSMENTS ARE LOW COST, IF NOT FREE
Taking a skills assessment requires little, if any, financial commitment. When taking a skills assessment on a website with “.edu” or “.org” address, you can expect the test to be completely free. However, if the website has a “.com” address, there may be some cost associated with completing the test. Because the free assessments often come from governmental or educational institutions, they’re even better than the paid options!
Additionally, depending on the type of assessment and your company policies, your company might cover the cost of your skills assessment. So, before you shell out your personal funds to complete a test, ask your superior if your company has a policy on covering skills assessments or other employee growth-oriented avenues. Some companies have even developed their own employee assessment tools.
SKILLS ASSESSMENTS ALLOW YOU TO IDENTIFY YOUR MARKETABLE SKILLS
How often have you been in an interview and been asked “what are your skills?” and been at a loss for words? This is one of the most difficult questions for professionals to answer, but it does not have to be. With the help of a skills assessment and a little self reflection, you should be able to identify 5-7 concrete skills that make you a rare and beneficial addition to any team. Even if you don’t have plans to change positions any time soon, identifying your most developed skills allows you to choose projects and tasks that utilize your unique skills.
SKILLS ASSESSMENTS PINPOINT YOUR WEAKNESSES
Identifying your professional weaknesses provides a tremendous opportunity for growth. While it may be nerve-wracking at first, most people know their weaknesses before taking a skills assessment. The skills assessment confirms what you already know, and give you concrete areas on which you can focus. Everyone knows the classic “turn your weakness into a positive” trick in interviews. This is not that. Your skills assessment weaknesses are objective areas which you need to address.
Now that you know the benefits, you’re ready to jump into a skills assessment of our your own. But, before you take one, there a few important things you should know. First, it’s important to take your time and read the instructions before answering a question on a skills assessment. Most skills assessments have detailed instructions, so make a point to read each word before you answer a question. Next, find out if you have any time restrictions on the skills assessment. If so, you’ll need to practice proper time management when taking the assessment.
Finally, familiarize yourself with the test beforehand, if possible. Getting comfortable with the type of questions asked will allow you to feel more confident during the assessment. Well.. what are you waiting for! Take a skills assessment today.