Many job seekers have a hard time taking a step back, looking at themselves in the mirror, and scrutinising what they see. If you’re not sure what to look for, how exactly are you supposed to stand out from the other candidates? And this isn't just talking about your attire or etiquette—we’re talking about reflecting on your professional skills.

The majority of job seekers don’t think about what skills they bring to employers and, among those who do take stock of their career skills, many underestimate or overestimate their skill set. Neither scenario is ideal, but the former could remove you from the running much earlier.

Here are some steps to gather an accurate assessment of your skillset.

1. Reflect on your job description

Looking for a good starting point? Make a list. In the most likely scenario, you’ll find it easiest to pinpoint hard skills, like computer literacy or fluency in a foreign language, because they’re the things you’ve learned through schooling or training, and are often tied directly to your work experience or degrees and certificates you’ve earned. But when writing down your hard skills, it’s important to boil them down to the specifics.

2. Soft skills

Now it’s time to go beyond your technical know-how. Some of the most important professional skills can’t be taught in a classroom or measured on paper. These skills include analytical thinking, verbal and written communication, and leadership. Reflect on your experiences and identify what skills you have acquired. You can do this using the next step.

3. Ask other people for feedback

Asking colleagues or your heads for feedback is the easiest way to learn about the things you may generally oversee. Have a candid conversation with your colleagues in your professional circles for an assessment or an accurate outlook of what they have identified as your skills, areas to work on, and areas where you are strong at.

4. Take an online behaviour test

These self-assessments help you understand your interests, emotional intelligence, values, personality traits, and motivations.  It is useful in determining your skill set and your likings.

You can take tests like DISC, Work values, 16 personalities, Enneagram and so on to assess yourself better.

All these steps can help you in determining and polishing your skill set. You can always take out some time to hone your soft skills by taking courses and improving your employability via platforms like Unschool.

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