What Are Career Assessment Tools?
Career assessment tools are web-based applications or downloadable questionnaires that you can use to test your personality, interests, and skills to help you decide which career is best for you. These questionnaires determine how you align with different career paths and narrow down your choices on which jobs you should consider. These tools are your first step for career exploration because it can help you decide which path to take.
Why Do You Need Career Assessment Tools?
Setting off for your career for the first time or switching career paths can be a nerve-wracking experience. To give you more confidence, career assessment tools could be exactly what you need to prepare yourself for the future. Listed below are the reasons why you need such tools.
Helps You Choose a Job Role
If you’re a fresh job seeker, finding your first job can be tricky, but career assessment tools can help you make career choices. These tools provide a series of tests to help you identify your personality, interests, and work style, and recommend the fields and jobs that fit you based on its results.
Helps You Choose an Organization
Career assessment tools can also help you choose an organization. Sometimes you can be sure of the job position you want but still have a hard time choosing a company. While you must find a job that you love, being in the right organization can also help you in your career.
Helps You Thrive in a Position
Career assessment tools can help you thrive in a position in two ways. First, while you are still seeking employment, career self-assessment tools help you identify your strengths and weaknesses. Second, if you’re already employed, these tools can help you examine your skill sets, whether they are compatible with your current employment or not.
Employers Check-Out Career Assessment Results
If you’re applying for a position, you should do self-assessment first. These tools help you assess yourself and gain personal knowledge, so you can identify whether you have the right skill sets for the position or whether your values match the company. Before going to that interview, these tools can prepare you in marketing yourself, so you’ll ace that job interview and land on your dream job.
Identifies Your Strengths and Weaknesses
Understanding your strengths and weaknesses can give you insights into who you are as a person. Career counseling assessment tools can also help you identify what areas you should work on, and help you look deep within yourself. Also, determining your strengths and weaknesses will give you a clear view of what you need in your professional life.
Can Help You Highlight Your Marketable Skills
Taking career assessment exams help you gain insights into yourself and how you can market it to your potential employer. Once you know where you’re good at, you can look for jobs that match your qualification, so it will be easier to convince your employer that you are perfect for the job.
Core Features of Career Assessment Tools
To assess the best career assessment tools, you need to check what the core features are. Here is a list of things you need to look for when choosing the right tools for you.
Easy to Use
Career assessment tools are easy to use; they usually come in multiple-choice questionnaires. There’s no need for you to write lengthy paragraphs explaining your career goals and aspirations. With just a few clicks, you’ll be able to get recommendations on your career.
Self-Knowledge Exploration Tests
Career development assessment tools should help you kick your professional choices up a notch. These tools should provide you with insights regarding your personality and strengths, so you can deepen your knowledge on how you can use what you have for your advantage. You never know; you may have skill sets that remain unexplored.
Career Choice Guidance
If you’re employed, these assessments should also help you identify whether you’re in the right job or not. Instead of making choices based on your emotions and gut feel, career assessment tools should help you see yourself in a different light. It can also explain why you are struggling and how you can cope up with it.
Career assessment tools should not only help you land a job or explore yourself, but it should also help you achieve your goals. These career assessment tools can help you create an individual career plan. By having this personal plan, you can set your goals strategically so you will end up with concrete results that will benefit your career in the long run.
Job Performance Assessment
Your work personality can significantly impact your job performance. Career assessment tools should not only give you a clearer picture of yourself, but they should also compare your work personality with the demands of your job. These tools help you identify your attitude towards completing a task, how you interact with other people, solve problems, manage changes, and deal with stress.
Availing career assessment services may sound intimidating, but there are numerous affordable career assessment tools available online, and some are even free of charge. You can also download these tools in PDF, so you can answer the questions offline. You don’t have to subscribe to expensive services just to advance your career or equip yourself with additional insight in improving your career choices.
Types of Career Assessment Tools
You can assess yourself using different tools and methods. Each type is best suited for a specific purpose, circumstance, and individual. Choose the type that suits you best. Of course, you're never barred from trying them all.
Since psychologists who created career assessment tools acknowledge that people have different personalities, they also recognize that each character has strengths and developmental points. Personality tests can determine what role would match your personality or if you are fit for the job you have in mind.
Pros of Personality Tests
Can diagnose psychological problems
One of the uses of personality tests aside from career-related matters is diagnosing psychological problems. Some tests can determine whether you have a troubled personality that might need medical attention, which is why many employers incorporate these tests in their initial screening process.
This type of career assessment tool acknowledges each person’s unique personality. It also emphasizes that no character is better than the other. By determining your unique traits, the results will include recommendations on how you can improve your weaknesses.
Cons of Personality Tests
Personality tests can be quite long. There are a series of questions that you have to read carefully and might take several hours to complete. This test sometimes bores the takers, which creates a tendency for them to rush answering the questions and compromise results in turn.
Not all personality tests are valid and reliable. Since people’s answers may vary from time to time, the results they get may be inconsistent. Though there are psychologically accepted tests, not all tests adhere to the same standards of validity.
Personalities are essential in career assessment, but it is not the only consideration in making a career move. Interests also play a significant part in your career. Your personality test results might tell you that you are fit for one job, but your interests say otherwise. Interest inventories may determine how long you’re going to stay in the role and narrow down your career choices based on its results.
Pros of Interest Inventories
Unlike personality tests, interest inventories are quite simple. The questions are concise and not as long as others. Takers can usually finish the test without being bored. Thus, the answers are consistent and honest.
Takes account gender differences
Interest inventories such as the Strong Interest Inventory assessment take account of gender differences. The recommendations are usually specific based on your gender, personality, and age, which gives you a more applicable recommendation approach compared to other career assessment tools.
Cons of Interest Inventories
Recommendations of interest inventories usually require trained experts to interpret. Since the results are based on two variables, your personality and interests, the recommendations are more complex.
The next type of career assessment tools is skills assessment. Let’s say you have both the personality and interest to fit the job you want. However, your skills say otherwise. Skills assessment tests determine whether you have the personal, technical, and leadership skills for a specific job position. This assessment is also one of the tools employers use to determine if you are fit for the position you are applying for.
Pros of Skills Assessment
Helps you optimize your potential
By identifying your strengths, you’ll be able to identify the skill sets that make you stand out from the pack. Since you already know where you’re good at, you can use it to your advantage.
Recommends jobs you will excel at
Though landing a job that fits your personality and interests is essential, excelling at your job can give you a confidence boost. Skill assessment tests can help you find a job you’ll be good at, so you’ll never have to second-guess yourself as an employee.
Cons of Skills Assessment
Results are not timeless
Strengths, if not used and developed, may go stale over time, so they vary depending on what career stage you are. With this, the results of skill assessments are not timeless and should be updated now and then.
Lack of recommendations on improving weaknesses
Knowing your weaknesses is as important as acknowledging where you’re good at. Since the focus of skill assessments are your strengths, you’ll have no recommendations on what you can do about your areas of improvement, and leave a gap in your professional skills.
Personality, interests, and skills are not the only factors you should consider in looking for a job, but also your values. Value assessment is vital to identify what career factors are most important to you.
Pros of Values Assessment
Values assessment can provide you with an in-depth knowledge of yourself. Knowing your personality, interest, and skills are essential, but knowing what you value is something personal, which goes beyond your career needs.
In this high level of self acknowledgment, you’ll be able to identify what aspects of a job can make you happy. Thus, if you are making a career move based on values assessment, you’ll be able to find a job you might be content with.
Cons of Values Assessment
If you are currently employed, you may discover how your values are different from your organizations, which may cause disappointments that can taint your views on your employer.
Who Needs Career Assessment Tools?
Schools know that spending many years on a career or college course, which does not fit you, may cause you to regret later on. So choosing a career usually comes as early as high school. Considering that you need a job preference before you apply for college, career assessment tools for high school students are used by schools to help them decide which jobs are best fit for them.
Job seekers need career assessment tools, especially the first-timers. These tools can help you gain a perspective of the career and organization you are eyeing, so you can acknowledge the right opportunities. Career coach assessment tools can also give you a more in-depth assessment of your career goals to make sure that you’ll land a job that will help you achieve the right milestones.
Career assessment tools can help career changers make the best decision for their current professional status. It doesn’t matter what stage of your career you are at; a bold move is always beneficial if you think you are reaching a dead-end professionally. Career assessment tools help you gain self and career perspective to help you plan your next move. Also, some counselors can guide you in making the right choices.
Young adults are what we call hopefuls in the industry. They have high dreams for their fields and how they can further improve the status quo. Thus, they are essential in the business. If you are a young adult trying to find more about your work self, career assessment tools for young adults are here for you. It can help you identify essential aspects of your personality, and necessary skill sets you can use to discover your marketable skills, which will set you apart from your competition.
Employers also need career assessment tools to screen their candidates. Without a proper assessment, they may waste their resources in hiring candidates who are unfit for the job position and their organization. Businesses use career assessment tools that range from basic personality tests to complicated skills assessments to sort out the best applicants.
Frequently Asked Questions
Once you identify your purpose, you can take career assessment tools online. You can create a career plan based on the recommendations you will get at the end of the assessment. However, if you are looking for a more in-depth assessment and career planning guidance, it is recommended that you seek career counseling and coaching. They are the best career assessment tools for your needs, and they will help you create a more detailed plan to follow for your career development.
Career counselors, after you take a self-assessment exam, will ask you to create an action plan to identify your career opportunities and developmental needs. Then, your counselors will give you feedback on your plan. Once you incorporate your mentor’s feedback, you will implement your actions little by little, and assess the outcome by the end of the year. By doing this individual plan, you can set your goals strategically so you will end up with concrete results that will benefit your career in the long run.
The answer depends on how the results will be utilized after the tests. For instance, career assessment tools for college students would be practical if the students will use the recommendations to strategically develop a career plan they will use in seeking their first job. Your first career plan is crucial in paving your way in the professional world. With this, career assessment for these students usually contain recommendations fit for fresh job seekers to help them take their first steps in the industry.
Your skill sets, personality, and even values can change over time. It is best to take career assessments as often as possible to remain updated on your professional needs. You can also use frequent career assessments to make sure you are in line with your career plan.
In looking for the best career assessment, you should choose a test that fits your age and the stage where you are in your career. There is an extensive database of career assessments that you can choose from, so you won’t have to worry if there is something for you.
Since several career assessment tools are publicly available, many people have access to them. With this, many people also create reviews to share their experiences. To know if the tool is reliable, you can read review rankings, you can have a hint on a past users' experience and whether you should also give it a go. You can also read scholarly articles on career assessment tools to provide you with a more thorough understanding of the assessment you are going to take and how it can help you.
A SWOT analysis is performed to identify your strengths and weaknesses. Counselors sometimes do a SWOT analysis to identify the areas you have to work on based on your goals. Strengths and weaknesses assessment usually requires a more thorough form of career assessment, which is why counselors conduct this analysis.
Tests like classic psychological assessment ones can help you identify whether you are an introvert or an extrovert, so you can determine if you are a front line or back-office kind of employee. Some tests can also determine whether you are a thinker or a feeler, so you would know why you feel the way you do towards your co-workers and job in general. Having a clearer perspective of yourself can help you work on your weaknesses and not let your emotions get the best of you.
Step-by-Step Guide on How to Use Career Assessment Tools
Step1: Get to know yourself.
Before using career assessment tools to gain self-knowledge, getting a little perspective beforehand is still beneficial. You have to study what your potential personality, interest, skills, and values may be so you can compare it to the results of your assessment.
Step 2: Explore career assessment options
There are several career assessments to choose from. With this, you should research what career assessment tools will fit your needs and give you the recommendations you need for your career.
Step 3: Answer honestly
Though some of the tests are long, you should answer as honestly as possible. Avoid rushing the tests or manipulating the results. Always remember that the best recommendations will be given to you if you answer the questionnaires truthfully.
Step 4: Make a career plan and stick to it
After getting the results and recommendations, you should make a career plan based on it. You should also check your plan now and then, so you know you are always on track.