Assessment Do's and Don'ts
are the keys to successful career assessment. Follow these simple rules and
you should achieve success in this self-discovery process. by Katharine
be aware that assessments are
available to help guide you toward the right career for you. A qualified career
counselor can administer, score, and interpret these assessments. A number
of free career assessments also are available on the Internet, though many
experts question their reliability.
compare online career assessments
to see which ones might meet your needs. See our detailed assessment
comparison chart .
keep your expectations in check
when you take free online assessments. You may attain some direction and guidance
from these tests, but don't be overly reliant on them for magic answers.
discount the possibility that
these free online assessments might suggest to you some career ideas and directions
you had never thought of and that are worth further exploration.
take several different assessments
to help you learn more about yourself and to help you determine which tests
provide the most reliable results for you.
print out and retain the results
of the assessments you take online. Compare results, and see if you can see
patterns -- a “career snapshot” -- beginning to emerge.
trust your gut. If a free online
assessment tells you something about yourself that doesn't ring true, disregard
rely on free online assessments
alone for self-discovery and career guidance. Meet with a career counselor;
college students and alumni usually have free or inexpensive access to counselors.
Supplement the results you've obtained from free online assessments with other
assessments the counselor might administer. Ask the counselor to help you
interpret and integrate the results of various assessments.
use career assessments with a
variety of other self-discovery activities, such as examining your strengths
and weaknesses and the activities you most enjoy and least enjoy. And Do
read our article, Online
Career Assessments: Helpful Tools of Self-Discovery .
have fun taking career assessments.
Self-discovery is almost always an enlightening and often entertaining process.
about some of the terminology used in this article? Get more information (definitions
and links) on key college, career, and job-search terms by going to our Job-Seeker's
Glossary of Job-Hunting Terms .
Hansen is a former speechwriter and college instructor who provides content
for Quintessential Careers, edits QuintZine
, an electronic newsletter for job seekers, and prepares job-search
correspondence as chief writer for Quintessential
Resumes and Cover Letters . She is author of Dynamic
Cover Letter for New Graduates ; A Foot in the Door: Networking Your
Way into the Hidden Job Market ; and, with Randall S. Hansen, Ph.D., Dynamic
Cover Letters and Write Your Way to a Higher GPA , all published
by Ten Speed Press. She can be reached by e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org
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