Self-reflection — Joyce’s Career Tip of the Week

A student works on a computer/Researching companies and studying job descriptions are topics that are covered in every presentation on resume writing and interview preparation. Internet access makes finding this information extremely easy. Successful job seeking requires a second type of exploration that is equally important and often more challenging than reading websites: self-reflection.

Every interviewer is trying to determine why they should hire you. Some may ask the question directly, while others will be more subtle. Nevertheless, it is your responsibility to demonstrate to recruiters and hiring managers why the cost of hiring you is a good investment.

You must be able to describe your technical skills and experience with solid examples of your accomplishments. In addition, you need to be able to articulate (and demonstrate) your interests, your values and your interpersonal skills.

There are still several weeks remaining before the fall semester begins. During this summer break, make time to think about how you would answer these questions.

  • What kind of work do you want to do?
  • What are the environments and situations where you do your best work?
  • What are your strengths – those things that come to you so easily? (Will this job give you opportunities to use them?)
  • What are the challenges that you find so fascinating that you just cannot walk away from them?

Finally, what are your “non-negotiables” — the things that you absolutely do not want in your career? Be aware, that often, avoiding something can mean giving up other things that you do want as well. It is important to be clear on where you stand and know what is most important to you.

Once an applicant’s technical skills are assessed, employers ask questions to determine if the candidate will be “a good fit” for their organization. Job seekers need to be considering the “good fit” question from their viewpoint as well.


Joyce Donahue is a Certified Career Counselor that works in the Fulton Schools Career Center.