Your personality sets you apart in the professional world


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Haley Blackburn

Students in the same major have taken nearly all the same classes, learning very similar skills. This can seem daunting to students when it comes to setting themselves apart for future internships and jobs.  

Each person has a unique set of strengths and weaknesses that don’t fall under their major; that’s truly what sets them apart in the application process. 

An individual’s strengths expand far beyond the classroom setting. These personal strengths and professional strengths can give you the potential to create a standout resume. 

Personal strengths refer to the traits and values that drive who you are as a person. Many people overlook them, because they are often portrayed as “just the way I am” instead of applicable assets in a work environment. Your personality may be the best way to show how well you fit into a job position. 

However, it can be hard to sit down and decide which parts of your personality to include. That’s where personal assessment tests come in. 

Many of these personal assessment tests are free. For example, the VIA Survey of Character Strengths gives participants their top five character strengths with a brief description. The NERIS Type Explorer gives results in a format similar to Myers-Briggs, but adds another layer of complexity to give more accurate results. Though there are many free resources, some may find the  CliftonStrengths assessment to be helpful. For $19.99, testers will receive full descriptions of their top five talents.

The results of these tests can reveal how your personal strengths translate to your program of study and the professional world. For example, if communication shows up in all of your results, look into how you can use that skill to better network with those in your field. Or, if you’re a strategic thinker, try out new software and learn how to use it in your discipline. 

On the other hand, weaknesses are also an important part of who we are as people and workers. One way to recognize your weaknesses is to write down everything you dislike or feel uncomfortable doing for about a week. Once you track your weaknesses, it’s easier to find ways to build on them with your strengths or understand the gaps that you should fill when creating a team. 

Don’t underrate the importance of personality–these key aspects of who you are can help you remove yourself from the umbrella label of a major and into your own unique career path.