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Identify Your Strengths

Strengths are your positive qualities. Your strengths include your talents and personality traits that come naturally to you, and the skills you have learned. You highlight your strengths so that employers know what you can do.

What are your Talents and Personality Traits?
Some examples of things that may come naturally to you:

  • Quickly thinking of creative ways to solve a problem.
  • Being able to see "the big picture" and know how you can help make things better.
  • Ability to relate to people from different backgrounds or cultures.

Even if you have a talent that comes naturally to you, such as good speaking skills, it's a good idea to practice and increase your ability. Know how you can use your strengths at work.

What is a Skill?
A skill is something you learn how to do. For example:

  • Someone with repairing skills can fix things well. They are also able to learn how to fix new things.
  • A skilled reader can understand an article, book, or set of written instructions faster and better than an unskilled reader.
  • Someone with programming skills can write computer code better than people without this ability.

You can gain or improve any skill with practice or training. You may have learned new skills through work you did while in prison. That is why it's important to stop and think about what skills you have. Some of your skills can transfer from one job to others.

Not sure about your strengths? Use this strengths worksheet (pdf) to learn more about yourself.

What Do Employers Want?
In a job interview, an employer might ask: "What is your greatest strength?"

In this situation, talk about all of your strengths. Employers want to know everything about you that makes you a good employee — the things you have learned and what comes naturally to you.

Think about your transferable skills that can be used in different jobs. Also think about the skills you gained in prison that you can use in your career.

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