job search tip 7Assess your aptitude for particular careers before you look for a job. Everyone has strengths and weaknesses; yours may not match well with the career you are considering. Ideally, you would have done this the year before you graduate.

I find testing from organizations like The Johnson O’Connor Foundation and Aims Testing very valuable. They will, for a fee, evaluate your mental and emotional aptitude for success in many different categories. Say you might want to teach, for example, but testing reveals that you don’t have patience with people – teaching may not be the career for you. Similarly, if you love music, but learn that you are tone deaf after aptitude testing, you might forget singing and seek opportunities on the business side of the industry.

Understand that aptitude tests do not measure passion or commitment; they only measure your natural abilities. Obviously, we all know of people who overcame a lack of natural ability for their profession (ex. a short basketball player) because they were committed to their dream. Still, it is good to know what your natural talents are before you enter the job market so you can sell around them.

Other kinds of tests are:

Myers-Briggs Type Indicator – assesses your personality type and evaluates its suitability for specific careers and work environments.

Strong Interest Inventory – compares your interests to those of professionals in various fields and suggests academic majors, courses, activities, and internships.

Self-Directed Search – do-it-yourself aptitude testing that recommends careers.

College Major Finder – a supplement to the Self-Directed Search that matches your interests with academic majors.

The Birkman Method – evaluates your personality’s suitability for the exact career you have in mind. You move forward with an added element of self-awareness.