It’s not easy admitting your flaws, and some would argue it’s more difficult to admit your strengths. Although your weaknesses can make you feel like you have a long way to go, don’t be discouraged. There are ways to work on them, alter them to play to your strengths and sometimes, you simply must embrace them. Here are a few tips on how to enhance your strengths and mask your weaknesses.
According to Monster, it’s wise to assess your strengths by splitting them into three categories:
- Knowledge-based skills (industry-specific skills)
- Transferable skills (business- and communication-based skills)
- Personal traits (character-based skills)
By dividing your strengths into these categories, you can learn a lot about yourself and use that knowledge to develop an extensive list of strengths that you’re ready to sport at your next interview or job review.
Something else you can add to your tool belt to accentuate your strengths is a collection of specific examples to support your claim. When asked about your strengths, not only should you be prepared with your list, but you also should be prepared with a specific story or example. Share a time when your strengths helped you or alleviated a situation. Not only does this add validity, but also, who doesn’t love a good success story?
Honesty is key. However, it’s easy for an employer to question your answers since they hardly know you. Squash any doubts by asking a prior employer to provide you with a letter of recommendation that speaks to your job performance and validates your claims. Show your interviewer that you built trust and good rapport with your past employers and they enjoyed having you on their team.
Now on to the less pleasant of the two – weaknesses. The best way to combat your weaknesses, besides actively working on them, is to find a bit of positivity in them.
My biggest weakness is forgetfulness. Having a forgetful memory is not an issue in some career paths. However, in public relations, this could cause some major problems. When you have many different clients and various tasks to complete, your tasks could be confusing for someone who has a good memory, let alone someone who is forgetful. Although I say this is one of my downfalls, I could absolutely count this as a strength. Because I can tend to be forgetful, I have mastered the art of organization, so I can be successful in my career.
Although there are ways to alter your weaknesses, it’s also a good practice to work on sharpening those skills. Though we can’t completely get rid of these pests, we can work to make them better.
And on that note, never be ashamed to discuss your weaknesses. The worst weakness one can have is claiming to have none. Everyone has areas for improvement, and that’s how we learn from mistakes and grow as people and professionals.