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Assessment Center Success - Start Developing Your Skills Now!

Aug 18, 2007
Knowing the needs of the target job is a great place to begin. To get that clear for yourself you need to find out from the organization offering the position exactly what the new role entails and from that, overlay the plan for developing your skills.

You can easily do this from the paperwork they send you as part of the application process. Savvy career skills would make sure that you got hold of this before you started applying, so that you had already taken steps to have the skills, experiences and training in place well before you need to show them off.

If you are doing that, you will need to find out from a target organization just what you are going to need to do in developing your skills, so by asking them about the competencies, job descriptions and role specifications in advance, you can get a good picture of what you need to do next.

In this situation, it's critical to get really honest and clear about your current skill level right now. You need to know clearly where you want to be (in the role in question) and where you are now (in preparation for achieving that job when it comes along). Then you can start developing your skills in a targeted way.

So, with both these in mind - where you want to be to be a great candidate, likely to win and where you are right now - you can start to plot a strategy to achieve what you need, when you need it.

It's time to score yourself against the guidance you've been able to get hold of.

Bear in mind, that even if you have been careful to select a target job that suits your personality very well, you might still feel a bit short in some areas (which you can fix) - and that's OK.

Truth is, if you have focused on a job that you really are suited to, you may already have been developing your skills subconsciously anyway - it's funny how that happens sometimes.

Once you have this in place, you may well feel very energized by the opportunity this has presented. You might be nearer than you first thought you were!

If you look at the competencies you have been able to get hold of, they usually number between 6 and 10 for any one job.

By challenging yourself to see how well you score against each one, you will be able to assess the size of the gap between where you are now and where you want to be.

This scoring is quite subjective and you need to be as honest as you can with yourself. Strangely, it often means giving yourself enough credit for what you are already capable of.

Many people fail to be as fair with themselves and underscore accordingly. Which a bit crazy, but it's true!

If you score yourself below 5/10 in any of the areas, there is quite a bit of work developing your skills to bring you up to scratch. Over that and we are simply fine-tuning and 'spinning' value out of what qualities are already there.

The key now is what you are going to do about it. And that's where only YOU can make the real difference.
About the Author
(c) 2007 How To Win At Assessment Centers. You can succeed in your application whenever you want to. It takes focus and preparation and above all, you need to know what you are doing. Checkout the free six-part e-course at Martin Haworth's website, http://www.HowToWinAtAssessmentCenters.com
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