Understanding yourself

Skills and strengths

An initial self-awareness dimension to consider is your mix of skills. What skills do you have which you could evidence on applications and during interviews? Over and above that, however, which of these do you really enjoy using? These are your strengths!

To identify some strengths, think of things you chose to do in childhood and which you still opt to do now when you can. Secondly, identify things you get a buzz from doing now. Then think about what you have learned very easily and enjoyed learning. The more you can identify these strengths, the more you will be able to identify jobs which align with them.

And when you consider your wider skills mix as well as your strengths, you become clear as to what you can offer to employers. You have lots of skills developed within your degree(s) and from other areas of experience.


Your personality style and temperament is another dimension to take account of. There are several external resources we highlight to students and graduates wanting to explore this. For instance:


What core values do you have? These are underlying principles that determine how you behave and live your life. Mindtools have a good methodology to help you identify your values.

Prospects Planner can help you identify graduate jobs which align with the skills you already have and want to use at work. Its report gives you job suggestions aligned to your preferences and which you can then explore as to what you need to get in, salary projections, typical vacancy sources, and potential career progression.

What our grads say

Name: Lisa Feeney

Graduated: 2021

Studied: MA (Hons) Education

At the end of my degree, I decided not to pursue a career as a primary teacher which left me feeling lost and unsure what to do next. The Careers Service have exceeded my expectations in helping me to move forward with a change in career.  

I was encouraged to look at both my personality and strengths in greater depth through a range of exercises. This has helped me to recognise my own values and skills. I now have the confidence that I will be able to pursue a career which combines both.

Lisa Feeney profile photo