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When asked "What are your strengths?" Should I list my strengths with examples or just strengths alone?

When asked "What are your strengths?" Should I list my strengths with examples or just strengths alone? #interview


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John’s Answer

Michael when you’re job searching, employers will be looking for evidence that you possess the right strengths to get the job done as they screen your resumes, cover letters, and job applications. You will also be asked questions aimed at uncovering your strengths during job interviews. What are employers looking for? Which are the best strengths to share with employers when you're job hunting? Keep in mind that the lists will vary based on the job for which you're applying and the employer's job requirements. To make sure potential employers are aware of your skills, highlight them on your resume and cover letter. Weave in mentions of your skills during job interviews.

INCORPORATE STRENGTHS IN YOUR RESUME – On your resume, include a strength section that lists out relevant strengths. You can also point to your strengths in the job description. For instance, if you're applying for a job where you need legal knowledge and the ability to communicate with clients successfully, you can include similar experience in job descriptions.

INCLUDE RELEVANT STRENGTHS IN YOUR COVER LETTER – Your cover letter is also an opportunity to highlight strengths and "soft skills". When it comes to soft skills, however, rather than saying you have a soft skill, demonstrate that you have it. For instance, rather than saying "I have leadership skills," say, "At my role at Company ABC, I steered the sales team to record numbers, creating a bonus structure that generated strong results."

SHARE YOUR STRENGTHS DURING JOB INTERVIEWS – During interviews, the STAR interview response technique can help you show off your strengths. STAR, which stands for Situation, Task, Action, Result, is a way to answer behavioral interview questions ("Describe a time when...") that involves recounting a work-related challenge, what role you played, what you did to affect the outcome, and what the result of the action you took was on the situation.

Hope this was helpful Michael

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Corey’s Answer

Examples are always good to have. Anyone can say they have any strength they want. But backing that strength up with an example proves that you do possess that strength, and allows prospective employers to better envision how you would utilize that strength in the job you are applying for.

If this is for a resume or job application, I would list the strength along with a concrete example. Specific examples, especially those containing facts and figures (such as how many people were impacted by something you did or what percent you raised satisfaction scores) are what sets resumes apart.

If this is for an interview, be prepared with a short story to back up any claim you make about a strength you have. Storytelling that is relevant to the question is key to a successful interview.

Good luck!

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Kim’s Answer

Michael,

In an interview, you need to shine! Saying that you have a strength, without backing it up, won't impress!
If they ask for your three greatest strengths, quickly list them and then explain. It would be nice if all 3 could be explained with one example.
For example: "I'm always willing to accept increased responsibility, I'm highly organized, and resourceful. In fact, I was recently tasked with planning an aircraft disaster exercise for 17 agencies, even though I'd never even participated in such an event before! I made spreadsheets for everything - participants contact info, catering deadlines, communications equipment, volunteers, etc. Then I had to develop the actual scenario, really challenging my creativity - I was able to find a significant event in history occurring on the same day as our event, and built the story around that. The event went off without a hitch, and we received many compliments on it."

It really all depends on the position, and you will need to tailor your responses accordingly.

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Kimberly’s Answer

Like Gloria stated, practice your answer multiple times before an interview. Use short impactful examples. Ex: instead of "I perform well under pressure", say "I perform well under pressure, for example, this one time I had to decide what to do when I saw a man fall down next to a burning car. I relied on my training and instinct and prioritized the scene. I moved the man to safety, called 911 and went to a nearby business to get a fire extinguisher." They need to know how you will respond to situations that you may be in if you are working for them so tailor your examples to things that could actually happen in the job you are applying for.

Kimberly recommends the following next steps:

Write down and memorize several examples that you can use during your interview
Saved!

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Adam’s Answer

Personally, I like to see a list of strengths. When reviewing resumes, it's generally a quick process and if there's too much information on the resume, it sometimes gets pushed to the side. If you are going to list some examples of your strengths, then I would keep them really brief. Remember, the resume is the vehicle that gets you inside the door. If you're listing your strengths, then be ready to explain and give examples of them during the interview as that is your time to shine.

Also, if you do want to incorporate your strengths into your resume, you can add them to your previous experience portion of the resume. Your previous experience shouldn't be an outline of your day to day activities, it should also outline the accomplishments that you achieved during that experience. This could definitely demonstrate some strengths.

There is a lot of good advice here and a lot of it comes from other's experience. Go with your best feeling. Research the company you are applying for and then you can decide how much you would like to add about this topic.

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Jenny’s Answer

Are you asking for an online job/college application? If so, you could do a mix of both or paragraph. I usually do a small paragraph that includes my strengths supported by my experience. It depends on the job/application, but I would include 2-5 strengths.

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John’s Answer

I would absolutely recommend listing your strengths on a resume or professional portfolio. However, I would also recommend not outlining them with specific examples, but allow yourself to talk about that during the interview itself. The interview itself it a time for you to shine and stand out against everyone who is applying for that particular role. Even in the interview itself, if not asked about your strengths during the process itself, take the time to speak on them at the end of the interview when asked if you have any additional questions or anything else relevant to bring to the interview.

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Yasemin’s Answer

Hi Michael! Always list strengths with examples; when applying for a job or to a school, you want to show don't tell. It' s easy to say I am hard working and quick thinking but listing a couple of specific examples to back this up will be more definitive!

Best of luck!

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Heather’s Answer

In my opinion, it your strengths should be communicated differently based on the method of delivery. For example, in your resume, you will simply list each one. In your cover letter, you will give enough detail to explain which skills qualify you for the position and why. Finally, during an interview, you will provide anecdotal evidence to support your statement. This is where you will use real life examples.

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Jim’s Answer

Hi Michael. Examples are imperative to demonstrate your experience. Prior to your interview, spend some time thinking about examples of strengths that are relevant to the position so you can be prepared for the question. However, it is extremely important to be concise both in providing examples and in other parts of your interview. I wish you luck!

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Simeon’s Answer

Definitely share the stories connected with your strengths. It helps show that there is some truth to the statements that you are giving about yourself. Also, it helps show your history and gives the interviewer more information about you. I'd recommend having some stories stored up ahead of time that you can go to if you draw a mental blank during the interview.

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Madison’s Answer

Hi Michael! I agree with everyone's comments below! I would identify your strengths and be ready to provide an example if asked. And then make sure if they ask about your 'weaknesses' or 'areas of opportunity' make sure they contrast with your strengths but they don't conflict with the needs of the job. As a recruiter, I ask these questions all of the time and (for example) I pay close attention to if someone says that their strength is punctuality but an area of opportunity is showing up to work on time, that's a huge read flag. But also, I have heard some well thought out responses to areas of opportunity but unfortunately, they conflicted with what the job was needed such as - for a Quality professional we need someone with strong attention to detail, so if I hear that their area of opportunity is that they need to improve their attention to detail, I red flag it because we need someone who already possesses that strength. Hope this helps!

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Israel’s Answer

In my opinion, like a few have mentioned, you would want to include a summary of your strengths in the resume itself and provide some examples on your cover letter that will show specifically how your previous experience is going to translate to the position you are applying for. When going through the interview, that's when you want to provide those specific life examples and elaborate more on what you put on your cover letter. Focusing on the STAR method of interviewing is always a good way to show those skills during the interview process. Hope this helps.

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Ritu’s Answer

You have to mention your strengths with good examples. It also gives you an opportunity to set a good vibe with the interviewer.
You should be completely prepared with this topic, since it's the most frequently asked question. We can showcase the team spirit and leadership traits based on how you prepare and answer.

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Jose’s Answer

Definitely list your strengths and areas of expertise on your resume. Typically, resumes are meant to be a quick snapshot of a prospective person's skill sets. As mentioned above, practice your answers and tailor them to the relevant position you are applying for. Elaborate on your strengths and skills during your in person interview.

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Tommy’s Answer

It is best to think of these questions as a "self branding" or "self marketing" campaign. First of all do a self assessment of what really are strengths you possess. The worst thing you could do is "oversell" yourself. By listing strengths with examples, you can avoid the oversell. Where possible, incorporate knowledge of the company or industries in your example, especially in verbal discussions or targeted job applications.


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Gloria’s Answer

Hi Michael,

When someone is asking about your strengths, they are usually looking for an example. It should be brief and relevant. The great thing about having the option to write this out is that you can have someone look over it for you to make sure it can be understood clearly by someone who doesn't know you. When writing the statements, avoid acronyms or jargon that may cloud the judgment of the reader. I would recommend sharing these strength statements with someone you trust to give you good feedback before sending them in an application or speaking them during an interview. This is one of those interview items that you can practice in advance.

Gloria

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