In this section you will discover a wide variety of useful exercises to enhance your understanding of your career preferences to:
- Identify a career focus
- Explore career and educational options
- Enhance skill development to increase marketability
- Market yourself in resumes and employment interviews.
Assess & Focus
Use the Assessment Exercises below in conjunction with the SkillScan transferable skills assessment system and complete the Career Profile to create a holistic view of career preferences.
Guides for Taking the Print Card Sort
- Quick Start Guide for Advance Pack 2.0 — A resource guide for taking, recording, and applying Advance Pack 2.0 (print card sort) to your career goals.
- Fast Sort — An abbreviated 20- to 30-minute instructional guide for assessing your skills.
- Two-level Proficiency Matrix — An instructional guide for individuals with less than 2 years of professional or volunteer experience.
- Three-level Proficiency Matrix — An instructional guide for individuals with 2+ years of professional or volunteer experience.
- Three Types of Skills Classification — A framework for understanding the three types of skills.
- Chart of Skill Sets (Advance Pack and SkillScan Online) — A list of skill set definitions and sample career options to aid career exploration.
Additional Skills Assessment Tools
- Assessing your Pattern of Skills and Motivations — An autobiographical exercise to identify your unique pattern of skills and motivations from life and work experiences. Compare the results with Drive or Express Online Assessment to validate your greatest strengths. Note: This version is designed to print and fill in by hand.
- Chart of Skill Sets (Advance Pack) — A list of all 18 skill Sets, definitions and sample career options to enhance self-awareness and in exploring careers possibilities.
- Skill Set Reference Guide (Express and Drive) — A list of all 18 Skill Sets, definitions and sample career options to enhance self-awareness and aid in exploring careers possibilities.
- SkillScan Advance Pack Skill Wheel - A graphic to view the six Skill Categories, 60 skills and 18 Skill Sets
- SkillScan Drive Skill Wheel - A graphic to view the six Skill Categories, 54 skills and 18 Skill Sets.
- Holland Interests Assessment — A quick exercise based on Holland’s RIASEC occupational theory to identify your top interest themes (works with all SkillScan assessments).
- Discovering your Interests — A list of insight-oriented questions to identify specific interests - useful for exploring potential fields and industries.
- Discovering Your Pre-retirement Interests — An exercise to explore areas of interest for potential volunteer, paid work or entrepreneurial options.
- Values Assessment for Advance Pack and SkillScan Online — An exercise for clarifying Activity-based and Worklife and Environment values for integrating values with preferred SkillScan skills.
- Values Assessment for Pre-retirees — An exercise to clarify key Activity-based and Worklife and Environment values to consider in planning retirement work options (works with all SkillScan assessments).
- Ideal Work Environment — An exercise to generate and prioritize ideal work conditions.
- Personal Traits — An exercise to evaluate personal qualities and strengths. May be used to send to colleagues, fellow employees and managers to gain more objective feedback.
- Brainstorm Retirement Work Options — An exercise for generating a variety of paid work, volunteer or entrepreneurial ideas for retirement. Complete the exercise and email to colleagues to collect ideas of new work possibilities, (works with all SkillScan assessments).
- Values Assessment for Pre-retirees — An exercise to clarify Activity-based and Worklife and Environment values for planning retirement work options (works with all SkillScan assessments).
- Pre-retirement Time Allocation Exercise — A tool to evaluate the balance of daily activities for structuring an ideal week.
- Pre-retirement Ideal Week Journaling Exercise — A writing strategy for creating an ideal week of retirement activities.
- Brainstorm Retirement Work Options — An exercise for generating a variety of paid work, volunteer or entrepreneurial ideas for post-retirement. Client completes the exercise and emails to colleagues to collect ideas of new work possibilities, (works with all SkillScan Assessments)
- Skill Development Plan for Retirement — A planning activity to develop and optimize preferred skills in retirement work options, (works with all SkillScan assessments).
When you have completed the SkillScan report along with the other assessment exercises, use these forms to summarize and validate your preferences. Observe themes across the various assessments and generate career ideas.
Important Forms Instructions: please download and complete online.
Required: Adobe Acrobat 9.0 or higher (free download).
- Career Profile Template — A form for summarizing skills and other preferences to create a comprehensive career profile for focusing and exploring best-fit options.
- Brainstorming Exercise — A tool for generating career ideas based on your skills, interests and values. Complete the exercise and email to peers/colleagues/co-workers to collect career ideas.
- Brainstorm Retirement Work Options — An exercise for generating a variety of paid work, volunteer or entrepreneurial ideas for work in retirement. Complete the exercise and email it to peers/colleagues/co-workers to collect ideas of new possibilities.
- Integrate Assessment Themes — A template for recording Holland Interests, Values, Skills and Personality themes to gain a picture of your career preferences. Works with all SkillScan assessments.
- Connecting Skills with Holland Interests and Values Themes - A guide to identify the connection across Interests, Skills and Values.
In addition to the resources below, use job search sites such as Indeed.com, Simplyhired.com and Google.com to identify specific job title of careers that interest you.
Career Exploration Websites
- UC Berkeley Career Center: Career Exploration Resources — An extensive database of occupational information.
- UC Berkeley Career Center: What Can I Do with a Major In... A source to explore a range of careers that relate to different majors.
- Canadian Careers — A resource to learn more about a wide range of occupations and education and training programs in Canada.
- Occupational Outlook Handbook — Bureau of Labor Statistics site for exploring occupations.
- O*Net OnLine — US Department of Labor primary source of occupational information.
- O’Net - Interest Profiler — A site to assess your Holland interests and explore relevant career options.
- Skill Sets and Suggested Career Options — Lists of career options that align with each of the 18 Skill Sets (works with all SkillScan assessments).
College & Training Websites
- College Navigator — A free consumer information tool designed to help students research education and training programs.
- College Board Big Future — a free tool to explore and research colleges that align with your interests and goals.
- Fastweb.com — A site devoted to identifying scholarships, colleges, internships and jobs.
- One-Stop Career Centers — A free resource for researching education and training options including 2-year and 4-year college degree programs, apprenticeships, and short-term certificate programs.
A variety of helpful services and career development resources for job seekers.
- Local College Career Center — College career centers often provide career and academic counseling, career and life planning courses, a career library, internship and employment resources, and alumni programs.
- Local One-Stop Career Centers — Assist individuals with career and training information, employment, and career management.
- Expanded List of Skill Sets and Development Activities — Works with all SkillScan assessments. Lists of practical development ideas for planning development steps that align with each of the 18 Skill Sets.
- Skill Development Plan — An exercise for planning action steps to develop skills.
Exercises and resources to communicate your skills and preferences in resumes, cover letters and interviews.
- Skill Expansion Exercise — An exercise to generate activities and experiences that demonstrate your skills.
- Accomplishment Exercise — A tool to develop accomplishment statements for your resume and employment interviews.
- Skill Headings for Resume Development — A sampling of skill headings to use in targeting skills for a position.
- Position Analysis Exercise — An exercise for breaking down a job into transferable skills and other qualifications to use in targeting a resume.
- Sample Hybrid Resume for a College student — Example of a master resume that organizes accomplishment and experience using skill categories and skill set groupings. Serves as a foundational resume that can be tailored to actual jobs.
- Sample Skills-based Hybrid Resume for Plant Science Researcher Pivoting to Clinical Trial Coordination — We used Yvonne's Drive Skill Categories to organize and tailor her experience to align with clinical trial competencies.
- Sample Hybrid Resume for Mid-life Career Changer — A skills-based resume showcasing transferable skills in making a career change from teaching assistant to a case manager job for a County agency - includes the completed Position Analysis Exercise for structuring the skill headings.
- A functional sample resume for an MBA student transitioning from teaching into management consulting.
Job Search Websites
- Job Star: California's Job Search Guide — Gives quick overviews on resumes, cover letters, and interviewing.
- job-hunt — Offers advice on developing your marketing materials including numerous free resume and cover letter samples.
- Indeed — A site that integrates thousands of jobs from company hiring pages. Companies also post job openings directly.
- Glassdoor — A recognized site for identifying open jobs and salary data.
- LinkedIn — In addition to networking, LinkedIn offers extensive lists of job postings.
- Internships.com — A website for identifying internship openings.