As young, upcoming professionals, many of us have years of interviews, networking, elevator speeches, resumes, and cover letters ahead of us. Without years worth of experience to reflect back on, it can be hard to know how to sell yourself.

One of the most valuable tools I have found to know exactly how to sell myself has been the Clifton Strengths Starter delivered through Gallup Strengths Center.

This is basically a more sophisticated version of a personality test and it can be an amazing tool to help me and other young professionals know what they have to offer.

For $19.99, you get:

  • Your Signature Themes Report: "This report presents your top five so you can identify your dominant talents and start leading a strengths-based life."
  • Strengths Insight Report: "This guide offers an in-depth analysis of your top five. Unique to your specific combination of strengths, this report describes who you are in astonishing detail and provides you with a comprehensive understanding of yourself, your strengths and what makes you stand out."
  • Strengths Insight and Action-Planning Guide: "This guide provides an in-depth analysis of each of your top five, personalized based on your unique strengths profile. It also includes 10 action items for each to help you think about how to start building and applying your strengths every day."
  • Other tools and resources. "You can dive deeper into strengths-based development with your complimentary electronic copy of StrengthsFinder 2.0 and other supporting materials."

Many companies employ these kinds of test to foster development and to focus in on how team members can better work together and contribute. However, I have used my strengths and the other tools provided through this package to better illustrate my strengths, how I work independently and in a team, and how I can add value to a company during interviews and other application processes.

My top 5 strengths are:

1. Strategic

2. Analytical

3. Learner

4. Relator

5. Arranger

From this, I can communicate to potential employers that I am good at finding the most efficient and effective plan and have the skills to know exactly how each of the team members fit into that plan and how to best execute.

These are things that I wouldn't have thought to string together or to name as my greatest strengths without taking the test and it gave me a credible and recognizable source to back up these claims alongside my personal examples.

Through reading the reports, you are able to find ways in which your strengths play a role in your working relationships and your own personal working style. They provide you with words that could be used to describe yourself, situations you work well in, and how you best work in the grand scheme of things.

I review these documents before every interview, writing any cover letter, or even updating my resume. Reading the reports reminds me what I am good at and what I should be communicating.

For less than $20, the Clifton Starter is a great investment that gives yourself an edge in your job hunt!