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What is a Career Assessment? Definition, Types, Benefits & Tools

what is a career assessment

As someone who has worked many jobs before settling for one, I know how irritating finding the right career or a job can be.

Not just me, there are many like me, who don’t find success in their careers or who are frequent job hoppers always on the lookout for their next career step rather than staying loyal to one company.

It requires a very close look into one’s interests, skills, and talents to reach a suitable career or a job fit, which is why career assessments are important.

But, What Exactly Is a Career Assessment?

Watch: How to Create an Assessment Online

If one were to define career assessments, they’d say it is a process of assessing your best skills, strengths, and weaknesses, to figure out the best career suited for your personality.

The definition & applications of career assessments aren’t universal. They are rather flexible as per the context they are used in.

According to Wikipedia, “Career assessments are tools that are designed to help individuals understand how a variety of personal attributes (i.e., data values, preferences, motivations, aptitudes, and skills), impact their potential success and satisfaction with different career options and work environments.”

In simple words, career assessment is a large and growing area—more individuals are using assessments to determine what jobs and careers may fit them best, and more organizations are using career assessment tools to help them find the best candidates to fill vacant positions.

A large variety of career assessment tools exist, and they are used depending on what type of information the individual or organization needs to have.

Here are some important points to be kept in mind about career assessments:

✔️A career assessment is not a test

Although the various tools used for career assessment may be test-like in form and function (i.e., they use standard test formats, like multiple-choice tests), they aren’t tests in the sense that there are no right and wrong answers to the questions. When analyzing the results, what is important is the pattern of results, which reflects a person’s interests and abilities. So, someone might answer one way, and another person might respond entirely differently—it isn’t that one person is right, and the other is wrong, but preferably that the two people are best suited for different types of jobs.

✔️The results of a career assessment are not set in stone

People’s interests and abilities can change over time as they explore new areas and learn new things. Therefore, the results of a career assessment should not be taken as deterministic or set in stone. It is possible that over the course of a lifetime, a person’s career assessment results may change dramatically, so it is a process individuals may want to complete several times over the course of their lives.

✔️Career assessments use many different tools

A career assessment isn’t just one thing—it is a process potentially involving many different tools. Two of the tools most commonly used by career counselors are the Myers-Briggs Type Indicator, which is a personality test, and the Strong Interest Inventory, which compares an individual’s interests to the interests of people working in various occupations. Companies often use personality tests, and skills assessments developed either in-house or by a third-party. A plethora of new tools has appeared in recent years, many of which can be taken online for free. The key factor for any career assessment is its validity, which is the degree to which the assessment actually measures what it is supposed to and thus can be used to draw meaningful conclusions.

✔️Career assessments are used for different types of jobs

Many people associate career assessments with vocational occupations (i.e., trades) only, but this is not an accurate representation. Today, with the wide range of assessments available, and with organizations relying more and more on data to drive their decision-making, career assessment tools are used to determine goodness-of-fit for everyone from entry-level tradespeople to managers.

✔️Career assessment is beneficial for everybody

Finding the right job is just as important for individuals as finding the right candidate is for companies. Career assessments can help people learn more about the types of jobs that are available and how well they might perform in various occupations. On the other hand, career assessments can also save companies time and money by helping them identify the best candidates, to begin with, rather than hiring the wrong people first and having to start over.

When we put all of these elements together, we can achieve a pretty good career assessment definition: Career assessment is a multifaceted process of assessing individuals’ current interests and abilities to help people find their ideal jobs and companies find their ideal candidates.

But how is such an assessment used? Let’s find out.

How Are Career Assessments Used?

Career assessments can be performed for a variety of purposes and used for a variety of reasons.

Here are some of the most common types of individuals and organizations that use career assessments and why:

  • Career and guidance counselors, such as those at colleges and universities, often use career assessments to help students determine their desired career path after graduation. The counselors can then make recommendations and help students identify courses, internships, and other experiences that will help them find a job in their desired field.
  • Hiring managers and other human resources staff often use career assessment tools to evaluate prospective job candidates. For example, personality tests are widely used to predict how well a candidate will match the company’s corporate culture and fit in with the team or department.
  • Job placement professionals, like recruiters and temp agencies, use career assessments to help their clients find qualified applicants to fill vacant positions, and to help people find work.

Types of Career Assessment Tests

It’s better to know & learn about all the types of career assessments before you actually decide which online career assessment to go for. Here, I’ve listed down some of the most common types of career assessment tests.

1. Skill Assessment– A skill assessment is used to measure your ability to learn a skill or perform a particular type of work. Skill assessments are widely used by companies to assess job candidates’ skills before making a hiring decision.

Depending on the job and the skills, these tests may be administered by an outside party, or they may be developed in-house specifically for the job in question.

Another type of skill assessment is aptitude tests, which measure broader natural skill areas.

For Example, a typing test is a skills test that determines how fast and how accurately a person can type. A logic test, on the other hand, is an aptitude test that more broadly evaluates a person’s natural problem-solving abilities.

2. Personality AssessmentPersonality tests are used to identify the jobs that match your personality type the most and perhaps the most widely used career assessment tools available.

These tools identify an individual’s personality traits, including strengths and weaknesses, communication, motivation, preferences, decision-making styles, and more.

The Myers-Briggs Type Indicator is one of the most widely used personality assessments. It helps people understand their personality preferences and identify careers that are well matched to those preferences.

Personality tests, such as those that measure leadership style, communication style, and how well people respond to adversity, are also widely used by companies to predict how well an individual will perform on the job.

These tests can take a variety of forms, from multiple-choice questions to having test-takers select adjectives describing them from a list.

Read More: What Exactly is a Personality Assessment?

3. Interest Assessments– Career interest assessments help individuals determine their interests and match them with occupations that fit those interests.

Widely used tools in this category include the Self-Directed Search, which classifies both people and working environments according to six categories: Realistic, Investigative, Artistic, Social, Enterprising, and Conventional (RIASEC).

Once you know what category you fit into, you can find a matching career. The Strong Interest Inventory is another widely used interest assessment. This tool matches individuals’ interests with the interests of people working in various occupations. It also helps people identify how they learn best.

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4. Values Assessments– Values assessments help individuals determine their priorities in terms of both career and lifestyle. For Example:

  • Are you more interested in intangible rewards (such as money) or intangible rewards (such as the chance to make an impact)?
  • Do you prefer physical or intellectual challenges?
  • Do you like independence, or do you prefer to be told exactly what to do?
  • Is it important for you to live in a city, or do you prefer a suburban or rural setting? The answers to these questions can help people make better decisions for their future.

These are just four of the most commonly used types of career assessments. There are many, many others. Even a job interview today can be considered a type of career assessment, as interviews at many companies follow a specific formula that results in each candidate being given a particular score.

Benefits of Career Assessments

Career assessments have a variety of benefits for both individuals and companies.

✔️ For Individuals

Career assessments can help people identify the careers that they are best suited for and where they might be happiest. This is especially important today, as there is a strong link between job satisfaction and happiness.

Most people spend eight hours or more every day at their place of work, so it is essential that they enjoy what they are doing—both for their productivity at work and for their personal well-being.

Career assessments can also make individuals aware of jobs and career paths they might never have heard about or considered before, opening up the possibilities for their future.

✔️ For companies

For companies, the main benefit of using career assessments is obvious—it helps them identify the best candidates for jobs.

Different types of career assessments can tell businesses many things about a candidate, including their skill level and how well they are likely to work in a team.

This can save companies a lot of time and money that might otherwise be spent hiring and training the wrong people, only to rehire and retrain for the same positions a short while down the road.

Today more than ever, companies are struggling to fill vacant positions with qualified workers—workers who have both technical and soft skills, who can work independently and as part of a team, and whose personality and values are a good cultural fit for the organization.

Tools such as career assessments are invaluable in helping match individuals with the careers and companies that suit them best, which results in a better situation for all parties in the end.

Now let’s have a look at what are the things to be considered when opting for a career assessment tool.

Best Career Assessment Tools: What to Look For

You’ll come across many career assessment tools or job assessment tools online. But, don’t just settle for any free career assessment tool. Rather go for the best career assessment tools only.

Consider the following features before selecting any career assessment tool:

  • Ease of Use: No matter which one you go for, make sure it is easy to use. Creating a career assessment test shouldn’t require a unique set of skills.
  • No Software Installation: Make sure the tool you’re using to create doesn’t require any software installation.
  • Customizations: Customizations make up a major part of online career assessments. Make sure the tool you select allows you to customize your assessments as per your choice.

Now that we know what’s required in such a tool, let’s find out about some popular tests that can help with the assessment of one’s career.

5 Best Career Assessment Tests To Find the Right Career

There’s a huge variety of career assessment tests and personality tools available on the web to run an assessment for a career. Even though many of them offer career assessment for free, others charge a fee for the test.

Here are a few of the best and absolutely free most popular career assessment tests:

1- What Does Your Personality Say About The Type of Job You Should Have?
Take this test to discover a job that will excite you.

2- What Should Your Job Be?
Are you stuck in a job you don’t like? Take this test to find out the right job that’ll make you happy.

3- What Job Should I Get?
Take this test to find out the job that you can handle best. Find out if you’re glamorous, creative, or a sucker for work-at-home. This online quiz maker helps you get one based on your characteristics.

4- What Job Would Suit Me?
If you’re not quite sure about what to do with your life, take this test. Students who are yet to finish school or individuals looking for a career change can take this test too!

5- What Type Of Job Suits You?
Stifling with finding a career you can excel in? Take this test! Just answer a few questions and see what type of job suits you.

Stop Gauging, Start Assessing!

Using a career assessment test to identify strengths and weaknesses in any individual is a far better way than merely gauging skills with an interview.

You can even create a career assessment questionnaire or a career assessment test free with online assessment software.

Overall, career assessment tools can assist both individuals and companies in making better decisions.
A word of caution.

While career assessment tools are powerful resources that can provide excellent information, no single test (or even a battery of tests) can accurately describe who a person is and how good they will be at a job. And, their results can change over time.

So, career assessments should be viewed as just some of the tools for the job seeker or hiring manager.
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About the author

Priyanshi has more than four years of experience in the eLearning industry. She is an ardent follower of new trends emerging in the learning & training sphere and loves to create interesting articles on the same. She has a passion for listicles too. In her free time, you’ll probably find her reading or exploring bizarre content on the web.