The sites listed below contain a range of self-assessment activities that job seekers can use to help them with their job search.
Career interest tests
Sites that attempt to assess career interests vary considerably in quality, complexity and style. Some of them are quite simple and light-hearted; others contain a checklist and a report is returned to you. Some of the sites require a fee and some are designed for career professionals only, so it’s important to know what you’re up for before you begin.
Launched in July 2002, the Australian Government’s myfuture site has an extensive section for self-assessment, called My Guide, which helps job seekers through all stages of the process.
In Australia, Careers Online has a career interest section.
Also in Australia, the annual Job Guide site from the Department of Education, Employment and Workplace Relations (DEEWR) provides comprehensive Australian contacts and information.
The University of Technology, Sydney Career Development subsite offers a range of resources for career path development, including a useful ‘Interests Quiz’.
The Career Key was developed by Professor Lawrence Jones at North Carolina State University and provides a free professional career test, which measures skills, abilities, values, interests and personality.
Columbus State University’s career centre provides seven online activities, including ExPAN, Birkman, The Career Key, The Holland Game, My Future Quiz and Kaplan’s Career Match Game.
Holland’s Self Directed Search is a reputable instrument that is used extensively in hard copy format. The test on this site is hosted by Psychological Assessment Resources and is taken online with an 8- to 16-page report available for a small fee.
Pearson Assessments is an Australian online assessment company that provides character assessment in a number of professional areas. It provides a range of career instruments for professionals to use, including the Interest Determination Exploration & Assessment System (IDEAS) and a detailed introduction to the Campbell Interest & Skills Survey (CISS). You’ll need to pay if you choose to proceed with this test.
Values play an important part in career development because they provide the underlying feelings that influence career decisions. The number of possible values is too long to list here, but some of the sites on this page attempt this, so take a look.
Personality tests can help you to understand how you operate. A clear understanding of your particular style or personality type can be a major factor in finding more rewarding or satisfying careers.
The Keirsey site links to a large range of other sites providing information regarding temperament and how this relates to a range of circumstances. A simple Myers-Briggs Type Indicator (MBTI) test can be undertaken.
Personality Online provides everything from personality tests to a comprehensive database of personal development-related resources. You must register to undertake any of the tests available on this site.
The Platinum Rule will help you to identify your dominant behavioural style. It uses an 18-question instrument to identify your dominant style and your responses are evaluated on completion of the instrument.
The Coaching for Success site links to a number of other self-assessment sites. These include some listed above and others to do with personality and communication skills. There are also links to search engines with information on personality tests.
Human Metrics provides a free web-based Jung Typology personality test.
The skills you develop through education and life can be broadly broken down into two main categories. The first category is technical (or vocational) skills, which include skills related to your area of training, manual and computing skills. The second category is generic or transferable skills, which are skills that are used across a range of occupations and situations.
Examples of generic skills are leadership and communication skills. Identifying your skills means that you will have a good idea of your strengths, so you will be better able to market yourself to an employer.
Onetest’s Cognitive Ability Test includes a mix of aptitude questions (numerical, verbal and abstract reasoning) to assess your ability to:
- think outside the square
- solve problems faster
- grasp new concepts sooner
- apply learned knowledge to specific work tasks more readily.
The Skillsoft site has great skills assessment information.
Seven Dimensions produces skills assessment tests in 10 areas (e.g. service skills, team skills and people skills). Check the website for the current cost of the tests.
Issues about testing
For information about the ethics of tests and other associated issues – and some frequently asked questions – the following sites are useful:
Australian Psychological Society
Department of Psychology, Northwestern University (US)
American Psychological Association
(Adapted from the internet job seeking guide ‘Working The Web’ by Col McCowan, Head Careers and Employment, Queensland University of Technology and Mal McKenzie, Manager Careers Service, University of Technology, Sydney).