Finding a job has never been easier, according to UB Career Services, which is now offering the StrengthsQuest service to students.
StrengthsQuest is an online personal assessment, which is designed to discover a person's key strengths and highlight skill sets leading students to various majors, classes and careers.
"A lot of times, in education, we concentrate on what's wrong, and we fix it, as opposed to focusing on our strengths and helping to develop them more," said Edward Brodka, a staff associate for Career Services.
One of the features of StrengthsQuest is its Strengths Finder 2.0 which looks for an individual's top five themes of talent, based on responses to a series of questions. Each question has two choices, and the examinee ranks which answer most closely resembles him or her. There is a time limit to each question, to prevent the subject from over-thinking.
"We call it an assessment, not a test. A test has right and wrong answers. This measures a person's talent," Brodka said.
After completing the assessment, the individual's top strengths are picked out, and the program creates a list of five keywords which best describe the individual's talents. There are 34 themes that provide detailed descriptions of the person's words.
"These strengths could be helpful for job interviews," said Brodka. "Job interviewers are always going to ask you what your strengths are. Most people say ‘I'm organized, hardworking, or creative' - typical answers. How does your interview stand out? Instead of saying you're just good at those things, now people can say what their talent is and really describe what they are good at."
The StrengthsQuest assessment is much different than the other tests, like the "Strong Test" which specifically lists occupations that would best suit a person based on personality matches.
The StrengthsQuest can help guide a student with various choices for life decisions, whether it is for a class, club, or career.
"It will give you some ideas of the types of occupations you would be good [at] and happy [with]," Brodka said. "If you're doing what you're good at, you will be much more engaged in your work."
According to Brodka, when an individual focuses on their strengths daily, they are six times more likely to be engaged in their job, and three times more likely to report having an excellent quality of life.
"[StrengthsQuest] could be used as a way to find a major that best utilizes your abilities," said Brodka.
Career Services provides students with their access code, which allows students to take the assessment at a discounted price of $15. Groups, classes, and various clubs are encouraged to participate, and there is a special group rate of $12 per person. Students can also purchase the StrengthsQuest book at the bookstore and take the assessment from there.
After purchasing the code, an online copy of the book can be accessed for life. Interested students can stop by the Career Services' office.
"We would like [students] to come by our office, and talk to someone so [they] understand what it's about, just briefly," Brodka said. "We can tell students what's most helpful for them specifically. It helps knowing how you will want to use this information to help you."