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Are You Strong Enough?

We all have strengths and weaknesses. Don’t we?

➔ There is a story told about professional golfer Tiger Woods. Apparently when, as young phenom, he began working with a golf coach, the coach instructed him to focus on those elements of the game at which he already excelled leaving his weaknesses for later.

As the theory goes, by making your best even better, you will far out-distance the competition. You will get more “bang for your buck.”

Can this be applied to your job search?

Does what works on the golf course help you in your job search? Maybe so. Think about your work-related strengths. Working well with people. Meeting deadlines. Working with numbers. Whatever you do well.

Conventional wisdom has long held that, in order to improve, one must address weaknesses and try to eliminate them. This may not be the shortest path to success.

The academics at Yale University believe so strongly in the concept that they’ve (somewhat selfishly) tried to name it. Under the banner “It’s Your Yale,” they stress focusing on your strengths. “Recent research suggests that this long-standing advice may not be the best coaching. In fact, when leaders, teams, cultures, and individuals focus on strengths, they have a better chance at winning than if they focus on improving deficiencies.” Read more.

Leading your (personal) marketing push with your strongest attributes should emphasize that you are the superior candidate – for any job. If you go into your job search preaching, “I’m the best widget maker west of the Mississippi…” employers will take notice.

Done right, once you get into an interview, the interviewer won’t have to ask what your strengths are, if the interviewer is paying attention, your strengths should be obvious by paying attention to you and your responses. (And if the interviewer is not paying attention to you and to your responses, do you really want to work there?)


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