Career Tests To Find Your Perfect Job

By Chris Kolmar - Nov. 30, 2020

Find a Job You Really Want In

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Have you ever struggled to figure out your career path? Deciding what you want to do professionally can be a big choice to make. Sometimes, taking a career test or an aptitude test can help you narrow down your career choices.

Like any other personality test, career tests ask you questions about yourself and your habits to better understand what kinds of professions you’d do well in. They’re not always 100% accurate, but they can usually highlight a few options you’d be a good fit for.

These tests take things like skills, interests, values, and lifestyle into account so you can find a job that fits you. While the questions they ask might not seem directly related to finding a career, they use personality-based questions to match you with careers or tell you what qualities to look for in a job.

It’s a good idea to take a few career tests before making any decisions since you can get different answers from different tests. Often taking a few tests will show you patterns or certain qualities you should look for in a job, which can be very insightful.

Whether you’re a student or a workplace veteran, career tests can help you take a critical look at your options. Let’s take a look at how career assessments can help you and where to find some free assessment tests.

How a Career Test Can Help You

You might be thinking career tests can’t be very accurate or tell you anything you don’t know. You’d be surprised by what you can learn from these quick assessments. While you might not learn anything shocking, you can get some confirmation that you’re down the right path, at least.

As long as you approach these assessment tools with an open mind and a grain of salt, you’ll be able to benefit from their knowledge. Here are a few things you can gain by taking a career test:

  • Consider your options. If you’re in the early stages of your career, these tests can guide you toward a profession or field that you might succeed in. Sometimes career tests show you results you never expected or present you with a niche occupation you’ve never heard of before. These can be a great first step in learning about all of the jobs that are out there.

  • Gauge your reactions. Just as important as the results you receive are the results you don’t receive. If you expected to get a job and the test didn’t give it to you, maybe you want to rethink that career path. But you don’t have to listen to the test; you still know yourself better than it knows you.

    Paying attention to your reaction to a test’s results can be a good way to point you toward what you really want. If you’re disappointed that you didn’t get a specific profession, that could indicate that you’re passionate enough to pursue it. On the other hand, if you’re hoping for one result, it could be a sign that that’s where your passions lie.

  • Confirm your career. If you’ve already started your professional journey, aptitude tests can be a great way to confirm what you already know and make sure you’re in a profession that suits you.

    Job type you want
    Full Time
    Part Time
    Internship
    Temporary
  • Learn about yourself. Sometimes the reward of sitting through a career test isn’t the results you get at the end but the questions the test asks you. We don’t usually sit down and consider our goals, working style, or professional aptitudes. Career assessments give us a chance to think about these questions, and taking the time to work through them can give you more inspiration and knowledge than the actual results of the test.

Types of Career Tests

There are all kinds of career assessments out there, so sometimes it can be tricky to pick a handful to take. Generally, they fall into two categories, so you can choose one that fits your needs.

Some assessments are more about your personality than they are about matching you to a career. These tests are useful for learning about yourself in general; then, you can apply what you learn to different careers.

For some of the more popular personality assessments, you can find lots of articles that cover good careers for different personality types. So, even if a personality test doesn’t directly give you some career matches, you can do a little bit of research to connect your personality type with professions that people like you succeed in. Here are some popular personality tests:

  • Myers-Briggs Type Indicator. This is one of the most popular and famous personality tests out there. Also known as the 16 personality types or MBTI, the test categorizes you based on your personality and psychology. It’s based on the work of Carl Jung, and it can give you insights into how you relate to people and the world around you. Since it’s so popular, you can find a lot of information about how each personality type fits into different careers.

  • Keirsey Temperament Sorter. Like the MBTI test, this assessment asks you questions about your personality to sort you into one of four temperaments (idealists, guardians, artisans, and rationals). From there, you can get a more granular understanding of your strengths and weaknesses to match with job descriptions. This test is different from MBTI since it relies on evaluating your observable behaviors instead of your way of thinking, which can also make it more reliable than the MBTI test.

  • Strong Interest Inventory. This test pulls together elements of personality tests and career tests to match your personality and psychology to careers. The test will rate you on six qualities (conventional, realistic, investigative, artistic, social, and enterprising), then provide careers that match your rankings of those qualities. The Strong Interest Inventory is popular for high school and college students, but anyone can take it at any point in their career.

Another type of popular test you can take is a pure career test. These deal less with personality and your general qualities to focus more on how you work and what careers will fit well. There are usually three types of career tests:

  • Interest tests. These tests usually take your personal and professional interests into account to match you with industries or professions that will allow you to explore those interests. You can better understand what kinds of work you’d be suited for with these assessments. It’s similar to asking yourself what you’re passionate about and trying to find jobs that align with that, but the test simplifies the process.

  • Aptitude or skill tests. If you have a broad range of skills but don’t know how to apply them, this is an excellent test for you. You can evaluate the skills you already have and how they would fit with various career paths. This test works best for people who like being good at what they do instead of necessarily doing something they’re passionate about. It’s a great way to see how well you can do certain types of work if you don’t know where to start your career journey.

  • Workstyle tests. People like to work in many different ways. Some like to sit at a desk and churn out their work, while others need to stay active and use their bodies. Workstyle tests take these differences into account and match you with jobs that match how you like to work.

Both types of tests are useful, so consider taking a few of each type. Personality tests can be especially helpful since you can learn more about yourself in general than you would with a career test. Either way, any of these tests can help you find the best career for you.

Free Career Aptitude Tests

Here are a few tests that you can take for free to better understand where your career path should be. Remember, these are just meant to be helpful guides and not the end-all-be-all of your career journey. Ultimately your professional path is up to you, but these can help you get on the right track and give you career guidance.

  • 123CareerTest. This is one of the most popular quick assessments. It functions like an aptitude test, telling you what you’re best suited for based on your skills.

  • 16 Personalities. This is a form of the MBTI test, and it’s the most popular assessment out there. You can learn a lot about yourself, both professional and personal, from this test and all of the articles around these 16 personality types.

  • CareerOneStop Work Values Matcher. If you want to know how your values line up with your job and work environment, this is the test for you. It’s unique since it mostly deals with your best work environment, which can help decide between jobs.

  • Skills Matcher. Straight from the Department of Labor, this quiz can match you with different careers based on the skills you want to use at your job. The great thing about this test is that the DOL has tons of information on all kinds of careers, so you can learn about your results right away.

  • Career Color Quiz. This is a quick and fun test that tells you what jobs are right for you based on what colors you pick.

  • Keirsey Temperament Sorter. Like we mentioned before, this is a great resource for understanding your temperament and then which careers match your temperament type.

  • My Next Move. This test is especially helpful for people who already have a job or certain skills since you get results based on your current abilities and where you could potentially end up. It also gives you concrete steps, like education and experience, to help you get from where you are today to where you want to be. Their career clusters can be helpful to people currently working and looking to switch jobs.

  • Career Fitter. If you want to match your personality to a work environment that will fit you, this is the test you should take. It helps you find jobs that match your personality as well as what work environment and management style you should be looking for.

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Chris Kolmar

Author

Chris Kolmar

Chris Kolmar is a co-founder of Zippia and the editor-in-chief of the Zippia career advice blog. He has hired over 50 people in his career, been hired five times, and wants to help you land your next job. His research has been featured on the New York Times, Thrillist, VOX, The Atlantic, and a host of local news. More recently, he's been quoted on USA Today, BusinessInsider, and CNBC.

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