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I have been reading self-assessment articles for few days. I have been thinking to create a nice graphical representation (Venn diagram) of my skill set (input) along with level of expertise for each skill (input). So for example, let's say I have short-listed 24 skills that I think I possess and I have categorize these skills into three different category giving each skill a rating (between 1 to 5). Now is there a easy way to somehow visually depict this information?

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Can't you just use a bar chart? I'm not even sure how you'd rate skills as it's difficult to find a 'rating 5' benchmark to compare against. –  Muz Jan 29 '13 at 4:44
    
I can do bar chart for one category of skills, but I am having trouble having all of the three category to appear on one single bar chart. –  modest Jan 29 '13 at 6:28
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How is this question related to personal productivity? –  THelper Jan 29 '13 at 8:31
    
Can you suggest some other category on the StackExchange network where it would fit? If yes, feel free to move it as I don't think I have enough reputation to perform that task. –  modest Jan 29 '13 at 16:14

3 Answers 3

If you have a competency framework to map against, then yes, it can be very straightforward. As an example, the Institute of Information Security Professionals has a list of core competencies that you can be assessed against. A short excerpt is included:

enter image description here

From this example you can see that you have good categorisation of the skills in category A, B, C, D etc. Tools like Excel allow you to build a chart with all these skills grouped by category (and colour-coded) along the x-axis with the rating up the y-axis (but to be honest, asking how to do that certainly isn't a productivity question, but a simple Excel question)

Additionally, a Venn diagram is almost not what you want here - a simple bar chart should meet your needs perfectly.

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Thanks for the reply. I almost thought, when looked at your answer, I found what I was looking for. But then I realized two of my skill category are self-management and functional skills. So for example, how would one rate skills like determination, dedication, persistent on the above chart. I think this chart is great for technical/quantifiable skills. –  modest Jan 29 '13 at 16:13
    
This chart is a very small sample of a particular organisation's competency matrix, and behind each one of these are the expectations in that skill. For your specific requirements you'd need to have a competency framework covering those skills, and listing what you would expect in a 1 rated as opposed to a 4 rated person - then you would have something to compare with. –  Rory Alsop Jan 29 '13 at 16:23

This might help you. It's a visual representation of a high school transcript. What a person has studied, the distribution over different fields, the depth of the person's studies. Doesn't quite fit, but it's close.

bit.ly/UFXLAa

Then, on a related note, I saw that someone had come up with this "value proposition wheel." What value does this startup (but it could be a person) provide. A way of bucketing your own value.

bit.ly/U2Bzm2

Hope this is helpful.

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Since @Rory Alsop provided an excellent framework for quantifiable skills, I'm going to skip that and just discuss the less quantifiable skills...like determination, dedication, etc. I'll call these soft skills for the purpose of this answer.

I work as a freelancer, so selling my soft skills is equally important as selling my knowledge of a particular domain. Typically in a non-freelance position you'll get a performance review that has at LEAST one section on soft skills. I never see anything like that, so I'm instantly at a disadvantage. Do I rate myself? Do I necessarily have the best perception of myself? I'm biased, to say the least.

And there's the key...how can you get an unbiased assessment of soft skills? Ask the people who know. In cases of your performance review, the soft skills section may have a "ranking". I've seen systems where you could get, say, 20 points for flawless soft skills, and 0 points for being a rude, bumbling idiot, and this was factored into a total performance score. If you're employed and see things like that, use that as a metric.

If those things aren't included on a performance review, or, like in my case as a freelancer, never even discussed, you need to be proactive. Here's what I do:

At the end of each job, every client gets an assessment survey. There's a couple "rank from 1 to 5" questions, and a couple freeform "what can we do better" questions. In marketing materials, I often QUOTE these clients to help reinforce the soft skills. If I were to use a chart similar to above, I'd estimate where my aggregate assessment scores fall on whichever scale I'm using, and I'd be prepared to discuss how I arrived at that value with a prospective employer.

Let's imagine that neither case fits your situation. That's where you ask your friends and, more importantly, mentors who tell you what you NEED to hear instead of what you WANT to hear...which friends often do. Create a survey that asks very pointed and specific questions about the soft skills you need assessed. Determination may be one. Your friends may know nothing of your work, but if they saw you get up at 4:00am every day to train for a marathon that you eventually ran and completed, you're going to get higher determination scores than had you decided to run a marathon only to stop training on the first chilly morning. Making three six-year-olds share toys happily is "excellent negotiation skills". Find the people who know you personally and professionally that are willing to rate you honestly.

You'll then have quantifiable values to report. The key is to be able to explaint he methodology to

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Excellent complementary answer! –  Rory Alsop Jan 30 '13 at 16:02
    
Excellent preliminary answer. :) –  dwwilson66 Jan 30 '13 at 16:04

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