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Cornell University

Assessment Tools

Students often find that discussing and evaluating their interests with a career counselor helps to achieve the personal understanding that forms the basis for establishing career goals. Several career offices on campus have career counselors available to work with you.

Your First Appointment

In your initial appointment you will be asked to describe your concerns and what you hope to gain from career counseling. You and the counselor will decide which services and tools are the best campus resources for your concerns. 

Tools for Assessing Interests, Skills, Values, and Personal Strengths

Your career counselor will help you define your concerns, sort out your feelings, and help you to strategize on a plan to help you find your own answers. Based on your initial discussion, the counselor may recommend a career assessment instrument to help provide some additional clarifying information about your values, interests, skills, and personal strengths—all important areas you will need to understand and articulate in order to make sound career decisions. Because each student's situation is unique, the career counselor will help you to select the assessment that is right for you. Assessments cannot tell you exactly what you should do, but they can offer a new perspective on career concerns that can be very helpful in the career planning and decision making process. Below are a few examples of some of the assessments offered to assess the areas of interests, values, skills, and personal strengths.

  • Strong Interest Inventory measures your interests—not your abilities—and takes twenty to thirty minutes to complete online. You will receive your 14-page report from your career counselor during a follow-up appointment. (Available through remote appointments.)

  • Myers Briggs Type Indicator (MBTI) provides a useful measure of temperament by looking at four dimensions of personality preferences that all people use at different times. You will receive your 10-page report from your career counselor during a follow-up appointment. (Available through remote appointments.)
  • SkillScan is a card sort designed to help you determine what skills you possess which you can use in communicating your skill set to a potential employer. There is also an online version called SkillscanDRIVE which is available through remote appointments.
  • CliftonStrengths is a personality assessment that measures the presence of talents in 34 themes that relate to the way we naturally think, feel, and behave as unique individuals. Upon completing the assessment, respondents receive a report displaying their top five (most dominant) themes. A follow-up appointment is scheduled with the counselor to interpret the results and discuss how to effectively utilize this information in your career exploration and planning. (Available through in-person and remote appointments.)
  • Knowdell Career Values is a card sort designed to help you sort through values impacting your career decision making, such as security, work-life balance, family, location, helping others, fast pace, or high earnings. (Not available through remote appointments)

Career Counselors

Schedule an appointment at your college career office or Barnes Hall to learn more about which career counselors are available to assist you with career assessment:

  • Jessamyn Perlus—Students from all colleges at Cornell.
  • Heather Fortenberry—Students from all colleges at Cornell (CliftonStrengths specialist).
  • Meghan Kilfeather—Arts and Sciences students.

  • Laurie Gillespie and Jen DeRosa—CALS students.

  • Amanda Gonzalez—Human Ecology students.
  • Christa Downey—Engineering undergraduate and PhD students.