Federal Careers

Career assessments come in free and paid models. There are many fee-based assessments that a qualified career counselor can administer, score, and interpret, as well as many free career assessments available on the Internet. You may find it helpful to take more than one assessment to help you determine which evaluation provides the most reliable and useful results for you. If you find that the same career options are being suggested by more than one assessment, it’s worth exploring in greater detail.

Career assessment tools can help you figure out your next move, Part 1 of 4

Career assessment tools can help you figure out your next move, Part 2 of 4

Here are some additional personality-driven career assessments. You may want to consult with a certified career counselor for additional assistance.


Online assessments vary considerably in terms of interactivity, what they measure, what kind of results they provide, and whether they really are cost-free. Some tests provide only a short list of possible careers; others are highly detailed reports. Some assessments are totally free, others provide you with one level of results for free, but offer more detailed results for a fee.

A few words of caution about taking an assessment online versus working directly with a qualified career services professional: Many assessments offered on the Internet lack evidence for validity and reliability. And when you register by providing your personal contact information, you are opening the door to future marketing and promotions from the assessment provider. This article will focus on the personality-driven assessments you may have heard of:

John Holland made it his life’s work to look at people and work environments. In 1985, he developed a classification system of personalities and work environments.

According to Holland, in our culture, most people fall into one of six personality types:

  • Realistic
  • Investigative
  • Artistic
  • Social
  • Enterprising
  • Conventional

Each personality type has a parallel work environment. People of the same personality type working together create a work environment that fits their type. People who choose to work in an environment similar to their personality type are more likely to be successful and satisfied. Holland created a hexagon model that shows the relationship between the personality types and environments. Assessments developed around the Holland theory link vocational interests to job families.

For most people, two or three styles are stronger than the others. Like people, careers often reflect a combination of two or three of these areas. When you complete an assessment developed around Holland’s theory, you are presented with a three-letter RIASEC — or Holland Code — that represents the three personality types that best describe your work personality. There is also a list of related careers and fields of study that correspond with your code.

Keirsey Temperament Sorter (KTS)
Also developed around the Holland theory, the KTS is a self-assessed personality questionnaire designed to help people better understand themselves and others. One of the most widely used personality assessments in the world, the KTS links human behavioral patterns to 4 temperaments and 16 character types.

Keirsey’s four temperaments are referred to as Artisans, Guardians, Rationals, and Idealists. These four temperaments can be further subdivided, often referred to as “Character Types.” The assessment consists of 70 questions, with two choices for each question. Once the assessment is scored and your personality type is revealed, there are detailed profiles which describe the characteristics of that type.

You can take the KTS for free online and receive a free temperament report. You can also purchase the Career Temperament Report that provides suggested career matches, tips on communication/interpersonal skills, and insight on navigating the job market based on your personality type.

Myers Briggs
One of the world’s most popular personality tools, the Myers Briggs Type Indicator (MBTI) assessment uses a multiple-choice questionnaire to identify your preferred way of doing things.

Similar to the Keirsey Temperament Sorter, your natural preferences sort into one of 16 distinct patterns of behavior — called personality types — that are framed around how you:

  1. direct and receive energy,
  2. take in information,
  3. make decisions, and
  4. approach the outside world.

These personality types are represented by specific letters.

These designations are:

  • Extraversion (E) or Introversion (I): Your preference indicates whether you tend to focus on and draw energy from people and activity “outside yourself” (E) or your own inner world of thought and reflection (I).
  • Sensing (S) or Intuition (N): Your preference indicates whether you tend to focus on information that’s real and tangible (S) or to take in the big picture and the connections between facts (N).
  • Thinking (T) or Feeling (F): Your preference indicates whether you tend to make decisions through logical analysis (T) or by considering what is important to you and to other people involved (F).
  • Judging (J) or Perceiving (P): Your preference indicates whether you generally like to live your life in a planned, orderly way (J) or in a flexible, spontaneous way (P).

The underlying assumption of the MBTI is that we all have specific preferences in the way we view our life experiences, and these preferences underlie our interests, needs, values, and motivation. Knowing your Myers-Briggs personality type gives you a better idea of what makes you tick and how this translates into all aspects of your life — including your career.

Hundreds of independent studies have established the MTBI’s validity and its reliability has been proven statistically.

You can take the Myers-Briggs assessment online, receive a report, and access an MBTI tool that will provide you with actionable tips and articles for your personality type.