What to Write for a Weakness on a Job Application

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You're not alone if you're dreading answering the classic "what is your weakness" question -- but look on the bright side. By answering that question in your job application, you'll have much more time to think about the best approach than you would have if you were put on the spot during a job interview.

Identifying a Weakness

  • When you're coming up with a response, total candor might not help. The employer doesn't want to know that you tend to be lazy on Fridays or that you take long lunch breaks, so don't share something that will cost you the job. Instead share something that gives the employer a sense of who you are, suggests The Ladders website. For example, instead of saying "I'm overly confident," you might describe a situation that's made you feel that way, or describe how your personal background or upbringing shaped that tendency. In general, focus on how you behave instead of your general personality traits, recommends the CareerCast website.

Turning it into a Strength

  • Whatever traits you share, take the time to also mention how you're working on improving. Describe how you're learning from your past mistakes or how you're taking steps to change your behavior. Even better, show how your weakness can be a strength. If you describe a scenario in which you were overconfident, for example, you might follow up by saying that your attitude helped to motivate your employees or helped you win the trust of a client.

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