The Competency Wheel


Every position will have a specific set of competencies that are required, either explicitly or implicitly. It is up to you to judge what you believe them to be. For example: if you were applying for a Sales Position it is likely to require the following competencies, among others…      

  • Good communication skills
  • Goal/Achiever
  • Tenacity
  • Initiative
  • Responsibility
  • Market Knowledge
  • Planning and Organising Skills
  • High energy
  • Motivation
  • Problem Solving skills

- and so on. 

On a scale of 1 to 10 rate yourself as to what you believe your level of ability to be against each competency. For example if you believe yourself to have excellent communication skills you may decide to give yourself 8 out of 10. Similarly against “Goal/Achiever” you may decide that a 6 is more appropriate. Tenacity may not be your strong point so that gets a 4 and so on.

 So here’s what you may end up with...


  • Good communication skills  8
  • Goal/Achiever  6
  • Tenacity  4 
  • Initiative  7
  • Responsibility  8
  • Market Knowledge 9
  • Planning and Organising Skills 5
  • High energy  7
  • Motivation  7
  • Problem Solving skills  4

The key thing here is TO BE HONEST. No good lying to yourself! That won’t get you the job. The purpose of this exercise is to show you how to judge your suitability for the position. If you’re not right for it DON’T WASTE YOUR TIME.

Rating your level of competency for a particular position I believe is a vital component in achieving success. By eliminating going for jobs where you don’t believe you have the required skills you will save yourself time, wasted energy that could be better applied to other applications, and negative self-talk when you don’t get considered for the position.

However, I have a much more powerful way for you to see how you stack up in the competency stakes! The competency wheel.


Taking the circle at the centre as zero and the outer dots as ten: plot where you think you are on the 0 to 10 scale for each competency. If perfection is 10 on every one the plot will give you a visual representation of where you are lacking and where you need to put in more effort. For more impact colour-in the area delimited by your scores! Now there you have it!!!

The example above shows that you do not rate yourself as being particularly numerate. It would therefore be wise NOT to apply for roles where this is an obvious key requirement! Don’t mislead yourself in the plot. There is absolutely no point. Why rate yourself as numerate when you’re not? Nothing to be ashamed of – you have excellent communication skills instead!

See how much more powerful a visual representation is! You can immediately see that if the perfect candidate was scoring 10 on every count just how far short, or more importantly, just how on target YOU are! And remember… this is YOU rating your skill set not an agency and not an employer.

This is one of the most powerful tools you can have – and of course the points you have plotted can change over time as your experience grows or the course of education you have undertaken begins to bear fruit.