Methodology for Career Advisors

The Methodics is based on the theory of vocational psychology (Holland’s theory). By developing this test model, we have focused on constructing “Congruence”, defined by Holland (1997) as the compatibility of the individual’s resemblance to a type of work or the environment in which that individual finds herself or himself. Although congruence, in general, is the match between personality and occupational choice.

It relies on “Congruence” because many studies postulated that the fit of employee desires to environmental (e.g., occupational) supplies and employee abilities to environmental demands has been postulated to produce varied vocational outcomes, including:

  1. reduced job stress, strain, anxiety, absenteeism, turnover intentions, and turnover;
  2. improved physical health, psychological health, emotional stability, adjustment, goal-setting behaviour, copying, adaptation, attitudes toward learning, and vocational choice;
  3. increased creativity, motivation, performance, occupational success, career certainty, commitment, tenure, job satisfaction, and work morale.


Validation of the methodology:
Final results are thoroughly verified and validated. All data is collected from test takers through the feedback on the test experience and satisfaction with the final results. 

Holland ́s theory is widely accepted and globally valid in explaining individual differences in personality, and so it provides a strong base for gaining data and providing an appealing user experience.

Although the basic concept of Holland ́s theory is in use, the test questions have been changed to reflect modern times. The SkillsUp test reflects the personality in six dimensions (Realistic, Investigative, Artistic, Social, Enterprising, Conventional). Every dimension facilitates the understanding of specific personality traits, skills, and abilities. Five to six questions focus on the measurement of each dimension.  

The test consists of 33 questions. For a measurement, our concepts (dimensions) use nominal and interval scales. Nominal-level measurement work with two dichotomous categories. In case where the quality of traits, skills, and abilities could be quantified, we use an interval scale where the questions and quotes are on a six-point scale (test taker can differentiate between options, e.g., variables range from not at all to absolutely). In item creation, we focused on a simple, quick, eye-catching, and intuitive answer approach. For concepts that are easy to express with images, our test allows answering visually. For concepts that are too abstract or too specific, we use text-based possibilities to answer. We have focused on a comprehensive approach, both on the design of the questions that cover all six RIASEC dimensions, while also being as economical as possible by arranging scales with the number of answering options. Matching suitable jobs with unique personalities. 

Text version of all used questions can be found in Annex no. 1. 

Language variation of the test: The final SkillsUp test is accessible in different languages, according to the country of partners of the project such as English, Slovak, Czech, Greek, and Slovenian.

Duration of test: Approx. 10 – 20 minutes.

Test form: Evaluation and results are available online. 

What the test results reveal to the participants:

  • The personality type, used in the test, is based on the RIASEC code. (According to the Holland method, people and work environments are classified in six categories: R – Realistic, I – Investigative, A – Artistic, S – Social, E – Enterprising, and C – Conventional, with a collective shorthand of RIASEC).
  • Characteristics of participant dominate personality type.
  • The strengths and soft skills to be developed.
  • The weaknesses to consider.
  • Five jobs suggestions in three specific sectors.

The content of the test results relies on the Holland methodology, the RIASEC code. The worldwide known Clifton Strengthsfinder philosophy slightly inspires recommendations for development as well. Based on that, it is possible to analyse and define strengths and talents, leading to the definition of a suitable or even dream profession.

Access to the test: The test is placed on an online platform with unlimited and free access for everyone with an Internet connection. Link to the test:

  • Test results are explicitly adapted for the EU and the job markets of all the partnering countries, and most require jobs within the unemployed group of people.
  • Focuses on particularly revealing strengths of participants rather than weaknesses.
  • The test results demonstrate 3 soft skills that the participant can develop and study through our learning material (PDFs and videos).
  • It is dedicated to the development of talents and strengths and to bringing authenticity and satisfaction from work lives to personal lives of the participants – It enables modern and person-centred approach.
  • Gains insightful results on which basis they can avoid being unhappy, suffer from lack of self-confidence and energy in their career.
  • Oriented to future-focused jobs, which are nowadays most needed on the market, instead of focusingon dying jobs. 
  • The test is free, simple, quick, anonymous, and useful.
  • Possibility to fill the test comfortably, online through PC and mobile as well.

The outcome will be the information about the characteristics (personality type) of the attendee and a recommendation of the most suitable profession on the labour market in a specific EU country where he is applying. Test outputs also bring tips for each unemployed person’s career development before and after getting a job. We created useful learning material and tools in the form of PDFs and videos for the participants as a support for their soft skills development. Tests and their results will also serve the career advisors to simplify their work and deliver better services.

  • Identifying the most suitable work profession and where the unemployed have their most significant potential.
  • Revealing the specific strengths of each personality type. 
  • Information about possible weaknesses of each personality type in order to avoid any further potential failure.
  • Identifying which personality type attendee is and which soft skills he/she should develop to increase his/her competitive advantage on the market.
  • Getting different tips and ideas of possible suitable job roles within the most required industry of the specific EU state, according to the participants’ personality type.
  • Working tool for Career advisors and counsellors.

Ten soft skills have been identified for the unemployed people to be more successful in the labour market. Following ten preselected soft skills might help them find more suitable jobs easier and faster.

  1. Communication and Cooperation Skills
  2. Proactivity
  3. Flexibility and Adaptability Skills
  4. People and Customer Orientation
  5. Creativity
  6. Leadership 
  7. Achieving, Performance, Ambition and Goal Orientation
  8. Analytical Thinking and Problem-Solving
  9. Planning and Organizational Skills
  10. Learning Skills

Categories within the test based on personality types:
According to the Holland method, people and work environments are classified using six categories: R – Realistic, I – Investigative, A – Artistic, S – Social, E – Enterprising, and C – Conventional, with a collective shorthand of RIASEC. 

Realistic people are usually assertive and competitive and are interested in activities requiring motor coordination, skill, and strength. People with realistic orientation typically prefer to work with a problem by doing something rather than talking about it or sitting and thinking about it. 

They like concrete approaches to problem-solving, rather than abstract theory. They tend to be interested in scientific or mechanical rather than cultural and aesthetic areas. They want to work with THINGS.

Investigative people like to think and observe rather than act, to organize and understand information rather than to persuade. They tend to prefer individual rather than people-oriented activities. They like to work with DATA.

Artistic people are usually creative, open, initiative, original, perceptive, sensitive, independent, and emotional. They do not like structure and rules but like tasks involving people or physical skills, and are more likely to express their emotions than others. They like to think, organize, and understand artistic and cultural areas. They like to work with IDEAS and THINGS.  

Social people seem to satisfy their needs in teaching or helping situations. They are different from R and I Types because they are drawn more to seek close relationships with other people and are less apt to want to be intellectual or physical. They like to work with PEOPLE.

Enterprising people are good talkers and use this skill to lead or persuade others. They also value reputation, power, money, and status, and will usually go after it. They like to work with PEOPLE and DATA

Conventional people like rules and regulations and emphasize self-control. They want structure and order and dislike unstructured or unclear work and interpersonal situations. They place value on reputation, power, or status. They like to work with DATA. 

Required soft skills for each personality type:

Based on the RIASEC code, we have defined these soft skills to develop for each personality type:

  • R – Realistic – Doers 

– Proactivity

– Achieving / Performance / Ambition / Goal Orientation 

– Planning / Organizational Skills

  • I – Investigative – Thinkers

– Analytical Thinking / Problem-solving Skills

– Learning Skills

  •  A – Artist – Creators

– Adaptability / Flexibility Skills

– Creativity

– Learning Skills

  •  S – Social – Helpers 

– Communication / Cooperation Skills

– People / Customer-oriented Skills

– Leadership 

  •  E – Enterprising – Persuaders

– Communication / Cooperation Skills

– Proactivity

– Adaptability / Flexibility Skills

– People / Customer-oriented Skills

– Creativity

– Leadership

– Achieving / Performance / Ambition / Goal Orientation 

– Learning Skills

  •  C – Conventional – Organisers

– Creativity

– Leadership

– Achieving / Performance / Ambition / Goal Orientation 

– Analytical Thinking / Problem-solving Skills

– Planning / Organizational Skills

– People / Customer-oriented Skills

– Communication / Cooperation Skills

– Proactivity

The test provided by SkillsUp project is dedicated to unemployed people with the highest unemployment rate in their country and are searching for low-skilled positions. At the same time, the test is for those with secondary education. Specifically working or searching for a job in the following countries:

Slovenia: Unemployed people who are more than 55 years old with primary and secondary education. A higher percentage of the unemployed are women.

Greece: Unemployed people between 30 and 44-years-old with secondary education. This target group has the highest unemployment rate.

Czech Republic: Unemployed applicants within 25-40 years old. The number of workers under the age of 40 has declined. There are more people over age 40 looking for a job. Most workers have come from abroad. Special support under individual European projects is given to at-risk groups, i.e., the young and those over 50, through retraining courses provided by the Czech Labour Office. There is a need for young workers up to 40 years old with at least secondary education, workers that would be able to be requalified.

Slovak Republic: Unemployed people around 35 years old that have a secondary education. The most critical is the group of low-skilled, who might need a requalification to meet the market needs. By 2024 the graduates will not be sufficient in the labour market demand. 

European market in general: Unemployed candidates that are 25-45 years old, with mostly secondary school education, ideally with language skills. English is mandatory for the majority of positions in most European cities nowadays. And if you speak German, many companies are looking for those candidates right now! German speakers are required in huge numbers all over Europe. French, Dutch and Spanish are also very needed languages, followed by Italian and the Scandinavian languages (Swedish, Danish, Norwegian and Finnish).

We choose particular positions and industries within each partner´s country according to the highest needs and demand of the local labour market. We have focused on the key industries and positions in Europe in general and then on particular countries such as Slovakia, Czech Republic, Slovenia and Greece where there was a noticeable lack of qualified or motivated employees. All required industries and professions within Europe and its particular countries have been searched within different official sources and found as an appropriate proof in the following portals. 

How the key industries and positions were chosen in following countries:

Slovenia: We selected 5 sectors and 15 positions based on the data that was given to us on the 10th of February, 2019 by the Employment Service of Slovenia after we requested the data based on the discussions among all partners. We provided the Employment service with what we needed, and they gave us information that was available at the time. They also gave us additional explanation about the data they had and why it was not 100% complete.

When interpreting the data, it must be taken into account that on the 12th of April 2013 a law came into effect (Zakon o spremembah in dopolnitvah zakona o urejanju trga dela (ZUTD-A)) under which it is no longer mandatory to register an open job position at The Employment Service of Slovenia.

Because employers who are not a part of the public sector or are not business entities under majority ownership of the state can publish open job positions on their own without informing The Employment Service of Slovenia the Employment service does not have information about all open job positions in the country.


Greece: We selected 5 sectors and 15 positions based on the data selected through the “Labour Markets Needs Diagnosis’ Mechanism” tool ( which has been operating in Greece since the first semester of 2016. It measures labour market tightness to improve employment policies and reduce skills mismatches. 

Governance of this tool is shared:

  • the Greek Ministry of Labour coordinates its development and operations;
  • the National Labour and Human Resources Institute EIEAD is the scientific authority responsible for the mechanism;
  • a scientific committee of experts provides advice and recommendations to drive continuous improvement of operations;
  • the National Employment Committee, composed of high-level government officials (such as general secretaries, public body administration), social partners and stakeholders, is informed about outputs to ensure relevant application of results.

Czech Republic: We selected 5 top industries and 15 positions for Czech Republic based on valid source first of all from EURES portal, which publishes current overview on the labour market. within different industries

We have also included the most visited job portal in Czech Republic, which is: and

Relevant information and statistics about required positions in all levels were found on portal of Labour market office “Urad Prace”

International Labour organisation provides us data:–en/index.htm

We also searched additional actual information about needed positions and industries on economic oriented portals and news from: and within section Finance, Entrepreneurship and work. Moreover, we check job trends and future positions:

Slovakia: To provide top 5 sectors and within each top 15 suggested jobs on the Slovak market for our target group (unemployed) we used the data from different official sources, including:

  1. Analysis and forecasts of the Slovak labour market until 2025:

This helped us to define the top 5 sectors.

  1. Then we combined data from source 1. with data from the Slovak Labour Office: .

This source navigated us to understand and define in 5 selected sectors 15 suggested jobs. We worked with data defining jobs with labour shortages in Slovakia.

We also studied the current and future situation on the Slovak labour market via the largest job search platform in Slovakia: and nationwide newspapers:

Europe: To identify top 5 industries and 15 positions for the whole of Europe we went deeper for sources, such as CEDEFOP – European centre for Development and vocational training: Skill shortages in Europe: Which occupations are in demand – and why

Same source provides information about the most demanded jobs in Europe and why they are needed: and about skills development forecast we learned here:

As another valid source we choose EUROSTAT that provides mostly statistics and employment ratings of graduates that were our target group too.

We found relevant information about the most demanded jobs in Europe for the next decades: and portal with Europe language jobs reveal another useful information together with a portal that inform about most demanded countries and jobs in Europe.

The valuable list of most demanded jobs in Europe and worldwide is provided by UK portal:

The SkillsUp test was developed to help unemployed people find the right job position on the local labour market and at the same time to enable them to develop their soft skills, maximize their strengths and avoid weaknesses before they get a job. Abilities that can be developed can also be trained after receiving a job offer. We also provide learning materials that help participants of the SkillsUp test to develop soft skills. The learning part of the platform brings educational videos and PDFs study material.

Career advisor guidance plays an irreplaceable role in the process of searching for a job, preparing for an interview and identifying the right place for the self-realization of an unemployed person. 

Experienced and skilled career advisors must deliver career guidance. Career guidance should be a professional process of helping unemployed people know themselves better, engaging with their career hopes and aspirations, and supporting them in assessing realistic options and creating a meaningful future.

SkillsUp test also helps career advisors in Europe to expand their services by using new tools. 

The method that is used in the SkillsUp test is explicitly related to unemployed people, graduates, or people with secondary education, who can work in low positions. Low positions were chosen within the industry, with lack of employees and the most required position on the local market. It should bring these people new ideas and clues as to which way they should move and lead their career development.

  • Building a rapport with the client. 
  • Explore the situation of the client first, and brainstorm career ideas.
  • Filling the gaps in their knowledge if necessary.
  • Understand and agree on actions (goal setting) that enable unemployed people to move forward.
  • Use open questions.
  • Reflect the client’s story using your counselling skills of summarising.
  • Assist him/her in a meaningful career, understand their values and talents/strengths.
  • Help them improve performance at interviews. Use networking, consultancy, and advocacy skills to develop organizations and systems can help individuals succeed within such organizations and systems. 
  • Manage the complexities of education, training, and career decision-making in a fragile and changing employment market. 
  • Help to identify their career goals and how to achieve them through analysing experience and prior knowledge. 
  • Enable unemployed people to assess their strengths and prepare them for future success. 
  • Help to identify connections to the education system and requalification possibilities.
  • Assist unemployed people with filling the IKIGAI concept, in case they will need help with brainstorming about their strengths, what they love to do, what they can be paid for and what the world needs. Please see more information here:
If a client, who in this case is the unemployed person (eventually a person who wants to change jobs) shows an interest in the test results interpretation and support in their career growth, there is a high chance of successful career development. It shows a sign of the client’s self-motivation, which increases the chances in the labour market for him.

Client will complete the test at home and then he/she will bring the results to the consultancy. In some cases, it can happen that the client will require your support while filing out the test. Please allow them to ask for this assistance if it is needed.

Please see topics that you can discuss in career consultancy:

 1st Career Consultancy:

  • Recommended length of consultancy: 60 minutes.
  • It can be done online or in the office of the career advisor.
  • Career advisor will introduce to the client what the test reveals. Career advisors describe and explain client´s personality type, weaknesses and strengths together with possible soft skills development opportunities.
  • Make a report with the client and ask them about their current life situation, previous experiences, their present feelings, education, career history, reasons why they left/ changed previous jobs, their new aims, ambitions, ideas about future employment, which activities they already did to find a job, which kind of jobs and industry they are interested in or are admiring, what they want to learn and improve in.
  • Ask them how they like filling out the test and what they think about their result. Explore which part motivates them, makes sense and resonates with them. In contrast, also try to find out which part does not align with them. (Through this, you will see their engagement and opinion about results, level of their self-consciousness and motivation).
  • Help them clarify where they can find a job, how they should search for a job and apply for it.
  • Agree with client´s action steps. 

 2nd – 3rd Consultancy Can Involve:

  • Recommended length of consultancy: 60 minutes.
  • Preparation for an interview, writing a motivation letter, CV, etc.
  • Consulting client’s strengths and how to make them stronger, how to use them.
  • Advise how to avoid and/or replace client’ s weaknesses.
  • Career and soft skills coaching.
  • After each session, agree with the client´s action steps.

Once an unemployed client books a consultancy with you, there are possibilities to develop the following skills with them. We are sharing also the scope of what they can learn: 


  1. Soft Skill: Effective Communication and Cooperation

Importance of this skill: ability to manage different relationships at work, to be able to explain and transfer information to others to be understood, be able to sell themselves quickly, product or idea, help people with problems, work in groups. 

What they will learn: 

  • Why communication and cooperation are important 
  • The rules of effective communication 
  • Essential communication skills 
  • Cooperation at the workplace 
  • Effective personal presentations at the workplace 
  1. Soft Skill: Proactivity  

Importance of this skill: to take the initiative, be initiative to find a job, move things forward and make things happen.

What they will learn: 

  • What proactivity is
  • Focusing on the right things: circle of influence
  • Proactivity at the workplace
  1. Soft Skill: Flexibility and Adaptability

Importance of this skill: to be flexible, improvising, to be able to manage any change or react on unexpected moments, adapt to changing conditions, tolerance to frustration from the failures – spontaneous, ability to lead their own emotions.

What they will learn:  

  • What adaptability and flexibility are and why they are important
  • What change is and how it affects us 
  • Reacting and adapting to workplace situations
  • Controlling their emotions under pressure 


  1. Soft Skill: People and Customer Orientation

Importance of this skill: to be supportive, helpful and empathetic while interacting with others, building harmony, comprehension to others to build teams, make healthy connections with others.

What they will learn:  

  • What people- and customer- oriented skills are and why are they important 
  • Empathy
  • Emotional Self – awareness
  • Emotional Self – regulation
  • Teamwork 
  • Resolving customer service issues
  1. Soft Skill: Creativity

Importance of this skill: being able to think about new and different job sources, finding new innovative ways for self-realization, bringing new ideas at work, insights for improvements, or create original solutions and self-realization.

 What they will learn:  

  • What creativity is and the importance of creativity 
  • Lateral thinking
  • How to improve creativity
  • Creativity skills at the workplace
  1. Soft Skill: Leadership 

Importance of this skill: to lead the workflow of yourself and others, move and motivate others, initiate projects, and manage teams and team goals, sell ideas.

What they will learn:  

  • What leadership skills are
  • Personal leadership
  • Leadership at the workplace
  • How to improve their leadership skills
  1. Soft Skill: Achieving, Performance, Ambition and Goal Orientation

Importance of this skill: to be driven by inner motivation, to know exactly what people want to achieve in order to have better productivity and goal orientation, to achieve the aims, able to organize, work effectively, and in the system.

What they will learn:  

  • The importance of having and achieving life goals
  • It all starts with character and attitude
  • Setting up goals
  • Achieving the goals 
  • Overcoming their fears
  1. Soft Skill: Analytical Thinking and Problem-Solving

Importance of this skill: able to see the big picture, think abstract, understand scientific theories, solve math problems, IT orientation, good for any data analyses, able to be accurate, detail-oriented, methodical, systematic.

What they will learn:

  • What analytical thinking is and why it is useful  
  • What it means to be an analytical thinker
  • Analytical thinking and problem – solving in practice
  • Effective problem – solving strategies 
  1. Soft Skill: Planning and Organizational Skills

Importance of this skill: to be able to get things done, finish, control, implement, solve or deliver, make things happen, have a practical/ functional approach, organize yourself and others, be effective and consistent, structured.

What they will learn:  

  • Why they need to plan 
  • Eisenhower matrix
  • Effective time management 
  • Organizational skills at the workplace
  1. Soft Skill: Learning Skills

Importance of this skill: to be able to develop and grow due to the job market and needs of companies, to have any competitive advantages against others, able to teach, educate, lead or train others.

What they will learn:  

  • What learning is and the importance of learning
  • The learning cycle
  • Honey and Mumford’s learning styles
  • VAK learning style

Holland, J. L. (1997). Making vocational choices: A theory of vocational personalities and work environments (3rd ed). Odessa, FL: Psychological Assessment Resources. 

Spokane, A. R., Meir, E. I., & Catalano, M. (2000). Person–environment congruence and Holland’s theory: A review and reconsideration. Journal of vocational behaviour, 57(2), 137-187. 

Tinsley, H. E. (2000). The congruence myth: An analysis of the efficacy of the person-environment fit model. Journal of vocational behaviour, 56(2), 147-179

Questions Used In the SkillsUp Test

  1. You often make and strictly follow a to-do list.
  2. Do you like risk-taking?
  3. Are you well-organized?
  4. Where would you rather work?
    a.) Artsy space photo
    b.) Classic space photo
  5. Do you often reach your goals?
  6. Do you look for opportunities to help other people?
  7. Creative activities attract you.
  8. How do you deliver bad news?
    a.) Directly
    b.) Sugar-coating the truth
  9. You like to research and collect new information.
  10. Creative tasks are not stressful for you.
  11. People often ask you for help with repairing things.
  12. You leave for holidays in a week…
    a.) I already have a tight schedule of all my activities
    b.) I’ll see what happens 
  13. Do you enjoy being around people?
  14. You often have a sudden “Aha!” moment.
  15. Do you like to bargain to get a good price?
  16. You rather…
    a.) Improvise
    b.) Execute the plan 
  17. You enjoy caring for others
  18. You would rather build than design a product.
  19.  Are you willing to sacrifice your comfort to achieve success?
  20. You are going skiing for the first time…
    a.) You take the skis, go on the slope and try it for yourself
    b.) You wait for the instructions and a tutorial video
  21. Do you plan your day?
  22. It is important for you to creatively express yourself.
  23. The weekend is coming, what do you prefer to do?
    a.) You call your friends and make plans together
    b.) You can finally learn more about that topic you got excited about
  24. Can you easily fix a flat tyre on a bicycle?
  25. Do you like to help people find information?
  26. Do you often dedicate your time to creative work?
  27. Would you rather…
    a.) Talk and network at an event
    b.) Watch a 1-hour long documentary 
  28. Do you feel anxious when other people don’t follow the rules?
  29. You are willing to read for hours just to better understand the topic
  30. Which working role would you choose?
    a.) Work on the product 
    b.) Talk with customers 
  31. Do you study how things work?
  32. Do you fix broken things by yourself?
  33. What do you prefer to do at a garden party?
    a.) Making food 
    b.) Talking to guests, refilling drinks, keeping a good atmosphere

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