CliftonStrengths Career Test Review: Pros & Cons Breakdown

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Whether you’re looking to find your first career or make a change, knowing your strengths is essential to land the right fit. CliftonStrengths claims to unlock this understanding through its career test and personalized strengths report, so I tried the $60 option to see what I could uncover.

I’ll share my experience, from the 177-question test to what’s included in the full report, giving you my honest review and insights. Ultimately, I’ll weigh its value and help you determine whether CliftonStrengths is worth taking. 

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Our Review Methodology

We meticulously evaluate each career assessment tool to ensure our recommendations are trustworthy and reliable. Our assessment is independent and rigorous, focusing on the following key areas.

  • Alignment with Diverse Career Stages (20%)
  • Skill and Interest Analysis (10%)
  • Future Career Pathway Suggestions (10%)
  • Actionable Career Development Strategies (15%)
  • Market Relevance and Current Trends (10%)
  • Resources for Further Development (5%)
  • Ease of Use and Clarity (10%)
  • Personalized Feedback and Support (10%)
  • Scientific Validity and Reliability (5%)
  • Privacy and Data Security (5%)

We are committed to providing unbiased, thorough, and transparent reviews of career assessment services, turning your trust into actionable advice for your career journey.

CliftonStrengths Career Test Overview

CliftonStrengths is offered by Gallup, a global consulting and research company. It comes in two packages, a $19.99 top five strengths report or the complete $59.99 report with 34 strengths, action items, and additional resources. However, the reports don’t include career matches.

Pros

  • Personalized and detailed insights
  • Comes with action items and feedback
  • Designed for students, business professionals, and organizations

Cons

  • The full report is expensive
  • Doesn’t include career matches

Bottom Line: If you only want to learn about your top strengths and personality traits, CliftonStrengths does the job at a premium price. However, JobTest.org offers comparable personality insights and tailored job matches for half the cost, making it my preferred career test.

Why Did I Try CliftonStrengths?

I’ve always enjoyed writing and researching throughout college, so I made a career out of it once I graduated. While I’m happy with my decision, it’s always beneficial to understand my strengths and how I work best. I researched the best career tests and came across CliftonStrengths, which has amassed over 30 million users worldwide. It’s one of the most well-known assessments for individuals, organizations, and educators, so I figured it was worth a try and signed up. 

My Experience Taking CliftonStrengths’ Career Test

CliftonStrengths is on Gallup’s website under “Services & Solutions.” After I selected the $59.99 option, I had to register and pay before taking the test.

Registration and Preparation

I filled out standard registration details, including my name, email, billing address, and credit card details. After I purchased the test, I received a unique code to access it, which I could redeem for myself or send to someone else. 

CliftonStrengths has a brief overview of how the assessment works on its website and provides detailed instructions before the start of the test, including a practice question. It was easy to sign up and understand how to take the test, but I recommend setting aside ample time and avoiding distractions. 

Test Procedure and User Interface

CliftonStrengths asked me 177 questions with a 20-second time limit per question. Because of the short time limit, I had to think quickly and trust my immediate reaction. I finished the test in 35 minutes and encountered no issues except for a missed question. 

The user interface looked professional, with no distractions. Only one question occupied the screen at a time, and a progress bar kept track of my pace at the top. I couldn’t revisit previous questions after submitting my answer, requiring me to trust my immediate instincts. 

Question Types and Clarity 

CliftonStrengths calls its questions “paired descriptors,” similar to Linkert scales. Each question presented me with two statements on the same scale, and I picked which one described me the best and to what extent. For example:

Strongly Describes MeNeutralStrongly Describes Me
I like to follow a sequence. I love looking at things from different angles. 

The topics involved how I perceive myself, what I value, and how I typically respond in a situation. All the statements were short and easy to read, which was helpful considering the time limit. 

Privacy and Data Handling

Before taking the test, CliftonStrengths had a disclaimer that ensured my results would only be shared with others if I disclosed them. However, if you use a code purchased by your company or organization, CliftonStrengths will share the results with them. The privacy policy outlines how Gallup/CliftonStrengths handles personal data, including no third-party sharing. 

Customer Support

Gallup has a CliftonStrengths help center for common issues, like redeeming codes or viewing reports. Users can also reach customer support by phone, email, or live chat from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. CT. 

What Did My Results Reveal?

After answering nearly 200 questions, I had high expectations for the CliftonStrengths 34 report. Here’s what happened:

Report Delivery

I could access my report as soon as I finished the test. The results are divided into four separate reports, but CliftonStrengths 34 is the main one. All of them are downloadable PDFs, and I can view a summary of my “talent DNA” through my Gallup/CliftonStrengths online account.

CS Strengths

Presentation and Depth

The CliftonStrengths 34 report has 25 pages and primarily discusses my top strengths. These are positive traits that reflect the knowledge, talent, and skills I possess, similar to Holland Codes but developed by Gallup.

After the introduction and instructions on interpreting the report, CliftonStrengths explains each strength in detail, provides action items to maximize my potential, and offers feedback to mitigate my flaws.

CS Strengths Sample

The report also includes several graphics and charts that illustrate my strength profile, making it easy to scan and extract information. While it didn’t have career matches, I was still impressed with the report’s presentation and strengths insights.

CS Strengths Overall

Relevance and Usability

My results are relevant and applicable to my career search, but all reports essentially contain the same information. Each one covers my top strengths but with different formats, which is helpful to understand the results from different perspectives and also redundant.

CS Theme Report

Nonetheless, I can gather pieces of usable information about my strengths and how to maximize my potential with the action items. I learned more about myself and what I do best, and I can revisit the report in the future to ensure I follow the action items. 

I would still need to take another career test to receive personalized career matches, but otherwise, the CliftonStrengths 34 report offers plenty of useful information to inspire your career plans. 

Post-Test Support and Resources

CliftonStrengths offers several learning modules on its website, including courses on the strengths, how to interpret the report, and how to share the results. They also have dozens of articles related to business, career strengths, and more. In addition, users can pay extra to receive a strengths guide for their team, a personal coaching session, or a coaching starter kit.

CS Resources

Do I Recommend CliftonStrengths? 

My experience with CliftonStrengths was mostly positive, but I wouldn’t recommend it to anyone seeking career recommendations. I received a few career field suggestions and could identify potential areas that maximize my strengths, but CliftonStrengths is more of a personality test than a career test. 

In comparison, JobTest.org offers customized career recommendations and detailed personality insights for half the cost. I received personalized feedback and action items like with CliftonStrengths, but my JobTest.org report was more intuitive and relevant. 

JobTest.org always stays current, as it constantly refreshes with the latest salary and career data. It’s a powerful, data-driven tool that’s built for the modern career landscape, which is helpful for accurate research and planning. CliftonStrengths can offer valuable insights into your strengths, but if you want an all-encompassing career test that’s informative and actionable, JobTest.org is my top recommendation.

JobTest.orgCliftonStrengths
Work Personality Assessment
Career Recommendations
Personalized Feedback
Industry Expertise
Work Environment Matching
User Experience
Multiple Languages
Post-Test Resources
Career Change Assistance
Dedicated Customer Support
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