Using a SWOT Analysis in Your Job Plan

A SWOT analysis helps you organize and examine the internal and external environments, strengths and weaknesses in the internal environment and opportunities and threats in the external environment. Here is a diagram of how a SWOT Analysis is structured and a completed table with suggestions:

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E
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A
L

Strengths

Things which you can control and use to your advantage when you plan.

  • Work Experience
  • Education, including value-added features
  • Strong technical knowledge within your field (e.g. hardware, software, programming languages)
  • Specific transferable skills (e.g., communication, teamwork, leadership skills)
  • Personal characteristics (e.g., strong work ethic, self-discipline, ability to work under pressure, creativity, optimism, or a high level of energy)
  • Good contacts/successful networking
  • Interaction with professional organizations

Weaknesses
 

Things which you can control, and you need to improve.

  • Lack of Work Experience
  • Limited related education
  • Lack of goals, lack of self-knowledge, lack of specific job knowledge
  • Weak technical knowledge
  • Weak skills (leadership, interpersonal, communication, teamwork)
  • Weak job-hunting skills
  • Negative personal characteristics (e.g., poor work ethic, lack of discipline, lack of motivation, indecisiveness, shyness, too emotional)
E
X
T
E
R
N
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Opportunities

Things which you cannot control, and may benefit you.

  • Positive trends in your field that will create more jobs (e.g., growth, globalization, technological advances)
  • Opportunities you could have in the field by enhancing your education
  • Field is particularly in need of your set of skills
  • Opportunities you could have through greater self-knowledge, more specific job goals
  • Opportunities for advancement in your field
  • Opportunities for professional development in your field
  • Career path you’ve chosen provides unique opportunities
  • Geography
  • Strong network 

Threats

Things which you cannot control, but can lessen their effects.

  • Negative trends in your field that diminish jobs (downsizing, not in demand)
  • Competition
  • Competitors with superior skills, experience, knowledge
  • Competitors with better job-hunting skills than you
  • Obstacles in your way (e.g., lack of the advanced education/training you need to take advantage of opportunities)
  • Limited advancement in your field

Perform your own job planning SWOT analysis by using the SWOT Analysis of My Job Planning (pdf) worksheet.

by Randall S. Hansen, Ph.D. and Katharine Hansen

Source: http://www.quintcareers.com/SWOT_Analysis.html

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