Using a SWOT Analysis When you are Job Hunting

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 Whether you are looking for your first job, switching jobs or are looking at getting a promotion, you must perform the SWOT analysis to weight your strengths against your weaknesses.

The first thing before you fill out the job application or send in the resume, is find out what are the requirements of the job. Usually, a small ad in the help wanted section of your local newspaper may read something like “college diploma required” or “sales experience needed.”

However, that is not saying much of what you would be required to do at the job. You can get a detailed job description by calling the company or going to the company’s website, provided they have one. By having this, you can evaluate yourself to see if you are the right candidate for the job.

One of the job requirements asks for a person who has excellent leadership skills, somebody who is a people-person and dedicated. By looking at your strengths, you know what you are good at. Let’s assume that you were an officer in the Army. Therefore you have good leadership skills. You also have good oral and written communication skills. You are a very dedicated individual, who pays strict attention to detail. These are you strength which gives you the advantage in getting that job.

Now you have to evaluate your weaknesses. Do not make the mistake in the interview and say “I do not have any weaknesses.” The one question that most likely will be asked is “What are your weaknesses?” The person who thinks that he is perfect will most likely not get that job. Think about things that you can improve. For example, your computer skills may not be up-to-par. You may know how to surf the net, but never had any experience with Microsoft Word, Excel or PowerPoint. You can offer to take computer classes to hone on your skills. By learning how to do something that you are not good at, you are in the process of turning your weaknesses into strengths.

Now that you know your personal strengths and weaknesses, you have to look at the external forces that can affect you in your job hunting. The opportunities and threats are things on the outside that you have no control over. However, they still impact you.

The biggest opportunity is innovations in technology. If you have been working in an organization for over ten years, you will notice how new computers and machines are adapted to make the process run more smoothly. The best way you can gain the competitive advantage in job hunting is to be aware of new technology and have knowledge of how these help different companies.

When you are job hunting, unemployment is a major external threat. With more people out of work, they too will be looking for work. When you have over a hundred people trying to land the same job that you are trying to get, the odds are slim that you will get the position. This is true when you are looking to get a promotion at your current company. You need to know how else is trying to get the same type of promotion. These people are your main competition. This is another major threat.

To gain the advantage over the other job hunters, you need to evaluate the threats and turn them into opportunities. As mentioned before, being aware of new technology will help you stand out. Read up on the company you are looking at applying. By finding some interesting facts or history, it will show the interviewer that you are highly enthused about the company and that you are just not looking at getting a paycheck.

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