For those that are not familiar with the SWOT word, it is an acronym for strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats. It is a structure approach to a project or activity. Commonly used in Marketing to evaluate the marketing plan, but widely also used in other applications.
In the case of job search a SWOT analysis is always needed before contacting the market, not only because it provides a deep self analysis but also because it allows us still time for reaction or preparation in interviews.
The SWOT analysis will be used in career planning or job search as a comparison to the ideal job and the candidate profile in order to create a strategy on how to approach the market. Time for doing a SWOT in job search it is after finalization of CV, target your positions and after Market analysis. It requires then a clear knowledge on the Market, self-knowledge and target companies and positions.
The main idea behind the SWOT is the comparison, and it is a method of simple visualization of the results.When we look at our target positions there is always a small part of each of the following points:
- Strengths: For example you might feel strong in a field if I have many years of experience. Another example for example is feeling strong for a sales position due to an extrovert character. there are always in a job/position/company/market strong points in which we feel strong. Strengths makes us different.
- Weaknesses: are areas of improvement. For one person a weakness is another person strength. One example of weaknesses can be a change of sector lack of knowledge. Another weaknesses can be technical knowledge on certain product or language knowledge among other.
- Opportunities: are key areas where success is affordable. An opportunity can be career or promotion inside the company. Opportunity to learn a new skill like i.e. SAP. It can also be entering a multinational environment. There is always a positive feeling in opportunities.
- Threats: are anything that can be a roadblock to success.. Do not think about getting naughty colleagues at work, be more open minded. A threat can be getting typecast in the same sector or product for too much years by accepting the job. Another threat can be by the type of company being asked for short term results and possibilities of leave.
A SWOT Analysis requires a lot of honesty from oneself and a realistic approach. It must be always be based as much as possible with data. For example in terms of experience use a base to compare job description years required with what you could offer (not on the level of experience you think you have).
The worst combination in the SWOT is being weak in a field and at the sometime be a threat to success. A very simple example is working in customer service and having weak english. Definitely you would need to complement it very well in an interview with motivation or even better creating an action plan for it. I have recruited people with the serious warning of it, but there was a promise of candidate to start already intensive courses (which was completed afterwards). Do not wait for tomorrow to compensate your weaknesses. Act.
The main idea of the SWOT is to convert threats into opportunities and weaknesses into strengths. In the end the key is to get out the weak area and we as much as possible working in the area of opportunities for our strengths in a secure way.
After a DAFO there must be an action plan on improvement from the candidate, firstly towards the way the weaknesses are explain, how to reinforce the strengths. Secondly, the candidate must re-arrange the job search according to the SWOT to review if companies suit to the profile, how to contact recruiters by reinforcing strengths, etc.. Finally, it is really helpful the DAFO in the context of the understand our own situation towards the job search and be able to adapt to it.