SWOT! Your Career Planning Tool

The SWOT analysis is a standard tool for businesses to assess their organization and to identify areas of improvement and opportunity.  Using a SWOT is a great way to assess your own Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities and Threats.   Create an honest and comprehensive analysis of yourself.  You can then build a personal marketing plan to address your weaknesses and threats; exploit your strengths and capitalize on meaningful career opportunities. 

Personal SWOT Basics:

Strengths (internal attributes..things you can control and build)  List your personal strengths, what makes you a strong candidate?

  • Strong writer, published several articles in campus newspaper
  • Maintain a daily blog and Twitter account
  • Critical thinker
  • Able to get along with difficult people
  • Social media savvy
  • Work ethic…work 30 hours per week while maintaining full-course schedule
  • Pop-culture enthusiast
  • Love sports
  • Multi-tasker, always love to lead group projects, plan family parties and social outings  with friends
Weaknesses (internal attributes, areas of improvement) What skills, knowledge or characteristics could impede your success?  You must be honest with yourself here…ask friends, family for their input too!

  • Nervous presenter…not good a public speaking
  • Low G.P.A.
  • No internship experience
  • Don’t follow current events
  • Haven’t narrowed career focus or looked for potential jobs
  • Too sensitive, get side tracked by negative criticism
  • Combative…often debate with friends/family when I don’t agree with them.  I like to get my own way.
Opportunities (External forces that could help you to identify opportunities and succeed)

  • PR is a strong professional field, even in recessions
  • Variety of online resources to research potential careers and opportunities
  • University has good career network of working alumni
  • Professors possess real-world experience and can mentor me and provide me with leads
  • Follow industry leaders’ via blogs, Linked-In and Twitter to build professional network
  • PR skills apply to virtually every industry so I can be creative with companies I identify as potential internship or job prospects
  • My strong social media skills are transferable to my career
  • Free presentation training and career workshops are held at my university
  • I can volunteer with a non-profit to build some career-friendly experiences and contacts
Threats (External forces that you cannot control and could hurt your chances at success)

  • Competition may have better internship experience
  • My parents don’t understand or support my career choices
  • Companies require 3.0 G.P.A. or higher
  • Many internships aren’t paid…and I have too many expenses to work for free
  • Commute is expensive and I can’t quit my part-time job
  • Competition for jobs might be more ambitious or aggressive in their search
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