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SWOT Analysis For Your Career

SWOT Analysis For Your Career

Last week was an important one in the  calendar for McGinnis Loy – we all sat down to periodically review our SWOT analysis for the business, updating where we are going and how we are going to get there.  It got me thinking that the same could and should be done by everyone who is job seeking currently to make sure their careers are also on track.

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I wasn’t expecting to find too much on the internet to be honest as I typed into Google ‘SWOT analysis for the job seeker’ , but was pleasantly surprised about how much information there is out there, and even how new small businesses have been born out of this very concept.

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The key ingredient for any business, McGinnis Loy included, is people.  Using the right recruitment strategies means employers hire the right people with the right skills and motivations, which blended together, can help a business thrive and move on to bigger and better things.  Whilst doing a SWOT analysis for a business is very common, how many of us actually do a SWOT analysis on ourselves and for our careers?  For anyone job hunting, it can actually be a very useful exercise as the results show you in black & white:

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  • What you are good at (Strengths),
  • What you need to improve on (Weaknesses),
  • What other possibilities there might be for you (Opportunities),
  • What could get in the way of your career (Threats).

 

There is so much career and personal development information on the web that I have selected just a small number of really good articles that tell you how to conduct a SWOT analysis for your career.  Do take a look at them – they include:

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From Quintessential Careers

From Highere

From MindTools.com

From Careerealism

From Speed Up Career

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In essence, the message from all of them is the same.  Looking at yourself from a “SWOT” perspective means you will see how to separate yourself from your peers much more easily (in a positive way), and this in itself will show you what skills and talents are now required to advance your career.  It could also help if you are currently job seeeking too, as there needs to be some differentiation between you and everyone else applying for the same role.  After all, if the statistics are correct, there are now around 18 people chasing each job here in the UK according to research by Totaljobs.com although I would argue it is much higher.  If the next job advert you see is the job you really want, the results of your SWOT analysis may help you beat off your competition.

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There are a whole host of questions to ask yourself in each of the 4 SWOT areas mentioned above, and I have written some basic ones below to give you a start.  The articles by Mindtools.com and Quintessential Careers go into a lot more detail than I can here, so do read them as they list many more questions to ask yourself, and you can create and print out a free worksheet from their sites too.

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The answers you pull together will help you create a strong framework for writing a really powerful personal profile for your CV, plus you could use some of the information for the content of your CV.  After all, as one of my colleagues constantly tells me when she reads CV after CV after CV, isn’t it amazing how everyone says they are hard working, diligent, team-orientated, organised etc in their profile– hardly sets you apart though does it?  Doing a SWOT analysis may help you come up with a better combination of words that will impress the reader, and make them want to read beyond your personal profile.

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Examples of questions to ask when compiling a personal SWOT analysis

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Strengths

What strong technical skills and education do you have within your field?

What transferable skills do you have that would impress an employer?

What do other people see as your strengths?

What are your biggest achievements so far in your career?

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Weaknesses

What do you try to avoid doing because you don’t feel confident doing them?

What job skills are you lacking compared to your peer group?

What negative work habits do you have?

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Opportunities

What positive trends are there in your profession, how can you take advantage of them?

How strong is your contact network – could anyone in your network help your career?

Is there a need in your company or industry that no one is filling?

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Threats

Do you know how strong/stronger your competitors are in the sector you work in?

Has your company made redundancies previously, or are they likely to make redundancies?

How would a weaker economy impact the company you work for, and therefore your job?

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Good luck, and let me know how you get on.

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Best wishes

Leslie Fearn

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Leslie has over 15 years Recruitment experience helping blue-chip corporates to SME businesses recruit for their Finance teams.  As one of the founding Directors of McGinnis Loy, a Specialist HR and Finance Recruiter across the Thames Valley and London, he is still actively recruiting in the marketplace today.  Follow his helpful tweets on Twitter: @McginnisLoy

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If you found this subject of interest, you may also like the following related posts from Approachthemarket.co.uk

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