SWOT Analysis – A Valuable Tool for Individuals and Organizations

SWOT Analysis has been used by executives and managers for decades. It  provides a method to take a solid look at both the internal and external aspects of an organization, industry, or a career at different points in time. Looking internally and externally during a SWOT analysis helps to create an itemized list of both good and bad aspects industries and organizations. It is also a valuable tool to help individuals make a realistic assessment of their career at regular intervals. A SWOT analysis, whether examining an organization or an individual career, looks at both the good and bad as follows:

  • Strengths – Internal
  • Weaknesses – Internal
  • Opportunities – External
  • Threats – External

By understanding the strengths and weakness, as well as the opportunities and threats of target industries and organizations, individuals in job transition can attain the insights needed to shape and focus their skills and experience as solutions to the problems of an industry, and more specifically, write industry focused Special Reports. Such reports are up to 10 times more effective in landing top level interviews than resumes and cover letters. Then by asking a series of focused questions during an interview candidates can utilize a SWOT analysis to follow up with a proposal demonstrating a significant return on investment (ROI) to the organization..

It should be noted, that internal factors – strengths and weaknesses are largely in control of the individual or an organization. Conversely, whether an individual or an organization, generally has no control over their external factors – opportunities and threats.

It is critical to allow enough time to study each of the four areas in-depth and as pragmatically as possible. Keep your lists in all four areas short, ideally no more than three items in each category. If a list is too long it becomes unwieldy and almost impossible to implement. So limit questions in each of the 4 areas to 3.

Check out the following websites for ideas and instructions on implementing a SWOT analysis:


For personal career or life strategy, http://www.mindtools.com/rs/LifePlanWorkbook

Published in: on January 9, 2012 at 10:29 pm  Comments (1)  

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One CommentLeave a comment

  1. Great post John. Very good advice on how a SWOT analysis can positively impact job searches. Thanks!

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