An important marketing analysis tool is a SWOT Analysis, which takes a look at Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities, and Threats.

Have you ever gone through the exercise of doing a SWOT on yourself? This is a great way to prepare for job hunting and interviews.

Strengths

Your first instinct would be to refer to your resume. Will the person looking at your resume, interpret your qualifications in the same way you would expect? It is your job to sell yourself.

Looking at your resume, create a list of your strong qualities. Start by choosing key descriptive words, for example: responsible, hard working, attention to detail, but this is just the first step.

What descriptive bullet points would you use to describe past your experience and show off your accomplishments? You want to use action words, for example: designed, revamped, operated, developed, implemented, orchestrated, capitalized on, planned, maximized, produced, and negotiated to name just a few. Take these words and create action sentences that explains what you have achieved.

Weaknesses

This is an important part of the analysis, especially because it makes you be honest with yourself and helps you understand your challenges.

One weakness that I use in interviews is that I ask too many questions. This may come across as a strength, however I have had many superiors that would rather I do just as I’m told without asking questions. Being overly curious and wanting to know the reasoning behind the project can be perceived either way, as true interest or as antagonizing the superior.

You need to express these weaknesses in a way that shows that you are working to improve the behavior. Other common weaknesses are poor listening skills or interrupting people too often.

Opportunities

Ask yourself these questions. Do I want to keep doing the same job I am doing now? What are the top five jobs that I would like to have if I could have any job?

As you search for jobs, use key words based upon what you like to do best. Do you like doing presentations? Would you like to work on the creative side of marketing? Would you like teach others what you have learned?

Take some time to explore what jobs are posted on job websites that look interesting. Write down or save all of those that catch your interest and go back and read them in more detail. Prioritize them. Then go for it!

Feel free to ask questions before you apply. It is even more important to ask questions during the interview process and before accepting a position.

Threats

How you happened to leave your last job could be a threat when looking for a new position.

If you have not been in the workforce for some time, it may be more difficult when applying for a job. Some employers may appreciate the volunteer and community work you have done. The prospective employer will be interested in your college courses or special training during this non-work period.

The geographical area in which you live and the jobs that are available could be a threat, especially if you do not want or cannot afford to relocate.

Personal issues can be threats, such as having reliable babysitters and transportation. Some jobs require a certain percentage of travel, which can be challenges with juggling an active family.