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Introducing the SWOT model

In this article, Heather Jacksic introduces the SWOT model and presents some examples.
A page in a notebook has four icons on it, on the side there is a dart and post-its with the letters S W O T
© Luleå University of Technology

SWOT stands for Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities and Threats.

Companies often use SWOT to examine the current situation their company is facing. It is also often used for branding purposes in order to examine the company in relation to competitors. Just like companies use SWOT to learn more about their position in relation to existing competition, you can also use SWOT to understand your current situation and see how you stack up with other applicants to the jobs that you want to get.

Strengths and Weaknesses are both things that are internal, which you can control to some degree. Opportunities and Threats, however, are external factors that you generally do not have any control over.

Strengths refer to your natural abilities or things you have worked on in order to be better.

Examples: highly driven, flexible, efficient text editor
Weaknesses describe the things that you know you aren’t very good at or avoid doing.
Examples: accounting, unsocial/avoid social situations, self-conscious
Opportunities are factors outside of yourself that you can’t control, but that you can take advantage of to make your situation better. Something that benefits you in some way.
Examples: People retiring in your field which means more job openings, living in a big city where there are many companies to choose from
Threats are similar to opportunities but instead of helping you, they will affect you negatively and create challenges or make your situation worse.
Examples: Economic downturn, outsourcing of jobs to foreign countries, financial crisis

In the next exercise you will be coming up with your own examples based on your unique situation, as this is something that only you can truly know.

© Luleå University of Technology
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