A SWOT Analysis is an excellent tool to help evaluate your Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities, and Threats associated with a specific opportunity of interest, such as a job or internship. Completing a SWOT Analysis will help you write a targeted cover letter and prepare for an interview with an employer.
- Strengths: The responsibilities and skills you feel the most confident about performing. These are internal attributes that will help you perform the tasks defined in the opportunity's description.
- Weaknesses: The responsibilities that you have no prior experience with or concern you. These are internal attributes that may inhibit your ability to perform the required tasks.
- Opportunities: The responsibilities or company programs that can help you develop new skills or gain new experiences. These are external conditions that can assist with your professional development. For example, consider your motivation and reason for interest in the position.
- Threats: These are external conditions that could prevent you from acquiring the opportunity. For example, the position prefers a certain major or a candidate with fluency in a specific language.
Creating a SWOT Analysis
Start your SWOT analysis by creating 4 boxes on a blank document: one for your strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats in relation to the opportunity of interest (see the sample below for help).
Research an opportunity on BTT Gateway, AccessUT, or other sites and review the position's description and essential responsibilities. Consider your ability to perform each task and to meet the employer's requirements. Review your SWOT Analysis for points of emphasis and areas to consider when drafting your cover letter or preparing for your interview.
Sample SWOT Analysis
This sample SWOT Analysis is focused on a student pursuing a career in consulting. The image below provides a full analysis, or review the text for a simple version.
Click here to check out a full SWOT analysis sample.
Research and Analysis
Ability to problem solve
Access to Employer Training Program
Acquire New Experience/Skill Set
Network and Learn about Variety of Industries
Public speaking/Providing Presentations
Prefer to work independently
Employer Preference for Certain Major
Travel is required
Employer seeks candidate with experience
Employer desires specific courses
Now that you have completed your SWOT Analysis, begin your cover letter draft or prepare for your next interview by referencing specific examples when you utilized your strengths. Also consider how the position will assist you with opportunities for professional growth and/or weakness development. Be mindful of the threats you have identified and have a strategy for addressing these areas of challenge.
Liberal Arts Career Services is here to help you through this process; visit our office during resume and cover letter walk-in advising (see walk-in schedule) or schedule an appointment with a Career Coach by calling 512-471-7900. Online help is also available for Resumes & Cover Letters and Interviewing.