What Is a Personal SWOT Analysis?

Esther Ejim

A personal Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities and Threats (SWOT) analysis is a tool used to measure the strengths and weaknesses of an individual. It may be performed by an individual with the aim of finding out his or her talents in order to facilitate career objectives. It may also be performed by an organization on its employees with the aim of finding out the best attributes of the employees, so as to effectively assign them to positions in which their talents can best be utilized. This may be done by filling a questionnaire asking specific questions relating to the SWOT of the individual.

A SWOT analysis is a tool that can be used to measure the strengths and weaknesses of a business or individual.
A SWOT analysis is a tool that can be used to measure the strengths and weaknesses of a business or individual.

Strengths in a personal SWOT analysis are those traits that an individual believes are the positive attributes that gives him or her a comparative boost in terms of a stated goal. If the goal is to get a job in a financial institution, the strengths may include characteristics like degrees, certifications, work experience, and training. Strengths could also include personal characteristics or traits that will serve as a benefit when applied to the pursuit of a goal. Such personal traits include strong leadership skills, the ability to work with a team, self-discipline, the ability to communicate very well, and an optimistic personality. The weaknesses in a personal SWOT analysis include such things like a lack of adequate work experience, lack of adequate certification, the wrong degree or no degree, and lack of training. Some weaknesses as regards to personal attributes might include indecisiveness, weak communication skills, lack of motivation, and excessive shyness.

A personal SWOT analysis may reveal a lack of motivation.
A personal SWOT analysis may reveal a lack of motivation.

Opportunities in a personal SWOT analysis are things available in the environment in which the individual may use to his or her advantage with the purpose of achieving a stated objective. These include openings in fields in which the individual has an advantage due to training, education of experience, workshops and conferences where he or she can network with potential clients or employers, and free training at work. Weaknesses in a personal SWOT analysis are those external things that negatively affect the attainment of stated goals. Some of these weaknesses include competition at the workplace in the form of more educated or better-skilled individuals, downsizing in the workplace, lack of training or further education in the workplace, and limited opportunities for growth in a chosen field. Another type of weakness is a majoring in a subject that is not very marketable, because graduates from that field of study are simply not in demand.

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Discussion Comments


@pleonasm - It could be just generally applied to people who are depressed, or have low self esteem I think, not just in terms of relationship potential.

I think though that you need someone to help you with this, particularly for a personal analysis, but also with a professional one.

You might not be able to see that you work too hard, or that you are too argumentative, or that you don't take the initiative enough. Likewise, you might not see that you are always cheerful and willing to help, or that you can be very persuasive when you need to be.

I think it's always a good idea to ask a range of people who know you, their opinion and to be frank.

If possible, you might even try getting another person to ask, as they might be more likely to get a real opinion than if you ask yourself.


SWOT analysis is usually used for career purposes, but I think you can apply it to other situations as well. I like to think of it in terms of relationship potential.

Not cynically, in people I am thinking of going out with, but critically for myself and my friends.

I think often people get hung up on what their potential partners think of them and stop seeing what they have to offer. They only think of negative things, like, for example, I don't have perfect skin, rather than including the positive things as well, like, I'm a generous person.

A SWOT analysis can help you to be more objective about yourself.

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