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Personal SWOT Analysis

Paper Type: Free Essay Subject: Personal Development
Wordcount: 2289 words Published: 9th Mar 2017

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The process of creating my personal development plan (PDP) is a way to gain insight into where I am now and how to position myself to get to where I want to be. Having a PDP is more than having an ideal about a future job or career, it is about goal setting and creating a specific, measurable, realistic and time bound (SMART) road map about how to get there.

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Understanding the creation and use of PDPs is also, in itself, a useful skill to offer employers as personal development planning and objective setting are mainstays of human resource management in both the public and private sectors in the UK. At this time, my PDP is about getting me on the right track; while in the future achieving the identified objectives may well be necessary to achieve performance related pay and career progression. Commitment to the process of creating a workable PDP is therefore an important task.

Where am I now?

In terms of my performance on the degree so far, I have realised that I measure performance in a much broader sense than the grades that I have received in my coursework and examinations. Much of what I have learned at university so far has been about learning to manage time and commitments and ensure that I maximize the opportunities available to me. These opportunities include those afforded by my course, the university’s facilities, and also the opportunities that new friendships have brought. I have been pleased with my grades and consider myself to be on-track for a marketable 2:1; I have also received positive and helpful feedback from tutors. More pleasing has been the feeling of increased confidence in group situations with my peers that I have something to contribute and that I have the ability to influence and inspire others. This is particularly important to me as I do not simply aspire to a career in business but to achieve managerial and leadership responsibilities early in my career.

From my SWOT analysis, the two things that I would identify as being critical to stop doing are spreading myself too thinly across too many interests and rushing onto the next project. The issue of spreading myself too thinly across a diverse range of extra curricular interests is important because, as stated, I have managerial and leadership ambitions. Membership of a wide array of groups and societies shows diversity of interests but it does not show depth and it is also hard to succeed in positions of responsibility within a group if you do not have the time to make a real commitment. The second issue, that of stopping rushing onto the next project is important for two key reasons. The first is that in rushing forward I have realized that I lose time to reflect, and reflection is critical in measuring project success or failure; secondly, in rushing forward, I can give a negative impression to peers that what I am doing now is less important than what I am going on to do[1].

In terms of what I plan to continue to do to maintain my performance, I have identified a good record of attendance at lectures and seminars and managing to keep up with the required reading. The primary reasons why I have identified these as critical factors would appear self-evident: I want to get value for money from my studies and to do this I need to attend lectures and seminars and ensure that I am sufficiently well prepared that I can follow lectures and contribute to seminars and tutorials. There is an additional factor too in that research has shown that attendance and success in coursework and examinations is positively correlated.[2]

Brainstorming what I want to start doing brought up several items in my SWOT analysis. From this I have drawn out increasing employability by seeking internship and / or summer placement opportunities and also broadening my reading to develop a greater awareness of current affairs. I have identified the internship or placement as being critical as a successful placement would enable me to further fine tune my career plans in terms of sector sought and which aspects of business to focus on; it will also enhance my CV to future employers by showing that I was focused on my career before my final year. I have also identified broadening my reading as being critical as while I am passionate about business, research indicates that employers are seeking well-rounded candidates who are open minded and have an interest in the world around them[3].

Where am I going?

My primary plan for what I hope to be doing within six months of graduating is to have successfully joined an established management training scheme. Having investigated the schemes available, I consider myself well-placed for those aimed at generalists, business specialists (operations / strategy), and also potentially schemes to develop future human resources managers. Given my broad interests in business, I would prefer a scheme that would give me exposure to a range of roles. I am particularly drawn to the M&S Scheme, John Lewis Partnership Scheme, HMRC Talent Management Scheme, and also the NHS Graduate Management Training Scheme for these reasons. Given the prevailing economic climate and uncertainty about the health of the job market that I will be graduating into, I propose to a contingency plan of obtaining a place on an MSc Business programme.

How do I get there?

Action plan outlining three personal objectives for the next 12 months that will help me in my career.


Action(s) to be taken to achieve this objective:

When will I do these actions?

Research potential internship and placement opportunities with large established companies and also small and medium enterprises

Request an interview with a careers adviser to identify target companies and obtain advice on applications.

Conduct internet research on company websites.

Prepare updated CV and draft cover letters.

November – December 2008

Maintain full attendance at lectures and seminars

Ring fence Mon – Fri, 9am – 4pm during term time for academic study, coursework and personal development activities.

October 2008 – end of course

Improve exam technique

Compile revision topic highlights as I work to aid effective study.

Seek out past papers from library sources and utilize these in revising.

Seek feedback from tutors.

October 2008 – end of course


Flannes, SW and G Levin (2005) Essential People Skills for Project Managers. Management Concepts.

Stewart, J and V Knowles (2001) Graduate recruitment: implications for business and management courses in higher education. Journal of European Industrial Training, 25, 2-4, 98-108.


Personal SWOT Analysis


  • Committed to my course of study with a genuine interest in business and management.
  • Determined to succeed
  • Good record of attendance at lectures and seminars and managing to keep up with the required reading.
  • Have a positive attitude to developing new skills, broadening my horizons, and in making the most of the opportunities that life presents.
  • People skills: I enjoy meeting new people and in finding out what interests and motivates them.
  • Maturity: I consider myself to be a good team player and have the strength of character to take criticism on board.


  • I enjoy variety and diversity in what I do which can mean that I have to be careful not to spread myself too thinly.
  • Need to pace myself: sometimes I can be too focused on getting onto the next thing.
  • Little experience of public speaking and / or making presentations to large groups of people.
  • Awareness of need to develop higher level statistics skills to meet employers’ demands for highly numerate graduates in business.
  • Need to fine tune exam performance to write strong but concise essays in timed environment.

Opportunities for Learning and Personal Development

Within my course

  • Development of higher level general IT skills including formatting of Word documents, using Excel spreadsheets, and skills in creating and interrogating Access databases.
  • Development of specialist IT skills including SPSS for Windows, Minitab and skills in using online business databases including GMID and Mintel.
  • Potential to improve interpersonal skills and gain leadership skills in actively engaging in group projects.
  • Opportunity to develop presentation skills, both individually and in group presentations.

Outside my course

  • Utilise university language resources to improve foreign language ability
  • Utilise library collection of periodicals to increase awareness of current affairs and broaden my perspectives on contemporary topics.
  • Get involved in selected groups and societies to widen horizons and also potentially gain leadership experience.
  • Internship or summer placement opportunities


  • Module management: the risk of focusing on more interesting modules at the expense of more difficult or drier topics. Need to offset this risk by planning, discipline and effective time management
  • Time management: it can be difficult to juggle coursework, private study time, and preparing for examinations as well and friends and having a social life.
  • Library resource management: need to plan ahead to ensure that I can access the books and articles that I need for coursework and exam preparation at the times that I need them.
  • Financial management: need to ensure accurate forecasting of income and budget accordingly ensuring that I can meet my financial commitments over the course of the year.
  • Health and wellbeing: Risk of failing to take time to look after myself. Need to ensure that I plan time towards health and fitness to enable me to remain well enough to keep up with my busy lifestyle.

First Name last Name

Contact address: House name, Any town, Postcode

E-mail: firstname.lastname@mac.com ¨ Mobile telephone: 00000 00000



University of Anytown

  • BSc. Hons, Business, projected degree classification: 2:1 in 2010
  • Highlights of module results to date
  • Highlights of leadership roles in project groups and university societies.
  1. Anytown High School
  • Highlights of A/AS and GCSE results


  • Proficient user of the Microsoft Office suite of software including Word, Excel, Access and PowerPoint.
  • Proficient user of SPSS for Windows and Minitab with a broad knowledge of statistics for business
  • Skilled in online research using established sources including news databases, and specialist business databases such as GMID and Mintel.

WORK Experience


Organisation and location

Your Role

  • Your Responsibilities and any special projects you were involved in or areas of the business that you found particularly interesting
  • Skills developed during employment: time management skills, giving effective feedback, etc.
  • How this job influenced your application for the type of work you are seeking with this CV.



[1] Flannes and Levin (2005) highlight the need to show consistent commitment to projects throughout the project cycle rather than focusing on the next stage or next project.

[2] See Colby (2004)

[3] Stewart and Knowles (2001)


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