Follow the pros when it comes to self-evaluation
There is a familiar tactic among marketing professionals that is known as the SWOT analysis. (In this application, SWOT stands for Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities and Threats.)
And, as a job seeker, you are in effect marketing yourself to the job seeking world, you might want to try this tactic on yourself – as if you were a product being marketed. Done correctly, it may yield some very useful insights into who you are (as a potential employee) and how best to market yourself.
By correctly identifying your personal SWOT, you’ll learn more about yourself than you ever wanted to know.
Strengths — as with most older job seekers, your greatest strength is most likely your experience. Of course, this can extend beyond actual work experience to institutional knowledge of how things get done and how businesses succeed. If that’s not enough, job candidates from our generation are generally thought of as more reliable, more punctual and more dedicated. Strengths one and all.
Weaknesses — Once again, we may have to draw upon some pre-conceived notions of older workers. These are things that are often attributed to older workers out of hand. Obviously, these are not going to apply to everyone, but recognizing them may help you identify your own personal weaknesses. One that’s commonly bandied about is how older workers are not technologically up to date. They don’t know how to access the Internet; they can’t use a smartphone, they can’t text, etc., etc. In addition, they get sick a lot; their minds aren’t as sharp, etc., etc.
Opportunities — These are a little tougher to single out without knowing the individuals. But getting the opportunity to debunk some of the ageism stereotypes can certainly be a huge opportunity.
Threats — Today, the greatest threat to an older applicant landing a job surprisingly may not be ageism. More than likely it’s the enormous uncertainty surrounding today’s job market and what the post-Covid economy (and workplace) will look like. Despite the many projections and much speculation, no one really knows.
What you do know is that if you take the time to perform a thorough SWOT analysis on yourself as a job seeker, you’ll know yourself better and you’ll be able to work your plan that much better. Plus, you’ll probably feel better about yourself.