How to Use Competitor Analysis Frameworks in a Job Search
Using competitor analysis frameworks can help you stay ahead and land a job in today's job market.
A competitor analysis framework is how we evaluate others in an industry and how they compare to us. Learning from competitors can play a huge role in the success of a company. This helps us identify our weaknesses and strengths, as well as areas we can improve upon. Today, we use research and data to make better-informed decisions. Without research, our goals and decisions have no backbone to them.
Though these methods are often used by businesses, performing a competitive analysis framework on yourself can help you when looking for a job. It’s no surprise that competition is at an all-time high in the job search process. To stand out, you’ll need to identify areas where you can improve and distinguish yourself.
Which Framework Should I Use?
In this piece, we will look at the SWOT analysis framework. The SWOT analysis is one of the most popular options when doing a competitor analysis. SWOT stands for:
You can use this framework to analyze yourself before heading into an interview. You may get asked questions about your strengths and weaknesses, leaving you on the spot. This can blindside candidates if they haven’t dedicated the time to prepare in advance. It can also uncover areas where you can improve upon based on what other candidates have to offer.
How to Do Your Own SWOT Analysis
Before you begin, print out the SWOT analysis worksheet included down below. You’ll begin by analyzing your strengths and weaknesses. From there, you’ll make a plan and identify areas where you can improve.
Let’s begin by thinking about everything you can bring to the table as a candidate for the position. For example, this may be your educational background or previous work experience. You’ll also want to include any unique skills that make you a great candidate for the job and help you stick out from other candidates. Keep in mind that the goal of this activity is to help distinguish you from the competition.
If you are having trouble brainstorming, ask yourself questions to evaluate. Think about what you’ve gotten recognition for in the past. Some skills may also come easy for you, while harder for others. This is worth mentioning in your analysis. For an added sense of contrast, you’ll want to include any areas you are proficient in that others lack.
The next step is to elaborate on your weaknesses. It’s important to be completely truthful and honest when completing this step. This may make you uncomfortable at first, but remember that it can help you learn. If you sugarcoat things, your analysis won’t benefit you as much as it should. Not to mention it’s also likely an interviewer will ask you about your weaknesses.
You can identify your weaknesses by thinking about where you fell short in the past. Think about your least favorite thing to do on the job and why that may be. There may be a few areas where you’ve received negative feedback that would be worth noting. When looking at the competition, evaluate their areas of education. You may identify areas where you don’t have very much education.
The opportunity stage is where you’ll identify areas you can actively work on to set yourself apart. Use what you wrote in the strength and weakness sections to help you identify areas. The idea is to pinpoint where you can further develop your skills and improve.
Take a look at skills other candidates have that you don’t. There may be resources available for you to get extra training with those skills. It can also be a good idea to turn to your network and see if they have any opportunities for you as well. Lastly, you can think about the areas in which others are falling behind. This allows you to push forward and give yourself more of an edge.
The last step of our analysis is to identify areas that can threaten your chances of landing the job. For example, you may have little experience with new technology used in the position. This may cause hiring teams to deem you as a bad candidate for the position. By identifying threats, you’ll be able to think about ways where you can solve the issue.
Take a look at what your weaknesses are to identify any areas that can lead to threats. Similar to the example above, make sure your skills are up to date with the technology used in the position. You may also want to consider other possible applicants. If they are more qualified, you’ll need to catch up and make sure your skills match or surpass theirs.
The SWOT analysis is one of the many frameworks you can use to improve when applying for a job. With competition increasing, job hunting can get very intense. It can make you feel defeated if you are constantly getting let down for the positions you apply to. If you find yourself in this position, consider using competitor analysis. The takeaways and improvements you make can help you thrive on paper and in an interview.
For more information on different frameworks you can utilize, check out Jobhero’s post on competitor analysis frameworks you can perform — or click here to download the printable worksheets and get started.