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Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities and Threats
Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities and Threats (SWOT), can be defined as an important technique used for understanding one’s strengths, weaknesses, available opportunities and the threats faced. It is vital in career development because it helps in taking the best advantages of one’s talents, capabilities and opportunities.
With little effort one can discover opportunities that could not have been discovered. And by identifying weaknesses, it becomes easier to control and get rid of threats that might otherwise obstruct career development. If SWOT structure is used, strengths include education, connection, achievements, personal resources that none of the other people can have.
The weaknesses include negative work habits, lack of confidence and the opportunities include new technology, current market, competition and the threats include obstacles, change of technology and unhealthy competition (Federal Trade Commission 2012). It is important to consider skills and experiences before looking for a job.
Many avenues can be used to identify jobs. Job seeking involves various ways; it includes calling employers directly, using personal contacts, tapping the resources of professional unions and organizations, state workforce agency offices and using both agency and online job listings.
There are only two job openings; the advertised and the unadvertised. Using SWOT analysis, one can be able to target both the two openings because it enhances the chances of getting the right job.
SWOT does not allow the use of only one job opening to search, it gives a chance to explore all the available jobs and makes one understand the job market very well hence leading to creation of a marketing strategy. Looking for unadvertised job requires a lot of time, resources, initiative, communication, research skills and perseverance.
Ways to find job opportunities
Before the invention of the internet, savoir-faire job seekers normally did many things to find job opportunities. It included making and modifying résumé, doing research, contacting employers, doing networking, pursuing jobs and arranging for interviews.
In this current internet age most job seekers still use the same methods, but use internet to supplement and widen their chances. Most current ill informed job seekers tend to believe that internet has changed the job searching into a less demanding process; they do updating of their résumé and post into online databases expecting to be considered by the prospective employers.
Hard work is necessary in the current age of internet and also it is important to have a marketing strategy, multiple search methods and asking for help where necessary to increase employment opportunities.
Finding a job in IT involves adapting any possible style that can lead to the job; a job can be found both online and offline, paying a visit to job banks, calling and perusing over help-wanted adverts (Hansen 1996). Any method is important; the most critical part is how to prepare to use them.
The basic questions that one can come across include; where does one want to look? What one would want to do? And finally, what are the qualifications.
Before one starts to find a job, reflecting strategies, goals and skills can be very important. The entry level for fresh graduates is very crucial. Consulting a career professional, counselor, professors, relatives and friends can give a good idea. The more advices one get the more information on how to communicate to prospective employers, list of people and organizations and suitable searching methods.
It is necessary for IT graduates to clearly and accurately describe their qualifications to prospective employers. It is vital for graduates to show how their qualifications match the requirements of the vacancy that employers needed to be filled.
Graduates need to approach the task in different methods because the goal of each person differs and talents focused to meet the needs of the employer. Some of the sites that help graduates prepare resumes include www.bls.gov/opub/ooq/1999/summer/art01.pdf.
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Most graduates in America use occupational information databases like Occupational Information Network (O*NET) at online.onetcenter.org to generate a detailed report that has a list of typical job opportunities, skills and activities categorized by their importance (Department of Labor and Industrial Relations 2012).
A graduate should have all the necessary details on finger tips to produce them when necessary, the details include Social Security Number, contact information for references, names and high school address, college address and qualification.
He further argues that for every job one must craft the resume to fit to any circumstance. In order to locate any position most graduates use service locators like www.servicelocator.org especially in America and for a graduate with no access to the internet, he can use toll-free help line such as 1 (877) USA-JOBS (872-5627) or apply for other services like unemployment benefits.
Books can also give information about preparing résumés and other related data on jobs. Les (2003) points out that one of the tutorials include Career Info net at www.acinet.org/acinet/.
Studying résumé sample, reading and consulting is very important when it comes to creating well polished résumé; the chronological résumés focus on the experience and the functional résumés focuses on the transferable skills. Graduates should consider looking for help in a polite and appreciative manner.
Some jobs can be advertised in the local news papers. The advertised jobs can be paraded in the public to attract many applicants. Advertised job opportunities can be found in placards in a restaurant window, ads in professional journals, and web sites of individual employers.
Ancient newspaper ads and online programs normally overlap: many electronic media make their job ads available in addition to placing them on the print media.
Graduates can also look at job opportunities on sites sponsored by trade and professional associations, local government, federal, state and other privately owned firms. One of the workforce agencies sponsored by the United States government includes the America’ Job Bank, this is a site that allows graduates to look for a job for free; www.ajb.org.
It also allows employers to access variety of information about job seekers. Some sites allow graduates to access job listings for free, but usually charge employers to post their job vacancies or any other related advertisements. However, other sites charge graduates to access the available job listings (EOO 2010).
There are many online job banks and selecting the best can be very tricky, hence posting a résumé to a résumé bank is not easy because no one knows which one is genuine. Les (2003) argues that no job bank has given back the details of the filled vacancies through their advertisement; therefore it becomes hard to believe on what they do.
Searching for IT jobs in various job banks can give a job seeker the opportunity to analyze which bank gives the most relevant details. Sometimes privately held banks can give the most relevant information, but basically no job bank can be well represented.
Sometimes the job listing can request the applicant to submit personal details like Social Security numbers and this is very dangerous because submitting such details is too early and can be fake jobs.
Identifying the most efficient method to get a job needs a combination of various keywords. Most search engines are not the same on most job banks; some job banks allow the use of signs like asterisks for words with the same roots. Others use thesaurus to locate job listings.
According to America’s Job Bank the use of important keywords such as job title, experience, and qualifications can be either easy or hard to graduates looking for jobs depending on the needs of the job seekers.
Some of the jobs contain common words; therefore, searching may contain a lot of irrelevant listings like “system administrator” a lone can make one miss a perfect opportunity because system administrators can go by other titles in the job listing. As discussed earlier visiting O*NET connector at 0 can give various titles of “system administrator” as system analyst or system developer or system designer.
Most jobs are filled without being advertised. Fresh graduates looking for these jobs spend their entire time, energy and resources in looking for them. The Department of Labor and Industrial Relations, (2012) states that hunting for unadvertised jobs can be less competitive and allows graduates looking for a job to demonstrate their skills well.
Pursuing a job in the hidden market requires a lot; research skills, resources, communication skills, time management and initiative. This is an opportunity that makes graduates looking for a job to conduct themselves in a manner that is appealing to the employer and most employers know that excellent job seekers make good employees.
Seeking for unadvertised jobs is much better than the advertised jobs because very few people are aware of the job opportunity and employers prefer such methods because they avoid the process of reviewing various résumés and doing interviews.
According to America’s Job Bank, using such methods saves time and cut the cost used to advertise jobs. Finding unadvertised jobs includes using methods like cold calling, networking and other employment-related hunting.
Graduates looking for job openings use research to identify and assess prospective employers and locate other job markets related to their skills. According to Federal Trade Commission (2012), job hunting is a two-way mechanism; the job seeker can judge the employer and vice versa. As discussed earlier job hunting can be done through various means; offline and online techniques.
Cold calling or uninvited job searching is a method believed to be relevant. It involves a process of compiling a list of firms that a job seeker can be interested in working in. According to Les (2003), having a longer list is much important than the shorter list because it widens the chances of getting a job.
Most of the firms are selected according to various reasons; specific industry, geographical location, the number of vacancies and ranking of the company in terms of performance or any other method.
The next step after gathering the firms is to gather the names and contacts of the important personnel that have the ability to offer a job. It is crucial to get the details of the people in the departments related to the job description needed. Getting the title, name and contacts of the managers is very vital.
Writing a dynamic individualized cover letter is the basis of cold calling because this is where the prospective employer gets to know the details of the job seeker. The résumés should contain a letter that is polite and not too pushy.
The main aim of cold calling is to get many interviews as much as possible and if job openings are not available, it is important to ask for referrals to other employers who might be having job opportunities. A graduate seeking for an interview through cold calling should always be well prepared by reading various articles based on interviews and other related materials on cold calling (Hansen 1996).
To support cold calling other rules like proper dress code, thank- you letters, good phone manners and domino effect go a long way. Some of the places where a list of companies in America can be found include: business directories such Dun & Bradstreet’s Million Dollar Directory, Poor’s Registry of Corporation and Ward’s Business Directory.
The internet is becoming a crucial job-search instrument. Learning how the internet works helps the job seeker to find a job because internet is powerful with fast flowing information. The internet is also available for 24 hours making it valuable to the job seeker; the internet is free with no geographical boundaries.
The posting of resume on the internet sites gives full exposure with little effort and career service sites allow a job seeker to connect to other related hyperlinks. It is clear that the internet is very crucial resource in job-searching, giving the widest selection of jobs and company information making one increase contacts.
A job seeker can use web sites that have search engines to identify vacancies based on job title, keyword, geographical location, job category, salary, academic qualification and experience (EOO 2010).
Sometimes an IT job seeker uses the automated job-search service and an isolated database for posting resumes. In addition, those looking for employment can use job scouts sometimes called automated search agents, this utility allows search agents to send job listings to e-mail.
As discussed earlier the employers look for résumés through particular key words that show academic qualification, skills and experience. It is important to use multiple job scouts, based on IT to increase the chances of getting a good job. According to the Federal Trade commission (2006), America’s Job Bank screens employers and impose strict measures on personal information mainly by individuals.
IT graduate needs to post their résumé on a site, but this has to be done with the permission of the prospective employer to ensure that personal information is kept well.
Networking is very important in job hunting. Every job seeker can network, and networking can be done through various ways. Networking requires more effort than any other job hunting method because one has to maintain etiquette, develop and maintain various contacts constantly.
Present Job Opportunities
The present job opportunities include jobs that require either no or short experiences. The first job is Inbound Logistics Assistant. The key responsibilities include collecting of freight data, forwarding to the freight office in Singapore, monitoring movement of crude oil stocks and reconcile daily stocks with fourth shifts and provide overall shipment forecast.
The key requirements of the job include a degree in Information and Technology and should be a registered engineer. The second job that can be suitable is the Graphic Design and Animation Consultant; the job requires a young person aged between 18 and 25 years with no experience.
Main responsibilities include creation of animations, graphics, videos and other multimedia elements, record and edit videos and sounds, build capacity among subject matter experts in multimedia and graphic design and integrate text, sound, still images and digital video into one package.
The job has no supervisory roles and should report directly to the communication manager. In education one should have acquired a degree or a diploma in Information Technology or Computer Science and those with knowledge on Digital Art, Graphic Design, and Web Design can have an added advantage.
The third present job is Assistant IT Technician. The job requires a degree or a diploma in Information Technology or Computer Science with basic knowledge on Windows 2003/ 2008 server, Windows Active directory, network cabling and be either A plus or N plus certified. The fourth job is Telecommunication Officer.
The main role is to provide operational, technical and end-user support in the maintenance, implementation and improvement of telecommunication systems.
Therefore, the key responsibilities, tasks and accountabilities include implementation of telecommunication services and operations using HF/VHF radios, Antennas, Masts, Power Systems and Telephony services, provide basic technical support with Local Area Networks and Wireless using Routers, Switches and Bridges, a candidate that can perform gap evaluation in the area of telecommunications including preparation of specifications and procurement.
The qualification and competencies include a university degree in telecommunications or equivalent qualification with at least a working experience of one year on ICT or telecommunication network at national and international level.
The fifth present job can be that of a System Administrator. The key responsibilities include implementing, controlling and maintaining the integrity and security servers and systems used for development and running of Reelforge Software, reporting to the technical director, maintain and develop all the Reelforge operational systems.
The system administrator should posses a strong background in UNIX Operating Systems preferably with Linux/UNIX server administration and be a key technical resource for other members of staff, providing advice, training and offering technical support.
The academic qualification includes extensive knowledge on working of Linux UNIX systems and compilation, programming, installing and configuring all systems. Other necessary skills include troubleshooting of hardware and knowledge on standard backup infrastructure.
Finally, the last job can be the Web Master. The key responsibilities include coordinating the input of the regular content from a range of sources, ensuring that the appropriate design and updating of the web site as per the available requirements, work with computing staff in implementing of web systems and designs, provide services across all the departments.
The technical skills required include UNIX/Linux server administration, Web server administration, content management systems, web development and design. Educational qualifications include a bachelor’s degree in computer science or Information Technology with at least 3 years of experience in website design and development.
Future Job opportunities
The future job opportunities include positions at senior administration. The first job is the Senior System Administrator.
The key responsibilities include reporting to the Principal Systems’ Administrator, providing Microsoft Windows and Linux platform management, design, expertise and configuration in Active Directory and exchange, monitor server performance and availability, ensuring that Windows or Linux can comply to service level requirement and address operational system issues like file permissions and sharing can work well with one another.
The ideal candidate should posses a degree in computer science, have minimum Windows 2003 MCSE certification, knowledge of Windows Server 2003/2008 and have a minimum working experience of five years.
The second position is the Data Systems Engineer. The candidate should posses a diploma or degree in Information Technology or computer Science, Nettap Certified Data Manager Administrator and Netapp Certified Implementation Engineer certifications.
The candidate should have a minimum experience of six years. The last position is the Solution architect and contractual senior Java developer. The key responsibilities include reporting to the operations manager, providing presales technical and functional support data, converting customer data and developing and delivering high quality demonstrations on solutions offered.
A minimum of five years is required, a bachelors degree in computer sciences or IT or any other related field and vendor certifications in Oracle or Sun, and other certifications can be an added advantage.
List of References
Department of Labor and Industrial Relations, 2012, ‘Fair Employment Practices Agencies in Other States’ . Web.
Federal Trade Commission, 2006, ‘Negative Credit Can Squeeze a Job Search’. Web.
Federal Trade Commission, 2012, ‘Using Consumer Reports: What Employers Need to Know’. Web.
Hansen, R. 1996, ‘Cold Calling: A Time-Tested Method of Job-Hunting’. Web.
Les, R. 2003, ‘Criminal Records and Getting Back into the Workforce: Six Critical Steps for Ex-offenders Trying to Get Back into the Workforce’ . Web.
U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EOO), 2010 ‘Laws on Workplace Discrimination’. Web.