Swankie signed for Dundee after his contract at Arbroath ended having come through the youth ranks at Gayfield. He made 73 starts for Arbroath, as well as 32 substitute appearances, scoring seven goals.
On 1 May 2008, Swankie signed for Dundee's Tayside rivals St. Johnstone. He was released at the end of the 2009-10 season and signed for a third spell at Arbroath. This was a success as he has been in scorching form, winning the SFL Division 3 Player of the Year award. His goals helped Arbroath secure their first ever league championship in 2010/11.