How to Conduct a Basic Skills Gap Analysis


If you want to prove that you are a match for your target job, customize your resume for each target job. Align yourself by featuring your skills, education, and accomplishments that match the employer’s needs. That is easy when you start with a skills gap analysis. Follow these steps to identify your gaps. When you know your gaps, you can find ways to increase your job search success.

Make a List of the Job Requirements

  • Review the job posting for the target job. Look for job requirements and pay attention to items described as “must have,” “required,” “desired,” or “preferred” to understand if the skill is a deal breaker or now.

  • Identify other people performing that job at your target employer or a similar organization. Review their LinkedIn profile and make note of their skills.

  • Create a master list of the skills, education, experience, and credentials so you have a comprehensive view of the ideal candidate.

Assess Your Skill Level

  • Highlight items in green for skills you possess, highlight items in yellow to indicate that you have similar skills or skills under development, and circle deficient areas in red.

  • Review your resume and LinkedIn profile to find your relevant skills (skills that match the job posting). Also, brainstorm to recall any relevant experience from unpaid or academic work. You might be able to turn some of the items in the red category to yellow or green.

  • If you find that you have a more items in the red category for your dream job, don't be discouraged. Don't let your assessment dampen your motivation. Consider identifying a gap the first step toward filling the gap.

If you are serious about pursuing this job, evaluate the gaps. Some gaps may be items that are essential and you must meet that requirement to be considered. Other items might be desired, but, you may qualify if you show you are working on the skills or if you are exceptionally strong in other key areas. Plan to fill the crucial gaps through training programs, self-study, certifications, or experience. Experience is not limited to paid full-time positions. Consider volunteer and part-time roles to gain experience.

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