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Perform a Gap Analysis

In many cases a job posting is a wish list and the employer would be pleased to find a candidate with 85% of the requirements. In a competitive market, you may need 110% of the qualifications to score an interview. Before you interview, study the position so you can build your case as a strong candidate. Rate your skills that match the requirements. Next, identify any gaps. A gap in skills is not a reason to pass on the job posting. Follow these steps to address your gap and present yourself as a candidate, now or in the future.

Identify Similar Skills.

If you have had similar experience, that might be enough. For example: The employer is requesting someone with experience delivering presentations. If you have never led presentations, but you have developed demos and supporting material, mention that. You can still hit the keyword with “Presentation Preparation.”

Show Your Adaptability.

If you don’t have the experience supporting clients in certain industries, regions, or functional areas, share examples that demonstrate that you can hit the ground running. For example, perhaps mention the diverse industries, countries, and functional areas that you have supported.

Begin a Development Program.

If you don’t have the certification required and this integral to your desired career, start the course and list it on your resume as “in progress.” List the courses that you have completed.

Testing Demand for Your Specialty.

When you enter your top technical skill, area of specialty, or job title on a job board (,, how many responses are displayed? Searching for keywords on a job board can show you the current market demand. If your top skill returns only three listings and another skill that you don’t yet possess shows 3,000, that is an indication that your skills are becoming obsolete. It’s time to build skills.

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