On the thirteenth installment of Tristan’s Tips, our special guest Tristan Layfield illustrates the importance of performing a skills gap analysis when we find we need more skills, credentials, or experience to position ourselves as the best candidate for the job we want. He helpfully breaks down how to conduct one step-by-step.
Tristan: What’s going on, y’all? It’s Tristan of Layfield Resume Consulting, and I’ve teamed up with Living Corporate to bring you all a weekly career tip. Today, we’re gonna dive into what a skills gap analysis is and how you can conduct one. When we finally figure out the exact job we want to get, often times we are not qualified right off the bat to apply and get it. We may need to gain new skills, credentials, or experience to position ourselves as the best candidate, but the question is “How do you figure out what skills and steps you need to take?” While this can be answered in many ways, a skills gap analysis is a great place to start, so I wanted to take a moment to walk you through how you can conduct a skills gap analysis to help you figure out what skills you need to develop to get into that new role. Step 1, analyze the requirements. When doing this, there are a few questions you want to consider, for both the job you want and the employer you’re considering. For the job you want to ask, “What are the roles and responsibilities? What task will I be performing? What technical skills, language skills, or industry knowledge is needed? And what type of education, certifications, or experience is required?” Now, for the employer you want to ask, “Where is the company headed? What skills do they need, not only now but in the future?” And what are their objectives or values? Now, in the next step, Step 2, you want to do a self-assessment. This step requires you to assess what skills and qualifications you currently have. Now, sometimes it’s a little hard for us to really identify the skills and qualifications we currently have, so you may want to consult your manager, your mentor, or your professional network to gain a more holistic view of your skills. You just want to get perspective on what knowledge, skills, and ability you currently have. Step 3, identify the gaps. Here you’re going to compare your skills to the skills required by the employer, which you identified in Step 1. You’re comparing where you currently are to where you want to be. Anything that is present on the employer’s required skills list and absent on your skills list is a gap, and that is where you want to focus for the next step. Step 4, create an action plan. Here you figure out how to bridge those gaps that you’ve identified throughout the analysis. Some of the items that you can do to bridge those gaps may include things like mentoring, interning, more schooling, online courses, certifications, training programs, conferences, reading, volunteering, et cetera. You want to make sure that the goals that you set here in your action plan are S.M.A.R.T., and when I say that I mean that they are Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Relevant, and Time-bound. Step 5, the last step? Execute. This last step is get out there and get it done. So I thank you for joining me again. This tip was brought to you by Tristan of Layfield Resume Consulting. Check us out on Instagram, Twitter, and Facebook @LayfieldResume, or connect with me, Tristan Layfield, on LinkedIn. I’ll be talking to you soon.