Gap analysis

A gap analysis is a tool you can use to find jobs you are qualified for or will be qualified for upon graduation. It helps you recognize what the minimum and desired qualifications are for positions in your industry. You can also use it to reflect on skills you can build to help your candidacy for positions.

Gap analysis example

Use this Google Sheet to create your own gap analysis. Make a copy or download the document to edit it.

How to perform a gap analysis

  1. Search and find three job postings you see yourself applying for upon graduation (or after your next graduate degree). Don’t choose jobs that require 10 years of experience, for example. 
  2. Print the job descriptions out.
  3. Highlight all of the minimum qualifications and the desired qualifications on the job posting. Also, make note of the main job responsibilities of the position.
  4. Using Google Sheets, create a list of the required and desired qualifications directly from the job posting in the first column. in the second column, write examples of how you can meet each qualification based on something in your educational, volunteer or work experience. If you still have time left in your academic career, create a third column with examples of how you will fulfill each qualification upon graduation. The third column can be seen as your future to-do list. If you cannot identify an example, leave that space blank.
    • HINT: If you want to find learning outcomes specific to your degree, use the VCU Bulletin Archive section. You can search by your specific school and program and then search for your degree. This will show a list of learning outcomes for your degree. 
  5. Now evaluate yourself and your answers and score yourself from 1 to 5. If you were the HR rep reading your resume, do your answers allow you to earn the top 5 points in scoring? The more bullets/examples you have, or the stronger your accomplishments, the higher the evaluation points you will receive from a recruiter or HR screening personnel.

Questions to ask yourself

  • How well did you demonstrate proficiency for the jobs you found?
  • Would the human resources rep or hiring manager hire you with your current experience? If not, where are the gaps in your experience and what do you want to do to fill them?
  • Who is someone that can help you achieve these goals or point you to a valuable resource?
  • How can you apply this to your job search process or career and professional decisions?

Need help?

VCU career advisors are available to answer your questions and help with your gap analysis.

Make an appointment