Identifying your Knowledge Gaps

interview3One thing I learned the hard way after I graduated is that universities often don’t teach you all the skills you need when looking for a job. Sure, as a political science major, you will have graduated with a mastery of all the political theories in the book. However, you will soon find out that the employer for your dream job is actually looking for a political science graduate who has a knack for creative writing as he will require his employees to write papers that are humorous or satirical. Your straight As in your political science subjects won’t matter as much if you’ve never taken a creative writing elective. You wish you had, but it’s too late now. Or is it?


Well, the first thing you need to know is the kind of skills and knowledge required for the job you’re eyeing. Next, identify the skills and knowledge that you actually have right now. If there are skills and knowledge that you do not have but is required in your chosen career, those are called knowledge gaps.

It is important to acknowledge and recognize your knowledge gaps whilst job hunting. The simple knowledge of what you do not know will already help you big time. You can find out for yourself by looking at the job description of the work you are applying for. If there are quite a lot of required skills that you do not have, you might want to just let it go. You will just waste your time and resources in applying. If, however, you find out that your knowledge gaps are kept at a minimum, you might still have a shot at this job.


An immense amount of self-assessment and criticism is required in this part of identifying your knowledge gaps. Be totally honest with yourself and admit at once your knowledge gaps. After all, the time is never too late to develop yourself in these areas. Be honest with your employer as well. Tell him/her (should you choose to still apply) that there are specific skills and knowledge requirements in the job description that you feel you are not comfortable with. Don’t stop there, though. Suggest ways on how you can improve on your knowledge gaps. You can take training or certificate programs that will help you gain the skills needed. The political science major can even go back to college to enroll in that creative writing class!


If the employer chooses to hire you in spite of your knowledge gaps, then good for you. You are given a shot to prove that you can still grow and develop after college. In this case, prove your employer that he/she was right in hiring you. If, on the other hand, you were rejected because of your knowledge gaps, push through still with the things you said you’d do to gain such skills. This will help you score the job should you be allowed to re-apply; it may even cause a redirection of your career. You might find out along the way that creative writing rather than political science is your destiny. If you can, though, try not to be derailed from your original career goals. Focus on what you really want out of life


Ultimately, never be afraid of rejection. Everybody has knowledge gaps, I tell you. Just be bold enough to admit that and be brave enough to take baby steps into achieving that goal. By doing this, you are not only increasing your employability, you are also helping yourself grow and achieve greater things you never knew you could achieve.