Determining if you’re headed in the right direction.

Finding the Right Fit

Most people work in jobs or pursue careers where their skills, abilities, interests, values, work personality, education, and professional experience are a good fit for the duties they must perform on a day-to-day basis. In order to be hired, applicants for a specific position must already possess most—if not all—of the experience, skills, and education, required to perform the job.

In your assignment for this section, you will compare your self-assessment from Module 1 to the job analysis you’ve performed for your job of interest in this module. The purpose of this comparison is to determine how well the skills and traits you currently possess match those required for your job of interest. You will consider a number of things: your work personality, your education, your strengths and weaknesses, and your interests, abilities, and values. You may want to refresh your memory about the assignments you completed in Module 2as this information will play an important role in this process.

What is a Discrepancy?

In the context of this lesson, a discrepancy is the difference between the skill that you possess and the skill that is necessary to be successful in a specific career or job. For example, if you have a typing speed of 40 words a minute and a job you’re interested in requires a speed of 130 words per minute, there is a discrepancy between your typing speed and the speed required by the job.

Why are Discrepancies Important?

The purpose of identifying the discrepancies between your skills and those required by your job of interest is to help you intelligently decide your next step. Analyzing discrepancies will help you answer important questions. Is it possible to perform your job of interest given your current skills? Do you meet the minimum skill levels required, or do you need more training before you apply? Are there aspects of the job that, now that you know more about it, make it less appealing to you? Does the job take advantage of your strengths and interests? Are you overqualified for the position?

Discrepancy analysis allows you to take an objective look at what you might need to work on to make a given job or career a good choice for you. In order to be a successful job seeker, you must habitually compare your skills and aptitudes to those required by every job you consider.

As well, employers always use discrepancy analysis when looking for employees. Many typically create a checklist of required skills and aptitudes based on the job requirements and will evaluate every applicant against this criteria. Often employers have basic criteria that determine whether they disregard an application right away. Often education (level of degree or diploma), or years of experience, or a familiarity with computers or specific computer programs, or mastery of a specific type of machinery are so crucial to success in a given job that it isn’t worth the employer’s time to consider applicants who don’t meet those criteria. Some companies even use computer software to analyze resumes based on finding certain keywords to determine which applicants make it to the next round of consideration. Addressing this type of electronic resume scanning will be covered later on in the course when we discuss resume building and the application process.

It’s strongly suggested that you practice discrepancy analysis and utilize the information you have collected in prior lessons. A good way to get a lot of practice beyond that offered by your own job analysis is to take job listings from the newspaper or job web sites, break each listing down into a checklist of requirements, and then compare this list to your self-analysis. You might find a great fit that you’d not thought of before!

Next: Assignment: Discrepancy Analysis  Previous: Discrepancy Analysis

Job Seeker’s Toolkit, Copyright © American Foundation for the Blind. All rights reserved.