One of the biggest obstacles employers are facing today is not a lack of job requisitions, but a lack of sufficiently skilled candidates to meet job requirements. The result: Many jobs go unfilled.

As someone who has worked in the recruiting and staffing industry for more than 25 years, I can attest to this conundrum. Why is this? I would submit to you there are four primary reasons candidates are not measuring up to employer mandates:

1. Lack of education and training

According to Georgetown University’s study, “Help Wanted: Projections of Jobs and Education Requirements,” by 2018 it is projected the U.S. will need 22 million workers with college degrees, but will fall short of that number by at least three million. Education and training are two things employers won’t budge on. If this is an area that is holding you back, maybe it’s time to look at options for getting the schooling you need to succeed.

2. Skills not up-to-date with advancements

Technology is constantly redefining the way work gets done. Job seekers cannot rely on skill sets that were applicable 10 years ago, or even five years ago. In order to remain valuable, you need to keep pace with the advancements pertinent to your field, otherwise job opportunities will pass you by.

3. Poor written and verbal communication skills

How you communicate on paper and in person carries more weight than you may realize. In a world dominated by social media, employers want to make sure you have the communication skills to represent them properly. If this is an area where you are found lacking, take the initiative to brush up on your grammar and writing skills—it will surely pay off!

4. Knowledge is limited to one area

More often than not, employers are seeking candidates with a well-rounded set of skills. While it’s great to be an expert at your professional discipline, hiring managers are searching for talent that can step outside the bounds of their core skills in order to add greater value to the company. For example, if you are a programmer, demonstrating an understanding of the business side of your profession as well as the technical side will make you more attractive to employers.

Are one of these reasons limiting your job prospects? If so, make it a priority to obtain the skills you need to remove the barriers standing between you and your career goals!