We’re all familiar with the job description—it’s one of the most essential tools in the recruiter’s toolkit. This versatile document helps you to come to an agreement with your hiring manager about what they’re looking for, publicize a role to the outside world, and get your hiring team aligned on a candidate’s suitability for a role.

A typical job description includes things like the required qualifications and experiences, as well as a list of desired skills the candidate will possess. In some cases, these skills are listed in the external job description, and in some cases, they may be listed internally in the company’s Applicant Tracking System (ATS). But one place that you will almost never see these skills listed out explicitly is on the candidate’s résumé.

There are a number of reasons for this: In the case where a company maintains the list of skills privately within their ATS, candidates won’t know which of their skills are most relevant. And even when the skills are listed in the job description, candidates may not always think to write their skills out on their résumé, either because they’re not sure if this information is relevant, they’re trying to save space with what they consider to be the most important information, or they may not have even thought of describing their abilities in this way.

But skills do matter to employers, and that’s why we’ve created a way for recruiters to easily uncover a candidate’s skills—even when they haven’t been explicitly spelled out in a résumé. Here’s how it works.

We used a large set of data, 6 million job descriptions and the skills that employers asked for when hiring for certain positions along with 50 million résumés, and built a broad coverage model that connects companies, positions, and skills. We trained the model on job descriptions, but it can now be applied to résumés to create an accurate portrait of a candidate’s hard and soft skills.

When a candidate uploads their résumé or LinkedIn profile to our system, it will automatically generate a list of skills. Some of these skills may be explicitly listed on the candidate’s résumé, but some of them are educated guesses based on our model.

We like to think of this model as a really smart career counselor who has vast knowledge about different roles and industries. As a job seeker, you might go to this career counselor and say, “I’m not really sure what my strengths are,” and she would tell you, “Well, you worked as a developer at Microsoft, so you’re adept at problem solving and collaborating towards a shared goal.” Then you would say, “Oh, that’s true! I do have those skills.”

For candidates, this is a huge win. They don’t need to make any changes to their existing résumé. Based on the information contained within their résumé, our system will generate a list of hard and soft skills. This includes things like technology or coding languages as well as soft skills like communication and attention to detail. Candidates have the ability to edit this list as well, to adjust their level of proficiency with skills or delete skills they don’t want to list.

By providing this list of suggested skills, we can help candidates better understand their strengths. It’s been shown that certain groups tend to over-report or under-report their abilities, so by proactively creating a list of suggested skills, we can help put candidates from different backgrounds on a more even playing field.

Recruiters can see a comparison between what they asked for and which skills the candidate has, which makes it easy for them to assess candidates on relevant criteria. It’s much more meaningful for a recruiter to know whether someone can handle a lot of tight deadlines than where they went to school, for example. This also gives recruiters a much more complete picture of the candidates they’re evaluating, and increases the likelihood of moving qualified candidates through the pipeline.

We’re excited about how this technology can better connect candidates and recruiters. Candidates will have a better idea of their strengths and find more relevant roles and recruiters will find candidates who are a better fit for the roles they’re looking to fill.
Want to see for yourself? If you’re a candidate, you can upload your résumé here. If you’re a recruiter, you can get in touch to request a demo here.

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