A Thought Leader ... Who Me? & A Bit About UpScored

A few months ago, Elise Runde Voss, chief executive officer of UpScored reached out to me after reading my piece on how networking helped my husband get back to work after being laid-off. In her email, she referred to me as "a thought leader in career development and progression." Now before I go any further, as a woman who can barely get her kids to wear long pants in a blizzard, I was beyond flattered, so naturally, I wanted to hear what else she had to say.

Her new endeavor, UpScored, is a career discovery platform that connects professionals to their best career prospects. As someone who struggled with finding a job for far longer than I'd have liked, I was intrigued and wanted to learn more.

Fortunately, I had the pleasure of speaking with the entrepreneur who is determined to streamline the job search (and hiring) process. I highly recommend checking out the site. I did -- for research purposes, of course -- and was pretty impressed and surprised by how user-friendly it was.

Below is an article I've put together on UpScored. I hope you find it helpful!

A New Way to Check How Your Resume Looks to an ATS

Anyone who’s ever searched for a new job knows how quickly it can become a time-consuming rabbit hole that often leaves you with more questions than prospects. For example, you may find yourself asking: “Am I qualified for this position?” “Does my resume showcase my skillset in a way that’ll get me noticed?” and “Would using different keywords propel my resume past those resume reading robots known as Applicant Tracking Systems (ATS) and into the right hands?” 

Fortunately, there’s a new tool that aims to streamline your search and lead you to apply for positions that are tailored to your skillset, background, and even career priorities. The data science platform UpScored promises to match your skills to top job openings in all of two minutes. Their motto, “Because finding your dream job shouldn’t be your second job,” should resonate with a lot of job seekers.

UpScored’s website, which is free to use, features over 30,000 openings in the following sectors: technology, media, finance, retail, and healthcare. Currently, jobs are based in Manhattan but since the site does a whole lot more than present local jobs, anyone can benefit from uploading a resume. The platform provides users with valuable insight into how an ATS views their resume. Since these systems destroy three-quarters of candidates’ chances right out the gate due to filtering for specific keywords, according to job search services provider QuintCareers, why not arm yourself with information and those all-important terms that could make your resume stand out from the crowd?

UpScored Chief Executive Officer Elise Runde Voss explained how she and co-founders Robert Britt and Dan Elbaz built the propriety algorithm out of personal frustration with the hiring process.

The trio previously collaborated while building the Big Data Strategy Group at Point72 Asset Management (formerly SAC Capital), a $10 billion multi-strategy hedge fund. It was there that they experienced firsthand the challenging process of putting together a talented team. Recognizing how choosing from a pool of highly-qualified candidates significantly impacts a group’s growth and culture, they were inspired to create a system that connects the job seeker and employer in a mutually beneficial and unique way — because no one wants to miss out on the perfect opportunity or employee. 

Minding the Skill Gap

One of Runde Voss’s favorite features is UpScored’s ability to “look at skills more like a human would.” Because the algorithm was trained on over 600,000 resumes, it goes well beyond simply filtering for key words, the CEO explained. 

For example, if you’ve spent the past five years in digital marketing, you’re going to receive a higher score than someone who held a summer internship in that field. Additionally, if your resume doesn’t include the words “digital marketing” but features commensurate experience in search engine optimization, you’ll be shown a position you may otherwise have missed. 

After uploading my resume to give UpScored a test drive, I was pleasantly surprised by how appropriate the site’s selections were. In a matter of seconds, I was looking at a dozen positions that intrigued me. I didn’t need to scroll through pages (and pages) of openings that were only slightly relevant to my search. 

Even if you’re not seeking a job in the New York City area, experimenting with UpScored would still prove interesting and useful as you’re able to get a clear idea of the positions you’re most compatible with. The site may even suggest a position you otherwise wouldn’t have considered yourself qualified for.

A user credits UpScored with presenting her with an opportunity at a digital media site that she wouldn’t have pursued based on the job title alone. But once UpScored indicated that the position was an optimal fit for her background, she applied, and landed an interview.

Figuring Out Next Steps

If UpScored’s findings are to your liking, good for you! If not, take a long look at your resume and figure out what needs to be tweaked. Because I’ve worked in the financial industry, UpScored presented me with plenty of opportunities in that sector. But because that’s no longer my desired focus, I realized that I may want to consider removing that experience from my resume and, instead, devote that coveted space to the skills I’ve acquired that I’d most like future employers to value. 

If you’ve ever applied for a position you believed was the perfect match but never received even a phone interview, you were probably haunted by that nagging question: “Would using different terms or keywords on my resume have made it stand out to an employer?” 

UpScored tackles this issue as well. The system’s “Skill View” page shows you exactly which skills your resume is missing in simple terms such as “arbitrage” or “audience development.” 



Once you know where your deficits lie, it’s an easy fix, Runde Voss notes. “If you start to see the same words pop up over and over again, fill your skill gap by taking an online course or attending a class or workshop at General Assembly. Then, add those skills to your resume and watch your score increase. 

Again, even if you’re closer to New Mexico than New York, UpScored can provide you with valuable insight into how your resume is perceived by employers. If you’re scoring a 40 against your dream job, figure out what will bridge the distance. Sometimes reworking and rewording your experience may be enough to get your resume in front of the right people, Runde Voss points out. The CEO shared that she worked with a user who had all the requisite skills to land her dream job. Unfortunately, however, that wasn’t coming across on paper. 

After studying her skill gap, the job seeker realized that while she possessed most of the qualities the employer was seeking, because she hadn’t listed or bulleted them, her resume might have been passed over. 

“If you included all the things you’re capable of and all the experience you have, your resume would be three to four pages long,” Runde Voss points out. “UpScored cuts to the heart of it by showing you exactly what will get your resume noticed.”  

Getting Started

Checking out this tool is quick and easy. Simply create a login and password, upload your resume, and pick from a handful of attributes that best describe your personality. For example, are you organized or adaptable? Creative or analytical? Do you prefer to wear a tie or hoodie to the office? 

Next, the platform asks you to rank your top two priorities in terms of what you’re looking for in a career: compensation and benefits, career progression, work/life balance, or strong mentorship. When you’re done ranking, you’ll be scored. 

Within seconds, custom job descriptions at top companies like Google, BuzzFeed, Facebook, and Twitter will appear and you’ll be given a “score” on a scale of 1 to 100 based on your work experience, skill set, and education, as well as thousands of other data points. The number measures the relevance of your resume to a company’s job description, enabling job seekers to focus on the right opportunities rather than waste time applying for jobs they may not be qualified for. And if you should find an opportunity that you’d love, determining how to remedy your skill gap will put you in the best position possible. 

If you’re looking to save yourself the time and frustration that often accompanies job searching, you might want to give UpScored a try. Job hunting is stressful enough, why not give yourself a head start by viewing your resume as an ATS will.

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