Webinar Recap: Resume Optimizer – How Emsi’s New (Free!) Prototype Can Help Millions of Displaced Workers

Published on Apr 21, 2020

Updated on Nov 3, 2022

Written by Emsi Burning Glass

Webinar Recap: Resume Optimizer – How Emsi’s New (Free!) Prototype Can Help Millions of Displaced Workers

Last week, we hosted a webinar: “Resume Optimizer – How Emsi’s New (Free!) Prototype Can Help Millions of Displaced Workers.” Kelly Bailey, director of Emsi Open Skills, demonstrated how Resume Optimizer can help people do the following:

  • Compare the skills on their resume with job opportunities

  • Discover which skills they should highlight on their resume

  • Get suggestions on which skills to add or remove

There are now 22 million Americans unemployed due to the COVID-19 economic shutdown. Forced to seek either temporary work outside their current field or entirely new types of work, displaced workers across the US are wondering, what can I do now?

To answer this, they need to know how to describe the skills they have that will transfer well to other jobs, and they need to know how to add this critical information to their resumes and profiles. That’s why we created Resume Optimizer. 

In the webinar, Kelly also discussed the foundation of this work, the Emsi Skills library, which serves as a new, common language between three audiences: 1) people looking for work, 2) work looking for people, and 3) educational programs looking to connect people to the labor market. 

Watch the video

Check out the full recording below to learn about how Resume Optimizer can help displaced workers across America.


Q&A with Kelly Bailey

We got a lot of great questions during the webinar. Here are the answers!

1. What does API stand for?

Application Programming Interface. Emsi APIs give you direct access to our data so that you have more flexibility and control in creating custom data displays and applications for your organization.

2. Just to confirm, the first step for individuals is to load their resume and select a job title they are interested in. And then the key skills, opportunities, etc., will appear. Correct?

You got it!

3. Am I understanding it correctly that if someone puts in a horribly written resume, Resume Optimizer will show them what is missing?


4. I’m brand new to Emsi. When you say this is a free service, do you mean that this is a free enhancement to an already paid for Emsi subscription?

Resume Optimizer is completely free! No need for an Emsi subscription.

5. Is this free only for a period of time? Will there be a charge in the future?

We have no current plans to charge for Resume Optimizer.

6. Is Resume Optimizer for organizations only, or for individuals as well?

It’s for everyone! Anyone can access Resume Optimizer for free on Emsi Skills.

7. How will displaced jobseekers learn about Resume Optimizer? Will they need to go through a third party?

Nope, they don’t need to go through a third party! Resume Optimizer is available on Emsi Skills and is free to anyone. However, the best way for people to access Emsi data is through our partners (workforce boards, economic developers, community colleges, universities, businesses) who are working to help displaced workers.

8. Are there limits to how much we can use Resume Optimizer?

No limits! But if you would like to use it a lot, Emsi would be more than happy to talk with you about using Resume Optimizer at scale for your organization.

9. Do you have any categories of skills?

We currently categorize hard skills, soft skills, and certifications.

10. Do tech firms over-write their skill requirements for their positions?

In our experience, tech companies will often include too many skills, not realizing that this can make a job posting a lot more difficult (and expensive) to fill. We are working on a solution with a job posting optimizer. Stay tuned!

11. Please explain what you mean by “common skills”–e.g, management in the context of health professionals, or engineering.

Common skills are more foundational and fundamental to work. We often refer to these as “soft skills” or, more accurately, “human skills.”

12. Is there a way to review the resume and offer advice on the positions most likely for the skills on the resume?

We just released a free service called SkillsMatch that will help with this. Check it out!

13. Does the tool cross-correlate skills? For example, if I list critical thinking on my resume instead of problem-solving, would it connect those? Or is this tool just a 1:1 match tool?

Problem-solving and critical thinking are actually two different skills in our skills library, so in this case they would come up separately. When reading the skills on your resume, our tool is looking at words in context. For example, if you had the words “front-end” on your resume, Resume Optimizer would know you meant “front-end software engineering” because you also listed skills that correlate with that skill: such as Python, databases, CSS, and/or HTML.

14. Are the skill opportunities listed prioritized according to importance to the job?

Skills are listed in alphabetical order within each section. However, the up-to-five skill opportunities specifically are chosen this way: the top hard skills are listed by significance to the job (meaning, these skills show up uniquely in job postings), and they must show up in at least 10% of postings for that job.

15. Are the skills that appear able to be differentiated between soft skills and skills that might require a certification or more technical training?

In our library they are differentiated that way, but in Resume Optimizer we do not identify them as such.

16. How large is your database for titles/roles at the director and VP levels?

We haven’t built our job level classification yet, so we can’t say for sure. There are, however, 7,862 literal “Director” titles and 2,197 “Vice President” titles. So you can take that as a lower bound.

17. Can the system help you find other jobs (whose titles you don’t know) that might fit your skills?

Not in the first prototype, but we will be considering that for enhancements.

18. What methodology are you using to develop the job posting optimizer? I’m ultimately curious if you’re determining top skills for a given job based on a survey of all similar job postings that are out there, or if there are other data points informing the algorithm.

Yes, we based our top skills on job postings! First we look at job postings relevant to the job in question. Then we take the skills found in your resume and categorize them by the percentage of those postings that include those skills.

19. When you develop the resource for employers to optimize their job postings, is there a way to get them from going overboard on their wish list to avoid intimidating applicants?

Yes. The optimizer will show them the most appropriate skills. The job posting optimizer that we’re working on (see question 10) would also allow you to compare each skill addition to the available talent in your region.

20. Can Resume Optimizer be embedded on another website?

Yes, you can do this with our APIs.

21. For lower paid workers, who may not have a well crafted CV, is there a way to use job titles to produce a list of skills that a worker can self-select and self-assess against?

We don’t have that option in the first prototype, but we are considering it for future enhancements!

22. What is the best way for universities to support skills development?

Universities can support skills development by clearly communicating the labor market skills they are teaching to their students and to employer partners. They can make sure they are using labor market skills with our free Open Skills Library API.

23. If I am an employer and put my job posting into the API, will it give me a list of candidates with similar skills?

No, our Open Skills APIs don’t currently return any candidate profiles. They just allow you to access our free skills library and 50 extractions of a job posting or resume.

24. Do you connect your skill data to geography data?

Yes, but in this prototype we have kept the data at a national level. If you’re interested in regional data, please contact Rob Sentz at rob@economicmodeling.com.

25. I noticed your resume didn’t have education achievement (e.g., bachelor degree vs. master degree). Does that get matched as well?

No, Resume Optimizer does not match the education achievement.

26. Will there be the skill shapes for different job types available for viewing? That would be really interesting / valuable so people can get full pictures on key skills needed for a job!

Thank you for the suggestion! We will keep it in mind for future enhancements.

27. When do you expect the syllabus tools to be available?

We do not currently have an ETA, but hopefully prior to the end of the year.


Explore more webinars and economic reports on our COVID-19 resources page. To learn more about Resume Optimizer or Emsi Skills, contact Rob Sentz: rob@economicmodeling.com