UPDATED APRIL 12, 2017: This article has been updated to describe new features and provide additional insight from client experiences. Jobscan recommends at least an 80% Match Rate; however, I've had several clients who have signed up for Jobscan reach out to me about struggling to achieve this while still maintaining the integrity of their resume's content. I can't stress enough to readers that Jobscan's Match Rate should be treated as a guide rather than a standard.
When consulting clients, I typically recommend identifying the top 5-10 job-related skills and required credentials and then integrating various word tenses of these keywords throughout the resume's content. Example: Project Management Professional (PMP), Project Management, managing projects, managed technical projects, etc.
Why? Jobscan can't truly predict how a corporate recruiter or HR professional will actually use Applicant Tracking software. There is no guarantee that the hiring manager will use the specific keywords identified in the job posting to search for and narrow down qualified candidates within the pool of applicants. I still recommend (and will continue to recommend) Jobscan to my readers and clients, but I also recommend not relying too heavily on Match Rates.
As a Certified Professional Resume Writer, I strive to stay on top of recruiting and employment trends because I want to provide the best service imaginable for my clients. I want to educate my clients on why their new resume is going to set them up for success. I also want to educate my clients on how important a keyword-optimized, Applicant Tracking software-approved resume is.
Why do keywords matter so much? With the high number of resumes and applications received by employers for each job opening, there just isn't the time to evaluate every candidate. Employers rely on Applicant Tracking software to collect, store, and search through resumes and ultimately identify the top qualified candidates.
Your resume needs to have the keywords corporate recruiters and HR professionals will be using to narrow down candidates.
One phase of our resume writing process is naturally integrating keywords that relate to the jobs the client is targeting. I personally spend TONS of time analyzing job posting that my clients provide, researching similar job descriptions, and carefully identifying the most effective keywords based on my findings. Depending on the client's background and the job target, this process can take quite a bit of time. Even after my clients work with me, I hear back from most within weeks asking for help on re-targeting their resumes for other job postings.
Too many job seekers are "in the dark" when it comes to knowing what employers are looking for. The information is out there, but it's often time-consuming and difficult to find.
What Is Jobscan?
I am so excited to share Jobscan with you! This company reached out to me, and I am so thrilled to be able to recommend this online tool to my clients and curious job seekers.
Jobscan is an online analysis tool that shows a job seeker how to optimize his or her resume for specific job postings and conquer the top Applicant Tracking systems that most employers are using. This tool is incredibly easy to use. Simply copy and paste the text from your resume in one field, copy and paste the text from the job posting in the other, and get a full analysis for free. That's right; it's free.
Freemium & Subscription Plans
Curious job seekers get a few free scans before being asked to create an account. The Free account option gives job seekers five scans a month. You can also sign up for a month-to-month subscription which offers an unlimited number of scans for $49.95 a month. The third option is $89.95 and includes an unlimited number of scans for three months plus your first month is free (so four months).
The paid plans come with some extras such as your scan history, Live Scoring, an Applicant Tracking System Revealed eBook, 20 ATS Friendly Resume Templates, and a Cover Letter Template. Jobscan also offers "free scans" as incentives for inviting your friends to sign up too.
What Does Jobscan Analyze?
When you scan your resume against a job posting, Jobscan will give you your Match Rate based on an analysis of:
- Your Hard Skills (Job-related skills)
- Your Education
- Your Soft Skills
- Your Job Title, and
- Other One-Word Keywords
They don't affect your Match Rate, but the scan will also identify your Word Count and Measurable Results.
A somewhat new feature that is included in your scan results is ATS Insights. This feature is advantageous because it will identify what Applicant Tracking software your targeted company uses and provides hints for that specific software. Not all companies will provide the ATS Insights, but this feature should improve over time.
Why Do These Things Matter?
Jobscan provides a lot of information about how Applicant Tracking systems work in their tutorial post and other blog posts, but here's a quick summary. Your Hard Skills, Job Title, Soft Skills, and Other One-Word Keywords relate to how well you are describing your background. Resumes that briefly list work history are in trouble in this area. Your word count relates to your file size and overall readability. Your Measurable Results relate directly to the value you offer an employer (Employers and recruiters LOVE numbers!).
Top Benefits To Using Jobscan
Jobscan is a great keyword optimization tool for job seekers. Founders James Hu and Michael Lee have applied their technology product and software engineering experiences with companies such as Microsoft and Google to develop an advantageous tool. Job seekers that use this tool will rise above those with generic and broadly targeted resumes.
1. Speed Up The Resume Writing Process
If you use Jobscan, you will no longer question whether or not your resume focuses on what it should focus on. Your scan results will tell you which keywords you should add to your resume in addition to which skills you should put a little more focus on (see the Skills Graph on your scan results).
2. Find Jobs That Match Your Skill Sets
If you use Jobscan, you will be provided with a list of job postings that match keywords and skills already in your resume. This not only speeds up the job search process, but it will show you opportunities you are qualified for that you may not have considered.
3. Stand Out From The Candidates Who Are Still Guessing
If you use Jobscan, you will be able to target your resume to address the specific needs of each employer. In other words, you will know exactly what skills and keywords they are looking for rather than guessing. You will instantly stand out and become a top qualified candidate.
What You Need To Know
I want to give curious job seekers an honest assessment of Jobscan. Yes, I think this tool is exciting and useful. I also think job seekers need to be careful of how much they rely on scan results and how they use Jobscan.
Natural Integration of Keywords
Jobscan puts a lot of emphasis on adding appropriate keywords, but the website's tutorials and resume writing guides don't adequately educate job seekers on how to naturally integrate these keywords. The tendency can be to keyword-stuff your resume or copy-and-paste the requirements directly into your resume. When your results list over 15 skills and keywords that your resume lacks, job seekers should be careful on how heavily they rely on the advice of their results.
Yes, your resume needs to pass Applicant Tracking software. Your resume also needs to be readable to human eyes. If your resume is crammed with keywords or your content doesn't flow naturally, you may not get the call for an interview.
A subscription to Jobscan includes several extras such as the resume templates you can also download for free on several pages of their website. I downloaded and briefly inspected these templates. As a resume writer and modern resume designer, I'm a little disappointed.
Several of the resumes had outdated designs that while they may pass Applicant Tracking software will likely not stand out to a corporate recruiter or hiring manager. Applicant Tracking software can often not read resumes with multiple columns or tables, and several designs had questionable formatting choices. Job seekers should be cautious about the templates they use and keep both software capabilities and human perception in mind.
I'm thrilled this tool exists. I plan to recommend Jobscan to my clients, but I want to further remind job seekers that your resume should first and foremost tell your unique story and present the value you offer. This tool is a great way to improve your resume's visibility, but your resume's keywords should not overshadow your value.
I can't truly say if Jobscan alone will triple your interviews as they advertise. I can confidently say that a targeted, keyword-optimized resume that shows employers the value you offer as well as your qualifications will certainly present you as a top qualified candidate.
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