Would you like to zoom past the competition when you apply for desirable jobs? Jobscan is a service that helps you optimise your resumé and LinkedIn profile, with the aim of doing just that. This Jobscan review looks at whether it’s worth trying it out, or whether it’s all a load of meaningless hype.
Before I start, I should point out that I’ve personally worked in the cut-throat world of recruitment in the past. As such, I’m no stranger to sifting CVs and searching Applicant Tracking Systems (ATS) for perfect candidates. I can therefore start this Jobscan review by saying that optimising your resumé can definitely help you to move it closer to the top of the pile.
What is Jobscan
Jobscan is an online service that helps you assess and improve your resumé when applying for jobs. In theory this should mean you win more interviews, and have a better chance of getting your dream role.
As many recruiters use databases (or Applicant Tracking Systems) to find suitable candidates, it’s really important to include the right keywords and areas of information in your resumé. Jobscan provides detailed feedback to help you improve everything from the look and feel of your CV, to the balance of keywords that automated systems will look for.
Is Jobscan Legit?
Jobscan is a legit service, and it’s easy to find positive online feedback from users. Jobscan reviews on Sitejabber are largely good, with one user saying that starting to use the tool resulted in twice as many callbacks from job applications.
As with anything online, there will always be people who find something to criticise, but we found no evidence to indicate that Jobscan is a scam or anything other than legitimate.
The Importance of Tailored CVs
Whether you’re applying for your first job, making the switch to home working, shooting for an executive-level position, or even pitching for freelance gigs, tailoring resumés and applications is crucial.
Something I’ve seen time and time again (going back two decades!) is lazy job-hunters firing off the same “boiler plate” CV for dozens of different jobs. This “throw lots of s&*t at the wall and hope some sticks” approach doesn’t work, and those CVs rarely survive the recruiter’s first “sift.”
Even if your resumé is beautifully put together, it makes sense to tailor it to each specific job you’re applying for. Job adverts tend to give a lot away about what each company is looking for. It therefore makes sense to ensure that the skills and attributes you highlight are a perfect match.
As I said earlier, I have personal experience of this. When I worked in IT recruitment, there wasn’t a single consultant in my office (me aside) who had any real IT knowledge. They didn’t know CRM from ERP, or Linux from Windows Server! As such, much of the job relied on using “the database” to search for the right keywords within the resumés of thousands of candidates who had applied.
(I feel I should add a caveat here, and say that there are, of course, people in parts of the executive recruitment business that work in a far more focussed way than I describe. Not all recruitment consultants are mere “database searchers!”)
Obviously time and technology has moved on. But speaking realistically, things have actually become far MORE automated. It’s not necessarily going to be a person who pulls you out as a suitable match for your dream job – it could well be an Applicant Tracking System (ATS) doing most of the heavy-lifting.
And just in case you think this all sounds futuristic and / or unrealistic, it’s really not. According to Jobscan, 98% of Fortune 500 companies use these systems as part of their recruitment processes.
How Much Does Jobscan Cost?
Jobscan has a limited free plan, and both monthly and three-monthly paid plans, with the cheapest working out to just under $30 per month.
The exact prices are as follows:
- The One Month Free plan costs $89.95 for three months.
- The Monthly plan costs $49.95 per month.
There are also separate custom plans available for career coaches who wish to use Jobscan as a tool for their clients.
The free plan, unsurprisingly, has limited functionality, but is in fact rather useful. You still get a resumé manager, access to lots of advice and info in the “learning center,” and five monthly comparison scans.
Once you step up to a paid plan, you get a LOT more, however. Job scans are unlimited, and there are loads of extra features including more detailed scan feedback, cover letter optimisation, suggestions for jobs that you match, and specific advice to get through Applicant Tracking Systems.
Jobscan Free Trial
In addition to the limited “free forever” plan, there’s also a Jobscan free trial that allows you to try almost all of the premium functionality for a one month period.
There are a couple of caveats to keep in mind if you decide to go for this trial. Full LinkedIn optimisation is only included after the trial period. This is understandable, because otherwise people could simply use the free trial to give their LinkedIn a make-over and then cancel! The second thing to note is that the free trial is only on offer as part of the three-monthly billing option, as explained below.
Part of me feels inclined to highlight these intricacies as a negative in my Jobscan review. I certainly know that people often rail against such policies. However, there are two sides to this: MANY people sign up to free trials for all kinds of things to grab what they can get with no intention of ever becoming a paying customer. Companies have a right to mitigate against this kind of thing. As long as you pay attention and remember to cancel before the trial ends, should you decide to, you should have no issues.
When you sign up to Jobscan, you can enter all your details, but it’s quicker and easier to join up using a LinkedIn account.
You arrive at a simple dashboard, complete with links to a “to do” list, and instructional articles to help you get started.
You’re encouraged to complete your profile – containing some of the basics like your industry and educational details, and to carry out your first job “scan.”
Jobscan Review: Our Experience
The core feature of Jobscan is the ability to copy and paste your resumé alongside the job description for a role you’re interested in.
The system’s algorithm then gives you a hugely detailed analysis of how good a match your CV is, along with some very detailed suggestions for improving it.
The kind of things the system covers include:
- Whether your mentioned skills match the job requirements.
- How well your education level matches what the company is looking for.
- Small tweaks to help your CV comply with the kind of things that Automated Tracking Systems look for.
- The formatting of your resumé, the overall length, and whether it includes the right kind of subject headings.
- Whether you’ve included clichés or negative phrases that should be eliminated.
- Specific matching skills – particularly relevant for technical and specialist positions.
- “Industry breadth” – an analysis of other skills closely related to the job in question.
The information is hugely detailed, and it’s very easy to go back and tweak your resumé to improve it.
You also get additional suggested jobs from Indeed pulled straight into the Jobscan interface.
While there’s a lot of information to take in, it’s all very clearly explained.
In order to produce a full and thorough Jobscan review, I obviously had to put it to the test with my own resumé and some sample jobs. The suggestions always felt fair and useful. The system pointed out where I’d failed to mention specific skills the company was looking for, as well as giving me more constructive tips, such as to include more examples of “measurable results.”
All in all, I did feel that Jobscan showed its worth very quickly, and definitely demonstrated exactly why sending out bulk, non-customised resumés doesn’t work.
Optimising for LinkedIn
A lot of recruitment takes place on LinkedIn these days. Even if you send in a CV for a specific job, the chances are the recruiter will check out your LinkedIn profile too. Companies also often use LinkedIn to headhunt for exactly the right new hires.
As such, you need your LinkedIn account to sparkle, and match the kind of jobs you are trying to find. That’s where Jobscan’s LinkedIn functionality comes in. As stated above, you only get this with paid versions of the software.
In essence, the LinkedIn scan is quite similar to the job scan, but layers on other important areas of advice, such as how to produce a “high impact” summary for the top of your LinkedIn profile. If you’re actively looking for work, this is very much worthwhile.
If you’d like more information on optimising your LinkedIn, we have an article here, full of tips from a recruitment expert.
Jobscan is a very complete package for serious job hunters. The information it provides is useful and actionable. I do believe it will help many people get beyond that “first sift” and through to interview stage.
But is it a good fit for everyone? Well, that’s where the conclusion of my Jobscan review gets a little more complicated, so let’s look at some specifics.
Is JobScan Good Value?
JobScan is undoubtedly good value, because you can use a good chunk of the functionality for free – and forever. There’s also a month’s free trial of almost everything else.
The question is harder to answer when it comes to the paid plans. I personally don’t think $49.95 for a month or $89.95 for three months is bad AT ALL, especially if you land a job in that period. Getting a professional to give your LinkedIn profile the once-over would probably cost more than that by itself.
But I know there are plenty of people out there who object to investing ANY money in their careers. Many of them are stuck in a huge rut for exactly that reason. Other people are more pragmatic about assessing whether certain things will give them a head start.
With that in mind, here are some demographics I feel would particularly benefit (and NOT benefit) from Jobscan. Take a look, then you should feel empowered to decide for yourself.
Who is Jobscan Good for?
- People looking for “premium” home working jobs: When we compiled our huge list of 50 companies that hire home workers, even I was surprised how many BIG firms take on remote staff for high-end, well-paid roles. If you want to give yourself an edge in applying for such jobs, something like this could help.
- Serious job hunters: Jobscan suits people who DO tailor their CVs, take the job hunting process seriously, and constantly strive for the next step up.
- Techies: As I explained above, many IT recruiters don’t have a clue about the technologies their candidates work with. This makes including all the right technical keywords extra important. Agencies make heavy use of Applicant Tracking Systems, which makes solutions like Jobscan a good way to play the game.
- LinkedIn Networkers: People who are serious about their LinkedIn presence may find that spending $50 is a tiny investment in making it shine.
Who is Jobscan Less Good for?
- Lazy People: If you’re not actually going to send out tailored resumés and act on the advice provided, you’re not going to get anything out of using Jobscan.
- Entry-Level Workers: While Jobscan could give you a slight edge, it does strike me as a better fit for people who are almost “spoiled for choice” with which skills and attributes to highlight.
Is Jobscan Good for Freelancers?
Clients do often request a resumé for freelance roles. However, I think how much Jobscan will help you is dependent on the kind of freelancing you do. Writers and designers, for example, are probably more reliant on establishing and maintaining a good portfolio.
On the other hand, if you’re a “day rate” consultant, or a freelancer in the corporate world who relies on Linkedin for freelance networking, Jobscan could prove a useful tool. There’s always the free trial, AND the limited “free forever” version if you want to find out for yourself.
Job Scan Pros and Cons
- A “free forever” version, and a free premium trial.
- A truly full-featured system to improve resumés and LinkedIn profiles.
- Clear, actionable advice.
- Comparable in cost to other LinkedIn optimisation options.
- Certain people will inevitably criticise the premium pricing.
- Some may view keyword matching as a cynical way to optimise a CV!
If you enjoyed this Jobscan review, here are some other associated articles that could well be of interest to you:
- My review of Flexjobs – a subscription-based job finding service for home workers.
- A list of tips on how to uncover remote jobs that could be “hiding in plain sight.”
- A huge round-up of tips for freelance workers.
Lots to play with here - well worth a free demo to check it out.
- Ease of Use