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?
- Is Jobscan Legit?
- The Importance of Tailored CVs
- Pricing: How Much Does Jobscan Cost?
- Our Experience
- Additional Jobscan Features
- Other Jobscan Reviews
- Where Next?
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.
If you visualise a human being sifting through all the CVs they receive in response to a job advert, there’s a good chance you’re wrong.
Many recruiters, including 99% of Fortune 500 companies (according to Jobscan) use Applicant Tracking Systems (ATS) to find suitable candidates. These systems scan for keywords, or other specific details, in order to shortlist candidates.
As such, if you don’t include those keywords and details, you run the risk of your resume not making the cut, and NEVER being looked at by the recruiter or hiring manager. 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.
Best of all, you can try out the basics of the service for FREE.
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 “boilerplate” 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” – let alone a sift done by a machine.
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 (they were some dark times!), there wasn’t a single consultant in my office (me aside) who had any real IT knowledge. They didn’t know their CRM from ERP, or their Linux from their 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.
Obviously time and technology have 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.
It makes sense to use Jobscan for your ATS optimization as it is likely to be faster and more precise than doing so manually.
Another advantage is that Jobscan makes it their business to find out what applicant tracking software different companies use so that it can help you make smarter decisions.
Simply repeating back the keywords in a job posting could get you through the ATS but lead to a resumé that does not appeal at all to the humans who will then set eyes on it. Jobscan can often let you know if a company’s applicant tracking system uses AI and will therefore recognize different tenses, acronyms or even abbreviations of skills and keywords.
What is a good Jobscan Match Rate Score?
Jobscan places a lot of emphasis on having a score of 80% or more but this is not always ideal. Over-optimizing your resumé could make it unattractive to the people who will look at it once you have got through the ATS screening.
It is worth remembering that some job postings include wish lists alongside job requirements and in those cases, even the company in question does not expect to find an applicant that checks all the boxes.
You should use the Resume Optimization Tool to help you improve your resume. It should not dictate exactly what it looks like. Always remember to be honest and ensure the resumé reflects who you are as an individual.
Pricing: How Much Does Jobscan Cost?
Jobscan has a limited free plan so you can try out the service without spending anything. You can also try the full service on a trial basis for 14 days.
Should you decide to go onto a paid plan, there are both monthly and three-monthly paid plans, with the cheapest working out to just under $30 per month. Keep in mind that isn’t a subscription you would typically keep permanently, it’s something you’d have for the duration of your job hunt.
The exact prices are as follows:
- The Quarterly plan costs $89.95 for three months and comes with a 14 day free trial.
- 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 two monthly comparison scans.
Once you step up to a paid plan, you get a LOT more. 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
As mentioned above, 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 period of 14 days.
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.
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.”
Optimising Your Resumé
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 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.
Additional Jobscan Features
- Writing guide, examples, and templates. The site offers jobseekers help with their resumés, LinkedIn profile and also cover letters. It is clear that Jobscan has used recruiting experts to create their materials and ensure that they reflect industry best practices.
- Resume Manager and Scan History. These are are particularly useful tools if you are applying for lots of different positions, as they allow you to organize and quickly access the different versions of your resumé.
- Resume Match Rate Recruiter Findings. This section is very helpful as it balances out the focus on ATS by helping you make your resumé will still shine when people look at it.
- Resources Section. This section includes a Career Change Tool and helpful articles for those looking to do something different. There is also an interesting Companies Hiring Table which provides information on which companies whether companies are hiring, freezing or laying people off.
Other Jobscan Reviews
You will find that almost every Jobscan review is full of praise for the software.
The current Jobscan TrustPilot rating is 4.4 starts, with 19 of 22 respondents giving the service five stars. On Sitejabber, the site that Jobscan asks you to review them on, Jobscan has a 4.51 Star rating from over 1200 reviews.
I took the time to read all of the worst reviews on both sites and concluded that the issues often had more to do with people complaining unfairly than the company itself.
Most complaints were about the free trial period, and not receiving proper notification of when it starts and ends.
While it might be nice of Jobscan to send a reminder that your trial will be ending soon, they’re not obliged to. They’re in business to make money, and they obviously need people to go onto a paid subscription in order to do that. I always suggest people set a calendar reminder to cancel whenever they take a free trial of anything.
The other major complaint, which is rather more valid, is that Jobscan asks you to write a review before you have had a chance to really test it out. Every business needs reviews but there would perhaps be even fewer negative Jobscan reviews if the company just adjusted the time frame for requesting that users submit one.
All things considered, most people seem to agree that Jobscan is well worth looking at and can definitely make a positive impact on your job search.
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 two week 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 competitive advantage.
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?
- 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.
- People looking for “premium” remote jobs: When we compiled our huge list of 111 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.
- 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 sometimes 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, and their clients are very unlikely to be using ATS systems.
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. It’s probably a good fit for “day rate” IT contractors too.
Above all, remember that Jobscan offers a free trial, AND the limited “free forever” version if you want to try it out for yourself.
If you found this review useful, 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.
Jobscan - Could give you the edge on your job hunt
- 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.
- A little too much emphasis on the resumé match rate score.
- Some may view keyword matching as a cynical way to optimise a CV!
Founder of HomeWorkingClub.com – Ben has worked freelance for nearly 20 years. As well as being a freelance writer and blogger, he is also a technical consultant with Microsoft and Apple certifications. He loves supporting new home workers but is prone to outbursts of bluntness and realism.