Why Resume Optimization Matters
The more effectively you can tailor your resume for a specific job, the better your chances are. Generic resumes are a dime a dozen and unlikely to do well in an applicant tracking system (also known as an ATS). Using Jobscan, you can easily optimize your resume against any job description and make yourself a top candidate.
Jobscan is a tool that gives job seekers an instant analysis of how well their resume is tailored for a particular job and how it can be even better optimized for an ATS.
Just visit Jobscan and either paste in the text of your resume or upload a Word or PDF file, then paste the text of the job posting you’re interested in.
The resume match rate is a score (0% to 100%) based on how well your resume matches up with the job description you selected. Jobscan recommends aiming for a match rate of 80%.
Your match rate is based on these four priorities, in order:
- 1. Hard skills
- 2. Education level (only when an advanced degree is included in the job description)
- 3. Job title
- 4. Soft skills
- 5. Other keywords
Resume word count and measurable results are not factored into the match rate.
When you scan your resume, you may find that there are 15 or more missing skills. Do not feel the need to include every single one of those skills in your resume. Rather, focus your efforts on hard skills, especially the hard skills that occur frequently, as those have a bigger impact on your match rate.
Job title is also a factor in your match rate. If you had a similar position in the past, change that job title in your work experience to the one you are applying for. As long as your roles were essentially the same, this tactic is not deceitful. If you haven’t had similar job titles before, you can include it in the summary statement.
For more specialized tips, fill out your Jobscan profile. When signed in, it is located in the drop down menu at top right, and allows you to provide Jobscan with information including your industry and where you are in the job search process. With a complete profile, Jobscan’s suggestions become more targeted to you personally when your profile is complete.
Results and Findings
The longer a job description is, the better Jobscan can parse skills and keywords for analysis.
The first section of the Resume Match Report shows tips and findings most important to ATS. This includes an overview of your missing skills and keywords and whether you have a matching job title and degree. Addressing any red exes in this section will make the biggest contribution to your match rate.
With the ATS Tip feature, you can add the company name and web address for the job, which allows Jobscan to serve up bonus tips for the specific ATS you’re applying through.
Each ATS views and interprets your resume differently. For example, some ATS recognize plural versions of a keyword as a match while others do not. The ATS Tip feature matches the company name that you are applying to with the ATS that it uses. This feature does not yet match all companies, but coverage will continue to grow over time.
Learn more about the ATS Tip feature with this one minute video:
Next, Jobscan checks for things that the human beings behind the ATS are looking for. Variants of recruiter checks may appear in this section for different users.
Measurable results are a crucial part of effective resumes. Anyone can list job duties; recruiters and hiring managers want to see someone’s real contributions. Turn your vague bullet points into compelling accomplishments. Quantifiable results are specific statements such as “increased sales by 40 percent in 18 months” or “decreased delivery time by 30 hours per week, resulting in a savings of $145,000 per month.” Most candidates can list what they did, but few list measurable accomplishments.
Hiring managers read resumes day after day, and they are well-versed in all the cliche and overused phrases. Jobscan picks out negative keywords, called “words to avoid” from your resume, including cliches and other words/phrases that will be red flags to the hiring manager. An example of a negative keyword is “team player.” While it’s an important skill, it isn’t quantifiable and is used in far too many resumes.
Resume Word Count
Many ATS use something called signal-to-noise ratio, which means that pertinent information is compared to irrelevant information. So, using less text can actually help increase your resume’s relevance. As a rule of thumb, aim for a one-page resume if you have zero to 10 years of work experience. If you have more than 10 years of work experience, you can use a two-page resume—but only if you have enough quality content to require two pages. If you pad your resume with fluff, a hiring manager might miss important information. If you are in academia, you’ll use a curriculum vitae (CV) instead, which can be much longer. Many countries outside the U.S. have their own resume practices—for example, longer resumes are the norm in Australia.
Skills and Keywords
The hard and soft skills comparisons do exactly what it sounds like: they compare the skills included in the job description to those mentioned on your resume. The keyword comparison compares the one-word terms found in the job description to the ones used on your resume. Most ATS consider frequency a factor—the more often a skill or keyword appears, the more important it is deemed—and that is reflected in the match rate.
Jobscan weighs hard skills much more heavily than soft skills and one-word keywords. You’ll get the best results by spending the majority of your effort on working hard skills into your resume.
Jobscan allows you to remove skills from your report by clicking the gray “X” next to a skill. This is handy when a skill is misinterpreted by Jobscan or isn’t relevant to your industry. After excluding skills, you can and refresh your scan. This feature helps you customize your resume optimization experience.
Orange “predicted skills” are common hard skills frequently found in the same field or job descriptions as your scan. Jobscan utilizes machine learning to analyze millions of resumes and job descriptions to provide these insights. Including predicted skills gives you a competitive edge and could hurt your chances if you don’t include them on your resume. Predicted skills do not affect your mate rate.
The “Highlighted Skills” section allows you to choose a keyword and see every use of that keyword highlighted throughout your resume and the job description. Keyword context helps you quickly and efficiently edit your resume and quickly view how keywords are used.
Click any skill or keyword to see the context in which it’s used in both your resume and the job description, or click the “Highlighted Skills” tab.
Variations and Recognize Plurals
If a job description lists a skill in the plural or other variant form (“monthly audits”) and your resume lists it in the singular form (“monthly audit”), the two skills will not be seen as a match. That’s because most ATS do not consider singular and plural forms as the same word.
Many users requested the ability to have Jobscan’s tool recognize singular and plural forms as the same skill. We built a switch you can toggle to see how your match rate might change if plural and singular forms of keywords were recognized as the same—but remember, the overwhelming majority of ATS on the market do not recognize different forms of a keyword as the same keyword.
Jobscan also shows variations right in the skills listing. When you see the yellow semi-circle icon, click it to see skills and keywords that are close to the word you should be matching. Wordsmith these keyword variations to improve your match rate.
Most job boards only show you jobs based on your job title, the exact words you search for, and your location. We find that limiting. We believe a more relevant job is based on your entire skillset instead of simply a job title. At the end of the day, a project manager in construction is very different from a project manager in IT.
At the bottom of the Resume Match Report, the Job Recommendations feature searches Indeed or ZipRecruiter to suggest jobs based on the top skills and keywords found in your resume and the job description you scanned against.
Jobscan Premium members have access to Power Edit (formerly known as Live Score). This tool allows you to edit your resume based on intelligent keyword and formatting suggestions without leaving Jobscan. Watch your score increase as you work, make formatting changes, then export your final resume as a docx or pdf file. If you upload a docx, Power Edit will even preserve your originally formatting.
Learn more with this short video:
Cover Letter Scan
Some ATS use the contents of your cover letter to search and rank applicants. Jobscan Premium users can scan and optimize their cover letters through a similar scan process.
The checks and tips used in the cover letter scanner are different than those used in the resume scanner and include soft skills, hard skills, and word count. Your cover letter scan can improve your overall match rate by up to 10%. This feature can be found after scanning your resume by clicking on the “Cover Letter” tab below your match rate. Keep in mind that you can only scan your cover letter after you’ve scanned a resume.
When signed in, Jobscan’s dashboard feature sits at the top of your home screen. It shows your number of total scans, unique resumes, unique job descriptions, and tracked interviews. It also shows your most recent resume scan and match rate, as well as your most recent LinkedIn scan and match rate. On the right hand sidebar you’ll find useful blog posts and a to-do list that will help you get the most out of Jobscan.
Want to start a new scan? Simply scroll down from your dashboard!
Jobscan’s scan history saves previous scans, allows you to star jobs you are most interested in, lets you view previous versions of your resume, and saves previous job descriptions.
You can even track your interviews in your scan history. Organizing your job search with timestamps will make you more productive.
The resume manager can be found in the top navigation bar when you’re signed in. It saves your most recent 20 unique resumes scanned. The Resume Manager is a place for you to organize your resumes and indicate a “master resume” to make your future scans more efficient.
In the Resume Manager, you have the option to designate a “master resume.” Using the toggle button, a recent resume can be marked as your master or default resume, which means it can be used for every new scan simply by marking the “use master resume” box on the scan page. While your master resume shouldn’t be used to apply for jobs, it can be helpful to begin with a resume that includes all of your experience and qualifications before you begin tailoring it for a specific job.
Most job boards only show you jobs based on your job title, the exact words you search for, and your location.
Similar to “Job Recommendations” above, Jobscan Job Matcher builds on Indeed and ZipRecruiter to suggest jobs based on the top skills and keywords found in your resume and the job listings you’ve been scanning against. In Job Matcher, you can also dynamically change job recommendations by simply adding and removing skills from the filter bar on the left (not pictured).
Jobscan Job Matcher is an intelligent job board that matches based on the skillsets of your resume and job descriptions instead of simple job titles or search queries. The more preferences you provide Jobscan, the more relevant your job recommendations become.
Jobscan’s Learning Center contains resources to help you on your job search, beginning to end.
It includes a search to help you find the most relevant resources in our archive of hundreds of articles and blog posts on job searches, resume building, ATS, LinkedIn, cover letters, and more.
Signing up for a free Jobscan account is much simpler than most other online signups. All you have to do is enter your email address and a password (adding your ZIP code is optional).
Once you’re signed up, you’ll be able to choose from three different membership levels. The first option is free and offers 5 resume match rate calculations per month, 5 skill comparisons per month, and 5 keyword comparisons per month.
The second option is free for one month, and $89.95 for three months after that. Since the first month is free, it works out to being four months for $89.95 total ($22.48/month). If you cancel within your free month, you won’t be charged at all. This route offers the following benefits:
The third option offers the same benefits as the second option, but at the price of $49.95 each month. This is a great option if you’re only looking to use the service on a month-to-month basis, or don’t think you’ll be job searching for longer than two months total. No matter what membership option you choose, Jobscan offers 10 free scans for every friend you invite who joins Jobscan (up to 10 friends or 100 scans).
If you’re starting your resume from scratch, or need to brush up on the best practices of resume writing, take a look at Jobscan’s complete resume writing guide for tips.
Jobscan Learning Center The Jobscan Jobscan Tutorial Learning Series
Our step-by-step walkthrough of how to use Jobscan to optimize your resume and cover letter
Watch Jobscan’s tools and features in action and gain additional job search insights with our video tutorial series
Jobscan Coach allows employment specialists to manage clients and track usage while sharing Jobscan’s top tools