Tuesday, February 2, 2016

I’m qualified… to be a salad bar attendant

I found what appears to be a useful tool in my internet travels: https://www.jobscan.co/. You can read a summary of what it does here: http://techcrunch.com/2015/04/24/jobscan/.

Basically, you paste in a copy of your resume, paste in the job description, and push one button: scan. Voila! The website compares your resume with the job description, and tells you whether you are likely to be selected for an interview.

The results are much better than “yes/no.” You get a list of skills mentioned in the job description, compared to the skills you mentioned in your resume; a breakout into “hard skills” and “soft skills,” “other keywords,” and at the end “jobs with similar skills to resume”—tailored to your location.

That’s where I found out that I was skilled to be a salad bar attendant, not a technical writer (the job description I pasted in).

Actually, that makes sense—I had pasted in a short version of my academic curriculum vitae, rather than a resume I would actually use for a technical-writer job.

There is a catch: after comparing your resume (or revised resume) to job descriptions five times, the website asks you for money--$90 for a year, $50 for one month, both with some additional perks (cover letter templates and other stuff). You may or may not want to pay money for these services. I’m neither endorsing nor saying “stay away.”

However, a handful of scans can give you a pretty good idea of what an ATS (automated tracking system) “sees” when you submit a resume—and can give you a good idea of where you’ll be perceived as weak, based on the language in your resume.

Thanks and a tip o’ the Twitter hat to @JobScanCo and @TechCrunch.

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