Help for Compliance Job-Seekers

We interrupt our usual stream of commentary about corporate compliance to pass along a job-seeking tip: a website that parses your resume and then recommends keywords to use and other improvements to make, so you can get past those pesky recruitment software filters and talk to an actual human.

The site is (that’s right, “co” at the end rather than “com”) and it came recommended to me from a compliance officer who used it during a recent job search. Might be worth a try if you’re looking for a job yourself and are frustrated with all the automated software that indexes your LinkedIn profile, finds it insufficient for some reason, and then keeps you from your dream.

You need to sign up for the service. Then you can upload your resume and a job description that caught your eye. Jobscan’s software then compares the language in your resume to that job description, and returns a report that shows how closely your resume matches all the keywords, job skills, and other requirements the job description has. 

In a perfect world you should match at 80 percent or higher for that company’s recruitment software to put your resume in front of a human being. Jobscan’s report also includes a breakdown of exactly where your resume does or doesn’t align with the job description, so you can revise your LinkedIn profile as necessary.

Is there a cost to you? Of course. Jobscan apparently offers one free plan that gives you five scans per month. Other plans offer unlimited scans and extra “optimization services” and editing tools at $50 per month or $90 for three months. It looks like the website also runs a blog of job-hunting tips and other services too.

In full disclosure, I only know about this site because a compliance professional mentioned it to me. Competitor websites may exist, and might even be better, but I don’t know who those competitors are. Nor do I know where Jobscan got its seed funding, or anything about its ultimate ownership, data protection, or the like. 

Regardless, the idea of this service is fantastic, because for too long job-seekers have been at the mercy of recruitment software that reduces you and your experience to a collection of keywords. Many a compliance officer has lamented to me that they see a job they know would be a perfect fit, because they can see the substance of what the job requires and they know they can convey that understanding in person — but mysterious software algorithms block them from ever getting that far.

What compliance officers have wanted is software they can use to fight back against the recruitment software, algorithm to algorithm. Now you have it.

Putting It to the Test

To test the site, I uploaded my own LinkedIn profile and compared it to a senior editor job at Harvard Business Review. For the record, that is not a job I actually want — and I scored only a 24 percent match, so apparently I wouldn’t get it anyway. 

For example, my profile does not mention “content,” “automation,” or “AI,” which the job description mentioned multiple times, so that’s bad. It did mention “editing” and “editorial,” which is good. 

I also missed all the soft skill keywords, such as “business leader,” “collaborative,” “curious” and “passion.” Which sounds like a horrifically tedious job interview conversation to me, but what do I know? 

The Jobscan report shows you how many times your resume mentions various keywords versus how often the job description does. The more matches, the higher your score. See Figure 1, below.

Source: Jobscan


I scored even lower (23 percent) for a senior editor of custom content at MIT, which is really something because that’s what I do for a wide range of clients. It’s quite a glimpse into the jargon-jammed world we now navigate in our careers, because the description says (among many other words) this: 

[MIT]’s matrixed structure requires significant collaboration with internal and external stakeholders, sales and marketing teams, producers, designers, and vendors…

Yet when I talk on the phone with prospective clients, the conversation is always something like this: 

“Can you work with a lot of teams and communication? You know how corporate this stuff can be.” 

“Eh, that’s life in corporate. I haven’t met the project management system yet that can’t be conquered. Besides, once we have a good idea, a quick phone call answers most questions. See you at the next trade show?” 

To me, developing informal, person-to-person backchannels like that seems like the more effective way to advance your career, and more fun. But hey, who am I to judge? If software shows us how we can re-engineer our resumes to stand a better chance of getting a job — well, I’ve done crazier things for money. 

Just for kicks, I also compared my resume to a job description for a chief ethics & compliance officer job at Convercent, and scored higher for that than for the two editor jobs: 31 percent. (I’m not applying for that one either, although the job apparently is still open. Must love Colorado.) Convercent’s job description mentioned “compliance” seven times, while my profile cited it a whopping 23. 

Yep, I love this field that much.

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