Artificial intelligence tools like ChatGPT can support your job-seeking efforts in a variety of ways as you research companies, update your resume, network, interview, and negotiate.
Job searching isn’t an easy process. Even if you have several years of experience and a specialized skill set, it might be difficult to translate these qualifications into an interview or job offer. Or perhaps you’re looking for a different role after deciding to change industries and you aren’t sure how to job search in a new sector.
Using natural language processing (NLP) artificial intelligence tools like ChatGPT can support your job-seeking efforts in a variety of ways. AI as a job-search tool can help you push through a slump, save time, better prepare for interviews, and eventually receive a job offer you’re excited about.
“Using ChatGPT is like having a career coach in your back pocket."
An NLP (also referred to as an LLM, aka large language model) AI tool is essentially a huge database that serves up text responses based on your input. In simple terms, NLP allows you to “talk” to machines.
In a recent Apex Systems webinar, Suzanne Ricci, an IT training specialist, shares strategies for leveraging AI in your job search.
Ricci uses ChatGPT for her demonstration, but she mentions that job seekers can use any AI tool that they are comfortable with, like Bard or CopyAI.
“Using ChatGPT is like having a career coach in your back pocket at all times,” Ricci says.
Simply type your question into the ChatGPT tool to get helpful responses, and use follow-up prompts for more information. Make sure to cross-reference the output with reputable sources for validity.
AI capabilities can help you during each stage of your job search.
The first step in the job seeker journey is research. The more you know about your preferred industry and roles, the easier it’s going to be to progress through the other job search phases.
“If you show up to an interview and are well-informed on what's going on in your industry and sector, it’s easier to shine,” Ricci discloses. “It helps showcase that you really can be an asset to that organization.”
Conducting research helps job seekers discover key information about potential employers, including company values, work environment, and potential growth opportunities.
In this introductory phase, ChatGPT is not only useful for researching companies and industry news, but it’s also beneficial to research where you want your career to go. It can help you identify a career path that coincides with your skills, interests, and career aspirations.
“You can give ChatGPT what we call persona patterns,” Ricci reveals. “You can start with, ‘I am looking for jobs in the cybersecurity sector. Please give me stats on cybersecurity,’ and then you can enhance your prompts, or you can keep them very short.”
Ricci’s example short prompts:
- What are key trends in [your field of interest]?
- What are the most in-demand skills in [your industry]?
- What are the top companies within the [industry]?
- How can someone break into the [industry]?
The next phase in the job hunt is updating your resume, which is designed to get you a conversation with a hiring manager, recruiter, or interviewer.
“Your resume does not get you a job offer,” Ricci says. “The interviewer gets you a job offer. The resume has to have enough information on it to showcase that you are qualified to do the role and prove they should have a conversation with you.”
When writing resume bullet points, focus on accomplishments and specific results of your work, not just tasks you’ve completed.
Make multiple versions of your resume, with each one tailored to the specific job and industry you're targeting.
ChatGPT can also help you with professional summaries for a LinkedIn bio or “About” resume section. Paste your resume and a job description into ChatGPT and ask it to create a new professional summary for you based on the given information.
Ricci’s resume prompts:
- Can you provide a list of job title recommendations based on the following resume? (then paste your resume)
- What are some action verbs I can use to describe my accomplishments?
- How can I effectively showcase my [specific skill] on my resume?
- What should I include on a [insert job title] resume?
The third phase is conversation, also known as networking. The goal is to effectively introduce yourself and communicate your professional background during networking events or job fairs.
“It is really important to understand that conversations are designed to convert to interviews,” Ricci mentions.
ChatGPT can be used in the conversation phase to help candidates with networking information, professional branding, explanations of complex topics, passion project examples, talking points that integrate your strengths, elevator pitches, and more.
Ask ChatGPT to create your value proposition, then rehearse it so that when you're out networking, you know what to say and come across as confident and strong.
“The job search process can be very nerve-racking for some individuals,” Ricci explains. “ChatGPT lets you rehearse and helps you find information in the comfort of your own home so you get to a good starting place before taking a job search to the next level.”
Ricci’s conversation prompts:
- How can I leverage storytelling techniques to make job search conversations more engaging and memorable?
- How can I highlight [insert relevant experiences] in an elevator pitch?
- How can I introduce myself and communicate my professional background?
- What are some key points to include in a personal pitch for a [job title]?
Use ChatGPT to hone your interview skills and build confidence. One of the most exciting ChatGPT benefits is its ability to conduct a mock interview. You can start your prompt with a persona.
Example: I'm a job seeker with an interview coming up for a data analyst role at XYZ company. Please ask me five interview questions one at a time, and let me answer the questions as if we're conducting a real interview.
“You type in your answer, which is not the same as interviewing out loud,” Ricci acknowledges. “But I recommend that as you're typing your answers, read them out loud as if you are really engaging in an interview with another person."
Customize the answers as needed to make it your own. You can even ask ChatGPT if you explained a complex topic well enough for a non-technical person to understand, and it will give you a critique!
Ricci recommends using the STAR method (Situation, Task, Action, Result) to structure your interview responses.
Situation: The circumstance or context for your story. What was going on, where you were working, what your role was, etc.
Task: What you were asked to do and the challenge you were up against. This might be a short timeline, difficult stakeholders, something that was new or complex for you, or anything else that made the task out of the ordinary.
Action: What you did to overcome the problem and achieve your goal. Examples could be providing training to help others develop a new skill, consulting a mentor, working extra hours, etc. Explain how your action solved the problem and helped achieve the task.
Result: What was the outcome of the situation? If you achieved the goal, did you achieve it fully? What other repercussions or effects resulted from this success?
Ricci’s interview prompts:
- What are the different types of interview questions?
- What are some popular interview questions?
- Can you provide a sample behavioral interview question related to teamwork?
- What questions should I ask the hiring manager at the end of the interview?
Offer & Negotiation
Use ChatGPT to write thank-you notes or follow-up emails after an interview. You can also use it to find salary information sites, compare comprehensive benefits packages, choose between multiple job offers, learn how to negotiate, and more.
“ChatGPT gives you the ability to have a well-rounded understanding of what you can negotiate and how to negotiate,” Ricci explains.
Ricci’s offer and negotiation prompts:
- What are common job benefits in the [specific field] sector?
- How do I choose between multiple job offers?
- What factors should I consider when evaluating the job offer?
- Is [offered salary] competitive for [current city] and [job title]?
Play around with ChatGPT’s capabilities as you go through the five phases of job seeking. You might be surprised at all it can do!
Don’t forget to double check your ChatGPT output with other reputable sources to ensure accuracy.
Your experience, skills, passion, and work ethic won’t magically speak for themselves; you must do the work, research, resume creation, and networking to make it to the interview stage. Let ChatGPT (or another natural language processing tool) be an extra resource at your disposal as you apply for roles and work with prospective companies and hiring managers.
Watch Ricci’s full webinar for a more in-depth look into ChatGPT!