Job searching often reminds me of a hamster wheel — lots of spinning with little progress. 

With intense competition for every position (some postings on LinkedIn attract over 1,000 applications each), job seekers spend months scrolling through job listings, carefully crafting resumes and submitting applications with little to show but frustration and uncertainty. 

Now there’s a way to break the spin cycle. Artificial Intelligence has quickly become a game-changer for job searchers. Since the arrival of ChatGPT in late 2022, applicants are increasingly turning to assistance with finding relevant job opportunities, improving resumes and even preparing for interviews. 

One thing is clear: AI is inevitable, and if you don’t start leveraging it in your job search, you’ll be left behind as other candidates find positions.

Understanding AI in the Job Search

AI has already transformed many industries in recent years, and hiring is no exception.

Some companies are already utilizing AI-driven hiring platforms, and more will soon follow. It’s time for job seekers to realize how ChatGPT and other generative AI tools (e.g., Gemini and Microsoft Co-Pilot) are worthwhile allies in a competitive employment market.

ChatGPT can assist with various search-related activities, including:

  • Offering advice on conducting an effective job search, including where to look for job postings, and how to network, and how to use online resources effectively.

  • Reviewing your resume and cover letter to ensure they highlight your relevant skills and experience.

  • Preparing you for job interviews by simulating interview questions, helping you practice responses and offering advice on presenting confidently. 

  • Providing guidance on career paths, industries and roles that align with your skills and interests.

  • Assisting you in researching companies you're interested in to learn more about their culture, values and current initiatives.

  • Recommending strategies for negotiating salary and benefits once you receive a job offer.

Like any tool, AI’s effectiveness depends on how well you use it.

Benefits of Using AI to Find Employment

Using ChatGPT for your job search process offers significant advantages in today's competitive market, such as:

  • Increasing efficiency: Streamline the tedious task such as customizing resumes and cover letters, freeing up time for higher-value activities (e.g., networking and interview preparation). ChatGPT also includes plugins that offer to optimize your resume in job searches, showcasing available jobs within your criteria.

  • Gaining a competitive edge: Stand out from other applicants with personalized content and targeted skills.

  • Enhancing skills: Obtain feedback on interview questions and identify ways to improve your job search. Plus, you learn about today’s top technology.

Recent research has reinforced the advantages of integrating AI into your job search:

  • According to a survey from ResumeBuilder, 70% of candidates using ChatGPT experienced a higher response rate from hiring managers than applicants not using the tool, with 78% securing an interview and 59% receiving a job offer. 

  • In a Canva study, most (90%) hiring managers said using generative AI in employment activities is acceptable. Of those hiring managers surveyed, 46% said applicants should use AI minimally to enhance their ideas, while 44% favor job seekers using it for any search-related content.

Challenges of Integrating AI into the Job Hunt

While AI does boast some impressive benefits, like anything, it does have some drawbacks.

  • Lack of personal touch: ChatGPT scans a large amount of information and identifies it according to predefined parameters. It is efficient but also impersonal. AI will not consider factors that might interest a recruiter or hiring manager. 

  • Incomplete data: AI can misinterpret data or miss important details. Proofread the documents carefully and never cut and paste ChatGPT’s exact response.

  • Inability to recognize soft skills: ChatGPT can identify hard skills such as certifications and programming languages but may miss soft skills such as communication and teamwork.

  • Limited Information: ChatGPT has only been trained with human conversations and internet data  up to January 2022. 

AI only partially replaces the traditional job search process. It eliminates the time-consuming and tedious tasks so you can focus on ensuring your application represents your unique value and experience. 

Ask AI to Optimize Your Resume

After you submit your application to the employer, a computer likely reviews it before a human. Many companies – including 97% of the Fortune 500 – utilize an advanced tracking system (ATS) to digitally locate candidates with specific skills, job titles, degrees, certifications or keywords on a resume. 

If your resume doesn’t contain the correct details, the ATS rejects it immediately, and a recruiter will never see it. ChatGPT can help tailor your resume for specific positions by matching the keywords and phrases in the position description to help the ATS pass your resume through to the hiring manager.

Think of it as AI vs. AI.

ChatGPT can rephrase your resume bullet points and a summary section for maximum impact. It will enhance your resume content, making it more compelling and effectively showcasing your qualifications for your desired job role.

Here are some prompts for asking ChatGPT to assist with your resume. Remember to be as specific as possible when entering the prompt. 

1. In this example, I asked ChatGPT to create an objective for my resume using the relevant keywords in the job description. 

The result? ChatGBT suggested adding more specific achievements and skills, as well as giving examples as to how I should quantify and tailor my achievements to make them stand out. However, some of the suggestions were a little vague or unhelpful, such as "consider using a more professional email address if yours is informal."

Customize Cover Letters

ChatGPT can assist in personalizing a cover letter to highlight your experience and qualifications for the available job. ChatGPT creates a cover letter tailored for the specific position by providing your resume and the job description.

Interview Preparation

Interviews can be stressful experiences, but ChatGPT can maximize your preparations and readiness. AI can help job seekers prepare for interviews by providing them with practice questions and feedback. ChatGPT simulates a real interview experience and provides valuable insights on improving performance.

I asked ChatGPT to conduct a mock interview with me for a digital marketing position. I answered one of the questions, and ChatGPT generated additional inquiries.

Bonus tip: Film yourself in these mock interviews — yes, I know that's uncomfortable — so you can see how you keep your composure.

The Human Touch

AI is beneficial for job seekers, especially in today’s competitive employment market, but do not rely solely on it. You are more than keywords and skills on your application. Infuse your personality throughout your cover letters and resumes. Use AI tools strategically and leverage their efficiency, but never lose sight of the human element. 

Scott White, executive vice president and principal recruiter at HireMinds, a Boston-based recruiting firm, says it’s essential for applicants to inject their personality and not rely entirely on the AI output.

“I appreciate candidates who strike a balance between leveraging AI for efficiency and optimization while demonstrating genuine communication skills,” White said. “Use AI job matching tools to find key roles, then selectively tap into automation tools to optimize your cover letter or resume. But keep it in your voice.” 

“Use an AI interview prep tool if you struggle with a specific type of question. Or want to better frame your experience relevant to a role,” White adds. “A process like this is efficient, but still authentically you.”

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