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Exploring the Benefits and Limitations of AI in Your Job Search

Discover the benefits, along with some of the limitations, of using artificial intelligence as your stand-in recruiter.

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Posted On Feb 16, 2024 


On average, around 250 applications are submitted per corporate job listing. That gives you a about a 0.40% chance of getting selected. Consequently, many job seekers are using AI to enhance their chances of landing the gig.


Optimizing a LinkedIn profile or resume, enhancing a cover letter, or crafting a stellar follow-up email are all examples of how AI might help increase your chances or, at the very least, help you stand out. But what are the downsides to using this kind of software for something as important, and often personal, as a job search? In this article, we’ll cover the benefits, along with some of the limitations, of using artificial intelligence as your stand-in recruiter.


Let’s start with the benefits. As many job seekers know, conducting a thorough job search can be…taxing. There are hundreds of job listings to sift through, hiring documents to optimize, and keywords to capitalize on. So, how can AI potentially help you cut time and boost your odds? Let’s dive in.


First, understanding application tracking systems and why they’re important


Applicant tracking systems (ATS), commonly used by employers to screen applicants, have made optimizing your resume and cover letter more important than ever. With over 75% of companies now relying on these AI-powered systems, a resume that hits all the marks is imperative to securing an interview.


An applicant tracking system is a computer software program that manages the initial stages of the hiring process (scanning the resume and cover letters). So, what does this have to do with optimizing your hiring documents? A lot, actually. Resume scanning software relies solely on keywords to determine if your resume is a match—so making sure yours is full of the right ones could be the difference between making it to the next stage or moving on to the next prospect.


Optimizing your resume and cover letter


Generative AI has proven to be a whizz at writing essays, but job seekers could also use it to write their resumes. AI-powered tools have the ability to generate a CV or identify weaknesses in existing ones. And the exciting news is that using AI to write a resume could potentially increase a candidate's chances of securing a job by up to 8%.


The best way to gain a competitive edge is to research the most relevant keywords in the job or industry you’re applying to and integrate them throughout your resume and CV. You can even take it a step further by asking it to highlight your most applicable qualifications for the job—talk about a leg up. Try using this prompt to get the most accurate results for you.


"Please scan my resume and highlight any keywords or skills relevant to the [insert job title or industry] role. Provide me with feedback and suggestions on how I can improve my resume to increase my chances of getting hired."


It's that simple.


Practice interviewing


You can use AI tools like ChatGPT or Interview Warmup from Google, which ask typical interview questions and analyze your voiced or typed responses for areas to improve. With a tool like ChatGPT, you can engage the AI chatbot to simulate a hiring manager for the company you’re interviewing with, and request it to generate interview questions specific to the position. As the saying goes, practice makes perfect, and you can never be too prepared for a job interview. These tools won’t replace human interaction, but can certainly help you to feel confident and prepared.


Keep in mind that AI tools or chatbots don’t have the ability to advise or provide feedback on charm, politeness, or cultural courtesies—so consider the feedback with caution—don’t solely rely on it.


Automate the application process


Many people often face challenges when beginning their job search, whether because they don’t know where to look or which roles to pursue. Fortunately, there’s a host of AI-powered tools that can match a candidate's skills, experience, and preferences with the right job opportunities. These tools not only save time but also assist applicants in making informed decisions about their career path.


Take advantage of job boards like LinkedIn and Indeed, which use machine learning to match skills and qualifications with the best job listings for you. By inputting your resume or experience, you can enhance your application visibility and increase your chances of finding relevant job opportunities. Then, sit back and let the AI-driven algorithms present you with the top job listings that align with your qualifications.


The drawbacks


While AI is impressive, it does come with limitations. Applying for a job, despite its formal nature, remains a distinctly human process. Yes, logistics and qualifications are involved, but it’s also about fitting in with a company as an individual—something AI, despite its best efforts, cannot help you with.


Don’t solely rely on AI to write a resume or cover letter


It’s worth mentioning that AI-generated CVs or resumes may lack the authentic touch that employers appreciate, and there is always a possibility of including errors. AI systems learn only from their developers, so if the information is outdated, the chances of inaccuracy is very possible. Some content could be sourced from outdated news articles, contain obsolete jargon, or highlight irrelevant qualifications. Besides, it’s important to add a unique touch of individuality to your hiring documents, something that AI simply cannot do.


Do not ignore privacy and security when using AI job search platforms


Generally, you should always practice discretion when sharing personal information online, and it’s no different in the case of AI. As these tools continue to evolve, they may collect user interactions for the purpose of improving their performance. Although security guidelines protect user data, new technology is always vulnerable to potential risks. Practice caution and avoid sharing sensitive information such as financial data, passwords, and other private details.


Don’t use AI as a stand-in for you


AI falls short when it comes to replicating the human element. While it can compile factual information about your achievements, skills, and qualifications, it lacks the ability to emulate the personal touch that a successful resume or CV presents to hiring managers. These documents are not meant to be dry and mundane, only listing off qualifications. Rather, they are tools designed to highlight your unique qualities and persuade employers that you are the ideal fit for them.


Download our infographic to learn more about AI’s potential impact on your next career move or access more great resources for your job search here.