Trying Viral Resume & Job Application Hacks
I've been consuming a lot of social videos about AI and ChatGPT over the last few weeks. Most of these videos try to demonstrate some concept about prompt writing. One topic I see a lot in these videos is job applications.
This is not totally surprising. Tiktok and Instagram are full of videos teaching viewers how to bypass or break the résumé scanners HR departments use to sift through applications.
I've been at my current employer for nearly 11 years. There has not been a reason to update my résumé. So why not give some of these viral hacks a try! For content!
First things first, I updated my resume for the first time in several years. I left the formatting intact. I updated the major projects, successes, and responsibilities for my current job.
The prompt for this one seems pretty straight forward:
generate a career summary based on this job title and bulleted list
The output turned out...fine. Definitely a good structure to start with. (for context, input for this what is on my public LinkedIn Profile). This is what I got back from ChatGPT:
Experienced Director of SEO, Web Analytics, and Audience Development with over 10 years of expertise in leading digital marketing initiatives. Proven track record of success in executing company-wide SEO strategies resulting in significant growth in website visits and leads. Skilled in managing and leading teams, developing mobile web and app strategies, integrating SEO best practices, and launching new content channels. Adept in using data and analytics to inform decision making and drive website optimizations. Collaborated with cross-functional teams to develop and execute SEO strategies, generate new content, and fulfill user expectations. Successfully rebuilt and deployed Adobe Analytics and integrated AI-generated text into hard-to-optimize pages. Committed to staying up to date with industry changes and continuously improving processes and strategies.
It is pretty repetitive But also it is more or less what I would get if I took an unstructured bulleted list and just edited in to a paragraph.
Next up, let's write a cover letter. For this, I found a position on LinkedIn and used the suggested prompt:
write a cover letter based on this résumé and job description
Here is what ChatGPT returned
I am writing to express my interest in the [Job Position] role at [Company]. As a seasoned professional with over 7 years of experience in branded content production, I am confident in my ability to bring my extensive knowledge and expertise to your team.
In my previous role as [Current Job Title], and [Current Employer], I was responsible for executing the company-wide SEO strategy, leading the SEO and Web Analytics team, and developing and executing SEO strategies for multiple divisions. I also worked closely with the executive, editorial, and research teams to integrate SEO best practices into market coverage, resulting in a 25% year over year growth in visits and 30% growth in leads.
I am excited about the opportunity to oversee the quality, growth, and integrity of [Company]'s branded content services, [Potental Employer], and manage a team of producers, writers, designers and creatives. I am confident in my ability to set standards for branded content production best practices and processes, develop custom branded content ideas, and effectively manage production schedules and budgets.
In my previous role at [Past Role], I increased traffic for the company website by 60% year over year and generated 41% year over year in appointments. I have a proven track record of growing branded content as a line of business and the ability to manage production and creative teams.
I hold a BA degree and am fluent in the tools and platforms necessary to produce and distribute branded content. I am passionate about my work and am dedicated to promoting a culture of high performance and creative commitment to the standards that [Company] is known for in the industry.
Thank you for considering my application. I look forward to the opportunity to further discuss my qualifications and how I can contribute to [Company].
This is actually pretty good! As with the career summary, we have a pretty good starting point to work with. In particular, I think the second and third paragraphs generated by ChatGPT do a good job covering the sort of restating of the position hiring managers look for when reviewing applications.
Next, we get a brief summary of job history (followed by a paragraph rephrasing my work experience (as with above, not perfect but workable). Then ChatGPT does a good job interpreting and restating the core call to action of the job description. The final paragraph, however, is nonsense. ChatGPT pulls random phrases out of the prompt and strings them together. Everything in the paragraph is true. But they don't mean anything when combined.
I do not have a grand conclusion much beyond the mainstream critical take. Generative AI still has a long way to go.
ChatGPT seems to be okay at creating a starting point for the silly process documents you need to have when applying for a job. But they are in no way ready to be used without editing. If I were to get either of these when reviewing applications, I wouldn't think twice. I already expect people applying for a lot of jobs are going to be working off templates anyway.
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