This November marks the first birthday of ChatGPT, the free chatbot platform launched by Open AI. The platform quickly reached 100+million users, beating all previous records of social media app adoption. Although artificial intelligence has been around for decades, the advent of ChatGPT and other platforms gives us an intelligent and adaptive language model to assist with lots of creative/knowledge work.
As a career coach I’m seeing a lot of hype about how much AI can deliver for a job seeker. The tools can be very beneficial in gaining more information fast, but there are limits and precautions. Here are some simple do’s, don’ts and examples for job seekers.
DO get familiar with AI, but don’t think you have to be an expert to dive right in! Begin here to learn the basics of ChatGPT (and for further exploration: FastCompany listed 33 free generative AI tools as of Feb-2023).
DON’T expect the tool to have a perfect answer; there are inherent biases and limits to the content provided, and it won’t be customized to your specific situation. The answer is only a starting point for your interpretation.
DO discover how to best interface with the tool. Remember when we used to visit libraries to do research? Using AI is like asking the librarian to point you in the right direction. Unlike using search engines, where your query returns a tangle of articles, videos, advertisements, etc., AI returns a text-based answer to your query, or prompt. Detailed and well-constructed prompts lead to richer content answers.
The following examples to illustrate career situations (S) where I’ve crafted prompts (P1, P2, etc.) seeking input on a specific job search tactic (all tested with ChatGPT); often the answer to an initial prompt will help you understand where you need to explore further, and that’s where follow-on prompts are effective. You’ll have to construct your own prompts to read the actual answers.
S: Exploring a new career direction
P1: How can I become a higher education teacher?
P2: What are all the ways I could teach in higher education?
P3: How do I know I want to be a higher education teacher?
P4: Is there a self-assessment I could take to help me determine if I’ll be successful as a higher ed teacher?
P5: Can you find me job openings as an adjunct professor in [city, state] given that I have 30 years of corporate marketing experience?
S: Focusing message and marketing materials
P1: What are the top ten skills I would need to apply for these marketing job postings [feed all text from four online job postings]
S: Company research/building a targets list
P1: Which pharmaceutical companies have major pet care divisions?
P2: Name the corporate headquarters locations and major operating locations for each of these pharma’s with pet care divisions.
P1: What are the largest corporations headquartered in [city, state], and are they public or private?
P2: What are twenty mid-sized firms operating in [city, state]?
P3: Of all these firms in [city, state], which should I target for jobs in product management?
S: Building a job search targets list
P1: What companies can I search for work in [city, state] using a background in business operations and healthcare strategy?
P1: Considering I have a background in technical product management, and I’m targeting firms like Microsoft and Google, tell me what other firms I should target in the Southeast region?
S: Resume Modification/Organization
P1: Write a two page functionally oriented resume targeted to chief marketing officer role of a start-up food nutrition company [feed in six pages of detailed resume history]
P2: Organize the following resume bullets into these skills categories [list of key skills + all prior resume bullets]
S: Resume Refinement
P1: Considering my background as a strategy business executive, please make a two-page resume using my content below targeted at the consumer products industry [feed in ALL resume content and past accomplishments]
S: Interview Prep
P1: What are the most important trends in the automotive insurance industry?
P2: Write a 90-day plan for a chief revenue officer
Well-constructed prompts such as these will give you more actionable data quicker and can help you refine and focus marketing message and materials. AI can’t find the new job or land you the offer, but you’ll be better informed when using these tools for exploration, research and editing.
As a job seeker you can also get support from Darden’s Alumni Career Services coaches, contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org.