We have a new job search tool, ChatGPT. It’s a large language model (LLM) chatbot from OpenAI trained on massive amounts of data from unknown sources up through the end of 2021.
It will take on just about any question you want to ask it. Think of it as your ultimate “Ask Me Anything” friend.
It’s engaging, over-confident, and bound to both simplify and confuse your job search. That said, it’s super-easy to use and offers enough benefit to job seekers to give it a try.
I took Hannah Morgan’s job search process chart and used some of its elements to write questions and requests for ChatGPT.
The bold items below correspond to Hannah’s chart. The italicized phrases and sentences are my questions and requests.
Take a look!
What’s the best way to identify my marketable skills?
1st, 2nd & 3rd Tries: All boilerplate answers, nothing new.
Recommendation: Continue with Google and expert advice.
Describe the most critical issues facing the SaaS industry.
1st Try: Competition, more demanding customers (they want quality, security, reliability), continuous innovation.
2nd Try: It added customer retention, pressure to provide more services, changing customer needs, and maintaining steady revenue.
3rd Try: It gave different words to describe the concepts listed above.
Recommendation: Use ChatGPT to understand industry issues and match them to your experience. You can also develop questions to ask interviewers. However, focus on the job posting first.
List other job titles for a general ledger accountant.
1st Try: ChatGPT offered 10 relevant titles.
2nd Try: 9 mostly relevant titles.
3rd Try: 4 relevant titles.
Recommendation: Use ChatGPT when you don’t have time for LinkedIn Career Explorer.
What are the best companies for a chemist in Cleveland, Ohio?
1st Try: Cleveland Clinic, Sherwin-Williams, Cleveland State University, Case Western Reserve University, and 2 non-starters.
2nd Try: ChatGPT said, “Too many requests, please slow down.”
Recommendation: ChatGPT can start your target company research. However, Reference Solutions is a better choice. If ChatGPT stiff arms you, close your window, open another one, and reload it.
A lot of my clients want to work for or serve on the boards of private equity firm portfolio companies.
I picked a test industry. Then I asked it a series of questions, starting with, “Which private equity firms specialize in medtech investments?” I got a list of 34 firms in a couple of minutes.
You can see a deeper dive on that research here.
Presenting Yourself — Elevator Pitches
Write an elevator pitch for a senior Scientific Affairs professional.
1st Try: Accurate. Meh. It sounded like a bot wrote it.
2nd Try: Inaccurate.
Recommendation: Sorry (really sorry), you still have to do this yourself.
Presenting Yourself — Marketing Plan
Write a step-by-step personal marketing plan for a senior Scientific Affairs professional to get a new job.
1st Try: ChatGPT provided a classic 9-point plan. While generic, it gave a helpful outline of a comprehensive job search attack plan.
2nd Try: An actionable 6-point plan. Broad strokes (more “what” than “how”), but again, helpful.
3rd Try: The best plan, especially on top of the other 2, a lot more “how.”
Presenting Yourself — Informational Interviews
Request for an informational interview for a job search
1st Try: It sounded like a bad job application cover letter, not a request for an informational interview.
2nd Try: Another cover letter — a decent cover letter. While it might not get you an interview, it would not lose the interview (many cover letters do).
3rd Try: Good enough that I sent it to a client as an editable example.
Recommendations: Use this for inspiration for cover letters and informational interview email requests.
Presenting Yourself — Resumes
Midstream Oil & Gas CEO resume template
1st Try: Weak format. Used half the bad resume words known to humankind. Did identify some key points to cover in this type of resume, but no differentiators.
2nd & 3rd Tries: See above.
Midstream Oil & Gas CEO Resume with accomplishment statements
1st Try: Weak format and accomplishments. Zero nuance, expertise, or professional judgment. See above.
2nd Try: ChatGPT refused to help. It was tired of me again. I closed my window, opened a new one, and kept going.
3rd Try: See 1st Try above.
Recommendation: I won’t quit my day job writing executive resumes. You can use the samples to ensure you cover basic points, but they aren’t going to land you interviews for executive roles.
Write a resume for a Human Resources Specialist with 5 years of experience at 2 companies.
1st Try: Awful. A responsibilities dump with zero achievements listed.
Write a resume with accomplishment statements for a Human Resources Specialist with 5 years of experience at 2 companies.
1st and 2nd Tries: As good as the examples popular career consultants sell to early career professionals.
Recommendation: ChatGPT has a limited library of boilerplate language. While it might give you a resume that reads well, it’s likely giving the same resume language to many others. Use it for ideas but ensure you have an original.
Bias Alert: ChatGPT wrote resumes for John Doe, CEO (male), and Jane DOE, HR Specialist (female). So yes, there’s bias baked into its responses.
How should I prepare for behavioral job interviews with StAR statements?
1st Try: Uninspired repeat of advice that’s all over the Internet. Missed some of the fine points.
2nd & 3rd Tries: See above.
Recommendation: For Job Search 101, this is faster than Google. Beware, you might get inaccurate or incomplete information — like Google.
ChatGPT answers questions with all the confidence of a person who doesn’t know what they don’t know. Plus, it doesn’t know where it got its answers.
Tell me about a time you were called to a 2nd-story fire. What was the situation, what action did you take, how did it turn out?
1st Try: ChatGPT gave a specific example. That’s huge! However, I had an uneasy feeling that I’d rather have someone else answer my 911 call.
2nd Try: Great answer!
3rd Try: No. Scary. Just no.
Recommendation: Craft some behavioral interview questions you’re likely to get. Try it on them. You’ll get some good ideas. Other answers will make you laugh and help you relax. Think of it as a temporary cure for interview anxiety.
See more about using ChatGTP to prepare for behavioral interviews here.
That’s an early read on a fun, new tool to deploy to your job search. It will educate you and undoubtedly solve some problems for you. Use it with a healthy dose of skepticism and enjoy!
For an objective, easy-to-understand ChatGTP primer, click here.
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Donna Svei, an executive resume writer and former C-level executive, retained search consultant, and CPA, authors all of AvidCareerist’s posts.
She is a Fast Company Contributor and has written for and been quoted by 100+ business and general media outlets, including Forbes, Inc., Entrepreneur, CNBC, the New York Times, USA Today, Time, US News & World Report, CBS, the BBC, Lifehacker, Social Media Today, IT World, and Business News Daily.
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