ChatGPT: Tips for Career Searching
By Maggie Kuhn
What Is ChatGPT?
ChatGPT, an artificially intelligent chatbot, was created by a research company, Open AI and launched in November 2022. It uses natural language processing to create human-like, conversational dialogue with its users. ChatGPT reacts to text prompts by emulating a real human being to respond to questions and compose various written content.
ChatGPT acquires its data via a process called “web scraping,” in which automated tools are used to scan the internet for relevant information, extract data from various websites, and store it in its database (June, 2023). ChatGPT additionally acquires information from user feedback, knowledge databases created by experts in various fields, social media, and open data sources (Mercier, 2023).
Since its launch, over 100 million users have entered prompts into the textbox on the ChatGPT home page (Marr, 2023). Once ChatGPT provides a response, there are a few options for the user to consider. The user can enter a new prompt, regenerate additional responses for the same prompt, copy the text from ChatGPT to put to personal use, or like or dislike the answer.
How Can ChatGPT Be Used?
Users can leverage ChatGPT to generate ideas, explain complicated topics, and even create songs or poems. And, it can be a useful resource for optimizing the job search process, including editing a cover letter, searching for alternate job titles, or summarizing a job description (Kelly, 2023). According to ChatGPT itself, here are some dos and don'ts to think about.
It’s important to remember that ChatGPT best functions as an idea generator, a tool to provide information and insights, and not as a replacement for human expertise and critical thought. Career services providers may supplement career search efforts, but ultimately, conclusions should be drawn based on a deeper understanding of the client’s individual needs and context.
- Research and Exploration: ChatGPT can provide information on different career paths, industries, and job roles. Try prompting ChatGPT to share required qualifications, job market trends, or salary ranges.
- Resume and Cover Letter Support: Show your client how to seek guidance from ChatGPT on improving their first draft of a resume and cover letter. Note which areas the client needs assistance the most, such as formatting, then direct the client to ask ChatGPT for formatting help.
- Preparing for an Interview: Direct your client to prompt ChatGPT to provide interview practice scenarios. The client may ask for common interview questions, receive feedback on responses, and get advice on interview strategies and techniques.
- Market Information: Encourage the client to seek insights from ChatGPT about various industries, such as growth prospects, emerging trends, or skill requirements.
- Upskilling: Prompt your client to consult ChatGPT about resources, online courses, or certifications that may allow the client to upskill specific areas relevant to career interests.
- Blind Trust: Discourage the client from relying entirely on ChatGPT for career search insights. Although it is a helpful resource, it is essential to engage with career services providers, trusted mentors, or expert professionals for personal guidance.
- Biased Information: Encourage caution of potential biases in ChatGPT's responses, as it scrapes information from the internet, which may contain biased or inaccurate content.
- Guaranteed Forecasts: Direct the client to refrain from relying entirely on ChatGPT's predictions regarding job prospects or future career trends. Market trends can change quickly, and individual circumstances may vary.
- Individualization: Note that ChatGPT does not have the ability to acknowledge individual circumstances, skills, and goals. Understand that the information may not consider the individual client’s backgrounds and preferences.
- Empathy and Emotions: ChatGPT does not have the ability to recognize emotions or empathize with the client. While it can be prompted to share insights and information, it cannot replicate the emotional support and empathy of a human career services provider, trusted mentor, or expert professional.
ChatGPT Tips for the Job Search
Once the career development professional and client have clarified a job search objective, and prepared a summary of skills and experiences, they may use ChatGPT with other parts of the search. It is essential to enter effective, detailed prompts (without ever entering any personal information).
For example, to ask ChatGPT about other information relevant to the job search, the client may enter a prompt like this:
“For a recent marketing and communication graduate who wants to work in sales in New York, please help [write a resume, write a cover letter, search job titles]. What additional information is needed to do this?”
Below are some tips and strategies for using ChatGPT to enhance other aspects of the job search. Remember this is only one tool; use what is helpful and refrain from copying from ChatGPT verbatim.
Try the prompt, “Please edit this cover letter using this job description and this resume.” (Note: Create a new line in the prompt by hitting Shift+Enter at the same time.) Copy and paste the cover letter, the job description, and the resume into the text box, and then hit Enter.
ChatGPT will then generate an updated, more competitive version of the cover letter based on the job description entered.
For an ATS-friendly resume for specific job titles try adding the prompt, “Please tailor the resume (see below) to [position] at [company].” Then copy and paste the resume and job description into the textbox.
ChatGPT can also help edit a resume to better reflect the client’s professional experience (Yan & Le, 2023). Try using the prompt, “Please summarize the professional history below into succinct bullet points.”
Summarizing Job Descriptions
Job descriptions can be long and hard to understand, but ChatGPT can easily summarize the main skills and qualifications the employer may want. Copy and paste the job description in the text box with the prompts, “Summarize the most important skills from this job" or "What are five keywords used in this job description that should be highlighted in the resume?”
Identify Skills and Gaps
It is essential in the job search process to compare the client’s skillset to the desired skills on the job description. Enter the prompt “Compare this resume with the following job description to evaluate the capability and skill gaps for the [Job Title] role.”
Technology and Effective Career Support
In the ever-evolving landscape of career searching, ChatGPT is a powerful ally, offering useful insights and edits. Although today’s technology and AI can be helpful, there are limitations and questions to consider. ChatGPT may be able to instantaneously edit a resume, summarize a job description, or highlight a client’s key skills, but it cannot replace the human expertise and personal interaction necessary to provide truly effective career services support.
June. (2023, February 28). How does ChatGPT technology work? LinkedIn. https://www.linkedin.com/pulse/how-does-chatgpt-technology-work-juneconnects/
Kelly, J. (2023, April 3). How to leverage AI and use ChatGPT in your job search according to résumé writers and career coaches. Forbes. https://www.forbes.com/sites/jackkelly/2023/04/03/how-to-leverage-ai-and-use-chatgpt-in-your-job-search-according-to-rsum-writers-and-career-coaches/?sh=2ab107365ac5
Marr, B. (2023, May 19). A short history of ChatGPT: How we got to where we are today. Forbes. https://www.forbes.com/sites/bernardmarr/2023/05/19/a-short-history-of-chatgpt-how-we-got-to-where-we-are-today/?sh=26f625a6674f
Mercier, M. (2023, April 13). Does ChatGPT save data? Botpress. https://botpress.com/blog/does-chatgpt-save-data
OpenAI. (2023). Dos and don’ts of career searching with ChatGPT' prompt. (Jun 7 version). http://chat.openai.com/chat
Yan, M., & Le, L. (2023, April 24). How to use ChatGPT to write and improve your resume. Simplify. https://simplify.jobs/blog/how-to-use-chatgpt-to-write-and-improve-your-resume/
Maggie Kuhn, CCSP, is Assistant Director of Mentoring and Alumni Personal & Career Development in the Office of Personal & Career Development at Wake Forest University. She can be reached at email@example.com