The job hunt is getting high-tech.
Unemployment rates hit an all-time high during the pandemic, leaving many of you searching for new jobs. And companies are turning to artificial intelligence to sort through resumes and applications.
So how can you make sure your application gets to the top of the pile? We're getting advice straight from the experts.
Let's start with your resume. CareerBuilder CEO Irina Novoselsky says artificial intelligence will open the job search up for you behind the scenes. "It's no longer based on 'have you done it' but it now is based on 'can you do it'?" says Novoselsky. Computers can take your skillset and match you with jobs that match closely to what you can do. Websites like CareerBuilder can then offer you job openings at other companies or in other fields.
Artificial intelligence creates algorithms that scan applications to identify candidates who match well with the job description.
Tips for your resume:
- Don't just list the jobs you've had and when. Make sure you're writing what you did and the skills you gained underneath. "As much as what you've worked on, put it on a piece of paper to allow the technology to do its work. It will put you at an advantage," says Novoselsky.
- Include all hard and soft skills. If you can code in different languages, list the amount of languages and what they are. If you've worked in sales, customer service is a skill, so include it.
- Talk numbers. If you worked on project that brought in money or it has benefits that you can quantify, use the actual numbers. Using numbers on your resume shows employers what you have accomplished at work.
- Avoid abbreviations. A computer might not be programmed to understand an acronym or abbreviation.
- Leave off logos and pictures. Computers might not pick up special formatting. It could even add letters and symbols unintentionally.
- Did you have to take time off during the pandemic to care for someone? Or maybe you were furloughed? Include that job gap on our resume. Write what you did and snyy new skills you've picked up. "Those experiences make you a better team member, make you more creative, bring a different perspective to whatever your role is," says Novoselsky.
- If you're using a recruiting website, make sure your resume is set to public and not a private setting. If you set it to private, you're only asking to be alerted about the jobs you apply for. If your resume is set to public, the site can send you more matches on other jobs. It also makes you searchable. Employers can search for who they're looking for and your resume can pop up.
New kinds of interviews
Let's talk about the interview. Artificial intelligence programs take a pre-recorded interview done by a job candidate. It will then analyze word and phrasing choices. Some programs analyze volume and intonation, measuring how enthusiastic you sound for the job opportunity. The program then lets the employer know which applicants ranked at the top based on the company's requirements. Based on the words you use, it's scoring you on things like communication, problem solving, etc.
HireVue is a software company that provides video interviews for the company you might apply to. They provided me with a sample AI interview to take. I lined myself up in the camera and answered three sample questions that could be asked on an interview. I was given a few minutes to answer. If I didn't like my answer, I could re-record it.
Nathan Mondragon, the chief industrial organizational psychologist with HireVue, explained that the three questions were designed to get to know me, measure my ability to work with teams and measure my willingness to learn. Mondragon said I did well but a few of my answers were too short. The computer needed more to evaluate me on. For example, I explained math was a difficult subject for me in school, but I never explained how I worked to get better at it.
Kevin Parker, CEO of HireVue, says artificial intelligence is meant to analyze a candidate's words and phrasing. "If I ask you a question about team orientation, tell me about a team you worked on. Team oriented people use the word 'we' more than they use the word 'I.' It's a very simple answer but that's what we're looking at," says Parker.
There are more benefits to pre-recording interviews for the candidate as well. You can record your interview at any time of the day and any day of the week. Parker says the design of the company is democratize the process, making it accessible to more people. "About 80% of our interviews take place outside of normal business hours. You're no longer constrained by the normal nine to five or Monday through Friday," says Parker. Another benefit is that these interviews can give a candidate feedback on how they did on a pre-recorded job interview.
Both companies say the artificial intelligence is just the first step in the workflow for companies. Real people still go through resumes and applications, this is how they can do it at an efficient pace.
Tips for your interview:
- Prepare for this like you would an in-person job interview. Read over the job description, research the company and practice to make sure you hit your talking points.
- Make sure your technology is in working order. Make sure you have a strong and reliable internet connection and don't forget to have your charger handy just in case.
- Lighting is key. Take a look at the picture and make sure there's no harsh shadows cast on your face.
- Take advantage of practice questions. Many of these sites, like HireVue, have demos you can request to take. This will get you more comfortable with the process.