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Job Search in February: The Age of AI

Have you already tried GenAI in your job search? If not, it's about time to learn a thing or two about it. GenAI can empower you and improve your ability to get hired – you only need the right strategy and the right prompts.

 

In this newsletter, we talk about using AI to leverage your interview preparation efforts, ATS truths and myths, and choosing the right 'career helper' – a competent and credible resume writer or career coach.


Easy Ways to Use GenAI Ahead of Your Next Job Interview



GenAI can be a good preparation tool, but it can also make you sound generic and not genuine (which will not help you get the job), so make sure you separate good advice from the noise.


The Applicant Tracking System (ATS) Truths and Myths

 

How much do you know about how the ATS works? Is that relevant to your resume and job applications? ATS has undoubtedly been a buzzword among job seekers for a while now, but it's also misused to spread myths and misinformation.

 

If you're eager to learn the truth from someone who actually uses different applicant tracking systems and HRMS (and helped implement a few), then keep reading.

 

While AI-powered ATS are definitely a thing now, the most effective candidate selection requires incredibly large amounts of data. Most organisations just don't have this information. Additionally, even if an ATS is given vast quantities of high-quality data, there may be underlying issues within the data that distort performance.

 

The ATS Facts


The ATS varies by company. There are dozens of different ATS - some systems rank resumes based on meeting the requirement a recruiter typed in, and other systems only save all resumes. Recent ATS is AI-powered as well, but it doesn't make it autonomous.

 

When you submit an application, the ATS creates a uniform file for the recruiter to access. They can then look at all of the information you submitted to move you along in the process or reject your application. Recruiters can then use the ATS to schedule interviews, pass information along to hiring managers and keep the process as orderly as possible.

 

Many ATS rank candidates, yes, but given that these ranks are still not reliable, recruiters either don't use them or disregard the outcome. In any case, this does not affect whether you will be invited to the interview or not.

 

For example, if the basic requirement (keyword) is project management, and you use it on your resume (of course, if you have that experience), in the recruiters' searches, you will rank higher compared to those who don't have it. But, those who don't have it will NOT be automatically rejected by the ATS unless there is a knockout question during the application that asks for this specific skill.

 

Recruiters or HR folks set up these questions to automatically disqualify candidates based on a certain set of criteria - candidates who incorrectly/unfavourably answer these knockout questions are automatically rejected.

 

Remember, HUMANS decide to proceed or stop your application, not the ATS. So, any promise that makes your resume "beat the ATS or pass the ATS" is just false.

 

AI has significantly transformed job search strategies, but the human element remains vital. As a senior executive, for example, understanding and adapting to this new landscape can give you a competitive edge and help you land your next big role.

 

Navigating job searching in the age of AI doesn't have to be daunting; instead, it can be an opportunity to leverage technology to your advantage and showcase your ability to stay ahead of the curve. If you are a professional considering a career transition, you can immensely benefit from working with an experienced career coach possessing industry experience.


How To Choose the Right Career Coaching or Resume Writing Service?

 

First of all, the coaching relationship should be based on trust, even if it's only about redoing your resume. A credible and trustful career coach will be open and transparent about their services, results or former clients. These should be the first things you check for red or green flags.

 

Red Flags - How to Spot Incompetent and Fake Coaches

 

🚩 Career coaches who lack relevant background, education or experience

Meaning: people who don't have any connection with HR, recruiting, or hiring; people who have credentials from questionable or unrecognised sources; or people who were interns or employees at big-name companies for a year or two and now they teach how to get a job there. They may also seem out of touch with workplace realities.

 

🚩 Career coaches that use vague methodology

A competent coach will have a clear methodology or structured approach. If they're evasive about their methods or tools, it's a red flag. Also, it's a warning sign if they're offering advice based on outdated methods or seem unfamiliar with current market realities.

 

🚩 Career coaches who overpromise results

Be wary of coaches who guarantee quick results, promise specific job placements, or claim they can get you into any company you desire. While coaching can significantly improve your prospects, no one can guarantee specific outcomes.

 

🚩 Career coaches who don't have verifiable references or testimonials

Established coaches will usually have client testimonials or reviews. If they're reluctant to provide these or don't have any, proceed with caution. Look for their LinkedIn profiles, websites, and any published articles or videos, too. An absence of an online footprint or one that seems superficial might be a cause for concern. To ensure you're working with a qualified career coach, always do research and reach out to former clients.

 

🚩 Career coaches who apply high-pressure sales tactics

Trustworthy coaches won't pressure you into signing up or purchasing packages. They will not chase you on LinkedIn, either. They understand the importance of fit and should encourage you to consider whether their services align with your needs. They will even recommend another coach who might be a better option for you if necessary.

 

🚩 Career coaches who do not practise a personalised approach

You can't standardise career coaching, no matter what anyone tells you. Every individual is unique, and coaching should be tailored accordingly to give any result. If the coach uses a one-size-fits-all approach without considering your specific needs, background, and goals, they most certainly lack genuine expertise, or they outsource their services (again, usually to people who are not fully competent).

 

🚩 Career coaches who have "Too Good to Be True" prices

When you hire a competent coach, you actually pay for their expertise, experience (usually in different sectors) and years of practice – and all that costs. Extremely low prices might be tempting, but they usually indicate a lack of experience and quality. Similarly, exorbitantly high prices can be a red flag. Be extremely cautious. Your career is a significant investment, so ensuring you have the right support is vital.


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Resume Writing Resources

 

LinkedIn Profile Optimisation Resources

 

Interview Preparation Resources


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