How to use AI tools to find new work in a cooling job market

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How to use AI tools to find new work in a cooling job market

  • The US economy added 209,000 jobs in June. However, some workers took a little longer to find new jobs, one economist said.
  • As the job market cools, job seekers can use AI tools to improve their chances of finding a new full-time job.
  • “There are definitely ways you should use it in your job search, but there are ways it can backfire,” said career expert Susie Welch.

The US economy added 209,000 jobs in June, while the unemployment rate fell to 3.6%. While the job count was smaller than expected, it showed “strong but moderate demand,” showing signs that the labor market is “moderating in a sustainable way,” said Indeed economist Nick Bunker.

“Nothing is guaranteed, but the U.S. labor market continues to point to a slower but more sustainable pace of economic growth,” Bunker said.

The average length of unemployment is about flat, meaning it took a little longer for some workers to find work compared to last year, when people found work very quickly, he said.

“In many ways, the 2021 and 2022 labor market was an anomaly and not really a good baseline for understanding what a sustainable and healthy labor market looks like,” Bunker said.

The pandemic has led to the adoption of digital interviewing through Zoom and other platforms, said Will Rose, chief technology officer at Talent Select AI. As part of this, the use of AI tools that provide different types of analytics for these interviews is becoming more embedded.

AI-driven or fully automated interviewing processes are being adopted, but companies using this technology remain in the minority for now, Rose said.

More often, a company can use AI systems that look at different things designed to identify the best candidates, he said. For asynchronous interviews — video interviews where you either speak to a machine or upload recorded responses — the AI ​​software focuses specifically on the words used by the candidate.

With that in mind, research certain keywords relevant to the job and incorporate them into your interview answers by talking about the areas that are in the job posting, Rose said.

“Emphasize why you as a candidate shine,” he said. Emphasize your qualifications and make sure you give solid answers and anecdotes in the process.

You can also use AI tools as a personal research assistant to help you prepare for an interview, said Welch, who is also a CNBC contributor.

“Some AI tools will train you before the interview. You have to use every instrument to practice,” she said.

Even if you’re not talking to a human being in real time, still dress and speak as if you’re in a formal, in-person interview, and pay attention to elements like background and lighting. Those videos are often still reviewed by recruiters and hiring managers, Rose said.

In the same way that a candidate might seek out a resume coach or a consultant to help them prepare for a job interview, a candidate should not shy away from seeking help from AI technology for these purposes—but don’t trust AI completely write the documents.

“I think you can really hurt yourself [in areas] by using AI – and one is in your cover letter,” Welch said.

Hiring and recruiting managers who receive correspondence that appears to have been written entirely by software can be turned off, Welch said, especially if the AI ​​plagiarizes parts or includes errors or falsehoods.

Companies are looking for authenticity in applicants, and submitting material entirely designed by bots isn’t going to “push you to the top of the pile,” she said.

Instead of letting AI take over, use it as a starting point to make sure you have all the right keywords and that both your resume and cover letter have the right structures. Then review and add your own words.

“The AI ​​doesn’t know your background and … some specific anecdotes that highlight why you’re a great candidate,” Rose said.

New York recently passed a law that requires companies to conduct an AI bias audit, make the results public, clarify AI’s involvement in the hiring process for job seekers, and specify the type of data they collect and how it is used.

“Because New York is the largest city in the country, this new law has national implications,” Rose said.

In the meantime, he said, candidates shouldn’t be afraid to ask hiring managers whether AI has played a role in the hiring process and how those systems are used in the decision-making process until more transparency laws go into effect.

“It’s fair game,” he said.

In fact, both sides—employer and candidate—should avoid leaning too heavily on the use of AI in the hiring process.

“There has to be some caution about fully automating this [process] and removing that human element,” Rose said. “It’s more about the experience you’re giving the candidate.”

“Does AI exist [in the hiring process] or not, jobs always go to the most prepared candidates who come with the best feel for the job,” he said.

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