06/13/2018 Steph Anderson

Is AI good or bad for job search?

Job searching is a job in itself. It takes time, patience, focus and strategy. Now that artificial intelligence (AI) is part of the job search process, it takes being a bit tech savvy, too.

The benefits of AI for hiring managers is apparent: It streamlines processes and aims to discover the best candidate for the job. While it costs money to use these tools, it has the potential to save an incredible amount of time, which typically equates to savings in the end.

For the job seeker, AI offers some positives and many drawbacks. While it can streamline the application and interview process, AI also can feel cold, calculated and downright cutthroat at times.

Sure, you can get curated lists of potential jobs sent right to your inbox that match your skills and interests. Yes, you can apply at any time of day from virtually any digital device. You may even receive automated emails about your application going through the review process. You might even get a good feeling about your chances.

But then, you may get lost in the AI abyss.

The first A that job seekers encounter is typically the applicant tracking system (ATS). Many complain that the ATS is impenetrable, discounting highly qualified applicants simply based on key words and phrases that are missing from their application. While it’s true that these systems are created to filter applicants based on programmed verbiage, they aren’t impossible to navigate. Your best bet is to use words plucked directly from the job ad, as these phrases are likely to be programmed into the system. Yes, this adds an extra step and research time to the application process.

Another negative is that AI takes humans out of the equation as much as possible, which can make the job hunting experience feel pretty isolating. How do you know whether an actual human looked at your resume? The answer: You usually don’t. How can you make the right connections to get noticed if there seems to be no one on the other side of the computer? The answer: You think beyond the resume.

You might just feel like a number when applying for a job these days, but that’s why tried-and-true job search strategies are that much more important. If you want to stand out and make your name known, make the extra effort. Follow up your application with an email or phone call. Better yet, utilize your professional network by reaching out to people who have a connection at the company. Beyond that, comment on company influencers’ LinkedIn posts, write your own posts to demonstrate thought leadership and start attending industry events to build your professional reputation.

This is only the beginning of AI impacting the hiring marketplace. Technology is being developed that analyzes facial expressions, vocal tone and word choice during interviews. Personality tests employ algorithms to determine a candidate’s potential and likelihood to be successful at a given job. Some experts believe that at some point AI will completely replace recruiter jobs, so it’s time to settle in and get ready. AI is the future.