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Ep 106: Using AI to Land a New Career

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  • 21 Sep, 2023
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Overview

In today’s rapidly evolving job market, leveraging technological advancements is key to stand out amongst the sea of applicants and secure the right career opportunities. Artificial Intelligence (AI) has emerged as a powerful tool, enabling job seekers to showcase their skills, align with industry demands, and land their dream careers. In this article, we delve into how AI can be harnessed to unlock new professional opportunities and propel career growth.

Harnessing the Power of AI in Resume Optimization:

Aligning your resume with the specific skills and qualifications sought by employers is essential in catching their attention. AI-powered tools like Jobscan Skillsyncer can quickly identify missing competencies and education requirements mentioned in job descriptions. By optimizing your resume accordingly, you increase the chances of getting shortlisted for interviews and showcasing your suitability for the role. Remember, including both hard and soft skills is crucial to demonstrate your versatility and adaptability.

Elevating Your LinkedIn Profile:

LinkedIn has become a central hub for recruiters and hiring managers in their search for top talent. Crafting a standout LinkedIn profile is now more important than ever. Put extra effort into your professional headline and the about section to ensure they accurately reflect your expertise and career aspirations. Recruiters often use specific search tools to find potential candidates, so enhancing your profile’s visibility will increase your likelihood of being discovered.

Tailoring LinkedIn Applications: Easy Apply vs. Company Website:

LinkedIn offers two options for job applications: easy apply and applying directly through a company’s website. While easy apply may save time, it often lands your application in front of just one person, thereby reducing your chances of being seen by the right individuals. For a higher probability of exposure to hiring managers, HR departments, and recruiters, opt to apply through the company’s website. Statistics reveal that this method yields better results, increasing the likelihood of securing an interview.

 Leveraging the LinkedIn Network:

LinkedIn is a goldmine of networking opportunities. Tap into its vast user base of around 950 million professionals to connect with individuals in your desired industry or role. Engage in conversations, join relevant groups, and actively participate in industry-specific discussions. Building meaningful connections could lead to referrals, interviews, and even job offers. Remember, relationships are instrumental, and reaching out to those who understand the transferable skills you possess can significantly boost your chances.

AI’s Role in the Hiring Process:

The hiring process has undergone a significant transformation with the aid of AI. Applicant tracking systems (ATS) employ AI algorithms to streamline the initial resume screening process, as companies face an avalanche of applications per job opening. By tailoring your resume to include relevant skills and qualifications, you increase the likelihood of clearing the initial AI-driven screening stage and reaching the hands of recruiters and hiring managers.

Conclusion:

In this age of AI-powered advancements, job seekers must adapt and utilize the tools at their disposal to land their dream careers and seize new professional opportunities. By optimizing resumes, enhancing LinkedIn profiles, tailoring applications, and effectively leveraging the platform’s networking potential, individuals can differentiate themselves from the competition and secure their desired roles. Harness the power of AI to unlock new career avenues and propel your professional growth in this ever-changing job market.

Topics Covered in This Episode

1. Career Development Strategies
2. Resume Optimization with AI
3. Leveraging LinkedIn
4. Evolution of Hiring Process and AI

Podcast Transcript

Jordan Wilson [00:00:17]:

Can you actually use AI to land a new career, to get your next job, your next promotion? You’d be surprised. I think you can. And I think we have probably one of the best people to talk to about that. So make sure you stick around. My name is Jordan Wilson. Welcome to Everyday. AI. This is your daily livestream podcast and free daily newsletter helping everyday people make sense of AI. Because there’s so much happening. So how do we actually use it to grow our companies, to grow our careers? That’s what you tuned in for. But first, let’s take a look at the AI news. We do this every single day, so whether you’re joining us live, thank you for that. Make sure you get your comments in about AI and job seeking and landing your next big career move. But if you’re listening on the podcast, don’t worry, check out the show notes. We always leave links back so you can come in and join this conversation. That’s what makes us different. We bring on experts that you can talk to.

Daily AI news

But first, let’s get to the news. So will smart assistants finally get smarter? I sure hope so. So Amazon just released or said they are very soon releasing a new version of its AI assistant Alexa. So the biggest difference? Well, this new version of Alexa will be featuring a large language model for natural, more informed and longer conversations. Thank you. Man, especially, I don’t know about you all, but after using ChatGPT, Bard, all these other, when you go back and talk to your Alexa or Siri, you’re like, come on, this isn’t that good. So excited about that.

All right, next piece of news. Is the writer’s strike finally nearing an end? Well, maybe so. Reps from the Writers Guild of America and CEOs of major media companies met and they are reportedly close to striking a deal. So what’s that have to do with AI? Well, the WGA, the Writers Guild of America, actually, AI has been one of their main concerns about AI replacing their jobs for screenwriters and for digital actors, digital twins, all these things that Hollywood kind of wanted. So the strike has been going on since May, and it could end very soon. More on that in the newsletter.

Last but definitely not least, DALL-E 3 is coming. So if you haven’t heard of DALL-E 3, don’t worry, it’s probably normal because DALL-E 2 from OpenAI, their AI image generator, has been out for more than a year and it hasn’t really been updated. So if I’m being honest, not a lot of people use DALL-E, but they did announce DALL-E 3. We’re going to have a lot more on that in the newsletter, but some big details to look at. It’s coming early October, it will be available within ChatGPT. So Chat GPT is going multi-model, which is huge news. Also, it will be able to use text within images. A big difference with Midjourney that does not do text very well at all right now. So, exciting news all over in the world of AI, but that’s not why you’re here.

About David and AltoAdvanced

We already have some comments coming in, people wanting to know about how to use AI in their career. So let’s bring on an expert. If you’re ever on LinkedIn looking up career advice, you probably know our guest for today. Thank you for joining us. Welcome to the show. David Alto, the owner of Alto Advance LLC. David, thank you for joining us.

David Alto [00:03:42]:

Well, yeah, of course, you asked, so I came. I had to help the audience, help those job seekers know some little tips and tricks. Maybe they know land that job quicker.

Jordan Wilson [00:03:52]:

Oh, man of the people, I love it. David well, first, before we get into the nitty gritty and we talk AI, first, tell people a little bit about yourself and what Alto Advance is and how you help people.

David Alto [00:04:04]:

Sure. So, previous career I’ve been a multi unit manager. I’ve done a lot of hiring. So kind of what I do now, I’ve been a job seeker, I’ve been an employer. And then doing what I’m doing now really allows me to help my clients land that new career faster. So what do we do? So, most of what we do is helping job seekers land new jobs through improving their resume, improving their LinkedIn profile. We also do outplacement services for companies looking to maybe they’re laying off 400, 500 people. So we do that. And we don’t offer as many services because we have found the employers just want to know that their employees can get a really land the right job quick. So that’s why we just tailor a few services to help those companies at a lower cost than a lot of other places. But for me, again, I’ve been that struggling job seeker wondering how come I’m applying for jobs, how come I’m not getting interviews? And so I think we’ll share some best practices today so they don’t have to struggle, can land that interview a lot faster.

How AI can help job seekers

Jordan Wilson [00:05:23]:

I love that. One thing I think you brought up there is I think everyone’s been in that position of being the job seeker and feeling they’re very qualified and not knowing maybe, hey, I’ve five for 510, 500 jobs and I’m not hearing back. So let’s start super high level. David can AI help? If so, how?

David Alto [00:05:49]:

Sure. So, back in the 70s, believe it or not, company developed some software ATS applicant tracking system. You might hear it called software to sort through applicants to make that hiring process a lot, to streamline it for those hiring managers and recruiters. Because even in the 70s, they were getting hundreds of applicants and generally nobody’s ever going to read on the entire resume. And nowadays, boy, 400, 600, 800,000 applicants per job sometimes. So Stephen or Stephanie are not going to go through in HR or that recruiter are not going to go through that many resumes. So knowing how companies use software to kind of match up your resume to that job. So if you haven’t done a very good job of making sure that those hard and soft skills are on your resume, then you may get those darn rejection emails immediately after applying. And that’s what’s frustrating. You’re looking at, I am way more than qualified. How come I’m not getting calls? Well, there’s plenty of AI out there, plenty of software out there that will allow the job seeker to compare quickly. Within seconds, you copy paste the job description, copy paste your resume, hit send or submit and it will tell you potentially what hard and soft skills might be missing. Maybe you’re missing some education. Maybe you forgot you put your degree on there.

Jordan Wilson [00:07:39]:

Right.

David Alto [00:07:39]:

It’ll tell mean. And this has been around way and there’s a couple of them jobscan skillsyncher that work fantastic. There’s plenty out there, but I like those two the best and it quickly will tell you, okay, hey, I need to add this and add that. And here’s the great thing with that is if you’re applying for a project manager position at say, Amazon and then again at Microsoft, well, they’re probably going to require the same hard and soft skills. Probably maybe a little bit of nuance between those two jobs. But if you’re aligned with one, you’re probably not going to have to do it for the other. You don’t want to tweak your resume to death and just word it to death. And I see so many resumes that maybe have some high level skills but maybe don’t list at the very bottom of somebody’s resume, maybe some of those other competencies and technical skills, and that’s the best place to maybe throw in some of those after you’ve used some of that software to compare your resume to the job description.

Common mistakes when applying for jobs

Jordan Wilson [00:08:49]:

Yeah, without even saying it out loud. I think you said the quiet part out loud is what AI can help job seekers do. Is it’s time? Right? Like David just said right there, you can compare in seconds. Something that used to take people maybe an hour, 2 hours. To be able to do that in seconds is amazing. David, I know that you’ve probably worked with countless people in helping them improve their resume or even just improve their outlook or improve where they’re looking, maybe. What are some mistakes that you see, whether this is people using AI or not, but what are some of the most common mistakes that you see people when they’re trying to land that next career?

David Alto [00:09:36]:

Yeah, a lot of people do the spray and pray. Meaning I’m going to apply for 100 jobs today. I’ll touch base on this. So on LinkedIn, you can do easy apply or apply when you see a job. Now, what’s the difference? If you hit apply, it usually goes to the company’s website. Now, I know that takes longer to apply. Half an hour could take you 45 minutes to apply. I get it. They’re going to ask you to upload your resume and then still ask you to fill out what you did in each job, which is just silly. But a lot of people like the easy apply because they hit a button in 30 seconds, they apply. The only problem with easy apply or apply now on indeed, the only problem with that is it’s generally only going to one person and one person only. Well, if one person is getting 400 applicants, they’re not going to go through them all. It’s usually a recruiter. I would much rather that job seeker go to the company website, career website, and apply. Because statistics have shown very few people ever get hired or even interviewed by hitting that easy apply. And the right people get to see it. When you apply on a company website, usually hiring manager, hiring manager’s, boss, HR, at least one or two recruiters and you want your resume in front of the right people.

Other ways AI can help job hunting

Jordan Wilson [00:10:58]:

Yeah, that’s the biggest piece, right, is you can put all the time in the world, but there’s always that question on the end is, will anyone see this or will the right person see this? So, just as a reminder, if you’re joining us live, we have David Alto joining us, the owner of Alto Advance. And thank you everyone for joining. Kevin joining from Atlanta. Pedro from Columbia. We have people from all over Minnesota. Good evening from India. So just as a reminder, get your questions in. I want to talk about this. David Wildred just says, AI is extremely helpful for writing to craft resumes. What are some other, maybe specific tasks? So we kind of talked a little bit about job scan and skill synchro that can kind of help you compare your resume for certain roles. But what are some other ways that you’ve seen that AI is extremely helpful for job seekers?

David Alto [00:11:56]:

Sure. So nobody loves writing a cover letter. I write cover letters daily for my clients. And guess what? I don’t like writing cover letters. And here’s why that verbiage needs to come from the job seeker. So I give my clients a great cover letter and I ask them, maybe you tweak it into your own verbiage. But boy, oh, boy. We’ve been experimenting for months and months and months, and we have found that whether you’re using chat, GBT or whatever, but can write a damn good cover letter. And here’s why. If you got a decent resume already and you ask it to create a cover letter, as if maybe you throw in there as if you’re having a conversation with somebody. And what I have found is if I say write something as if a teenager is writing it for whatever reason, for whatever reason, it just comes out better.

Jordan Wilson [00:13:03]:

And.

David Alto [00:13:07]:

It doesn’t sound like a teenager, but for whatever reason, giving it that prompt, it flows better for whatever reason. But any type of letter I mean, my wife and I had to write a letter to our tenants that we have some property, and it nailed it. So for whatever, like, articles, cover letters, any type of letter, it does a really good job. So I would highly suggest that if you are a job seeker struggling to craft that cover letter, give AI a try. And I think you might. And if you’re struggling, I’ll send you some prompts to use.

Using LinkedIn for job opportunities and referrals

Jordan Wilson [00:13:52]:

Perfect. Yeah. Hey, good call out there, David. Yeah, we’ll make sure, if you haven’t already sign up for the newsletter, we’ll make sure to share, actually, a lot of different resources that David has. And, hey, he just offered some great prompts to help you all out. Actually, and this is weird for me, I want to hit pause on AI. Right? Wild Jordan, how could you? But I want to talk quickly about LinkedIn, David, because I know you have a great presence there. You’re always helping people. But if we’re just talking about LinkedIn, you already said kind of the easy apply versus normal apply. But what about getting in front of the right person? If we take AI out of the equation, what kind of tips or practical advice do you have for people to spend time wisely on LinkedIn and to maybe get to the right person in their next job search?

David Alto [00:14:42]:

Sure. Yeah. In our daily life, sometimes it’s not about who we know, but we know somebody that knows somebody. Right. They say you’re having a conversation with your friend and they can’t help you, but they have a friend that can help you or a relative that can help you. Well, LinkedIn has about 950,000,000 people that can help you, potentially. So before applying for that job that you think you’re a good fit for, I suggest going on to LinkedIn. You go into the search box, you type in that job title of that job. Let’s say it’s a project manager at Amazon. You type in Project Manager, you click on People, you click on the company, right? And then you hit show results. Maybe you select your city or state or where you’re from, because I would ask you to message a few of these people. And here’s why. The best people on LinkedIn that know that you can do that job, obviously, hiring managers, but a lot of hiring managers or HR never want you to give you the illusion that you’re ever going to get a job or an interview. So they normally don’t respond. So don’t mess. Now, you would think that messaging recruiters on LinkedIn would be a great, best practice. But if they’re getting bombarded by people doing the same thing or let’s face it, recruiters. Some recruiters don’t know transferable skills. They’ve never done that role or whatever. So messaging people in the same or similar role can benefit you for two different reasons. One, they know transferable skills, they’re going to be able to take a look at your profile, know if you can do the job, but what if something financially is in it for them to get a referral bonus? A lot of companies pay out some serious money for referral bonuses. So I have developed some easy scripts for people to message that person and not sound spammy that you’re looking for a job to get some response. And you and I both know people are very giving on LinkedIn. If you just craft a nice message, you’re probably going to hear back from a few people. But I’ve seen this land interviews, land jobs. The worst thing that happens is you’re going to be connecting to more people in the industries and the companies and the positions you want anyway. That’s the worst thing. But good things happen to this because people don’t use this. Most people don’t leverage LinkedIn like the database that it is, and it’s the world’s largest free database. I mean, they should charge us for searching, hopefully LinkedIn.

Improving resumes in job search

Jordan Wilson [00:17:21]:

David, David, don’t give anyone any ideas because now Elon Musk is talking about charging people to use Twitter. So, hey, don’t give anyone too many ideas. I like LinkedIn. And hey, like what Brian says here, good old fashioned networking, right? On LinkedIn, you got to use it for that as well. So, while we temporarily have the AI hat off, so Douglas here has a question. Thanks for joining us, Douglas. He said, Will the job seeker run the potential for the other side of the spectrum now where the job seeker appears to be overqualified? So I think this is when we were talking about using chat GPT to either craft an ideal resume or to help AI really bolster out that resume. Can it go too far? Can you run the risk of, oh, wow, AI made me sound almost too qualified. Can that happen? Or no such thing.

David Alto [00:18:17]:

Unless you really are overqualified, then no. And job seekers, you are doing the recruiter and hiring team a favor by improving your resume. Here’s why. Companies are struggling to find like one great candidate. So, back in the day, maybe six, seven years ago, companies were getting five or six qualified, really great qualified people. Nowadays they’re lucky to great they find that one and they’re going to offer him or her a little bit more money. So you’re actually doing them a favor and they want to see more qualified people apply. Right? Unless you are really overqualified, like you did that position like two positions ago, I wouldn’t worry about it. And if you are ever overqualified for a job, leave the resume alone. In the COVID letter, explain why a lot of people miss out on the COVID letter, share how you align with that industry or company or position, or if you need to explain something, that’s the perfect place is to explain it in a cover letter. Because then it influences what they look at or what they don’t look at on the COVID letter. And people still glance at them. Glance at them. That’s why the good content on a cover letter has got to be towards the top, because nobody’s ever going to read your entire cover letter. And job seekers, nobody’s ever going to read your entire resume.

How HR can use AI for hiring

Jordan Wilson [00:19:53]:

Yeah. So sad, right? When you spend 30 minutes going over that one word in bullet point 37, it doesn’t matter in the end, right? All right, so here, this is a good one, David. So, Pedro, thank you for this question. So, looking at it from the other side. So Pedro asking, how could HR take advantage of AI to find or reveal in this big applicant pools, the right applicant? So, I know you’re normally working on the front end, David, but I’m sure you have some insight on maybe how HR might be using AI or maybe they aren’t.

David Alto [00:20:30]:

What’s your take on sure? Well, first of all, like I kind of just explained, you are helping out HR by aligning your resume with those skills because they’re going to get more applicants. But there are recruiters on LinkedIn constantly using a different tool than we use. Not Sales navigator, they’re using a different tool to search for people. So by having a better headline, by having a better about Section, amongst other things, on your LinkedIn profile, you will kind of help them because they are searching all the time. The problem is, a lot of recruiters, when they’re searching, they find people. And that was a job they did like ten years ago. Right. So, again, by having the right headline about section, you’re going to help them find that. But HR just wants more. I used to do a lot of interviews. We just want more talented, qualified applicants. We’ll find them. So how could HR really take advantage of that? It’s just making sure maybe people have a better understanding or better how to search on LinkedIn for certain people. But yeah, I think that’s about it. I love Pedro’s photo, by the way.

Jordan Wilson [00:22:09]:

Yeah, it’s cool. It’s got to be AI, right? All right. So here’s another one. We’re finally getting some good questions for you here, David. It took everyday a second to wake up here, even though you’re joining us from the West Coast. But Monica asking, have you noticed an increase in job seekers adding AI skills or AI experience to their resumes, applying for jobs that are not even AI specific roles? Good question, because it seems like a lot of employers want this and maybe you’re applying for a marketing job that’s not an AI job. But should job seekers be putting those skills in if they have them, even if it’s not technically an AI job.

David Alto [00:22:49]:

Oh, yes, of course. Because why? Well, we know we’re all going that way anyway, so if you’re ahead of the curve, besides even mentioning maybe at the bottom of a resume, some of those competencies and technical skills, maybe instead listing out a few of those, but maybe ever so briefly whether it’s in the specific job, it’s at the summary at the top, or maybe it’s in the COVID letter, call out your knowledge of it. What are you currently using it for? Maybe you’re currently using it a little bit in your current role or in your previous role. So not just only listing out those skills, but sharing with people how you’ve used it. Because, again, maybe they’re going to hire you and you’re not going to be using it right away, but having somebody on the team that knows, that always a plus. And you know what? If you have some certifications and licenses or whatever, make sure to put them on your LinkedIn profile as well, because most hiring managers, most recruiters will on a great LinkedIn profile will be on your profile way longer than ever reviewing your resume.

Jordan Wilson [00:24:03]:

Oh, gosh, that makes perfect sense, right? You have to know where those recruiters, those hiring managers are actually spending their time. Sounds simple, but probably something we overlook. All right, here’s another good one from Parimi. So do you think that companies might use AI to see if a resume is AI generated? We’re getting a little meta here, but it’s a good question. David, what do you like? I guess the ultimate question there is maybe is there a potential downside if your resume sounds too AI generated and might know, flag it?

David Alto [00:24:40]:

Sure. The answer is companies want qualified people. I don’t think they would care. Now, in that initial, I guess on a cover letter, if it sounded a little too robotic and maybe then in that additional summary right at the top underneath your contact information, if that sounded a little robotic, then yes, but do I think they’re using it? I would say no, because they’re lazy anyway. They’re only going to spend five or 1020 seconds on your resume anyway, so I don’t know if they’re going to use another tool or whatnot. They’re looking for qualified applicants at the end of the day, but in that summary cover letter, we got to make sure that that doesn’t sound robotic. Yes.

Advice on AI and job seeking

Jordan Wilson [00:25:28]:

Yeah, that’s a great point. In the end. Yeah. Are you qualified? Right? And hey, preemie and everyone else listening, I’m just going to put this out here. Hot take. Well, it’s not a hot take. It’s facts. There is no such thing as AI content detectors, so if anyone tells you that they’re just trying to sell you something, they don’t exist, they don’t work. I busted them all. All right, sorry, had to get a small rant out there. There’s a reason why OpenAI dropped theirs because yeah, it’s not really a thing. All right, so David, we’ve been literally all over the place. We’ve taken some great questions. We’ve taken even off the AI Hat for a brief moment. But let’s put it back on. And let’s just say, all right, if a job seeker is listening right here, because we’ve given so many great tips, so many pieces of good advice, if a job seeker or someone looking to get the next step in their career, you have their attention. What is the one thing related to AI that you want them to be doing? Whether it’s, hey, use Chat GBT for this, use job scan, but what is that one biggest AI related takeaway that you think will have the most impact for someone right now trying to change careers or get that next job?

David Alto [00:26:40]:

Yeah, I think it’s using like we initially had said, it’s using that software to make sure that your resume aligns with those jobs, those various job titles that you’re applying for, because that is where generally the big miss is. I see plenty of resumes and sometimes somebody doesn’t even I don’t even charge them because their resume is good. I just compare it to a few of the jobs that they’re going to be applying for and yeah, sure, you throw in a couple of skills that they forgot to put in there and then now all of a sudden they’re getting calls. So it really can be that simple. So I would say it would be using those services to compare your resume to the job before applying. It only takes a few seconds, takes some nuance in learning how to navigate it and what’s really important, but that’s going to save you time in the long run.

Jordan Wilson [00:27:34]:

Yeah, such good advice. So David, I can’t thank you enough for joining us. I think this is a topic that is on so many people’s mind and also like, hey, how can we use AI? Because it’s been traditionally such a manual, painstaking process. So, thank you so much for coming on the show and sharing your insights and some of your best tips for how we can get more and land that new career with AI. We really appreciate it.

David Alto [00:28:01]:

Hey, appreciate you having me, I really do. And hopefully some job seekers got some good best practices from today’s show.

Jordan Wilson [00:28:09]:

Oh, absolutely. And there was a lot. So don’t worry if you couldn’t take notes fast enough, we’ve got you. Just go to your Everyday.com. It’s in the show notes. Whether you’re listening live here or on your podcast, check those show notes, go to the website. David already said he’s going to give us some resources, so stick around for those, go check those out. And we break down. Every single day, we break down not just what’s happening in the world of AI, but we go in depth on the conversation, on the expert, and normally they share some cool resources that they might not share anyway, so make sure you check that out. Thank you for joining us and we hope to see you for another day of Everyday AI. Thanks y’all.

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