As artificial intelligence technology rapidly evolves to transform industries like health care and virtually assist people’s lives, the hope is matched by concern about the displacement of human roles. At the same time, deployed AI platforms in today’s business world augment processes at a more rapid pace than they replace them. While we’ve yet to determine the exact impact of AI, a recent report from the World Economic Forum estimates automation will replace at least 5 million jobs by 2022. One thing is clear today: AI is driving fundamental changes in how people conduct their jobs and how companies think about staffing for the future.
In addition to taking on repetitive tasks, we’ve developed AI-powered technologies for positions that involve digital engagement with people, such as recruiting and human resources. In fact, millions of recruiters currently use AI and machine learning firms such as Ideal to scan thousands of resumes and LinkedIn pages in order to select relevant candidates with precision. So, if you’re not getting a call back, it could be because AI weeded you out of the potential hiring pool. And while one platform may deny your shot at a dream position, another might spare you from a career misstep.
It’s also important to note that AI’s utility in the HR realm reaches far beyond merely selecting candidates. AI-driven platforms such as Plum match candidates to companies based on pre-employment screening questions aimed at determining behavioral fit. They actually erase the need for a resume completely by taking names, education, and experience out of the initial recruitment phase. They give as much focus to why you are successful as they give to what you have accomplished. Meanwhile, Knockri uses video to qualify potential employees. The technology measures a job applicant’s verbal and nonverbal communication skills through video responses. Unlike traditional video interview platforms, the AI tool ensures name, gender, race, and even accents are never a factor when short-listing desirable candidates.
In the future, job seekers must work with AI systems to both find the right positions and get a foot in the door with potential employers. This dual reality presents new challenges for people looking for a chance to change careers, go for a more challenging job, or simply to secure a steady paycheck. In order to keep pace, here are a few tips for my fellow humans on how to craft an attractive summary of professional experience for a formidable reader without a heartbeat.
Tap into your creativity
If you want to get your foot in the door at a new company that uses AI technology for HR, unfortunately, you need to leave your resume design skills at home. It’s not unusual for recruiters to use filtering software that seeks out specific words that match the terms in the actual job posting. Resumes that come across as too generic or out-of-bounds will be passed over by the bots.
Yes, creativity can be advantageous, but it needs to be considered. If you are a software engineer, for example, you can express creativity during a coding test to show a unique and simple way to solve a complex problem. Or, if you are a graphic designer, layout, color palette, and font selections are important indicators of your style and aptitude when presenting your portfolio. Ultimately, job seekers should aim to show a unique perspective of their own value proposition in order to stand out.
Learn to chat with the chatbots
Chatbots are the first line of defense for most companies with high volume hiring practices. Employers commonly use services like Karen.ai to sort through their applicants. The days of firing off identical resumes to multiple job openings are officially over. During a chatbot-led interview process and in traditional cover letters, today’s applicants must prioritize relevance to the particular job they’re applying for over experiences that show off their personalities or general career trajectories. Chatbots assess job seekers throughout their entire online discussion. Accordingly, they need to communicate with chatbots in a professional and conversational manner for a higher chance of advancing beyond each step of the recruitment process.
Engage with internship programs
Corporate internships are now a college staple. But imagine sourcing your own projects that allow you to test-drive potential employers — rather than the other way around. Circumventing traditional employment tactics is the way of the future, and startups like Riipen help students avoid the painful job search. The company helps students gain optimal experience through an internship matchmaking process. AI is working behind the scenes to make this new curated talent pipeline dynamic a reality.
Embrace a shared career future
I believe the shift toward AI-assisted recruiting creates a job search environment that is here to stay. Companies will increasingly look to AI-powered software to sort through applications. This means job applicants need to write about their backgrounds with blunt clarity, using common language to reveal relevant job experience. Applicants should also prepare to enter the recruitment process acknowledging that AI seeks to understand them as people, rather than as a list of accomplishments. Ultimately, understanding how to cater resumes and applications for these systems will become imperative for job seekers already dealing with crowded markets and evolving employment requirements.
Krista Jones is the managing director of Work & Learning at MaRS Discovery District.