For more than a decade, job-seekers have been frustrated by having to craft resumés and cover letters that will pass an initial screening by a computer program. Some submit scores of attempts, varying the format and content to suit the company offering a position, and never receive a response—not even a polite rejection.

Now those job-seekers think they might have a new tool: AI, which can possibly tailor a resumé and cover letter even more deftly to pass that initial screening and get that personal pitch in front of a human.

However, that hope might be dashed by AI itself: recruiters and hiring managers are deploying AIs of their own to sift through applications in even greater detail and to use the algorithms’ predictive ability to foretell which applicants would do best in performing the job on offer.

“I’ve been doing this a long time and this is probably the most pivotal thing I’ve seen that will disrupt recruitment,” Shannon Moorman, in charge of recruiting creative talent for global ad agency WPP.

AI is aiding recruiters in tailoring job descriptions for complex positions and direct-messaging candidates, executives told The Wall Street Journal. That leaves humans more time to review and speak with qualified applicants.

AI also is widening talent searches by flagging words humans might use that could dissuade women from applying, such as “determined,” “driven,” and “objective,” a WPP spokesperson explained to the WSJ.

In addition, AI is helping recruiters communicate with candidates in foreign countries in their native languages.

“Sometimes my Spanish is stronger than their English so I believe AI gives comfort and credibility and builds rapport both ways,” Sasha Martens, who owns a private recruiting service for creative talent, said to the WSJ.

She uses Bard and translating AI DeepL to more deftly use foreign slang to build rapport, she noted.

AIs also write code known as “Boolean strings” that recruiters can use to search for talent.

For example, recruiters can spend hours writing and refining lengthy strings of code that would let them search the San Francisco area for software developers skilled in using the JavaScript language. Now AIs can do that in minutes, even suggesting better prompts than humans had thought of.

AIs also are searching for candidates among social media subgroups, online professional forums, and even among alumni listings of historically Black colleges.

“AI is actually going to open up our aperture for diverse talent pools that we otherwise wouldn’t even have been aware of,” Moorman said.

However, recruiters are still painfully aware that AIs can throw wildly inaccurate information into a resumé or background check.

When one recruiter told his AI to summarize his own background, the bot told him that he graduated from Cornell University’s School of Industrial and Labor Relations. In reality, he’s an alum of the University of Virginia. 

Using AI “hasn’t changed my workflow of applicants,” Zach Canfield, director of talent at the Goodby Silverstein & Partners ad agency, “but it’s changed my ability to home in on the types of people I’d like to go after proactivity.” 

TRENDPOST: AI is eliminating the value of a well-written resumé and instead will focus job applicants on guessing which prompts or key words to include in their applications to snag a bot’s attention.

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