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March 8, 2024

AI-Powered Resume Review: How to Use ChatGPT to Improve ATS Compatibility


In a highly competitive job market where every applicant is qualified and somehow has at least five years of experience, more companies turn to Applicant Tracking Systems (ATS) to expedite the hiring process. Every applicant’s resume gets “scanned” into this software, and based on the keywords it finds and other technical jargon, the ATS selects the best candidates for the role to then be seen by a real person.

We have left the era of creating 30 copies of a generic resume, sending them out everywhere, and hoping one sticks and leads to an interview.

Tailor Your Resume by Leveraging AI

Given the rise in hyper-personalization within digital marketing methods, marketing yourself should receive the same attention. Artificial intelligence chatbots like ChatGPT are the best tool for tailoring a resume for a specific job posting as a student.

Ask it for recommendations and try to provide as many details as possible. Make it believe in a personality and give it confidence with information. Become the AI’s own motivational speaker. But first, you should have drafted a resume in Microsoft Word or Google Docs.

You will constantly be editing your resume, so keeping it as a document is best practice, especially when tailoring resumes for a specific job listing or position. However, export the document into a PDF and submit the PDF version of the resume with the job application when the time comes. It is also wise to save the resume you are tailoring as a copy of this draft; rename the document to something you will remember, and keep this version open when communicating with ChatGPT.

Here are your four steps to success:

  1. Once you have a draft of your resume, find a link to the job description on the organization’s website and a link to where it is hiring for that specific role.
  2. Open ChatGPT and start a conversation. Prompt by example, giving it a perspective with details about what it is trying to achieve. Tell it to ask questions if unsure and provide it with any links for necessary information.
  3. Then, after ChatGPT identifies keywords and executes the first task, ask it follow-up questions. This can include feeding it your drafted resume by copying and pasting the document into the message and asking it; “Based on the prior information given about the position and the below draft of my current resume, how would you reword or edit it to reflect what organization X is asking of an applicant?”
  4. Play around with different questions and iterations. One example of an iterative prompt to test if the AI’s thinking is aligned with yours is to say: “Provide a better example of a prompt or question I asked and allow me to pick whether I want to use the recommended question.”

An example of a starting prompt:

Act as a career adviser, who can assist in crafting a compelling resume for job applications. Share insights on how to structure the resume, highlighting relevant skills and experiences for the role. Offer advice on how to tailor the resume to the specific job description, company culture, and industry standards. Provide tips on maintaining a professional tone and proofreading for errors. You will be provided with a block of text below in quotes, and your task is to extract a list of keywords from it. If you are unsure of what to do, please ask before generating a response:

“Insert entry-level job listing description text in full.”

Here is a link to the organization’s website and the job description for context: <insert link>

Now, you have a tool to tailor each resume for the specific job or role you are seeking. Plus, once you get the hang of using ChatGPT effectively, it becomes second nature, kind of like using a calculator when you need to do a math problem, but with prompts and responses.

Good luck with the job search and remember, AI can be a helpful tool for resume review!

—Rebecca Weinstein

Make sure your resume follows the latest best practices with this free guide. Click the image below to download for free today.

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About Rebecca

Rebecca-Weinstein-headshotRebecca Weinstein studies public relations and computer science at the University of Florida College of Journalism and Communications. Weinstein is the Social Media Manager for the Internal Communication Research Hub (ICRH), where she shares insights into internal communication’s role in shaping organizations for a wider audience. Her focus areas include understanding software development, content management systems, and different artificial intelligence applications for public relations and communication. She uses this ATS resume strategy to help her peers get internships in the tech industry. Weinstein wants to pursue a career in public service and will be helping nonprofit organizations in Ghana this summer with developing software and other technological resources for local communities. She graduates from UF in December. Connect with Rebecca on LinkedIn. 

Tag(s): Future of Work

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