By Gwen van der Zwan
According to my — not super scientific — calculations, LinkedIn users have a median average of 630 connections. But I only have 106.
Unsurprisingly, I never cared much for maintaining LinkedIn profiles and resumes. I got my first freelance writing job when I was still in school, so I never really had to.
So when I heard of a new AI-tool, developed by top recruiters to boost LinkedIn profiles and resumes, I was curious how it would improve my severely neglected CV.
Startup Resume Worded is an AI-powered platform that provides ‘tailored feedback’ on your resume and LinkedIn profile. By offering free suggestions on how to improve your resume, it promises to increase your chances of getting hired.
According to robots, I should be unemployed
Curious to get my evaluation, I uploaded my resume to the online AI-tool — and my results were terrible.
Out of 100 achievable points, I only got 26. “There’s a lot of room for improvement on your resume,” bold letters scream from the top of my score sheet.
The AI scorns me for not including numbers and metrics in my resume; no quantifiable examples of my achievements. According to the tool, using statistics in resumes is essential to land interviews at top companies. For example, Resume Worded suggested I add something like the following:
“Developed and executed customer referral program, leading to a 50 percent increase in referral business and $2MM of incremental revenue.”
I have to admit: I’m impressed with the advice. I’d never thought to quantify my achievements but can imagine it would add credibility to my resume. As a freelance writer, providing some statistics on article views and Facebook comments and likes might help convince editors.
The other suggestions are considerably less useful. As can be expected with AI, Resume Worded flags my “ineffective buzzwords” (such as “team player” and “results-driven”) and thinks my resume is too long for my “little experience.”
Obama, your profile needs work
In addition to resumes, Resume Worded also reviews complete Linkedin profiles. I don’t need an AI to tell me my profile is pretty much worthless, so I test a more impressive one instead: Barack Obama’s LinkedIn page.
Resume Worded awards him 61 out of 100 points. “Decent start, but there’s still room for improvement!” it says at the top of his score sheet. Obama’s headline – Former President of the United States of America – is the only part of his profile worthy of a compliment. It contains recognizable elements the robot knows from top headlines; it has the right length and contains a minimal amount of buzzwords.
The rest of Obama’s profile needs work. His summary is too short, while other parts are too long. And the former president should do something about his current job listing, as no current jobs are mentioned on his LinkedIn profile. “Even if you are not currently employed, consider adding a job title which describes what you are looking for. Why? Because most recruiters use the current title box to search for candidates.”
AI in recruitment
In some cases, robots are smarter than humans. When we harness AI to detect skin cancer, diagnoses are delivered faster and with more accuracy than human doctors. But when it comes to the job market, I doubt these algorithmically-selected pointers really improve my chances.
Currently, the tool mainly looks at the number of words per section and the number of buzzwords used. Surely there’s more to a good resume or LinkedIn profile than that?
According to Farid van Mastbergen, a recruiter in the field of AI, there definitely is. Human recruiters obviously understand Obama doesn’t need a current job listing to still be employable. “But an AI-powered platform bases its suggestions on a large number of resumes it has seen.” In other words, humans are better able to filter out and assess exceptions than AI-powered tools.
Robots apply for jobs with robots
Resume Worded is a relatively new tool to help job hunters get noticed by recruiters. However, in many HR departments, AI-tools are already being put to use. Some recruiters use an ‘Applicant Tracking System’ (ATS) that helps with candidate sourcing, the screening of resumes, and the organization of applicant information.
Similar to how Resume Worded reviews CVs and LinkedIn profiles, these HR technologies look for keywords and quantifiable knowledge that match the company’s hiring criteria. The right resumes are passed onto (human) HR employees and an interview is set up.
According to Van Mastbergen, using AI to both write and review resumes, won’t be effective as it doesn’t tell us anything. The robot writers will know exactly what to include to be picked up by robot reviewers, but that doesn’t mean the human candidate is any more suitable for the actual job.
“Human recruiters know what to ask when they evaluate profiles and resumes. Is the information truthful, is there anything missing? Does the candidate plan to move to another city in the near future, or will they stay put?
Still, there’s definitely a place for machine learning in the future of the job market, Van Mastbergen notes. Once AI is able to make predictions and decisions based on data and experience, rather than performing specifically programmed tasks, the possibilities are endless.
This will equip robots with better questioning skills and enable them to predict human behavior based on somebody’s personal data. Just like Google knows more about our shopping behavior than we do, future AI may be capable to provide an in-depth assessment if someone is right for the job.
Can we trust robots?
While AI is a new frontier for recruitment and HR, the process of landing a job hasn’t changed that much. Employers still look for employees who fit the company’s culture, have the required experience and skills, and are willing to stick around.
The bigger question is to what extent do we want AI to determine our worth at the job market? Looking at it from a more personal perspective, I will probably take Resume Worded’s suggestion to add some quantifiable achievements. But to be honest, I’m not expecting to get to +500 new LinkedIn invites any time soon.
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