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This guide features samples and guides for resumes, cover letters, interviews, and more. Questions? Schedule a meeting with PGP through Handshake.

Navigating AI in the Job Search Process

Credit to the Yale Office of Career Strategy and their article on Navigating AI in the Career Search Process (  for much of the material in this article. Light edits have been applied to make the material relevant for Olin College students.

With the increased attention and usage of Artificial Intelligence (AI) Tools such as ChatGPT and Google BARD, it’s important to consider how these tools can help in the job search process and where to proceed with caution.

Should you use AI in crafting your application materials?

For employment application materials such as resumes and cover letters, students are permitted to use AI tools to enhance their original work. However students should not apply AI tools when crafting graduate school and fellowship applications.

Recommendations on using AI

There are many ways that AI can help in the job search process. PGP encourages students to think of AI as a tool to enhance, not replace one’s work. AI can be used to brainstorm, get inspiration, improve grammar or word choice, research, and practice, but you should still write the initial content and can then use AI to improve when needed. It is important to ask targeted questions to optimize your materials. Give details about the opportunity, allude to specific sources if needed, and submit follow up comments and questions to get a more specific response. Try experimenting a few times by asking your question in a few different ways to see if you get a better answer. Remember that if you rely too heavily on AI tools or ask vague questions, you will get generic answers that won't help you stand out as an applicant.

Important Considerations

  • Maintain data privacy by never including your name or any other personal identifying information when submitting documents for review.
  • Do not blindly accept the suggestions from any AI Tools but instead decide which edits are appropriate. Evaluate the suggestions critically and give feedback to improve the suggestions.
  • Remember that AI does not always pull from authoritative sources; you are responsible for ensuring all information is truthful and accurate.
  • Always start with your own original work because the resume and cover letter will better represent your interests and background, and you will be much more prepared to answer questions based on those materials.
  • Employers may scan application materials to verify whether an AI tool was used, which may result in your application being denied. Instead of directly copying suggestions from an AI tool, use AI responses as inspiration and write in your own voice.
  • The timeliness of the data sources differs among various AI tools. For example, ChatGPT’s source ends with data from 2021, whereas Google Bard provides up to date information. This can be especially relevant when deciding which tool to conduct research on topics such as employers, careers, and cost of living.  

How to use AI in Different Contexts (with examples)

Career Exploration – Ask for examples of what various job functions involve or what industries align with your interests.

  • What careers blend interest in policy and interest in technology?
  • What are some entry-level positions in the pharmaceutical industry?
  • What are some jobs that would require skills in the following areas; MATLAB, Fusion360, Laser Cutter, Lathe, Mill, Teamwork, and Collaboration?

Target Lists – Create a target list of employers based on anything from sector, industry, function, location and more.

  • Create a list of the top 50 nonprofit consulting employers in the northeast that typically hire recent graduates.
  • What are the best areas in the United States for engineers early in their careers?

Interview Preparation – Request example questions and discuss answers.

  • What behavioral interview questions should I expect to be asked for an entry level mechanical engineering position?
  • Write a coding interview question of medium difficulty that would take about 30 minutes to complete.
  • Here is my normal answer to the question "What is your greatest weakness". Could you critique my answer?

Informational Interviews – Get suggestions on people to network with, questions to ask, or how to craft an email request.

  • Suggest some questions for an informational interview with a Product Marketing Manager.
  • How should I open a cold email to a hiring manager who I didn't get a chance to meet when they visited my school last week?

Negotiating an Offer – Compile helpful examples of cost-of-living data in trying to negotiate your salary.

  • What is the cost of living in Peoria, IL for a recent graduate living on their own?
  • Provide an example budget for a recent graduate living in Somerville, MA with a salary of $80,000.
  • How does $75,000 compare to common salaries for entry level design engineers in Seattle, WA?
  • How do stock options work?

Resumes and Cover Letters – Generate an original draft and then request specific advice on how to improve based on the opportunity.

  • Improve the following resume descriptions by highlighting the transferable skills of CADing and collaboration.
  • Make suggestions so that the uploaded resume reflects my attention to detail and ability to work collaboratively with other team members since these are top strengths to showcase to potential employers.
  • Review my cover letter and add a few sentences explaining that I am a strong problem solver.
  • What changes would you make to my cover letter to better highlight my skill as a team leader?
  • How would I break up this paragraph into 2-3 bullet points? (Or, combine these bullet points into a cohesive paragraph about the project.)


Students are welcome to contact PGP with any questions about using AI tools for their job search.