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LinkedIn’s AI Career Coaches Will See You Now

Jun 13, 2024 9:00 AM

LinkedIn’s AI Career Coaches Will See You Now

LinkedIn’s new generative AI features include chatbots based on popular career coaches and tools to rewrite résumés and cover letters.

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Photograph: Hans Neleman/Getty Images

Many burned-out workers have likely dreamed of hiring a career coach or résumé writer. Now, LinkedIn is introducing chats with generative AI career experts based on real people. Other new AI tools within the platform will help people write résumés and cover letters or evaluate their qualifications for jobs posted.

LinkedIn has ramped up its generative AI tools in the past year and is moving to incorporate the tech into even more of its offerings. On Thursday, the career site announced new features like a pilot for AI-powered expert advice, an interactive chat to break down information in LinkedIn courses, and more AI features that can be used to search for and apply for jobs for its premium users in English. The changes showcase a massive push by LinkedIn to capitalize on generative AI. (LinkedIn is owned by Microsoft, which has invested heavily in OpenAI, which in turn is powering the platform’s AI offerings.) And as LinkedIn continues its drive to become more than just a job site, people may spend their time there socializing or learning new skills through video courses.

The idea behind some of these AI tools is both for people to grow their skills and to apply to more jobs that closely fit their experience, rather than blasting out résumés en masse. “We expect that you will find the most relevant job faster” using AI, says Gyanda Sachdeva, vice president of product at LinkedIn.

LinkedIn’s AI chatbots will allow premium subscribers to ask career questions like, “How can I negotiate my salary?” The chatbots are trained on the coursework of real-life coaches, who are paid by LinkedIn to repackage their content. Among them are AI versions of Anil Gupta of the University of Maryland, psychologist and author Gemma Leigh Roberts, and career coach Lisa Gates.

Last fall, LinkedIn added AI tools for recruiters to use conversational language to search for job candidates. And earlier this year, the company began rolling out generative AI tools that allow job seekers to open a chat window on job descriptions to ask if they might be a good fit for an open position. In turn, they receive AI-generated feedback about ways their skills and experience align well, or if there are other skills they should add to their profiles to stand out.

LinkedIn is now enhancing some of these features. Premium users can begin their job search with a conversational inquiry, like “Find me an engineering job in Texas that pays at least $110,000.” They can then use generative AI to write cover letters and résumés, tailoring them to specific jobs, in addition to using it for messaging hiring managers or searching for work. WIRED tested the cover-letter-writing feature, and found that the tool was able to synthesize a reporter’s experience listed on LinkedIn and a job posting in a coherent way, but some more editing may be needed to really make the letter stand out with direct examples of past work.

The résumé and cover letter writing tools were highly requested by people who had been using other LinkedIn AI products, says Sachdeva. “Whenever you apply to a job, it's going to be a different résumé and a different cover letter. And the AI can help you do that.”

AI tools are becoming more common in both the job hunt and on the hiring side. There are AI interviewers, as well as AI tools to sift through job applicants, and AI tools to help people bulk-apply for jobs. But there are signs that some of the tech can be biased, and little is known about what drives algorithms to make choices about who is hired.

It’s still early to tell what impact LinkedIn’s new AI-driven features will have on the workforce at large. Rohan Rajiv, LinkedIn’s director of product management, said during an announcement of the new tools that AI can help recruiters to find “hidden gems,” or candidates that may not communicate in ways that have traditionally caught recruiters’ attention. But further building generative AI into job platforms like LinkedIn raises questions: Will AI help historically underrepresented job candidates enhance their profiles and applications to land jobs, or will it repeat past biases in hiring?

Amanda Hoover is a general assignment staff writer at WIRED. She previously wrote tech features for Morning Brew and covered New Jersey state government for The Star-Ledger. She was born in Philadelphia, lives in New York, and is a graduate of Northeastern University.
Staff Writer

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