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Asper Career Development Centre harnesses the power of AI

Jobscan to give students valuable feedback, provide tools for success

July 28, 2023 — 

The Asper School of Business Career Development Centre (CDC) is embracing technological advancement by integrating AI into career development and education.

Beginning in Fall 2023, Asper students enrolled in CDC courses will learn to use and have access to Jobscan, combining its AI-driven capacities with tailored instruction from CDC instructors.

Jobscan assesses resumes much like AI-based recruitment and screening software does. Using Jobscan, students will be able to upload their resume to receive feedback on how well it appeals to their chosen job posting.

Robert Biscontri, associate dean of undergraduate and international programs at Asper, comments on the importance of this development.

“Business schools should embrace AI as a tool that can streamline processes. Instead of trying to keep AI out of postsecondary institutions, we should work to integrate it into our educational toolkit to enhance, rather than replace, what we do,” he says.

“I am thrilled that the CDC is investing in AI to improve the match between students and employers, allowing students to see potential where they didn’t before and ensuring that they have exposure to and literacy in this technology.”

For Farwa Zaidi, graduate programs career consultant at the Asper CDC and an advocate of introducing Jobscan, the software can be a productive part of career development without having the last word on resume quality.

Farwa Zaidi, graduate programs career consultant at Asper

“Jobscan will give students an opportunity to see how well they’ve responded to the job posting and then come to a career consultant for more meaningful analysis that builds off this foundation. It is important that students don’t get fixated on the score that Jobscan generates; Jobscan is a tool to help students target their resumes vis-à-vis a specific job posting but definitely not the final review,” she says.

By making tools like Jobscan accessible to students, the Asper CDC is meeting industry demand while equipping themselves with resources to more effectively support students’ goals. With Jobscan and similar platforms becoming a fixture in higher education, career consultants can spend less time getting to “just ok” resumes, and instead focus on guiding the development of excellent resumes that do more than just pass the first round of screening.

Zaidi says she will also work with students to flag pieces of information which may be a cause for unconscious bias in recruitment, such as including personal information or a headshot on a resume. Jobscan has reported on this topic, and researchers have observed how visual information on resumes can lead to biased assessments of candidates.

Organizations large and small likely use applicant tracking software (ATS) in some capacity, which may include AI-based resume screening. Similarly, in the early stages of recruitment, where a job posting elicits hundreds of resumes, a recruiter may spend less time on each document to narrow down the pile.

However, even if an AI software or an overwhelmed recruiter is your resume’s first audience, they won’t necessarily be your last. Internet advice to simply “write for the robot” is not incorrect, but it is missing something crucial if it does not also advise candidates to write to be read.

In other words, Jobscan might help students assess how well they’ve “written for the robot” to allow them to focus on writing, interviewing and networking for the next rounds of their job application.

Importantly, Jobscan’s introduction into the CDC is no replacement for learning how to write resumes. As Zaidi points out, learning to write a strong resume has significance beyond landing a job.

“Learning to write resumes provides students with valuable benefits beyond job seeking. It enhances communication skills, fosters self-reflection and self-awareness, helps establish a professional brand, develops transferable skills, facilitates goal setting and motivation, and prepares students for future interviews and career opportunities,” she says.

While Jobscan and similar technologies can provide a useful look into how the first-round recruiter or the screening AI sees us, a well written resume can be a way of understanding how we see ourselves. In moments of transition, from student to professional, this reflection is crucial.

“Career development is for life,” says Zaidi. “Everyone at one point in their lives or another is looking to advance their career or is undergoing some sort of career change. People might be going into a new industry, or they’re taking on a different role, or now with the gig economy, they’re going into different side hustles. Maybe they’re preparing for retirement and thinking of what the next big thing is for them.”

Regardless of their next step in a rapidly changing job market and organizational landscape, students can rely on the Asper CDC to keep pace and provide tools for success.

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