Carnegie Mellon University

Artificial Intelligence Guidance for Students

Artificial Intelligence (AI) tools can be powerful resources in your job or internship search. In fact, there are a number of career resources utilizing AI that Carnegie Mellon recommends and encourages students to use. In addition to CMU provided resources, CMU student job seekers may consider using other AI tools and resources available in the public domain (such as ChatGPT).

Platforms and resources available from CMU include the following:

  • Big Interview: AI feedback based upon video interview response submissions. When students save a video of their interview practice responses, Big Interview’s AI will process the recording and provide immediate feedback and coaching. Feedback includes eye contact, use of "ums" and other filler words, vocabulary, tone, rate of speech, and more.

  • Vmock: Provides instant personalized resume feedback via an online platform that uses sophisticated algorithms and data science along with machine learning and artificial intelligence to assist students in optimizing their resumes. Students receive an aggregate resume score to assess the strength of their resume, as well as detailed feedback on resume content and presentation.

  • Handshake:  Students receive job recommendations tailored to their profiles, interests and past search history. Recommendations get better the more the student engages with the platform. It is important for all students to have a complete Handshake profile to ensure strong recommendations from Handshake.

  • CMU Guidance: Tools and direction provided by the university. NoteGoogle Gemini and Microsoft Copilot are available with a CMU Andrew ID and password. Note: Copilot is Microsoft’s generative AI platform. It uses multiple data models, including GPT-4 and DALL-E3, to generate written and visual content based on a prompt. Unlike open commercial tools, like Chat GPT, Copilot provides additional data protection when you access it using your Andrew userID. Microsoft will not retain your prompts or responses to train its AI models.

Generative AI Tools

When considering the utilization of these tools we strongly encourage you to consider the following:

Resumes need to accurately reflect past experience, skill set, contributions to projects, etc. and be tailored to the job/industry for which the resume will be used.  When using generative AI tools, it is important to ensure that content and information remains accurate and can be verified and expanded upon in the interview process.

Additionally, cover letters are less frequently needed in the job search process; however, for some applications applicants may be required to to submit a cover letter or they may choose to do so for positions of particular interest.  When using an AI tool to assist in developing and writing a cover letter it is important to remember that suggested language provided by AI tools draws upon source material, including publicly available content on the Internet. This carries a risk of plagiarism.

Generative AI platforms can be used for idea generation of these documents, helping to suggest keywords or relevant skills that are found in job descriptions. Examples of prompt topics that may assist with this include: 

  • Asking about how to highlight a specific skill on a resume based on prior experiences 
  • Asking what skills or qualifications to highlight on a cover letter for a specific position
  • Asking to revise specific bullet points for clarity and/or to tailor to specific job postings 

Note: After prompting your generative AI platform to create or edit content on a resume or cover letter, it is critical for student job seekers to tailor this information and make edits to ensure that the final product reflects their unique ‘voice’ and shares details and experiences specific to them.  

When using AI resources to develop application materials it is still important to reference guidelines provided by Carnegie Mellon and/or any specific guidelines provided by an individual company.  We recommend following up with a CPDC Career Consultant to have a final resume and/or cover letter review before submitting documents as part of an application.

Generative AI tools, such as ChatGPT or Copilot, can be helpful in discovering and assessing personal skill sets, as well as uncovering job/internship profiles that may align with specific backgrounds/experiences and preparing for/navigating an interview process.

Job/Internship Search: Provide information about your degree program, previous experience, or skill sets and ask the generative AI platform to identify target industries, companies or types of job positions that you are qualified for or align well with your background. 

Career Exploration: Utilize generative AI platform to assess your own skill sets for the roles you’re pursuing. This is helpful in identifying gaps in your skills and the system may even offer tips on how to develop those skills. 

Interview Preparation: Share in an AI prompt a job/internship description from an online posting and ask for sample interview questions. These questions can then be used for practice to prepare for an upcoming interview and AI can also provide sample responses to specific questions. Please remember that AI tools cannot and should not replace your own specific, unique answers in an interview setting.

Additionally, students may find it helpful to use generative AI tools as part of their research process to prepare for interviews and learn more about a company, position, location, etc. AI tools for this purpose should be used in combination with other resources, like the company’s website, Handshake, etc., to ensure up-to-date information is referenced.  

Remember, generative AI tools are just that, tools.  They do not, and should not, replace original thinking and writing.  With that in mind, to ensure ethical use and to avoid plagiarism, keep the below in mind:

  • AI tools should serve as a starting point or a tool to aid in revisions and editing and not in place of original words, thinking, information and writing.
  • Always modify and rephrase any text or suggestions gained from an AI tool to be written in original words, style and voice.
  • Use a variety of resources and gain professional guidance from CPDC career consultants, faculty advisors, etc. 
  • Review, revise and edit content to ensure nothing is plagiarized and everything presented accurately represents past/current experience(s), skills and overall abilities. 
  • Site original sources when and where appropriate.
  • If an employer asks for a writing sample, they are seeking a sample that is representative of an applicant's authentic writing ability.  It is imperative that samples be an original work.

Limitations of AI Tools

Generative AI tools, such as ChatGPT and Copilot, are only as good as the source material for which it is trained on. For example, as of summer 2023, ChatGPT’s source material only dates through September 2021, which means it will not draw on the most recent changes in the job market and can not provide responses based upon real time/up-to-date information.

A Final Word

While both generative AI tools and other career resources are valuable for overall career exploration and job/internship search, they should be used in conjunction with professional guidance from the Career Consultant team here at CMU.  We encourage all students to incorporate appointments with their CPDC Career Consultant into a comprehensive search to ensure that they get advice and guidance tailored to them as an individual.