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Using Reflective Writing and ChatGPT to Create a Solid Resumeby@taboca
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9,166 reads

Using Reflective Writing and ChatGPT to Create a Solid Resume

by Marcio S GalliJanuary 25th, 2023
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Reflective writing about your work history is not normally considered a step towards making a résumé. On the other hand, it may actually become a great way to advance the process if you engage in it and then use tools like ChatGPT to atowards a draft.
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Being laid off from a company can be a difficult and uncertain time. It can be hard to know where to start when it comes to crafting a résumé, especially when you're in a reflective state. While jumping to the résumé can be hard, engaging in a reflective writing about the past work experiences can be easier - if not necessary. In this article, we'll explore how to use a combination of reflective writing and an AI tool like ChatGPT to advance the process of crafting a résumé.

Reflective writing - a public letter of the work journey

Reflective writing, especially reflecting on the work journey like a narrative, is a process that is not difficult to do. We can think of what we did in chronological order, we are likely to recollect memories of what we did with our friends, and so on. To a certain degree, this process involves a deductive thinking that many can do in autopilot mode. On the other hand, if you were to switch to the outcome - the résumé - things can become harder as a conscious process of polishing sets in. Now, if you were to move across these modes, then the process may drive you nuts to a point of giving up.



That is why a reflective writing session is a good initial goal. Reflecting on your past work experiences can help you identify your strengths and accomplishments: What you loved, challenges, how your past experiences have changed you, and more.


This session can take forms such as journaling or writing a letter to yourself. The key is to be honest and open about your experiences. Take the time to think about what you've learned from your past projects and how that can be applied to your next job.


During this exercise - and considering the desired outcome where you can feed your letter to an AI system - it's important to consider what makes sense in the next phase.


The key with this exercise is really about having an opportunity recollect and reflect. The goal is not about writing to come up with specific instructions to the AI system. An approach to consider is to write a public letter about your journey - by the way a letter can a potential future employeer may enjoy to read it too.

Organizing Reflective Writing into a Résumé

Once you've written your work journey, the next step is to use an AI tool, like ChatGPT, to read your reflections and come up as résumé. ChatGPT can take your narrative and help you to draft a résumé.


It's important to remember that an AI tool like ChatGPT can only do so much and will likely guess a lot. It's up to you to review the output, to iterate with the tool, and to make sure that it accurately reflects your experiences and aligns with the job you're applying for.


Here is an example of what I have typed to ChatGPT:


I will paste a letter from a friend, that he wrote after leaving his employer. Then, after you read it, I would like you to come up with a résumé:


“Like many others here, I was part of the #Google #Layoffs on Friday. My time on the clock was 19 years and change. I want to share a bit about my journey to and through Google, as it was a bit unconventional, and it started at not-too-dissimilar a moment in history. This isn't a resume, but instead more of a reflection and meditation.”

[Copy and pasted the whole letter]


Eventually, after a few interactions with ChatGPT, I was able to get the following result which brought a lot of incorrect assumptions. Therefore, a takeaway for us is not to celebrate the joy of what these AI tools can do - although that is amazing. In fact, I have checked with the professional and he agreed that a lot in the following is incorrect. On the other hand, it is a starting point that helps us guide the tool, to edit, or to come up with a new reflection that leads to action steps.


Summary:
Experienced software engineer and machine learning professional with 19 years of tenure at Google, including roles in software development, energy engineering, and data processing. Skilled in troubleshooting, problem-solving, and project management.

Work Experience:

Linux Helpdesk Technician, Google (2003-2009)
Software Engineer, Google (2009-2015)
Worked on GUTS (Google Unified Ticket System)
Contributed to the communication software behind a research demonstration of demand dispatch for the electric grid
Developed PowerMeter at Google.org
Engineer, Google X (2015-2019)
Worked on Indoor Maps and Localization, and Google Maps
Software Engineer, Google (2019-2023)
Worked on experimental mobile Search apps in San Francisco
Skills:

Software development and engineering
Energy engineering
Machine learning
Project management
Problem-solving
Troubleshooting
Data processing
Education:
Not specified in the letter

Certifications:
Not specified in the letter


Conclusion

After engaging in the draft interaction to organize the reflective writing into a résumé, it's important to review the document and make sure that it aligns with interests and goals. This means looking at the skills and accomplishments highlighted in the résumé and making sure that they are relevant to the job you're applying for.


It also means making sure that the résumé reflects your unique voice and tells a compelling story about your experiences, such as to highlight qualifications and outcomes.



The process of crafting a résumé can be challenging, as one has to deal with many aspects, including reflection on past work experiences and identifying how to present them in an effective way. This process some design challenges similar to a product creation process, with a divergence-convergence model in place. Consider, for example, the effort of looking at one’s experiences and qualifications from a broader perspective - which is likely to happen easily if you engage in the reflective writing part. And then, when interacting with ab AI-based tool like ChatGPT, you approach the complex process of moving to an inductive format - a structured approach oriented to the audience. In essence, you are using the tool to navigate the complexity of the process.