Using ChatGPT to write a CV. Pros & Cons

There's no avoiding it; technology is on the move. Automation and AI are here to stay and are rapidly developing. In March 2023, ChatGPT was released to the general public, and its popularity is growing daily.

To begin, what exactly is ChatGPT? Well, let's ask ChatGPT itself:

screenshot explaining what chatgpt is

Since its launch in 2023, ChatGPT (and other similar tools) have been used in various ways to support (and sometimes automate entirely) previously manual processes requiring extensive human input.

Some of the most common include creative writing, software development and customer support. However, we have recently been asked by multiple clients about our opinion of ChatGPT and its impact on CV writing.

Three benefits to using ChatGPT to write your CV:

Idea generation. Suffering from Writer's block? AI can help give you a start when sourcing ideas and content to include in your CV. You could use ChatGPT to ask for skills required for a specific role and expand upon those points within your CV.

Proofreading. Although Microsoft Word, Google Docs, et al. have pretty good spelling and grammar check functionality, using a second option, such as ChatGPT is always a good backup for proofreading your CV.

Skills extraction and research. Let's say you're applying for a role as a Social Media Manager, but you're not 100% sure what skills recruiters will be looking for, AI can support you.

Downsides to using ChatGPT to write your CV:

Impersonal and unoriginal content. You're undoubtedly already aware that your CV should be used to promote 'you' as the product that a recruiter should be interested in. You're not cookie-cutter, and your CV shouldn't be treated as such. Therefore, if using ChatGPT to prepare your CV, you run the risk of using commonly used phrasing and generic content. This will not help in promoting you over other applicants.

tweet about how ChatGPT creates generic CVs

Lack of data integrity. While ChatGPT has its uses in providing pointers on what to expand on, it's not infallible and is prone to errors and inaccuracies. Solely relying on ChatGPT to create a CV could negatively impact your chances of progressing in the recruitment process.

Missing the 'human touch'. A well-written CV is not only there to list your qualifications, but to articulate your personality, professionalism and enthusiasm. These qualities are impossible to capture solely through automation.

Incorrect keyword optimisation. With the majority of recruiters relying on Application Tracking Systems (ATS) to filter out an initial round of candidates, tailoring your CV is more important than ever. We often advise researching your target roles, extracting the most relevant skills and then preparing content showcasing how your experiences and achievements match these. ChatGPT simply cannot do this as it has no idea of you or your background.

tweet about how using ChatGPT will be noticeable

Legal and / or ethical concerns. This is a complex one. It goes without saying that you should never lie on a CV. But what if you've included inaccurate information without realising it? Unless you go through the content ChatGPT creates with a fine-tooth comb, you risk exactly that happening. These factual inaccuracies could be discovered later, resulting in personal embarrassment (at best) and legal complications (at worst).

Will recruiters ask if my CV was AI-generated?

At the moment, unlikely. However, we have seen instances of candidates being asked to disclose if their CV was created by an AI tool.

Recruiters are quickly catching on to the use of AI-generated CVs. Some sectors (such as IT) may well see this as a positive. However, others will be able to sense the lack of personalisation, quality and relevance to the company you're applying to. It's also becoming more commonplace for tools, such as AI content detectors, to be used.

So - back to the original question: What do we think? There's no point hiding from it: CV writing is our bread-and-butter business; we'll always champion a more personal approach. That's not to say ChatGPT doesn't have a role to play.

If you're struggling with your CV's content and need some inspiration, it can be a helpful tool, but the cons we've mentioned can often mean the difference between your CV failing at the first hurdle and your phone ringing.

There is simply nothing better than a tailored CV aligned with your target audience.

With 20+ years of experience writing CVs, it still puts a smile on my face when I hear a client has secured an interview Lee Tonge - Founder and Director


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