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ChatGPT for Resumes: To Use or Not To Use?

Updated: Feb 28

By now, you’re probably aware of ChatGPT, which burst onto the AI scene in late November 2022. Recently, I began researching and writing about ChatGPT’s impact on the career coaching profession. Despite launching six months ago, many business sectors have been impacted, including recruitment, HR, and talent acquisitions.


And job seekers are using ChatGTP. A Lot.


In February, ResumeBuilder.com surveyed over 1,000 job seekers who used ChatGPT when applying. Their findings indicated that 46% of applicants turned to the chatbot to help them write their resumes and/or cover letters, and 78% got an interview using application materials written by ChatGPT. Of the 78% who received an interview, 59% were hired!


Pretty favorable results from your bot doppelganger, right?


Since ResumeBuilder’s study, many articles and videos have been produced on the benefits of using this AI chatbot to Write a Stand-Out Resume in Seconds or Use ChatGTP to Write a Job-Winning Resume in 3 Steps. Naturally, as a career coach, I was curious if these articles held any truth: Could this chatbot actually write me a resume?


So, I tested it out for myself. I asked ChatGTP to build me a resume using the following prompt:


Write me a resume. I am an award-winning career coach who helps job seekers find fulfilling professional roles. I have published a monograph on career coaching principles and a book on talent development. I am also a professor of higher education at Regis College, where I advise doctoral students on dissertation research projects. I teach a college career course in the doctoral program that helps graduate students apply their degree in various fields. Previously I was Associate Vice President of Student Success at a mid-size liberal arts college in Massachusetts. I research and publish on labor market trends, adult learners, and transfer students in career transition.


Below is the resume generated for me by ChatGTP. The highlighted content is what ChatGTP got wrong or made up.


Name: [Your Name]

Contact Information: [Your Phone Number and Email Address]


Career Objective: To leverage my extensive experience in career coaching, talent development, and higher education to provide expert guidance and support to individuals seeking fulfilling professional roles.


Summary: An award-winning career coach, monograph and author, and professor of higher education, with a background in student success and research on labor market trends, adult learners, and transfer students. An accomplished advisor of doctoral students in their dissertation research projects, with a proven track record of helping job seekers apply their degrees in diverse fields.


Experience:

Regis College, Weston, MA

Professor of Higher Education, 20XX - Present

· Advised doctoral students on dissertation research projects, leading to successful completion of degrees.

· Teach a college career course in the doctoral program to help graduate students apply their degree in a variety of fields.


Independent Career Coach, 20XX - Present

· Provided guidance and support to job seekers as they navigate their career searches.

· Developed and published a monograph on career coaching principles and a book on talent development.

· Conducted research on labor market trends, adult learners, and transfer students in career transition.


XYZ Liberal Arts College, Worcester, MA

Associate Vice President of Student Success, 20XX - 20XX

· Directed a comprehensive student success program, resulting in a 10% increase in student retention rates.

· Built relationships with alumni and employers, leading to increased internship and job opportunities for students.

· Developed and published research on adult learners’ and transfer students’ success in college and their career transitions.


Education:

Ph.D. in Higher Education, ABC University, City, State, 20XX

Master of Arts in Education, DEF College, City, State, 20XX

Bachelor of Arts in History, GHI College, City, State, 20XX


Certifications:

Global Career Development Facilitator (GCDF)

Licensed Professional Counselor (LPC)


Skills:

Strong analytical and research skills

Excellent interpersonal and communication skills

Ability to work with individuals from diverse backgrounds

Proficiency in career coaching tools and frameworks


References: Available upon request.


As you can see from the resume, ChatGTP generated inaccurate or inconsistent content with what I communicated and content that I did not reveal. Some of this content (surprisingly) aligns specifically with my background (i.e., GCDF certification). In contrast, some content is completely made up (i.e., the majority of my education section is incorrect).


ChatGTP also added an objective to my resume, which I would not have included. Objective statements fell out of fashion a long time ago. The point of a resume is to get an interview for the job you want. A pretty self-explanatory objective.


ChatGTP also failed me with the details. Of course, my chatbot knows nothing about me besides what I told it – content produced is only as good as information given. The details on my bot resume are vague and do not highlight the quantifiable accomplishments of my current and past roles. ChatGTP was limited in its ability to tell the reader how I have used my skills and competencies in each role or what tangible outcomes I produced that might impress a hiring manager. In short, my chatbot generated a slightly better than generic rendering of a resume shell tailored for an entry-level job seeker.


If you compare the bot resume with my actual resume, you will see that I have a lot of work to do to finalize this bot document.


That said, I am a big fan of ChatGPT, and for career documents, I recognize that it does have its benefits. Here are a few takeaways:


Be specific. For the chatbot to produce a document authentically representing the candidate (i.e., me), you must give it extremely specific instructions. In using ChatGPT over the past few months, I have learned that crafting specific prompts to generate your desired content takes [a lot of] time and practice.


The bot isn’t YOU. ChatGTP can get you [your client] off to a good start, especially if you struggle to find the right words to articulate experiences. But the bot can only do so much before customization is necessary. “Myers-Briggs Certified with over 500 participants trained” carries a lot more weight than “Proficiency in career coaching tools and frameworks.” Author of Career Coaching: Fundamentals, Applications, and Future Directions is more detailed than monograph author. Personalization is necessary way beyond the bot template.

Resume rules: The resume has rules – and coaches who frequently craft resumes know these rules. Save space, use your most important real estate wisely, quantify when possible, outcomes matter, relevancy is key, filler words not needed, etc. etc. As you can see from my generated resume, ChatGTP did not apply these resume rules. For example, “the, an, a” are unnecessary. Lead with the outcome, follow with the function. These rules help the reader digest information quicker and with more ease. This is what you want when you have 7 seconds to make a lasting impression.


Truth or Lies: The accuracy and reliability of my bot-generated resume totally depended on the quality and detail of information I provided and the instruction I gave. While ChatGPT can offer valuable suggestions, reviewing and refining the content is important to ensure it accurately represents your skills and experiences. As you can see from my bot resume, some of the content is misleading. Because ChatGPT is a large language model application, it generates responses based on given prompts and combines them with data patterns from the Internet. Somewhere in my prompt, ChatGTP connected a piece of language with available data patterns to assume I was a Licensed Professional Counselor. I am licensed, but not in this particular credential. Like any document we professionally produce, proofing and editing before disseminating is essential.


What is my verdict?

Creating a resume using ChatGTP isn’t for me. What I will use it for is to help my clients brainstorm narratives related to their job functions if we find ourselves needing inspiration. That said, the AI tool advances daily, so there will continue to be more ways to leverage ChatGTP to support career services. Content writing for cover letters, LinkedIn profiles, resignation letters, professional statements, and mock interview prep are a few options that come to mind.


No one can predict the future of AI or large language models like ChatGTP. For now, I encourage you to check out the tool (if you haven’t already) to see what it has to offer. If you do, please share your experience - I'd love to hear from you!


My DALL-E-2 prompt of "chatbot applying for a job with their resume" on 6/7/2023





*All links in this article are recommendations based on my knowledge of the content and material. I derive no monetary gain from endorsing.

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