ChatGPT Applications: Cheating or Fair Game?

Unless you’ve been living under a rock (aka don’t own a smartphone or go on the internet, like a less chic Chris Pine) – you are probably aware of the substantial recent advancements with Artificial Intelligence (AI) chatbots and the subsequent debates they have drummed up around IP infringement and the ethics of using them. The biggest of these to impact the recruitment industry is whether using software like ChatGPT to write cover letters, resumes, or other application materials is acceptable. 

What counts as AI?  

Don’t get ChatGPT confused with the antagonists of the Matrix. AI technology, as it currently exists, is the simulation of human intelligence through computer systems and machines and is developed to ingest large amounts of data and patterns to generate predictions in a lifelike manner. AI programming continually fine-tunes algorithms to yield the most relevant/accurate information possible – this is how your TikTok feed figures out exactly which videos will keep you scrolling for hours instead of cleaning the house like you intended before you opened the app.   

ChatGPT and Your Resume  

ChatGPT is a relatively new program but has become a hot topic in 2023 for its conversational approach to standard search engines. One of ChatGPT’s advanced features is the ability to generate original content if the user gives it a couple of parameters. Give the software a job description and some details about your work history, and almost instantly, the user will receive a CV or a cover letter tailored and keyword optimized for that specific job. 

This feature allows users to apply to hundreds of jobs at a very high-efficiency level. Industry experts suggest submitting 2-3 applications daily, totaling 10-15/week. We can all agree that tailoring a resume or cover letter to 10-15 jobs a week is tedious. 

Is this the new way of applying for jobs? Shouldn’t we work smarter, not harder?  

The Drawbacks 

While having the ability to have a resume and cover letter generated within seconds and having the ability to apply to hundreds of job postings at a high rate of speed sounds like a jackpot, there are a few factors that need to be addressed and discussed. 

  1. Perhaps the most significant drawback is that ChatGPT resumes do not convey your personal flare or experience and are not written in a manner that differentiates you from other candidates. The results are often generic and can sound…robotic…in tone. 
  1. ChatGPT has been known to make up information where it finds a gap that should be filled. It’s possible that if you don’t have an experience that matches a particular requirement in the job description, it will make something up for you. 
  1. You are likely not the only one using AI software in this scenario – the companies you apply to may be employing software to weed out AI-generated applications, as some hiring managers find using AI to be deceptive. 

The Takeaway 

ChatGPT is a helpful resource for job seekers navigating the job market. Users should take advantage of its unique capabilities. Still, they shouldn’t solely rely on it as a resume or cover letter generator. Use ChatGPT to help spin gears and create ideas, but edit it heavily to speak about your personal experiences, achievements, and career goals.