Are you tempted by the ease of using ChatGPT to write your resume? Here are the pros and cons – and some big mistakes to avoid.
If you are struggling to write your resume and staring at a blank screen, ChatGPT seems like the best gift ever.
Let’s be honest here. Most people find writing their resume a daunting and highly unenjoyable task so the prospect of outsourcing it to something or someone else is very appealing.
This is the reason why professional resume writing is so popular.
People are happy to pay someone else to do what they don’t want to do themselves.
But now you have the option of using an AI tool that can write your resume which means no hassle and no, or at least very little, financial cost.
So, does this mean that ChatGPT is the future of resume writing?
Is it a recruitment industry disruptor that will put resume writers out of jobs?
The answer is yes and no as you will see later.
In this blog post, we will explore the pros and cons of using ChatGPT to write your resume so you can make an informed rather than rash decision simply based on convenience.
How ChatGPT can help you write your resume
Chatbots have come a long way in recent years, and ChatGPT leads the way as one of the most advanced.
Developed by OpenAI, ChatGPT is a language model that can understand and respond to natural language inputs, making it a valuable tool for a wide range of tasks, including writing resumes.
One of the biggest advantages is its ability to quickly and easily generate polished, professional text.
This all sounds great, but you may be thinking that to use such an advanced tool you need to be an IT expert.
Well, its good news again because it is incredibly easy to use.
In fact, it’s so easy that children are using it to complete their homework assignments.
How to use ChatGPT to write your resume
All you have to do is log in and provide ChatGPT with a prompt, such as "Write a resume for a software engineer with 5 years of experience," and like magic it will generate a complete resume for you.
If you are not sure about the result you can ask it to regenerate an alternative response.
It literally is as simple as that.
This will save you a whole lot of time and effort, especially if writing does not come naturally to you.
Another huge benefit is that, unlike resume writers, it is free. Well for now anyway because they are about to roll out paid options but even a paid plan will be a fraction of the cost of a writer.
But that’s where the good news ends.
On the face of it, ChatGPT seems like the perfect answer to writing your resume.
I guarantee the first couple of times you use it you will be really impressed.
But if you dig a little deeper, you will find there’s a devil in the details.
4 problems with using ChatGPT to write your resume
The ChatGPT home screen has a section called limitations.
Let’s look at each in relation to using it to write your resume plus another issue.
May occasionally generate incorrect information
ChatGPT has been trained on a large corpus of text, including resumes, so it has a good understanding of the language and format that are typically used in professional resumes.
The problem is, there are a lot of click bait type articles out there and fake gurus offering resume advice that simply don’t have a clue about what really works and what doesn’t.
If you are on a site reading an article firsthand, you can get a good idea as to whether the source is reliable or not.
But ChatGPT just gathers the lot – good, bad, and harmful, and then regurgitates this in response to prompts.
This is why they cannot guarantee that the information it provides is correct.
May occasionally produce harmful instructions or biased content
Have you ever felt unwell and Googled your symptoms?
I have friends, and I suspect you have too, that have self-diagnosed their health issues and changed their diet, or started to take certain medications to become well, only to become more ill because they were wrong.
Well, the same is true for resume writing.
It’s a big mistake to totally trust ChatGPT because sometimes it gets it wrong – and such advice can prove to be harmful.
Here is an example.
I asked ChatGPT how to handle employment gaps on a resume and it came back with this.
Points one and two are fine, three is getting slightly problematic because you want to mention and then move on rather than highlight the gap, but then we get to points four and five and they are shockers.
Functional resumes are a bad idea because both humans and ATS want a reverse chronological format. When a recruiter receives a functional resume, they immediately know a job applicant is trying to hide something.
And using your cover letter to highlight the gap and focus on a negative aspect rather than make your skills and suitability for the role shine is a terrible idea.
Limited knowledge of world and events after 2021
So, we all know not much has happened since 2021 – as if!
The world of work is rapidly changing, and your resume needs to reflect this.
By its own admission, it doesn’t have the knowledge or the most recent updates on the current job market trends, or what employers are looking for in a candidate.
One of the biggest downsides is that it is an AI model and does not have the knowledge and understanding of your personal experience and qualifications that a human writer would have.
While ChatGPT can generate a polished and professional-looking resume, it is impossible for it to be able to fully reflect your unique background and expertise.
So, is it always better to use a resume writer than ChatGpt to write your resume?
Following what I said above, you probably think I am going to say yes, always employ a resume writer – but I am not.
ChatGPT actually presents a great alternative to cheap resume writers who only make your resume sound better but don’t really do any more than that.
Save the $50 or $100 you were thinking of paying and just put your current resume into ChatGPT, ask it to improve it, and let it work is magic.
However, if you have the budget, a professional resume writer will always be better than ChatGPT because they will be able to highlight your unique story and skills plus target your resume to specific jobs to elevate you above your competition.
But what if you want to write your resume yourself? Should you avoid using ChatGPT to help you?
ChatGPT or any other similar AI tool can be of great value – if you know how to use it the right way.
How to use the power of ChatGPT to write a great resume
Step 1 - Start with the right structure
Always use an ATS friendly, reverse chronological format and fill in the personal details such as contact details and education.
Step 2 - Work methodically, section by section.
Yes, it’s so tempting to ask ChatGPT to do the heavy lifting and write the whole thing, but for all the reasons above, it is a bad idea.
Instead, start with your profile and write it yourself first.
This could be whole sentences or just points you want to include about your skills and experience.
When you have done this, put it in ChatGPT and ask it to write a professional profile based on those points.
Then, do the same with your duties and achievements for each of your positions.
If you get stuck with either, just ask ChatGPT for typical duties or achievements for whatever you job title is.
Don’t include these ‘as is’ but use them as a source for inspiration and edit them to make them your own.
Step 3 - Target your resume for specific applications
Its also very tempting once you are done to say to yourself, that’s it, finished – but the truth is you are not.
Targeting your resume for individual jobs is a great way to show a hiring manager or recruiter that you are a great fit for a role.
Yes, it takes time, but it is worth it to improve your chance of gaining an interview and besides, you now have a friend to help you – ChatGPT.
Input the job advert and ask ChatGPT to edit your resume to match the job.
Be careful to fact check it though – it may falsify certain information on occasions and completely change your resume.
You aim is to target your application, not lie about your suitably.
ChatGPT and similar AI tools could mean that cheaper resume writers lose their jobs because essentially they do the same thing with a resume but charge more.
However, professional resume writers that create a unique version of you and what you can offer will always be in demand.
If you want to write your resume yourself, ChatGPT is a great tool as long as you use it the right way.
Work methodically, section by section, and don’t be tempted to get it to write the whole thing.
Provide it with specific factual and unique information about you.
Remember, what you put in, is what you will get out.
If you give it specific relevant information about you and you will get a good outcome.
If instead you say something like “write a profile for a software engineer with 5 year’s experience” you will get a generic and boring profile that has nothing to do with you personally – and could be factually incorrect.
ChatGPT is great but it can’t read your mind – well not yet as far as I know!
Whether or not you like AI or not, it is here to stay so why not use it to your advantage?
Embrace it, but be cautious, and let us know how you get on in the comments.