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Using ChatGPT can make recruiters think you're sending them a fake resume—here's why

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Writing a resume can be tedious work. You have to read through the job description to see what they're looking for. You have to list job titles and bullets that both reflect your experience and prove you're a good fit. You have to make sure there are no grammatical and spelling errors.

With the advent of tech like ChatGPT and Microsoft Copilot, many people are leaning into generative AI to write their resumes entirely. There are benefits to using it, like getting help organizing your work experience. But there are also all sorts of tips online that make it seem like you "throw a job description [into AI] and get a perfect application out," says career coach Phoebe Gavin.

"That's not how it works," she says. In fact, this can put your job prospects at risk.

Here's why.

'100 of them look exactly the same'

Generative AI culls from the internet to build whatever your prompt has asked for. If you ask for a "marketing resume," for example, it will create something based on any marketing job descriptions or marketing resumes it scrapes from the web.

You can tailor your request by giving it specific content to work from. But if all you did to get the resume you send to an employer is put their job description in and ask ChatGPT to create a resume that fits, "you can end up with a very generic, same sounding document," says James Hudson, an HR executive who's led talent acquisition at global companies like Nike.

Gavin has heard how this plays out on the ground. Recruiters and hiring managers who look at hundreds of resumes say at times "100 of them look exactly the same because they all use the same ChatGPT prompt," she says.

They do not move forward with these candidates.

'You're eroding your competitive advantage'

There are other problems with letting AI write your resume.

Your resume's job is to tell "your unique career journey in a compelling way," says Hudson. Unless you're also using your background in directing ChatGPT or editing whatever it spits out with your own career highlights, you're not going to get something that is both specific and that truly shows you off. Only you know you outpaced your sales goals by 30% or hiked website traffic by 50%. Only you could add that in.

"You're eroding your competitive advantage" when you don't manually include those details, says Hudson.

It can also make it seem like you're sending over a fake resume. When recruiters see the same document over and over, "they actually interpret them as being more likely to have lies," says Gavin. "They think they're more dishonest because they're sort of assuming that the person is just saying what they need to say to get a callback."

This is not to say you shouldn't use AI at all when you're writing your resume.

"Use AI as a tool in your toolbox," says Hudson. It's OK to let it build a first draft of your resume, but "the final product should still be edited and amended by you because only you know your career."

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