Are you trying to use ChatGPT to write your resume? Well, you might want to read about my journey before jumping in.
I’ve spent the last 12 years taking people’s stories and turning them into resumes. So naturally, my first thought when I saw ChatGPT was, “I’m going to be out of a job.”
The AI chatbot seemed to have all the same capabilities as a professional resume writer. It could take inputs and articulate them in a way that would get you noticed by employers. The first few times I used it, I was very impressed by the results. But after some extensive experimentation, I’ve reached the conclusion that it isn’t advisable to use ChatGPT without the help of a certified resume writer.
The major mistakes that ChatGPT made with my resume
Before going any further, keep in mind that ChatGPT is not a substitute for an expert hiring professional. ChatGPT can give you incorrect and even damaging advice! For example, when I asked ChatGPT how to structure a resume, it said to start with an objective statement. However, this is actually an outdated practice. Instead, it’s better to begin with a summary of what you can offer the company you’re applying to. This helps show the employer how you can contribute to their organization.
Another mistake ChatGPT made was in its advice for dealing with an employment gap on a resume. It suggested using a functional resume and discussing the gap in the cover letter. Again, this is bad advice. Functional resumes are not effective when applying online. This is because applicant tracking systems are optimized to read traditional, chronological resumes.
The second piece of advice – to talk about why I was on leave in my cover letter – that’s really bad advice too! Why would I use my cover letter, a piece of paper that only serves to support the first impression my resume makes, to talk about a three-year depressive episode? The harsh reality is that some employers will be thinking, “Is this person going to be able to give 100% to this job?” And may use that thought process to guide their decision-making.
Garbage in, garbage out
The quality of the output from ChatGPT depends on the quality of the input. Personalized input leads to personalized output. So, you should provide specific and personalized instructions to the chatbot. For example, when I asked ChatGPT to create a resume for a marketing manager, the AI chatbot produced a resume that wasn’t personalized. Instead, it made up its own content. Which included a claim about increasing sales by 20% year-over-year. This shows the importance of providing accurate and detailed information to the chatbot.
ChatGPT may not be the best choice for writing your resume if you’re a CEO or executive with a complex career. In these cases, it’s better to work with a professional resume writer. But if you’re just starting your career or have a simple job history, ChatGPT can be helpful. Just check for mistakes and give the chatbot specific instructions. With some effort, you can use ChatGPT to create a resume that shows your skills and experience.
When NOT to use ChatGPT for your resume
There are other cases when ChatGPT might not work for you. I found that ChatGPT did a GREAT job resume-fying each individual experience. However, the way it deals with the experience of job hoppers, entrepreneurs, and people who are making a dramatic career change is really not strategic. The resume it may give you will bring your “red flags” under a giant spotlight.
For that reason, if you have a non-traditional career path, you can check out these short resume tips; ChatGPT will still help you articulate your experience well, but you can close the rest of your resume’s gaps by checking out these blogs:
How to get the best resume out of ChatGPT
As I mentioned earlier in the article, the best way to use ChatGPT is to provide very specific instructions and to give it a lot of detail.
For instance, let’s say you free-write all about one experience and tell ChatGPT, “summarize these stories into resume bullets,” it does a pretty great job!
However, if you tell it, “write me a resume for a marketing manager role. I have 8 years of experience and I’m really good at building content creation teams,” it will give you a resume that’s pretty poorly written and full of false information.
If you want a simpler solution, you should try out my ChatGPT resume, cover letter, and LinkedIn scripts.
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