How will ChatGPT and AI impact CV writing?
The recent emergence of ChatGPT and AI has sent shock waves across society. From transforming medical diagnosis and improving our understanding of climate science, to whole swathes of jobs feeling under threat. The winner of the 2023 Sony World Photography Awards even fessed up that his image was created with AI and declined to take the award.
Much as there are opportunities for good when in the right hands, there are also opportunities for bad things to happen if such capabilities get into the wrong hands. The ‘Godfather’ of AI Geoffrey Hinton recently quit his post at Google citing ethical reasons in AI development. There may be huge benefits and possible costs, but what are the impacts for CV writing and job applications?
It is early days…
We are only just at the beginning of understanding what AI can do for CVs and job applications. The applications available now could well change beyond recognition in a few years’ time, but I thought it would be useful to do some research of my own. Given that ChatGPT is the app everyone is talking about at the moment, this seems a good place to start.
ChatGPT is an AI powered chat box. You need to ask it specific questions, it will then come back with answers scoured from its resources. If you do not like the answer, you can ask it the same question again, and it will come back with a different answer. Which kind of feels bizarre, but also makes sense given there are always a multitude of ways of answering any questions.
Asking ChatGPT ‘Can you write my CV for me’, it came back with the answer: ‘Certainly! I can help you create a CV. However, please keep in mind that I am an AI language model, and while I can provide you with guidance and suggestions, it's essential to tailor the information to your specific skills, experiences, and qualifications.’ It then detailed the various sections of a CV with blanks that you should complete yourself.
This is good advice and puts you on the right path in writing and structuring your CV in the right way. It puts you in control and makes clear that you need to tailor the information yourself. After all, only you know your achievements, qualifications, and work history. It cannot make this up for you. It will only provide word-based answers on raw information you need to provide.
Search hundreds of roles from all over the world on ACCA Careers
Sign up for a job alert tailored to your desired location and role
You need to know what questions to ask
The crucial thing for CV writing is this, ChatGPT can only help you if you know what the right questions are relating to a CV. Several articles I have read on how to get ChatGPT to write your CV show the process to be long and laborious. The articles themselves are extremely lengthy, like this one on LinkedIn at 4100 words. You essentially have to ask it about each section, provide the raw information, and it will then provide bullet points or paragraphs for you to insert in your CV. You can then go through a process of revisions as necessary.
At this stage, the question arose to me that, if you know how to write a CV and what to include, it might be quicker to write it yourself and use ChatGPT to do any final wordsmithing. You still need to provide all the information anyhow, and getting the right information for a CV is half the job. There are a great many job seekers though that are not confident about what makes a good CV, and therefore may not ask ChatGPT the right questions.
ChatGPT is a language tool, it does not contain any CV formats or styles and a key point in writing a CV is ensuring the words fit neatly into whatever style you choose. Therefore, word counts are important and knowing how to optimise the words within your chosen CV template is not going to be possible with ChatGPT.
At this stage ChatGPT can provide helpful advice and wordsmithing for your CV. As per all other online CV tools, it relies on you providing the raw information. ChatGPT and AI in general are only going to improve in their usability and usefulness to job seekers, so it will be fascinating to see how things develop.
There will no doubt be all kinds of apps and solutions to help people write their CVs and job applications more generally using AI. We are only just beginning to understand the possibilities. I found ChatGPT fun to use and cannot fault its language skills (albeit sounding very neutral), but it is not going to write your CV for you — well not just yet anyway.
This article was written by Neville Rose, Director of CV Writers.
CV Writers are the official CV partner to ACCA Careers.
In addition to a CV writing service they can help with Career Counselling, LinkedIn profiles, cover letters and interview coaching. You can get things started with a Free CV Review.