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Should you use AI to improve your resume?

Vaco Blog Graphic - AI to Improve Resume

As artificial intelligence technologies continue to grow in popularity, many job seekers are turning to ChatGPT, Google’s Bard and other AI tools for help. Before you sign up for an AI resume builder, however, here’s what you need to know about using AI to improve your resume.

Finding a new job can be a stressful process, which is why many job seekers are turning to AI-powered tools and technologies to make it easier. From tools that identify keywords in job descriptions to cover letter generators, there is no shortage of options available — and they’re gaining popularity. In fact, one survey of 2,153 job seekers found that 53% had used ChatGPT to help rewrite their resume.

But is using a tool like ChatGPT or an AI resume builder a good idea? The short answer: it depends.  


How to optimize your resume skills section (with industry examples)

Can AI write a resume?

Believe it or not, AI tools like ChatGPT do have the ability to write a resume for you. But just because it’s technically possible doesn’t mean it’s a good idea.  

“ChatGPT sometimes writes plausible-sounding but incorrect or nonsensical answers,” ChatGPT’s website explains. “Fixing this issue is challenging … because the ideal answer depends on what the model knows, rather than what the human demonstrator knows.”  

In other words, ChatGPT can add language to your resume that sounds correct, but you might not catch those mistakes. For example, it could explain a technical process you don’t understand fully and add language that seems right. You might not notice it, but it could get flagged by a hiring manager as a mistake. Without careful review, an AI-improved resume might reflect poorly on you as an otherwise qualified candidate. 

The Downside of AI Resume Builders 

Aside from the limitations listed above, there are two additional concerns when it comes to using AI to create or improve your resume.  

First, there’s a risk that your resume might include patently false information. Whether that’s fabricating your job history, achievements or experience, some AI tools can – and do – simply invent information. This can create massive problems during the job search. Recruiters or hiring managers might discover you didn’t hold those positions, which can hurt your chances of finding a new role. 

The other concern shared by many hiring professionals is the potential for AI resume builders to over-inflate skills and key competencies. There’s nothing wrong with using a tool – or hiring a resume writer – to bolster your resume. However, you shouldn’t overstate your skills or experience to potential employers. Not only could this prevent you from landing a job, but it could also create difficulties adjusting to a role if you do get hired. Imagine if your resume portrays you as an expert in a certain area, but your on-the-job performance doesn’t. This could damage your credibility and negatively affect your new employer’s opinion of you. 

4 Tips for Using AI to Improve Your Resume 

If you’re looking to improve your resume, AI tools can be incredibly helpful – if used correctly. For example, they may help you think of new and unique ways to frame your experience. Even if you don’t use the exact language used by AI resume builders, they can provide you with new ways to describe your experience and skills. 

For those looking to experiment, here are a few things to keep in mind:

1. Don’t share sensitive information. 

Before you use AI to improve your resume, be careful about the information you share. Unless you opt out, tools like ChatGPT collect the entered data and use it to train its AI language models. Due to privacy concerns, experts recommend being cautious about what you share with AI tools. 

2. Don’t copy and paste. 

Different AI tools work in different ways. Some might ask you for a specific job title and generate an entire resume from that information, while others might analyze your current resume and make recommendations for improvement. Either way, you should review any AI-generated content carefully – and resist the urge to copy and paste answers directly into your resume.  

Think of these tools, like the professional summary generators, like a resource to improve your existing resume rather than create a brand new one. For example, you can compare the different ways AI might phrase certain things – like your work experience – and use that to rewrite your existing resume. This will help ensure that the information is accurate and written in your personal style.  

3. Be honest. 

When using AI to improve your resume, be cautious about what makes the final cut. While it can be tempting to make bold or overstated claims to boost your visibility in the job search, this comes with significant risk.  

For example, we used a free AI resume builder to create a resume for Jane Smith as a senior software engineer. The tool didn’t ask for any additional information beyond the desired job title. As a result, the AI tool generated an entire resume, complete with a professional experience section, including bullet points like the following: 

  • Spearheaded the development of a new software system that increased team efficiency by 30% and reduced errors by 20%. 
  • Mentored and trained junior engineers, resulting in a 50% increase in their technical skills and productivity. 
  • Optimized code performance for a high-traffic website, improving load times by 40%. 
  • Led cross-functional teams in delivering multiple complex projects on time and within budget, resulting in a 95% client satisfaction rating. 

Each of these points sound good, but if they aren’t true, they don’t belong on your professional resume. You can use them as examples for how to rephrase your own job history but only in ways that are accurate. To this end, AI should be used as a starting point — not a finished product. 

4. Triple-check your final resume.  

Finally, if you choose to use an AI resume writer in any way, always review the final product carefully. Read your resume several times, checking for grammatical and factual errors, to ensure it is accurate overall. Consider reading your resume out loud too. This can make it easier to catch mistakes you may have missed. If something doesn’t sound natural or if you’re not sure what a word means, change it. 

The bottom line

Whether you’re looking to freshen up your resume or perfect your cover letter, AI can help make your job search easier — if you use it responsibly. Be mindful about what personal information you share online, and carefully review any changes you make to your resume. While AI can be an incredible resource, your job search — and your professional reputation — are your own.

Handle them with care and remain vigilant.   


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