Is it wise to leverage Artificial Intelligence (AI) to write your all-important job applications? The short answer is yes but with certain caveats.
Forms of generative AI, like ChatGPT, are increasingly popular among jobseekers, especially those who find writing applications challenging, time-consuming and perhaps even tedious.
The key is to make sure your job application remains authentic, personal, compelling and—importantly—accurate.
This expert article builds on a previous one face2face published on the pitfalls of AI when looking for work. It provides valuable tips to consider if you choose to use AI to apply for positions.
Benefits of leveraging AI
AI-developed job applications can provide a solid foundation—a great starting point if you like.
It can also save you time and provide ideas for what information to include and what structure to use to put your best foot forward. AI can also help with spelling and grammar (this is critical because it shows you pay attention to detail).
Read through these tips, remembering that AI-generated material should be treated as an initial draft, not as the end result. This ensures that misinformation and inaccurate information doesn’t creep into your application, which could create no end of problems if you get caught during interview.
Keep it real
AI is, as its name implies, is artificial intelligence. There is no way AI knows you like you know yourself. It will look at the skills and experience required for the role and fashion a positive response without knowing if you have what the draft text claims.
When reviewing the AI draft, in other words, make sure you keep it real. Remove any skills or experience that lands in the draft that is not also accurately reflected in your resume. You’ll feel uncomfortable if asked in an interview to delve into more detail about ‘skill X’ only to be forced to admit you don’t have that skill.
Write in plain English
Chatbots like ChatGPT tend to write more formally as a default. These days, however, plain English reigns. This helps those who review your resume get through content confidently and quickly.
This means you need to edit the AI draft and replace longer words with shorter words. Also, transform longer sentences into shorter sentences. Keep paragraphs as short as possible.
AI, by its nature, can be repetitive. ChatGPT, for example, uses its own set of favourite words and phrases. These can be easily recognised by employers or recruiters reviewing multiple applications at the same time if other applicants have also used the same AI tool. It’s easy to be caught out, in other words.
The same applies to structure, which can easily be identified by reviewers.
When editing your drafts, be on guard for this. And always write for the reader who doesn’t want to waste time with wordy, lengthy, and complex applications. Be concise. Be clear. Be strong.
Keep it personal
AI doesn’t know you as a person. ChatGPT has never met you, has never worked with you, or even had a coffee with you. It can’t, therefore, write content that sounds like you. It’s up to you to polish AI-generated content so it reflects your soft skills and your hard skills.
In other words, AI isn’t creative. It’s skilled at developing impersonal and unsubstantiated claims of proficiency. Don’t let these fall through the cracks.
Make sure you personalise your job application, differentiating yourself from the competition. Emphasise precisely what you can bring to the role by stating what your points of difference are and by providing energetic and relevant examples that demonstrate why you should be considered for the role. Get personal and avoid being too generic. Bring that human element to your application, something AI is not capable of doing.
By all means, explore the world of AI when writing job applications (and resumes and cover letters for that matter). These powerful tools can be beneficial in stimulating ideas and getting you to think in new ways.
However, under no circumstances rely solely on material generated by AI when applying for positions. Employers are looking for the human touch and how you fit into the culture of their organisation, so edit and then edit some more until you’re satisfied with the result.
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