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- ChatGPT has grown in popularity among job seekers, writing cover letters and resumes in seconds.
- One recruiter says it’s just a more accessible version of something job seekers have always done.
- He cautioned, however, against using it to replace technical screenings or serve as interview prep.
ChatGPT has only been around in its current form since November, and many workers are still torn between viewing it as a helpful workplace tool and a death knell for their jobs.
The chatbot was launched by Open AI, a research and deployment company of which Tesla CEO Elon Musk is a co-founder. People have shared stories on social media about using it to write cover letters, a time-consuming thorn in job seekers’ side.
It’s a hack that some employers and hiring managers might worry will muddy the process of acquiring the best talent for their teams.
But one recruiter says that’s not necessarily true.
Despite what people speculate on social media, using ChatGPT to write resumes and cover letters is not a big deal generally, according to Patrick Laughlin, the general manager at Systematic Business Consulting, a manufacturing recruiting firm. In fact, Laughlin, who said he’s witnessed many different hiring processes through the 3,000-plus companies his firm has worked with over the years, says the bot can save applicants a lot of time.
“As far as what ChatGPT offers, on a surface level, it’s beneficial to maybe skip a step or two in that process,” Laughlin told Insider. “At the end of the day, can it be used nefariously? Yeah, I think it can, depending on the type of position.”
But he says that in a lot of fields, at least, it can be a huge time saver.
“Say, for positions, especially that I fill in the manufacturing realm, having AI kind of back you up on your resume… At the end of the day, you still have to put in your qualifications and your baseline experience,” he said. “That will be checked through reference checks and things like that. It’s the same thing as running it through an editor, in my view.”
He pointed to the fact that many people pay for resume and cover letter editing services anyway, and that he treats them as conduits to an in-person interview.
“At the end of the day, if people are going to be nefarious and lie, I don’t see how that’s much different than lying on their resume, which once again is a huge concern, right?” he said. “I don’t necessarily see a problem with using it to beef up your role or to help really reword things so that it will have better capacity for the kind of roles that we fill.”
Laughlin did warn however, against using the bot to prepare for the interviews themselves, which he’s said he’s seen people talk about on the Reddit forums he browses.
“It just becomes very, very robotic and basically sounds like you’re reading off your resume,” he said. “First impressions are very important, being able to talk to someone in a very humanistic way. It’s crucial to do that.”
As a recruiter who works with people in highly specialized roles, Laughlin also cautioned against using ChatGPT to bypass technical screenings for jobs, like with coding.
“There might then start to become some concern where it’s like, ‘okay, this person has over-reliance on AI software when you need the hard skills to make sure that things are done correctly,'” he said.
ChatGPT is prone to misinformation and isn’t always right, for example, when it comes to basic math problems.
Laughlin did say that his judgment about the software might change as ChatGPT improves and the federal government potentially deliberates labor regulations for it. But for now, he sees the bot as an impressive way for job seekers to get their foot in the door at companies.
“It’s neat that people are coming up with creative ways to use this kind of functionality,” he said.