Artificial intelligence can polish up a resume, but only so much

An estimated 35% of employed American adults say they are likely to look for another job next year, according to a survey conducted by ResumeTemplates, and many are interested in harnessing artificial intelligence to better sell themselves to potential new employers.

ResumeTemplates provides free, downloadable resume templates for a broad range of jobs, along with guides and resources for preparing resumes.

ResumeTemplates received responses from more than 800 employed Americans across all age groups and income levels, and 27% said they are very likely to apply for a job using a resume created by AI, and 39% said they were likely.

Available AI resume-writing tools can analyze a job posting and the position’s description, and tweak information provided by the job seeker, including work history and skills, to align better with the requirements, experience and skills specific to that job posting. It can also clean up grammar and wording, and eliminate information that is not relevant to the job opening.

Of those who have already applied for jobs using AI-generated application materials, 73% said they got the job they applied for, though that does not necessarily mean because of improvements AI tools may have made to their resume.

AI is not perfect, and is only as good as the information the job seeker provides, and 92% of job seekers who have created an AI -generated resume have had to make manual edits. There are other pitfalls, such as relying too much on the AI tools to showcase soft skills.

“I believe the real danger here can be that AI will not create new content in the way of quantifiable results or performance measures that are really critical for a compelling resume in today’s market,” said Andrew Stoner, executive resume writer and career coach at ResumeTemplates. “It is not going to describe your unique organization or role or set of experience for you.”

Many job applicants are listing AI as a skill they have on their resume, with more than half saying they are very likely to, but ResumeTemplates says hiring managers should be aware that a majority of job seekers who are listing AI on their resume — 57% — are likely to exaggerate their ability to use the technology.

A separate survey of HR managers by ResumeBuilder found 37% say workers have been laid off this year due to the company’s use of AI, but having at least some knowledge of how AI works can also benefit employees concerned about their job security because of it.

“Professor Richard Baldwin at the Geneva Graduate Institute said ‘AI won’t take your job. It is someone using AI who will take your job.’ It really is those who embrace the change and work with it who I think will be a step ahead in today’s market,” Stoner said.

ResumeTemplates full survey on AI-generated resumes and cover letters, as well as commentary on its use, is online.

Jeff Clabaugh

Jeff Clabaugh has spent 20 years covering the Washington region's economy and financial markets for WTOP as part of a partnership with the Washington Business Journal, and officially joined the WTOP newsroom staff in January 2016.

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