AI Resume Writer: Friend or Foe?


May 6, 2024 | Resumes

You sit down to write your resume, but you’re overwhelmed by the process. You don’t know where to start, what’s important to include, or even how to describe your career so far.

Sound familiar?

You’re not the only one who has struggled to write a resume. And you’re definitely not the only one who’s though about letting a bot like ChatGPT, or an AI resume writer, do the work for you.

AI resume writing tools are becoming more and more common. There are numerous free or low-cost programs offering to simplify your job search by creating your documents.

But if it sounds too good to be true, it probably is.

Using ChatGPT to build your resume isn’t a catch-all solution for minimizing your job search efforts. While AI tools can enhance and compliment it, you can’t rely on them solely for success. ChatGPT can’t listen to and understand the nuances of your career accomplishments, and it certainly can’t give you an experienced, professional resume critique.

However, there are certain things that AI can do that can streamline some of the less personal aspects of job searching. Let’s break down the benefits and limitations of AI resume tools before you get started, so you can improve your search instead of harming it.

The benefits of AI resume tools

It’s no lie that using ChatGPT to create documents can save you time, and even money. In resume writing, it can quickly generate drafts and highlight your relevant skills in accordance with the job descriptions you provide.

Many AI resume builders are even free, or at least cheaper than hiring a professional resume writing service. You don’t have to try and explain yourself to another person, wait to get on their schedule, or deal with back and forth communication. You can do it all right there yourself.

Another useful aspect of AI resume writers is their ability to implement the right keywords. Keyword optimization is an important part of tailoring your resume for each application. AI can speed up this process and increase your ATS chances by suggesting relevant keywords from job descriptions. But make sure you double-check the skills it chooses for you, as one jobseeker testing out AI tools found it put their ability to work in the U.S. as a hard skill.

The limitations of an AI resume writer

While using an AI resume writer is cheaper and faster than writing it yourself (or working with a professional), it’s important to remember that cheap and fast do not automatically mean good.

The biggest issue with AI-generated resumes is that they can become generic quickly. Without a personal touch, you’ll miss out on the crucial human element you need to stand out to employers in a stack of resumes. And don’t think recruiters won’t notice that you’ve used AI. It’s one of the biggest red flags hiring managers look for.

How can they tell? For one, they’ll likely notice a stilted, strange, or formal voice. They’ll also see a lack of specific details from your experience, which will read as vague and generic. And if other applicants are using AI as well, chances are, they’ll see a few of the same auto-generated phrases–which will hardly make any of you look like motivated candidates.

AI resumes may look professional (though sometimes they fall short in ATS-friendly formatting), but they can’t succeed without personal and detailed wording. You’ll likely be up against mostly applicants with similar backgrounds. Without thoughtfully chosen action phrases and metrics, your quickly thrown together ChatGPT document won’t stand out among the rest of the applicants.

The main risk of using an AI resume builder is that it produces generic language that may match a job description, but that doesn’t showcase your unique skills and achievements. Much like AI-generated cover letters, these resumes lack originality and personality by design. Because ChatGPT pulls from learning algorithms, it goes off of patterns of what’s most popular, not what’s specific to your career journey.

If we can convey one thing about resume writing, it’s that specificity is key. Highlighting your accomplishments through details is imperative to putting your best foot forward. Details about how you implement your strengths (that match the job description) are what catch a recruiter’s attention and land an interview. This is one pivotal area where ChatGPT doesn’t measure up to a professional resume writer.

Nothing beats a conversation – with a human

While an AI resume builder will ask you questions based off of its algorithms, a professional resume writer will ask you for details based off of your unique experience. They’ll use their expertise to identify and present your achievements effectively by showing not just what you did, but how you did it, and the overall impact it had.

Professional resume writers will know which accomplishments to prioritize, both because of their experience, and because you can tell them what was most important in your journey. Resume writers use action and metric based bullet points to quickly and effectively convey why you’re a stellar candidate for the role. It goes back to the age-old rule of “show, don’t tell.” An AI resume writer might list your skills, but it won’t be able to effectively show how you used them in practice.

A professional resume writer will create a quality resume by getting to know you and your experience. While many resume services work with you only over email, LEG offers personal one-on-one consultations. These meetings allow us to go above and beyond tools like ChatGPT by learning what you’re passionate about, breaking down the intricacies of your accomplishments, and effectively communicating your most relevant strengths.

Aside from inconsistent structure and personalization, using AI without carefully looking it over can lead to a resume full of factual errors, inaccurate keyword insertion, or even incorrect grammar and spelling. You can’t rely on ChatGPT alone to make your resume a clean and positive representation of yourself.

Additionally, as recruiters have noted, the tone of AI writing can be awkward. While resumes should maintain a formal tone, they should still feel human. Unlike AI tools, resume writers can capture your voice and help communicate your passion. While resumes must be professional, it’s still important to have a distinct and authentic voice.

Using AI resume builders as a tool, not a replacement

Ultimately, you have to find the right balance. AI can be a valuable tool to enhance the resume writing process, but you shouldn’t replace human input and expertise with it. It’s not a quick fix that will turn the job seeking process into an overnight success. Even if you utilize some AI tools in your search, you still have to put energy and effort into making your resume an accurate reflection of your experience.

If you do use an AI resume builder, think of it as a starting point, not a final project. It can help you get some ideas, but it should never be submitted without careful critique. You’ll still have to do the job of editing for tone, checking for errors, and elaborating on generic points. The effort that goes into making it a useable document starts to negate the ease of use AI promises.

Alternatively, a professional resume writer will ensure the document is tailored to the specific job, showcases personality, and conveys achievements effectively. They can use a trained eye to check for grammatical errors, inconsistencies, and formatting issues you might not be aware of. They can even use their experience writing resumes in your field to make important additions that can give you a boost in the hiring process. It’s a better deal all around.

This isn’t to say that AI is completely useless in your job search. Going through the process of tailoring your resume for each application can be time-consuming and exhausting. A great way to integrate AI is to start by using a resume service to create a high-quality base document, then use an AI tool to help you optimize that document for each application. AI tools can scan job descriptions and pull out keywords for you to integrate in your documents, which can save you time trying to identify them yourself.

AI resume writers aren’t friend or foe

Like many things, AI resume builders aren’t strictly good or bad. They just have to be used wisely, and not solely relied on to do all the work. If you do use AI to create your resume and submit it without careful revision, it will be painfully obvious to recruiters that you put little effort in. That’s no way to land an interview.

It’s great to explore the possibilities of AI as a tool, but nothing can replace the importance of human review and personalization. The best way to have an efficient job search is to combine AI resume tools with insight from resume writing professionals. If you’re struggling to write your resume on your own, don’t be afraid to ask for help from a real person with practical expertise. It may not be as simple as downloading a program, but it will leave you with much better results.

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