ChatGPT: how AI tools can help with job search tasks like CVs and cover letters - and what they can't do

The emergence of AI chat bots is changing many sectors, including recruitment - but how can they help those looking for their dream job?
AI tools can now help with some aspects of job hunting - but the rest comes down to the human being (Image: Adobe)AI tools can now help with some aspects of job hunting - but the rest comes down to the human being (Image: Adobe)
AI tools can now help with some aspects of job hunting - but the rest comes down to the human being (Image: Adobe)

I’m sure you’ve probably clocked the latest whizz-bangy new artificial intelligence tools which has people both excited and terrified at their cleverness. Whether it is Open AI's ChatGPT or Bard, Google’s own AI language version, this new technology enables you (or rather the bot) to construct effortlessly fluent sentences on pretty much any subject you choose, as long as it can search the internet for the content it needs.

If you need a new CV for a particular role - such as a Financial Controller or a Retail Assistant - it can create a meticulously crafted CV template tailored to the skills you’re likely to need in that particular job. Struggling to write a covering letter? No problem. It can instantly draft an impeccably charming letter for you, with perfect spelling and grammar, that’s probably better than 75% of current candidates' efforts.

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We all have those moments of brain freeze when finding the right string of words elude us. This technology is pretty marvellous in getting you started, providing useful content and a meaningful structure which you can then personalise.

This makes it an incredibly useful first step for anyone who’s getting stuck writing their own CV, LinkedIn profile or other candidate materials.

However, what it can’t do - yet, at least - is see into your soul and your own memory bank to ensure that it’s an authentic version of you rather than some computer-generated fantasy version. You need to do your own deep thinking or work with a career coach to achieve that.

As we career coaches know, individuals often struggle with writing their CV because they’re not clear about what they want, their options and which will be the best fit. Without this knowledge, how can you even start to write a meaningful CV?  It’s like trying to write an advert when you don’t know what the product is.

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ChatGPT is a great tool which can help raise the standards of CVs, online profiles, and other candidate marketing materials, but authenticity, focus and evidence are still required for it to be effective. The more the bots churn out superficially appealing but identikit materials, the more hard-nosed recruiters will become in checking your credentials and track record.

They will want concrete evidence of your capabilities not just the mood music.

In this respect, the software changes nothing. If you’re applying for jobs which aren’t a great fit for you or you pretend to be something you’re not, then you’re likely to be found out pretty quickly.

ChatGPT is a game-changer but it’s not infallible. It can’t speak with your authentic voice because it doesn’t know you and sometimes it simply gets things wrong, even making things up. Looks like it’s not ready to take over my career coaching job yet.

But don’t just take my word on this. Go and ask ChatGPT.

Corinne Mills is Managing Director of Personal Career Management, the leading career coaching company and author of best-selling books “You’re Hired” How to write a brilliant CV” and “Career Coach”

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