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Using AI to Craft a Resume: Is It Cheating?


Please note that this article is for informational purposes only and does not constitute legal advice.

Since its November 2022 debut, ChatGPT, the artificial intelligence chatbot from OpenAI (along with its more advanced successor, GPT-4), has taken many sectors of the professional world by storm, sparking heated debates over what ethical use of the technology looks like.

One debate that's particularly relevant to job seekers: Is it cheating to use AI to write a resume or cover letter?

While there's no simple answer, candidates should be informed about the potential gains and pitfalls of using AI in job applications. Here's what you need to know.

Experts are divided.

The AI technology used by ChatGPT is so new - and moving so quickly - that, as of yet, there's no firm consensus on the ethics of using it for job applications. On the one hand, the idea of submitting work you didn't write yourself may feel uncomfortably close to plagiarism. On the other hand, some experts have pointed out that, in many ways, using AI to create a resume is comparable to using any other resume-writing service.

For many job seekers, the sheer practicality of using ChatGPT to craft resumes and cover letters also outweighs thorny ethical debates. The modern job search requires candidates to fill out hundreds of applications, the majority of which require a resume and cover letter that hiring managers expect to be tailored to their specific company. And with so many applicants never hearing back from employers, it's little wonder that job seekers are eager for ways to save time and effort.

It depends on the industry.

While 4 in 10 job seekers who used ChatGPT claimed their interviewers weren't aware they had used AI in their applications, it's likely that many hiring managers will be able to tell. Whether or not they view this as a bad thing depends on the company and the industry.

Some employers may see the use of ChatGPT as evidence that a candidate is resourceful, adaptable, and efficient - qualities that could put you ahead in fast-paced, tech-heavy sectors. But if you're applying for a creative role or a job that requires exceptional writing skills, using ChatGPT to craft your application may be viewed as unethical. Although professional writers will certainly leverage AI as a tool going forward, employers will want to see evidence that you know how to write the old-fashioned way.

Results may vary.

A recent survey of job seekers who used ChatGPT in their applications yielded interesting - and mixed - results.

  • 7 in 10 reported a higher response rate from employers when they used ChatGPT to write their resume and/or cover letter.
  • 78% received an interview after applying with materials written by ChatGPT.
  • 59% were hired after applying with materials written by ChatGPT.
  • 11% were denied a job because their interviewer learned they had used ChatGPT in their application materials.

That final statistic may seem relatively small, but it's certainly something to be aware of as both job seekers and hiring managers continue adjusting to AI technology.

Interviews will be more important than ever.

Whether written by a human or a computer, the purpose of resumes and cover letters remains the same: to land an interview. And in the age of AI, hiring managers are likely to rely even more on the human aspects of interviews that can't be simulated: body language, social awareness, soft skills, and real-time tests of your professional talents and critical thinking.

While ChatGPT can help you prepare for interviews by providing common questions and potential answers, you'll need to rely on your human traits to impress employers in person.

Dos and Don'ts

While the ethics of using AI to write a resume or cover letter aren't clear, one thing is for sure: job seekers are going to continue doing it. Of the 1,000 participants in the survey cited earlier, 88% said they would use ChatGPT for future applications.

If you're considering using this technology in your job applications, here are a few dos and don'ts to ensure you're using it ethically.


  • Use ChatGPT as a tool, not a crutch. AI technology can automate some of the most tedious or challenging aspects of job application materials. If you're struggling to get started, you might try using ChatGPT to generate a few sentences to set you on the right path.
  • Edit and refine your results. While content produced by AI can be surprisingly high quality, it can also be repetitive and dull to read. 72% of job seekers who used AI in their applications said they performed moderate to heavy amounts of editing on their results.
  • Disclose your use of AI. The most ethically sound option for candidates is to let employers know that you used ChatGPT to help you write your resume or cover letter. This is also helpful for you, since an employer who shares your views on appropriate use of AI is more likely to be a good fit.


  • Lie. It doesn't matter if it's a human or a bot writing it - lying on your resume never ends well. And if you fail to disclose your use of AI and an employer asks you about it, you're much better off being honest.
  • Forget your individuality. While ChatGPT is a versatile tool, it doesn't know you and the unique value you'll bring to an employer: your experience, your accomplishments, and your distinct personality. If you rely on AI for your application, there will be some amount of humanity lost - and it's your humanity that will most help you land the perfect job.

Using AI isn't the only fast and convenient way to apply for a job. Partnering with a recruiter from a staffing agency can help you skip the most time-consuming aspects of the job search and connect you with quality employers faster. Reach out today to learn more.