Code displayed on a computer screen

June 22, 2023, by Leah Sharpe

ChatGPT and Job Applications

By Gemma Foxall, Careers Adviser

In a recent survey of students studying at UK universities, fewer than 10% said they wouldn’t use ChatGPT for their job applications. It’s not surprising then that this topic came up during a recent job application appointment I had with a Physiotherapy student.

I spoke to Anita, who had used ChatGPT when creating her supporting statement for a role she was interested in applying to. I asked her to share her thoughts on how helpful this had been for her:

1. Why did you choose to use ChatGPT?

I’m not good at writing so wanted to see if AI could help me improve it. I have heard a lot about it so thought I’d give it a try and see what it can do. My intention wasn’t to ask it to write my application for me, but to help me phrase things better. I have already written it, I was sort of looking to see if it can help me ‘upgrade’ it.

2. Did ChatGPT help you with your application? If so, how?

It didn’t really help if I’m honest. I knew what information to include and wanted my application to represent me, to have my passion and experience come through but in a more formal way. However the results were just not me. I didn’t want to come across in an application as someone else, so I only pinched a couple of phrases and synonyms. What it was good for, was starting a train of thought, and it gave me ideas and phrases that I used elsewhere so it wasn’t completely useless.

3. How ‘good’ were the results at representing you?

It wasn’t very good at all. It’s basically just a word look up and predicts what words to put next, it doesn’t know you and what you’re like. I wanted my application to be like me which AI wouldn’t be able to do.

If students are using ChatGPT, what are employers doing?

Employers are working on ways to ensure that they can reduce the impact of ChatGPT on their recruitment processes. Employers want to know you as an individual to ensure your skills, strengths and values align with their company and the role requirements, therefore we may see companies evolving their recruitment processes in order to do this without interference from ChatGPT, for example by developing ChatGPT-proof tests. Having said that, we have recently spoken to several employers about this topic and they tell us that they are confident that their recruitment processes already include enough stages that can’t be artificially generated by candidates.

Ideas for using ChatGPT effectively:

For applications

1. This technology could help you to structure your statements or letters, and get started with your writing.  It won’t give an employer your personalised and genuine responses, so we would recommend using it in the early phases of idea generation rather than copying and pasting something directly from ChatGPT to an employer. 

2. If you share your CV or any personal details (e.g. address or contact details) with ChatGPT, it doesn’t guarantee the security of that information and so recommends avoiding sharing personal information that you wouldn’t want to be disclosed publicly.

Preparing for interview

1. You could ask ChatGPT to generate interview questions for a role you have applied for. You can then practise your responses to these questions as a way of preparing for the interview itself.

2. This blog shares ideas about using ChatGPT to help define your strengths and ‘super power’ to help you to answer questions such as ‘what qualities would you bring to the role?’

When drafting this blog, I did ask ChatGPT for help, so I’m going to let ChatGPT have the final word:

“Remember, while ChatGPT can be a helpful tool, it’s important to use it as a supplement to your own research and preparation. Use critical thinking and judgment when considering the generated responses, and always double-check the information and advice provided by ChatGPT. Good luck with your graduate job applications!”

Get in touch with the Careers team if you need help refining CVs, applications, or interview preparation

Explore our webpage if you are interested in exploring artificial intelligence (AI) as a potential career path.

Posted in Applying For JobsCareers AdviceCVs and Cover LettersInterviews