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Chat GPT + AI – A Helpful Ally And Not A Competitor For the Career Coaching World

Chat GPT + AI – A Helpful Ally And Not A Competitor For the Career Coaching World

Birkdale Collective Founder, Peter Davis, takes a look at a big topic in this blog: ChatGPT and its effect on job seeking in the UK.

A bit of a panic is setting in within the Career Coaching sector. The introduction of ChatGPT into our daily work, along with similar platforms that are in development, has meant understanding it and getting to grips with it quickly has been a must. Specifically, this panic or worry is along the lines of, “Will AI software replace much of what can be done already? Will it put some people out of work?” There is so much to talk about on this topic and a lot of great content to read already online, some of which I have included the links to here in this blog post. Most of what I will focus on here is just the one area of CV writing to keep the blog to the point.

Firstly, what is it? ChatGPT is a large language model-based chatbot developed by a company called OpenAI. To quickly cut to the chase, ChatGPT can help with a lot of parts of the job process but not as well as experienced humans and lacks the knowledge that you need when applying for jobs. To reinforce this and add some background, I have copied the following statement from the ChatGPT Help Centre;

“ChatGPT is not connected to the internet, and it can occasionally produce incorrect answers. It has limited knowledge of the world and events after 2021 and may also occasionally produce harmful instructions or biased content. We’d recommend checking whether responses from the model are accurate or not.”

ChatGPT Help Centre

There’s the word of warning from the company who made it; the data used is not live. It was uploaded in 2021 and as such will always need checking and some level of verification.

Having said that, it’s fantastic for skills-based learning. As a starting point for writing a CV, for example, it is a terrific tool and will produce something that looks the part. However, of course there are some potential broad issues. If thirty international students from University College London on the same MBA course all used ChatGPT alone to create a CV, how many CVs would look considerably different to the next person without any customisation of the information you input? I imagine there would be a lot of similarities.

In using it well, though, there’s a lot of success to be had. I would like to share this statement from a Harvard Business Review article: “ChatGPT can be a useful ally as you craft your resume. The idea is not to rely on AI to create a final draft of your new resume or cover letter”. “Ally” is the important word here, and one I chose for the title of this blog. In short, use it to make a start but not for the finished article.

Looking into this a bit more, I found the following advice via this LinkedIn article to be incredibly valuable as I looked into how to spot AI-made CVs:

  1. Lack of specificity: One of the most notable features of a ChatGPT-generated resume is a lack of specificity. While the language may be polished and professional-sounding, the details may be vague or generalised. For example, the CV may include phrases like “strong communication skills” or “proven track record of success” without providing specific examples to support these claims.
  2. Unusual formatting: While there’s no definitive format for a CV, an AI-generated resume may have an unusual layout or structure. This can be because the model has been trained on a specific set of templates, or because it’s programmed to experiment with different layouts to see what works best.
  3. Repetitive phrasing: Another sign of an AI-generated profile is repetitive phrasing. Because AI models work by identifying patterns in language, they may use the same phrases or sentence structures multiple times throughout the text. This can make the document sound robotic or formulaic.
  4. Generic language: AI-generated documents may also use generic language that could apply to anyone in a particular field..
  5. Lack of human touch: Finally, AI-generated CVs may lack a human touch. While the language may be polished and professional, it may not have the personal touch that a human writer would bring to the document.

There are numerous websites available (many are free) to check for AI plagiarism, such as AI Content Detector and Plagibot. This means that the best use of the produced CV would be as a starting point for further editing to ensure any chances of plagiarism are avoided.

Another key point made in the above LinkedIn piece is, “AI text is generally formatted using American spelling also, so any Americanisms are another sign of auto-generated content.” For UK job applications this is obviously an issue, too!

As mentioned, the best use of ChatGPT is in making a start of a first draft of a CV or Cover Letter or in the initial company research. What is important once you look into the platform enough is ensuring that you put the right words into it; more information makes for more personalisation. A common mistake, too, is not adding geographical considerations to questions inputted into ChatGPT. Its default is often American information unless you inform it to look elsewhere and it relies on popular pages online (from 2021).

What are Birkdale Collective doing about all this? We have added a list of “ChatGPT Prompts” to our customer library of articles, focusing on company research, interviews and more. We also have a “Research Guide to AI Platforms used in the Job Search”, where we have tested the platforms ourselves and know first-hand that working with these platforms will be the best way to help job seekers obtain their end goal.

A final factor to finish up this post is that ChatGPT will never be able to coach humans on skills unique to humans, such as developing resilience. As such, there will obviously always be a place for your humble career coach! There is a lot to learn about ChatGPT and many issues to iron out, but if used correctly it is an excellent tool to help in a person’s search for employment. I, myself, am a fan and will continue to stay in touch with how to use it best.

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