The recent emergence of chatbots such as Open AI’s controversial ChatGPT, has garnered a lot of attention from a wide range of stakeholders in the higher education sector, but has also caused many concerns. But what about the impact of such technology on recruitment among undergrads? Using a conversational robot to generate resumés, cover letters and answers to interview questions: is it worth it? To mark the first anniversary since the launch of this controversial tool, the Career Centre Team has dug into the subject and invites you to consider the following three factors before entrusting the preparation of your job applications to generative AI.
1. You may not fit the bill.
The more conversational robots such as ChatGPT progress in their “learning” and the more candidates use such tools to generate their applications, the more organizations refine their automated filtering mechanisms. Grammarly, Writer.com, Crossplag, and Originality are just a few of the many tools used by employers to detect plagiarism and generic AI-derived content (should we call it plagiArIsm?). And what about ATS (application tracking systems), which can also be used to permanently block any applicant suspected of plagiArIsm? In other words, you may be no match for the organization you want to outwit.
THE question you need to ask yourself: Can you handle being suspected of plagiarism early in your career?
An alternative solution: Defeat ATS by making tailoring an essential step.
2. We’re likely to see through your game.
In addition to the countless automated filtering mechanisms put in place by organizations, there’s another obstacle that AI-generated applications are likely to come up against: the judgment of hiring managers. These specialists can review up to several hundred applications a year and are trained to sniff out plAgIarism and blatant cut-and-paste. Year after year, when asked what they find fault with when it comes to student applications, Telfer’s partner employers are unanimous: in terms of content, it’s the lack of personalization and authenticity that undermines the chances of an interview. In other words, the more AI gains ground, the more you’ll benefit from cultivating authenticity and personalization in your applications.
THE question to ask yourself: Is your cover letter 100% authentic, or does it smell like a generic template or a cut-and-paste job with no personality?
3. You could be missing out on key skills.
Preparing a polished, personalized, and authentic job application requires an arsenal of transferable skills: the ability to synthesize information, sound judgment, persuasive skills, mastery of the written language and so on. In addition, the further you advance in your career, the more your job applications will be judged based on these assets. If you’re struggling with argumentative writing, reading comprehension or grammar, AI can help you temporarily mask these shortcomings. Sooner or later, whether it’s at the job interview, during your probationary period or when you’re up for promotion, you’ll have to prove yourself without outside support. At Telfer, and at the University of Ottawa more broadly, there’s no shortage of opportunities to hone your writing skills. It’s up to you to take full advantage of them.
THE question you need to ask yourself: If you prepare a flawless application using a robot to save time, and are called in for a written exam (by hand, yes, that does exist), would you be able to display the same writing skills on the spot?
An alternative solution: Take the time to further your professional development with the University of Ottawa’s Academic Writing Help Centre, by taking writing development courses or hiring tutoring services.
In conclusion, before entrusting the creation of your application to a conversational robot such as ChatGPT, consider seeking the guidance of the specialists at the Telfer Career Centre. Our mandate is to enhance your capabilities, not mask your difficulties.
*This article was written without the help of any conversational robot.
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