An Asian, white-collar professional holding out his glasses for a better look at his laptop screen.

Your Alexa knows you better than your best friend, and Google Maps can predict your next destination. Welcome to the era where artificial intelligence (AI) constantly evolves and transforms how we live and work.

In a world that is increasingly run by algorithms, one area where AI has made significant strides is in resume creation.

Enter ChatGPT and other AI-based resume builders that have made your Microsoft Word templates look like ancient scrolls.

A new normal... of sorts

Job seekers can now write and generate their resumes with the help of AI algorithms. It is not just about spellcheck and formatting anymore. Some of these algorithms can analyze job descriptions, map out career progressions, and even throw in a bit of professional jargon to make any job candidate sound like they have been in the game for decades.

They enable individuals to create resumes that align with current industry standards, increasing their chances of receiving favorable attention from employers and recruiters.

Although AI-generated resumes have raised concerns about their reliability and authenticity, it's worth noting that professional resume-writing services have been available for over 15 years. Sharmini Wainwright, Senior Managing Director at Michael Page Australia, points out that these services have been crafting resumes for a wide range of candidates.

Therefore, the resume you receive might not have been written by the candidates themselves. Unlike AI, a resume crafted by a professional writer is more likely to capture nuances that add a human touch. However, it's important to consider that while AI services are generally free, professional resume writers usually charge a fee, making them a less common choice.

Related: Diversity, Equity and Inclusion in the workplace: An employers’ guide

Understanding AI and ChatGPT-generated resumes

Identifying AI-generated resumes starts with understanding AI basics. AI algorithms utilize complex mathematical models to analyze large datasets and understand and replicate patterns commonly found in human-written resumes to create text that looks like human writing.

Algorithms trained on large amounts of resume data encompassing various industries, job titles, and career levels. They can get such data from online job portals, where the outcomes of job applications are known. Some AI models may also use resumes that were publicly shared as successful case studies for specific job roles.

By analyzing this data, an AI language model like ChatGPT can identify patterns and trends that resonate with employers, hiring managers and recruiters.

An AI resume builder can identify essential keywords and phrases from the job description relevant to the candidate’s background and qualifications. These relevant keywords are strategically incorporated into the resume to enhance its visibility and relevance to applicant tracking systems (ATS) used by employers.

AI algorithms enable individuals to create resumes that align with current industry standards, increasing their chances of receiving favorable attention from potential employers.

However, it is important to add that AI resumes are less common with senior job seekers. “It would be easier to create AI resumes for junior roles,” explains Deepika Malla, Associate Director at Michael Page Thailand. “Resumes and CVs for senior roles require specific mentions of key achievements, details of projects and revenue – things that AI cannot create.”

Key Features of AI-Generated Resumes

AI-created resumes come with several distinct features that differentiate them from traditional resumes. These features encompass language and syntax patterns, formatting and structure trends.

Language and syntax patterns

AI algorithms capture the essence of effective communication, utilizing action verbs, concise bullet points, and sector-specific terminology to articulate an applicant’s merits.

Designed with hiring managers and recruiters in mind, these sophisticated tools strategically highlight what matters most. By analyzing troves of resume data, they pinpoint language and syntactical strategies proven to win interviews, amplifying an applicant’s visibility in a sea of candidates.

Consider an AI-crafted resume for a software engineer – it might feature compelling statements like “Developed scalable web applications via Python and Django” or “Enhanced software efficiency in collaboration with cross-functional teams.”

Not just eye candy: Resume format, structure elements and trends

Beyond crafting snappy lingo, AI algorithms can also optimize the visual presentation of information by selecting appropriate fonts, colors, and spacing.

But it is not just for eye candy; AI-generated resume formats are data-backed. AI gets into the psyche of hiring managers, decoding their go-to resume formats across industries, increasing the chances of candidates getting shortlisted for an interview.

This attention to detail enhances the overall readability and aesthetic appeal of the resume, making it more engaging for recruiters and hiring managers who often have to review numerous applications.

AI resumes can dynamically adjust the structure based on specific job descriptions and requirements. For example, if a job description emphasizes technical skills, the AI algorithm can prioritise a skills-based organization to highlight the candidate’s relevant proficiencies.

On the other hand, if the job posting emphasizes professional experience, the AI algorithm can prioritise a chronological organization to showcase the candidate’s career progression.

By combining these features, resumes generated by AI aim to increase the chances of job candidates securing job interviews and ultimately landing the desired position.

Related: How to create a great employee experience – in the office or at home

The resume revolution: Can you spot the AI?

Two male, middle-aged office workers analysing what they are seeing on a desktop compiuter screen.

So, how do you differentiate between a resume penned by a human and one by a machine? For one, look for subtleties. Algorithms often miss the nuances that come with human experience.

They may cram in job-specific jargon but miss the mark on the emotional intelligence that can only be conveyed through human words.

To increase your chances of identifying AI resumes and weeding them from the recruitment process, here are some things to note:

How to identify AI-generated resumes

1. Identify uniform, repetitive language

AI-crafted resumes frequently resort to monotonous and repetitive expressions. These documents are shaped by expansive data algorithms that inherently include recurring language structures, specific phrases and keywords. For instance, you may encounter the phrase, “I am a highly motivated and results-oriented individual,” echoed multiple times in an AI-powered resume.

2. Look for generic language

An AI-generated resume often uses generic language and all the “right words” that could apply to anyone in a particular field. Phrases such as “Possessing strong analytical and problem-solving skills” may surface, but without the substantive examples one would expect from a human applicant.

“AI-generated resumes and CVs have a tendency to sound like a job description. They would contain very general action words without tangible or relevant information,” adds Imeiniar Chandra, Regional Director at Michael Page Indonesia.

3. Look for a lack of personalization

AI-generated resumes often lack the personal touch that a human writer would bring to the document. For example, an AI-generated resume might not mention the specific job that the applicant is applying for or the skills and experience that are relevant to the position.

Related: Why an effective onboarding process is more important than you think

4. Look for unnatural sentence structures

AI resumes may occasionally betray themselves through awkward sentence constructions. Rooted in machine learning algorithms, these documents are trained on text datasets that may not strictly adhere to conventional grammatical norms.

Here are some examples:

  1. Disconnected phrases: “In my previous role, I increased sales and adept in Python.”
  2. Ambiguous statements: “Experienced in tasks, I have done many.”
  3. Overly formal language: “Utilized my competencies to effectuate revenue augmentation.”
  4. Illogical sequences: “Fluent in English, Bahasa, and JavaScript.”
  5. Redundancy: “I am a person who is highly skilled in programming and also I have programming skills.”

5. Review by multiple people

A multi-faceted review and selection process involving several team members can offer invaluable insights into a resume’s authenticity. For enhanced scrutiny, consider including individuals who have honed their resume evaluation skills before the ChatGPT era.

6. Use an AI content detector

In the battle against AI-powered resumes, consider using machine learning countermeasures. Screening tools like Sapling AI Detector and Copyleaks are not merely surface-level scanners; they delve deep into the text, identifying language patterns, flagging unnatural sentence structures, and even sniffing out plagiarized content.

7. You be the judge

If you are a seasoned hiring manager or recruiter, you already possess a treasure trove of insights from hiring processes in the era before machine-generated resumes flooded the job market.

Your firsthand experience can serve as your best sensor. When the language of a resume appears too polished or utilizes almost perfect phrases, it could very well be the handiwork of AI algorithms.

The future?

As AI continues to transform the hiring process, expect to see more AI-developed resumes flooding your inbox. In this AI-dominated world, the resume game has clearly changed. It’s time to adapt or get left behind.

AI is here to stay; if you can’t beat them, join them. But first, learn to identify them. Consider this your cheat sheet in the era of the AI-driven resume revolution. Welcome to the future; it’s written in algorithms.

Start a hiring conversation with Michael Page to find out how you, too, can reap the many benefits of a leading global recruitment agency.

Read more:
How to attract talent in a candidate-short market
How HR needs to evolve to support the future of work
Communication under a brighter spotlight: separating the good from the great

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