Search
Close this search box.

Should You Write Your Resume with AI? The Truth about AI Resume Tools

white printer paper beside silver laptop computer

Overview

There isn’t a job seeker out there who hasn’t explored using an AI-powered resume writing tool or service to craft their resume.

That’s no surprise—resume writing is hard, time-consuming, and stressful.

And if artificial intelligence can write a better resume and do it quicker and more efficiently than doing it yourself, job seekers are going to jump at the opportunity to take advantage of this technology.

The question that everyone is asking, however, is: Do AI resume writing tools really work? If they do work, how good of a job do they do?

In this article, we dive into the world of AI-powered resume writing tools and services to understand their effectiveness. We weigh the pros and cons, explore unique personal experiences, and thoroughly examine what AI can and cannot do and what to expect when using an AI resume writing service.

Do AI Resume Tools Really Work?

AI resume writing tools can be powerful, says Eric Eng, founder and CEO of AdmissionSight. They are adept at analyzing job descriptions, extracting key information, and aligning that with a candidate’s skills and experience.

“This creates a tailored resume that resonates with the specifics of the job role,” says Eng. “The disadvantage, on the other hand, is that AI can sometimes oversimplify a candidate’s story. It may fail to bring out the personal nuances, achievements, and career highlights that human reviewers often look for. The potential limitations of AI resume services are in areas where human intuition and subjectivity are key. For instance, they may not adequately reflect a candidate’s personality, values, or cultural fit, which are often vital aspects.”

Eng said that job seekers using AI tools as part of the job search and application process is similar to the college admissions process, where a personal, human touch is crucial.

“While AI has its merits, particularly in standardizing formatting and identifying basic skill matches, it may lack the ability to weave in the candidate’s unique narrative and passion, which are often key in making an application stand out,” says Eng. “In my line of work, understanding the candidate’s unique story, their strengths, weaknesses, ambitions, and more is crucial, and AI may fall short in capturing these nuances.”

Those who strike the right balance between automation and personalization will have the most success using AI to write a resume. Put plainly: you can use AI, but always edit its output.

“Job seekers can use AI for the initial draft, focusing on the structure, formatting, and keyword matching,” says Eng. “Once the AI has done its part, the candidate can add their personal stories, ambitions, and unique qualities. This hybrid approach can help create a resume that is both tailored to the job role and infused with the candidate’s unique personality and potential.”

Take a Personalized Approach

Applying for jobs can be a full-time job, and most people struggle to start a job search because they struggle with writing a resume. They don’t apply to open jobs because of a poorly crafted resume or don’t understand where to even start when writing one.

That’s where AI can actually benefit job seekers.

“Having an AI resume builder as an option is a real lifesaver,” says Jarir Mallah, Human Resources manager at Ling App. “I would suggest spending a proper amount of time crafting your template and plugging that into an AI builder to satisfy the criteria for each role. You must personalize your CV, so really learn how to leverage AI to your advantage. Otherwise, a generic CV isn’t going to cut it.”

Giovanni Della Ventura, head of content for giodella.com, says yes, these services work, but like any content generated by AI, the results must be analyzed, modified, and tweaked.

“As an account manager, I often analyze candidates’ resumes, and the ones generated entirely by AI are discarded,” says Della Ventura. “The reason? A candidate must be able to underline their potential and assert their strengths, and the resume is the best way to do this.”

So, take the time to personalize and customize all resumes—even AI-generated ones—for each job.

“Only we humans can personalize them and make them unique by using our tone and highlighting our strengths, and for a resume, this is even more important,” says Della Ventura.

AI: No Substitute for the Human Touch

No AI, regardless of how sophisticated, can fully replace the human touch, says Nikoleta Kuhejda, PR and content manager at Kickresume, an AI-based career tool that helps candidates score jobs and raise their salary with powerful resume and cover letter tools, skills analytics, and automated job search assistance.

“It doesn’t know your specific achievements or personal stories that can make your resume stand out,” says Kuhejda. “What AI does is provide you with a robust foundation and structure—it takes away the initial struggle of starting a resume and guides you to make it suitable for different jobs.

That being said, and this may come as a surprise to most job seekers, Kuhejda advises job seekers not to spend excessive time tailoring each application to perfection. However, don’t cut corners or get into the mode where you submit the same resume for several jobs.

But take note of these results from the Kickresume study What If You Showed Recruiters the Same Resume Twice? Kickresume wanted to see if recruiters are consistent in their choices, both with each other and with themselves. So, they asked a surveyed sample of recruiters to look at over 12,000 pairs of candidates’ resumes and job ads to find out this info:

  • Will multiple recruiters agree if a candidate is a good fit for a job?
  • Will the same recruiter be consistent with their choice when given the same resume twice?
  • And is there a potential for automation?

Key findings of the study found that:

  • Recruiters are subjective. Recruiters often disagreed among themselves about whether candidates were suited for a job. On average, the level of agreement between the recruiters was roughly halfway between random and perfect agreement.
  • Recruiters are inconsistent (and a bit unpredictable). When a recruiter was presented with the same resume twice, they could consistently identify unsuitable candidates. However, when a candidate was deemed suitable, recruiters were consistent only 40% of the time, with their decisions appearing more random in 60% of cases.
  • Recruiters perform similarly to AI. AI demonstrated a similar level of consistency in assessing resumes compared to human recruiters.

“This doesn’t mean ignoring the quality of your resume completely—recruiters are quite consistent in identifying poor resumes,” said Kuhejda. “But rather than striving for excellence, aim for a really good resume. This you can achieve by leveraging AI and then making it more you.”

How Do AI Resume Builders Work?

Companies like Rezi, Teal, Zety, MyPerfectResume, VisualCV, and ResumeGenius are among the growing list of services providing AI-powered resume writing tools. The intricacies of each AI-generated tool vary.

For example, at Kickresume, their AI resume writer utilizes Chat GPT-4, an advanced language model. You can either use it to automatically generate your entire resume or have it only write specific sections for your resume, such as the summary, work experience, and so on. It helps write your resume based on your name and job title and generates a first draft relevant for your position.

“Think of it as an advanced brainstorming tool,” says Kuhejda. “Of course, for your resume to truly represent you and your accomplishments, we always advise you to edit it.”

Myths about AI-Generating Resume Tools

Many people are skeptical about using AI tools because they feel they don’t understand AI, how to use it, how it works, and how it can help them in the resume writing process. They often worry that in addition to stressing about providing information to write the resume, they will now have to learn new technology and how to use the platform to be successful.

That’s one myth about these types of platforms that isn’t accurate, says Kuhejda.

“You don’t have to learn the tool,” she said. “If you can use a computer or your phone, you’ll feel right at home using something like Kickresume. It’s really simple. What’s more, if you decide to go through the entire process the old-fashioned way, you’re on your own formulating it. You have to write every single sentence, learn the appropriate language, research the role, understand the keywords, and so on. That’s not even counting the design and formatting part or several revisions until it’s perfect. Whereas with these AI resume builders, you only need to know what your job is about. The AI tool will take care of the rest—it will use the right language and even format it nicely for you.”

Do Employers Reject AI-Powered Resumes?

Parker Gilbert is the CEO of Numeric.io, a company that integrates AI into their accounting automation tools. He has experience screening resumes for new hires and leads a company team focused on leveraging AI for efficiency. 

Gilbert says AI-powered resumes provide the foundation from which to start, but candidates still need to be able to speak to what they did, why it mattered, and specific proof points, which require personal reflection, not AI.

“AI cannot yet replicate the human ability to weave personal stories, specific facts that relate to a person’s experience, and contextual achievements into a resume or cover letter,” says Gilbert. “The key to striking the right balance is using AI as a tool for efficiency—to draft and proofread—while ensuring that the content is infused with personal insights and specific examples that only the individual can provide. Specificity is key for resumes; AI thrives when the task is general.

As a recruiter, it’s less about detecting whether a resume is AI-generated and more about the content’s quality and relevance, says Gilbert. 

For example, at Numeric.io, Gilbert says they prioritize how well a candidate can demonstrate their ability to leverage tools, including AI, to solve problems. The focus is on the candidate’s qualifications and fit for the role, regardless of whether the resume was AI-assisted or self-written. That being said, if the resume is bland or generic, they discount the candidate. This is true whether the result was created using AI tools or written solely by a human.

“Job seekers should view AI as an aid, not a replacement,” says Gilbert. “Utilize AI tools for initial drafts and error checking, but ensure that the final submission is rich with personal anecdotes and specific achievements that showcase your qualifications.”

Avoid Pure AI Resume Dependency

Orienting towards AI in every aspect of business, and now even careers, is largely being embraced, says Jack Vivian, chief technology officer of Increditools. Since it’s much easier and more accessible to get your work done by inputting a few details, job seekers are eager to use AI tools to create resumes. However, job seekers want to avoid relying solely on AI to produce a resume because employers can spot generic resume content—however it was created—with just a quick glance, says Vivian. 

“I firmly believe that without human cooperation, drafting an effective resume isn’t possible,” says Vivian. “Rather, it’s better to take a few insights from resume-building AI tools, incorporate them, and give a human touch to stand out from the crowd. This will originally take a bit of your time, but you will catch the employer’s eye for sure.”

AI Tools Are Efficient and Save Time

Carlos Da Silva, physician assistant and web content writer at PA Career Hub, has personally used AI-generating resume tools and worked with other job seekers who have also used these services. Based on these experiences, Da Silva says these services do work, but they won’t do the entire job for you, in a similar way to other generative AI tools that exist right now.

“In my opinion, AI resume tools are great time-savers that can improve your resume, especially if you have limited experience with writing this kind of document,” says Da Silva. “They are able to extract relevant keywords from a job posting, for example, and then ensure you’re using the correct keyword density in your resume to get a hiring manager’s attention. They can also be very beneficial in ensuring your resume is formatted properly.”

That said, Da Silva advises job seekers to take the time to review, read, and proof their resume before submitting it with a job application. 

“AI tools don’t always get every detail correct, for one thing, so you at minimum want to read through them to make sure the information it includes about your skills and experience is accurate,” says Da Silva.

The text produced by AI resume generators can also have grammatical errors or other minor issues, Da Silva noted.

“There is also a distinctive tone to AI-generated text that many hiring managers will pick up on, especially if they see a lot of resumes that were written this way,” he said. “This can count against you if they take that as a sign that your resume is spam or that you didn’t put your full effort into writing it.”

Da Silva’s bottom line advice: “Absolutely make use of AI resume generators as part of your job search, but do not rely on them entirely,” he said. “They still need a human touch to be fully effective.”

AI Tools Modernize Resume Structure

AI resume-generating tools can be very effective, specifically when it comes to structuring and optimizing your resume, says Tristan Harris, demand generation senior marketing manager at Thrive Digital Marketing Agency. They utilize modern formats and designs that stand out to employers, giving your resume a more polished and professional look.

“Our careers indeed evolve over time, and sometimes our resumes can lag behind, reflecting outdated styles or missing key accomplishments,” said Harris. “That’s where an AI tool can be especially useful—it helps us to modernize and streamline our resumes. Still, we need to remember that while these tools optimize the format and presentation of our resumes, the content is still up to us. We need to provide accurate, compelling details about our experience and skills. The AI tool then takes this content and presents it in a way that is more likely to catch the eye of hiring managers.”

AI Resume Tools: Useful with Caveats

Bhavik Sarkhedi, growth head and CMO at Content Whale, has not had good experiences reviewing AI-generated resumes that do not include more personalization or specific details that only an individual would know to include on their resume.

“They churn out bland resumes,” he said. “When I’m hiring for marketing, I see tons of them, and they’re pretty much all the same. Nothing beats a resume that someone has put their own spin on. AI resumes? Not a fan. They lack personality. I always say, ‘AI writes, but human insight ignites and excites.'”

Chloe Brittain, founder of Monday Roadmap, encourages job seekers who use these tools to understand these services come with some caveats. Brittain admits she is a fan of generative AI tools and that she also struggles with formatting documents. She says job seekers should take advantage of the free services and tools but understand that upgrades such as cover letters, resume reviews, or premium templates, among other services, come with additional costs. 

If you know that going in, take advantage of the tools available to you, she says. And put in the effort to personalize each resume and the human touch.

These tools are “good for getting a professionally formatted rough draft down, but as with all things GenAI, resume generators are not yet perfect, and you will need to make some tweaks,” said Brittain.

Use AI as a Starting Point

AI resume-generating tools are helpful to set a baseline from which to start, says Megan Dias, a career services coach at Parsity. They can specifically help with these resume writing challenges:

  • Writing the resume in a way that stands out to employers
  • Comparing aspects of a resume against job description keywords
  • Understanding what might be missing from the existing resume.

“My advice is to use AI to get started, but from there, finesse it to sound more like the individual in order to properly verbally discuss accomplishments and experiences in an interview setting and feel confident in the existing resume content,” says Dias.

Enhances Layout and Design

These tools do work in terms of improving the layout and readability of a resume, says Jonathan Merry, founder of Moneyzine. As an entrepreneur, Merry has reviewed hundreds of resumes and believes that resumes generated by AI are generally quite well-structured and easy to read. This is really important because it helps key information stand out, makes the resume more engaging, and allows for a quicker assessment of a candidate’s fit for the job, says Merry.

However, it’s important to remember that the content of the resume is still the most critical aspect.

“While readability is valuable, I think a candidate’s qualifications and experiences are what truly matter,” says Merry. “AI tools can enhance a resume’s presentation, but ultimately, it’s up to the candidate to put in the most effort in showcasing their skills and achievements effectively. A well-presented resume can catch an employer’s eye, but the substance of the candidate’s experiences and achievements is what leads to job opportunities.”

Quick Tips for Success

If you are considering using an AI-generated resume writing tool or service, follow these tips for success, says Kuhejda:

  • View the AI-generated resume as a starting point/first draft, not the final document.
  • Once you’ve generated your first draft, fill it with as much unique information as possible—your accomplishments, unique projects, or career highlights. The AI will provide a nice structure; you just need to make it more ‘you.’
  • You can import your LinkedIn profile to save time and ensure consistency across platforms. Then, use the “rewrite section” feature. This gives the AI a richer context to structure your resume, and you won’t need to edit it that much.
  • Just remember that the right blend of AI efficiency and your personal touch is what usually sets a resume apart.

The Bottom Line About AI Resume Tools

AI-generated resume writing tools can and do work but require a human touch to truly stand out. Use these tips and strategies when creating a resume using AI-generated resume writing services.

Matt Krumrie
Matt Krumrie
Matt Krumrie is a resume expert and freelance writer whose work has been published in over 200 newspapers, websites, and magazines. He has 15+ years of experience writing resumes for clients of all backgrounds, from college grad, to entry-level to mid-career, executive and more. Matt lives in Minnesota.

Recommended posts