AI-Generated Resumes Lead to More Job Offers and Higher Wages, Study Finds

Using AI in job applications correlates to more job offers and higher wages, with employers unable to tell the difference.

Close-up of a white folder that reads "resume" in silver letters.
AI tools are helping prospective employees get hired. Photo by John Moore/Getty Images

Job seekers who use artificial intelligence tools to perfect their resumes are more likely to get hired, according to a new study from researchers at the Sloan School of Management at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.

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The paper examined how algorithmic writing services, which are becoming more and more sophisticated, can affect hiring processes. Artificial intelligence tools like ChatGPT, which was released by OpenAI in December, have already become widely used by students for university assignments and prospective employees for resumes and cover letters.

Candidates who used an algorithmic writing service to write resumes had an 8 percent increase in their probability of being hired, according to the study, which was conducted with nearly 500,000 job seekers in July and August 2021. Those who used A.I. tools also had 7.8 percent more job offers and matched with companies proposing wages 8.4 higher than those offered to candidates who didn’t use algorithmic writing.

The study used an unnamed algorithmic writing service which underlined words and phrases spelled or used incorrectly, offering suggestions for spelling and grammar errors. Job seekers with more than 99 percent of their resume spelled correctly were nearly three more times likely to be hired in a month than those who had less than 90 percent of words spelled correctly, according to the paper, which was dated Feb. 9 and released by the National Bureau of Economic Research. The study is a working paper, which means it hasn’t yet been peer reviewed.

The AI tool used in the study also gave advice on punctuation, word and phrase usage, and style factors regarding tone and clarity. While the paper found that resumes with less grammar errors and typos were hired more, style errors such as unnecessarily flowery language actually correlated to an increase in hiring.

Employers don’t notice a difference in quality

Despite concerns that the use of algorithmic services can unfairly lead to the hiring of unqualified employees who aren’t adept at writing, the paper found that employers didn’t report a difference in employee quality for those those who used AI tools in their resumes.

“Contrary to concerns that the assistance is taking away a valuable signal, we find no evidence that employers were less satisfied,” read the paper. “This kind of algorithmic writing assistance will likely ‘ruin’ writing as a signal.”

This isn’t the first time AI has been used in hiring processes, although algorithmic services have traditionally been used by employers instead of prospective employees.

Nearly one in four companies use AI tools while hiring employers, according to a February 2022 survey from the Society for Human Resource Management. This usage increases as companies get larger, with 42 percent of organizations with 5,000 or more employees using algorithmic help in order to screen candidate resumes, monitor social media presences and examine past employers.

AI-Generated Resumes Lead to More Job Offers and Higher Wages, Study Finds