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Published: Apr 03, 2024 4 min read
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Less than a year and a half has passed since the release of ChatGPT, and generative AI has already become a crucial job-hunting tool.

It's no secret that applying for jobs can be taxing, and no one's paying you for the time and labor you invest in all those cover letters, resumes and interview prep. This is likely part of the reason why 53% of recently hired U.S. workers say they used generative AI tools to help them with the job search process, according to a new report from ZipRecruiter.

That share of job seekers using AI has surged since the last time the job-listing site surveyed new hires in the second quarter of 2023. At that point, just 25% said they'd used AI while trying to find a new job.

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How job seekers are using AI

Resume-writing is the No. 1 way that job seekers are using tools like ChatGPT, with 23% of those who used generative AI reporting it was for that purpose.

Recent hires also say they tapped AI for assistance with these tasks:

  • Drafting a cover letter: 21%
  • Researching careers: 19%
  • Preparing for interviews: 18%
  • Researching salaries: 16%
  • Completing a pre-hire assignment: 15%
  • Drafting correspondence: 11%

Career experts have mixed opinions about whether it’s a good idea to use artificial intelligence to apply for jobs. On one hand, these tools could save you time, allowing you to cast a wide net and potentially boost your chances of employment by getting more applications out.

But the quality of an AI-generated cover letter, for example, often won’t be as good as what you could write if you dedicated a couple of manual hours to the task — nor will it be as authentic of a representation of who you are and why you’re the right person for a particular role.

Workers can also run into trouble if they use AI in the application process to perform tasks that they’d otherwise be incapable of executing. Your employer will likely be displeased on your first day on the job to discover you lack the skills that you appeared to have in the application process.

Who is using AI to find jobs?

As you might expect, younger job seekers have adopted AI to a greater degree than those who are older, according to ZipRecruiter. Here's a breakdown by generation of the share of of recent hires who said they used AI in their job search:

  • Gen Z, which includes people ages 18 to 24: 56%
  • Millennial, ages 25 to 34: 71%
  • Early Generation X, ages 35 to 44: 60%
  • Late Generation X, ages 45 to 54: 31%
  • Baby boomer, ages 55 and older: 15%
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