Since ChatGPT launched in November 2022, many people seeking employment have used the tool to write job application materials such as resumes and cover letters.

In May, surveyed 2,921 U.S.-based Generation Z (Gen Zers ages 18 to 27) who are currently looking or recently looked for a job. We found 22% used ChatGPT to create their resume or cover letter. This cohort took our full survey as we sought to understand the impact of young job seekers utilizing ChatGPT to create resumes and cover letters.

Study highlights:

  • Only 22% of Gen Zers used ChatGPT to create their resume or cover letter
  • Users prompted ChatGPT to write their resume or cover letter with information about their skills, education, job description, work experience, and more
  • 77% made edits to what ChatGPT provided
  • More than half report getting responses from employers frequently; 52% had more success in job searches when using ChatGPT
  • 98% of Gen Z ChatGPT users secured an interview, and 90% received a job offer

1 in 5 Gen Zers Used ChatGPT To Create Job Application Materials

Despite growing up with technology and ChatGPT launching nearly two years ago, only 22% of Gen Zers say they used ChatGPT during their recent job search. Of these Gen Zers, 83% used the resource for their resumes, and 63% utilized it for their cover letters.

“It is somewhat surprising that only a minority of Gen Zers are using AI technology for job applications,” says ResumeTemplates’ Executive Resume Writer Andrew Stoner.

“Based on ResumeTemplates’ previous study, as many as 70% of Gen Zers are getting help from their parents in the job search process. Some Gen Zers might feel safer or more likely to succeed with assistance from their parents on job applications instead of using ChatGPT. Their parents might also be dissuading them from using the tool.”

Majority Provide ChatGPT With Specific Prompts

When utilizing ChatGPT to develop their resume or cover letter, Gen Zers report providing the tool with several key forms of information.

“As long as the information is specific and accurate, giving ChatGPT more content to source when creating job application materials should produce better results,” explains Stoner. Hesuggests the following list of the most important information needed:

1. Target job description
2. Details and accomplishments from previous jobs, extracurricular activities, or leadership experiences
3. Skills
4. Education

For resumes, they most often report sharing their skills (89%), education (73%), and years of work experience (72%). With cover letters, Gen Zers most frequently gave ChatGPT information about their skills (82%), description of the job (69%), and education (65%).

While the majority of Gen Zers made some (54%) or a lot (25%) of edits to their ChatGPT generated resume, 21% say they made little to no changes.

Similarly, 23% put in minimal to no edits to their cover letter, 46% made some changes, and 31% made many.

More Than Half Say They Received More Responses After Using ChatGPT for Application Materials

Gen Zers report high levels of success with their ChatGPT resume and/or cover letter. Of those who had submitted application materials without the help of ChatGPT, the majority (52%) say they received more responses from employers when using ChatGPT. Conversely, 29% say there was no change in responses, while 19% say they received fewer replies when using the AI tool.

Overall 56% of Gen Z ChatGPT users say they frequently get responses from employers, while 34% say they do occasionally, and 10% rarely or never get responses.

Almost all Gen Z ChatGPT users secured at least one interview

Among Gen Zers who used ChatGPT, 98% say that they have secured at least one interview. 93% have received two or more interview offers, and 26% have secured five or more interviews.

Of those who interviewed, 90% received a job offer; 28% received one offer, 33% got two, 20% got three, and 9% got four or more job offers. Among those who received an offer, 78% accepted.

Of Gen Zers who accepted a job, the majority (69%) report securing a higher salary.

1 in 3 Say a Hiring Manager Asked About Their Use of ChatGPT

One-third of Gen Zers who submitted application materials utilizing ChatGPT say a hiring manager inquired about their use of AI.

When speaking to the hiring manager about ChatGPT, 79% admitted that they used the AI for their application. Among those who admitted to using ChatGPT, 96% believe hiring managers generally view their use of the tool positively.

That said, 50% report being denied a job because a company discovered they used ChatGPT on their application.

“Most hiring managers and employers seem open to ChatGPT as long as it is used appropriately and proficiently,” says Stoner. “If the job application materials are accurate and authentic, I don’t think hiring managers are as likely to take negative action. Conversely, if an interview uncovers dishonesty stemming from ChatGPT usage, that could prove problematic.”

“Effectively utilizing ChatGPT for a job application could also be an indicator of a candidate’s ability to leverage technology on the job.”

9 in 10 will use ChatGPT on future job applications

Gen Zers already using the AI tool intend to continue, with 93% saying that they are very likely (50%) or likely (43%) to use ChatGPT on future job applications. On the other hand, 6% say they are unlikely, and 1% are very unlikely.

“I believe ChatGPT could be a helpful tool for young people when completing job applications. The key is to use it as a tool in developing organization and verbiage based on their unique content or to enhance an existing resume,” explains Stoner.

The survey was conducted in May 2024. In total, 2,921 U.S. respondents ages 18 to 27 were surveyed. To take the survey respondents had to answer that they have searched for a job within the last year.

Written by professional resume writers and loved by hiring managers

ResumeTemplates offers free, HR approved resume templates to help you create a professional resume in minutes. Choose from several template options and even pre-populate a resume from your profile.