Resumes and cover letters aren’t reliable in the age of AI, Asuria says
The Sector > Jobs News > Resumes and cover letters aren’t reliable in the age of AI, Asuria says

Resumes and cover letters aren’t reliable in the age of AI, Asuria says

by Freya Lucas

February 16, 2023

With the emergence of ChatGPT, and other freely available artificial intelligence (AI) tools, resumes and CVs can no longer be relied upon to provide a true and fair reflection of job candidates’ employment potential, Con Kittos, Executive Chairman of leading government employment services provider Asuria has said. 


Mr Kittos’ comments are likely to be of interest to those who have recruitment responsibilities in the early childhood education and care (ECEC) sector, which is currently in the grips of significant workforce shortages. 


Resumes should be retired


Asuria would like to see “the immediate retirement” of both resumes and cover letters in the recruitment process, replacing them instead with employers ”refining and improving” their hiring practices by moving away from relying on resumes, and by focussing their applicant inquiries on the core competencies for work, or what some call transferable skills.


The provider believes that resumes have already been rendered ineffective, providing unsuitable candidates with the ability to misrepresent their capabilities, while seeing those with legitimate gaps in their employment history, or those living with a mental or physical disability, judged unfairly by conscious or unconscious biases.


With the emergence of AI into the mainstream, Asuria believes it is now patently evident that resumes and cover letters can no longer be relied upon by employers to represent a job candidate’s true potential, and urges all hiring managers to strongly reconsider their use as part of the hiring process.


Unfair advantages from AI


Although Asuria don’t believe that the proliferation of AI tools are inherently malicious, the fact that they are freely available to anyone and everyone with access to a computer and an Internet connection – means that candidates are able to present a much higher level of writing ability than they might possess, thus misleading the employer and misrepresenting their suitability for a given role.


The provider also expressed concern that platforms such as ChatGPT mean that caution should be exercised over an algorithms’ ability to further exacerbate and perpetuate existing biases with regards to gender, race, age, and socio-economic status.


In response, Asuria continued, businesses need to be able to identify and guard against some candidates’ willingness to gain an unfair advantage over others through the AI-assisted manipulation and distortion of resumes and cover letters.


Ten core competencies


Asuria believes there are ten core competencies for being successful in the world of work, outlining skills which are needed to do a job well. 


These include: 


  • having good communication skills; 
  • working as part of a team;
  • problem-solving skills; 
  • good decision-making and planning abilities; 
  • the ability to use technology; 
  • understanding customer needs and expectations; 
  • being able to manage time and resources effectively; 
  • taking initiative and showing leadership qualities; and, 
  • being able to think critically. 


Rather than relying on resumes and cover letters, hiring managers should instead be encouraging potential applicants to supply a summary of a candidates’ suitability using the ten core competencies for work.


The selection process should also include what should, or could, be learnt on the job, and understanding whether candidates can learn on the job once in the role. 


“It’s time to move away from resumes and cover letters and move to core competencies and skills that can be learned on the job, and in doing so, access the more than one million unemployed and underemployed in Australia ready to get to work,” Mr Kittos said.


While Asuria does not oppose the integration of new technologies with the potential to improve the experiences and outcomes of candidates and employers, the provider did urge and encourage the technology sector to engage in ongoing consultation and collaboration with business leaders and employment experts to ensure that the integration of AI supports those whose job and career goals could benefit from greater emphasis on a strengths-based approach to employment, while taking care not to provide unfair advantages to those unsuitable for roles which AI might assist them in obtaining.

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