Korean Job Seekers in a Fix as Firms Penalize AI Resumes

Korean Job Seekers in a Fix as Firms Penalize AI Resumes

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Hiring managers in South Korea’s large firms are penalizing AI generated resumes leaving scores of job seekers in a predicament, according to a survey.

The study revealed managers are not happy with AI resumes for lacking originality and creativity, forcing them to downgrade their evaluations on any AI assisted resume. The results of the study are based on a survey done on human resources managers drawn from South Korea’s top 500 firms by sales.

Total disapproval

Since the launch of OpenAI’s ChatGPT, there has been a race for generative AI across the globe with both businesses and individuals jostling to lay their hands on the technology, on the back of its transformative abilities.  The technology enables unskilled personnel to compose musical lyrics, write poems and prose, create videos, and generate images that look real.

Job hunters have not been left behind, as they too have turned to generative AI to polish their resumes and applications to increase their chances on the labor market.

But South Korea won’t accept that. A recent Labor Ministry and the Korea Employment Information Service survey revealed that 64.4% of South Korean firms disapprove of any AI made resume.

An estimated 23.2% of the firms said they would completely reject applications showing any signs of AI assistance in the resume making process.

Of the total hiring managers averse to use of AI in crafting resumes, at least 42.4% indicated that they downgrade their evaluation of those applications.

While concerns around originality are valid, there are also fears that fully qualified personnel may miss out on crucial opportunities and discriminated upon based on resume composition.

But can companies tell?

However, although the hiring managers showed lack of interest in AI resumes, the same study also revealed that businesses in South Korea do not have adequate AI detectors.

Yet other studies elsewhere, like a 2023 survey by Resume Builder reported nearly half of job hunters, at 46% admitted they used ChatGPT to assist them build their resumes, cover letters “or both.”

Another survey done late 2023 by StandOut CV, a resume writing service provider showed about 73% of adults in the US would consider AI to embellish or lie in their resumes.

Despite these figures, hiring managers in South Korea – 73% still do not have the technology to distinguish between an original and AI made resume.

About 18.7% said they outsourced to third party agencies to verify resumes and applications. Only 8.3% indicated having internal mechanisms that can filter out any AI content from resumes and cover letters.

Also read: China blocks the use of Intel chips in government computers

The telling the difference

According to SHRM, it is possible for hiring managers to detect the AI lies and embellishments in an application. The organization suggests probing questions on the applicant’s experience as well as simply asking about their reliance on AI.

“I’d be more interested to see if they lie about using AI than if they went that route to make their resume more streamlined or professional looking,” said Allegra Highsmith, VP recruiting at the Exeter, N.H-based Goodwin Recruiting.

“Ultimately, people aren’t great at writing resumes,” she said, adding one’s genuine voice telling their real experiences usually stands out among other resumes more than something “that is produced by extracting data from the sea of resumes that AI can pull from.”

The contradictions

While South Korean firms are averse to AI assisted resumes and applications, other studies have however shown that people who use AI to polish up their resumes stand better chances on the job market.

According to an article by MIT Management Sloan School, AI helps clean up grammar and spelling mistakes that might put off hiring managers, limiting chances of getting hired.

“Algorithmic writing assistance can help new job seekers find and fix spelling, grammatical, and usage errors in their resumes. Employers approve, research shows,” reads part of the article.

The article is based on a study titled  “Algorithmic Writing Assistance on Jobseekers’ Resumes Increases Hires,” – co-authored by MIT Sloan PhD student Zanele Munyikwa and MIT Sloan Professor John Horton.

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