Don’t Let AI Cost You an Interview

Posted by Dave Reyburn on May 10, 2023 8:00 AM


Last week, we received an application for our Customer Success Specialist position. At first glance, Alex’s (not their real name) application seemed super promising. Then we began to notice red flags that created doubt about the legitimacy of their resume.

We’re sharing our experience as a kind of PSA to the EDI community to illustrate the risks of misusing AI when applying for new opportunities.

The Case of AI and the Too Perfect Match

The first red flag was the striking similarity between the summary statement on Alex’s resume and the job description we posted. To be clear, we have no problem with tailoring your resume (within reason) to highlight the alignment between your work history and the position.

But you should never claim any personality traits, professional experience, or skills you can’t defend or demonstrate in an interview.

If you do manage to secure an interview with an embellished resume, most interviewers will know within five minutes that you’re not the guy or the gal they were expecting to meet. AI is getting better all the time, but it’s still a long way from being dependable enough to trust your career to.

In Alex’s case, the second red flag was the weirdly close match between our stated job requirements and Alex’s list of accomplishments.

The match was so close, it felt as if they prompted Chat GPT to take the requirements of our position and rewrite them as career highlights. But that wasn’t the only issue.

Is AI Trippin?

Unless you’ve been living under a rock since November of 2022, you know one of AI’s shortcomings is the tendency for LLMs (large language models) to “hallucinate” if they don’t have real data at hand. Essentially, it makes stuff up to plug gaps in its knowledge.

Which brings us to the final red flag in this submission, the metrics Alex cited to support their EDI expertise. According to their resume, at their most recent employer, Alex delivered projects with a 95% on-time delivery rate and a 98% customer satisfaction score.

They also claim they boosted repeat business by 25%, decreased complaints by 20%, and increased consultant productivity by 15%.

It may be that all of the metrics listed on Alex’s resume were real. If so, we just passed on a superstar with the potential to take our business to levels even AI can’t imagine. But EDI is a complex discipline that takes several years for even its most brilliant practitioners to master.

And when we compared Alex’s resume against their LinkedIn profile we found no EDI responsibilities for their current position (or any previous EDI experience). The lack of alignment sunk their application.

Fake it ‘til You Make it Doesn’t Work in EDI

When it comes to suggesting ways to improve your resume or asking it to generate the first draft of a cover letter, AI can make the job application process faster and more efficient.

On the other hand, using it to craft a resume that includes not just keywords from the post but the exact phrasing of the job description can get you in big trouble in seconds. Literally.

In our next post on this subject, we’ll be updating our biannual-ish list of resume-writing tips to include 15 do’s and don’ts to keep in mind when using AI to write or punch up your CV.

Meanwhile, the search for the right Customer Success Specialist continues. The position requires a blend of EDI knowledge and client support experience with strong relationship-building and communication skills.

If you’re interested and feel you might be a good fit, we strongly encourage you to apply.

Provided you’re well qualified, and, you know, actually you.

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