Since its launch in November 2022, ChatGPT has continued to disrupt many areas of professional life, including hiring. Experts seem torn; is using AI to write your application materials misrepresenting yourself, or is it simply a cheaper, more efficient way to best convey your candidacy?

In March, surveyed 1,000 hiring managers (those who ‘somewhat’ or ‘very’ frequently review candidates’ application materials at their workplace) to find out what they think about candidates using ChatGPT.

The results:

  • 6 in 10 have seen an increase in quality applications since ChatGPT’s launch
  • More than 8 in 10 use ChatGPT themselves in the hiring process
  • Only 18% successfully identified cover letters written by ChatGPT
  • 1 in 4 still maintain that using ChatGPT is “cheating”

6 in 10 Hiring Managers Say They’ve Seen an Increase in Higher Quality Applications Since ChatGPT

Although, of course, correlation does not equal causation, it does seem that ChatGPT is helping candidates put their best foot forward. Sixty-one percent of respondents say they’ve noticed an increase in qualified applications since ChatGPT’s launch in November 2022.

Sixty-three percent of hiring managers also said that, on average, the candidates whom they believe used ChatGPT to apply appear more qualified than candidates who they do not believe used ChatGPT.

“As I suspected, this new technology is having great results, with over 60% of these hiring managers seeing more qualified applications,” comments Stacie Haller, Chief Career Advisor. Haller has been a ChatGPT proponent as this technology continues to evolve.

“Clearly, a better written resume helps candidates highlight their abilities, so hiring managers are seeing an increase in high-quality applications” she continues. “The message here is for candidates to jump on this technology as well. Staying current on tech is key for candidates in this evolving market.”

More Than 8 in 10 Are Using ChatGPT in the Hiring Process

It’s not just applicants who are benefitting from ChatGPT. Eighty-five percent of respondents say they ‘somewhat’ (46%) or ‘very’ (39%) often use ChatGPT to write job descriptions. Additionally, a similar percentage also say they ‘somewhat’ (46%) or ‘very’ (39%) often use ChatGPT to correspond with job applicants.

“HR managers are jumping on the bandwagon with regard to using ChatGPT for writing job descriptions and communicating with applicants, during just these few months since this technology rolled out,” continues Haller. “These findings are consistent with our other surveys in that it is the cohort group of 25-44 year old managers driving this new technology.”

Fewer Than 1 in 5 Hiring Managers Can Identify Cover Letters Written by ChatGPT

Ninety-one percent of respondents say they receive application materials they believe were written by ChatGPT ‘somewhat’ (48%) or ‘very’ (43%) often, with the most common materials including cover letters (80%) and writing samples (60%).

Additionally, when asked to rate the quality of application materials written by ChatGPT, 7 in 10 rated them as ‘high’ (44%) or ‘very high’ (27%) quality.

However, when we asked hiring managers to review three cover letter introductions to see if they would be able to tell which was written by a human and which was written by ChatGPT, only 18% got all three right.

Many May Be Overestimating Use of ChatGPT

According to our survey of job seekers from February 2023, only 46% of job seekers say they are using ChatGPT to write their resumes and/or cover letters, a much lower percentage than hiring managers in this survey believe are using ChatGPT.

More Than 1 in 4 Still Believe Using ChatGPT is “Cheating”

Despite its utility to both job seekers and employers, 28% of respondents ‘somewhat’ (18%) or ‘strongly’ (10%) agree that using ChatGPT is cheating, and 27% would be ‘somewhat’ (15%) or ‘very’ (12%) likely to reject a candidate for using ChatGPT.

When asked why they would be likely to reject a candidate for using ChatGPT, write-in responses included:

  • “I think you have to have your own ideas and thoughts.”
  • “I get too many identical cover letters.”
  • “If they can’t even complete the most basic application materials by themselves, they won’t be reliable at work.”

In addition, the majority of hiring managers want to at least be aware that a candidate used ChatGPT to write their materials, as 79% say they ‘somewhat’ (46%) or ‘very’ (33%) frequently use AI detection tools on application materials.

Vast Majority May No Longer Require Take-Home Projects Due to ChatGPT

Regardless of their opinion on ChatGPT, 93% of respondents say they are ‘somewhat’ (51%) or ‘strongly’ (42%) considering removing take-home projects from the application process as applicants can so easily have ChatGPT complete them.

When asked how they can tell that someone used ChatGPT to complete an assignment, responses included sentiments such as:

  • “It’s so perfect that it’s not written by people.”
  • “The AI’s answers took a similar number of words per paragraph, which humans rarely do when writing essays.”
  • “It’s so obvious that AI writing material has certain words and grammar, it doesn’t read smoothly.”

All of this indicates that the debate over ChatGPT is far from over, as a percentage of hiring managers appear to be set staunchly against ChatGPT.

However, all of this begs the question: if hiring managers can’t consistently tell the difference between AI-generated and human-generated application materials, to the point that many are vastly overestimating its use, and the majority also believe they are seeing more qualified applications, then perhaps the negativity surrounding ChatGPT has been overblown?

Instead, this technology may prove beneficial to all involved in the hiring process. “With the enthusiasm about using ChatGPT growing, so is the hiring process, and both hiring managers and candidates are constantly adapting. The end result is that this process is working more efficiently for both parties,” Haller finishes.


This survey was commissioned by and conducted online by the survey platform Pollfish from March 22-26, 2023. In total, 1,000 participants in the U.S. completed the full survey. All participants had to pass through demographic filters to ensure they were currently employed for wages, worked at a company with at least two employees, had a household income of at least $50,000/year, and were at least 25 years of age.

Additionally, respondents had to identify their company role as either a C-level executive, HR manager, President/CEO/Chairperson, or owner or partner. Respondents then went through a primary screening to include only respondents who ‘somewhat’ or ‘very’ frequently review candidates’ application materials, and a secondary screening to include only respondents who believe they’ve reviewed materials written by ChatGPT.

The survey used a convenience sampling method, and to avoid bias from this component Pollfish employs Random Device Engagement (RDE) to ensure both random and organic surveying. Learn more about Pollfish’s survey methodology or contact [email protected] for more information.