Will AI make resumes and cover letters even less useful than they were before? Quite possibly.
Case in point, EarnBetter, a startup founded by former Credit Karma employees, is developing a platform that lets users upload an existing resume or cover letter and have AI reformat and rewrite it for a particular job listing. Co-founder and CEO Tuck Hauptfuhrer pitches EarnBetter, which is currently free to use, as a way to “level the playing field for job seekers.”
“We’ve always felt strongly that job seekers need more support, not another expense,” Hauptfuhrer told TechCrunch in an email interview. “And you don’t have to be tech savvy to use the AI job search assistant. For example, there isn’t a long or complex onboarding flow or a prerequisite of knowing how to prompt AI. In order to get a new resume, you simply upload your existing resume and EarnBetter will reformat it and rewrite it in minutes.”
EarnBetter also provides a job search tool and an editing suite for cover letters and resumes that automatically highlights skills and experiences potentially relevant to available roles. Users can save openings for later, indicate a role isn’t of interest or send a job application through EarnBetter.
EarnBetter makes money by charging employers when people find and send job applications through the platform. Hauptfuhrer claims that people created more than 100,000 resumes and cover letters during EarnBetter’s beta period.
“The job search market is large. Traditional job boards, staffing companies and others are all competing to help people find work and employers hire talent,” he said. “EarnBetter is uniquely focused on supporting job seekers by harnessing generative AI to deliver a product that’s free, fast and easy to use.”
Image Credits: EarnBetter
But what about those poor souls spending ages crafting and refining their resume and cover letter drafts? Well, they might soon be in the minority. According to a recent poll from Resume Builder, nearly half of current and recent job seekers were using OpenAI’s AI-powered chatbot, ChatGPT, to write their resumes or cover letters.
Even before the advent of job-application-generating AI, candidates writing letters and resumes from scratch might’ve been behind the times.
Only around 2% of the millions of listings on the job-finding platform Indeed mentioned a cover letter as of March 2023, according to Vox. And many hiring managers report not actually reading cover letters — only checking to see whether they’re included if a listing asks for it. In the rare instances where hiring managers do review resumes and cover letters, they’re not necessarily fixating on them — one study found that recruiters spend an average of six seconds on a cover letter.
Be this as it may, one could argue that AI-powered tools like EarnBetter give those with access to them — which isn’t everyone — an unfair advantage in job searches, at least in the sense that they save time on applications that require resumes and cover letters.
Hauptfuhrer doesn’t see it that way, however — and argues that EarnBetter provides a service to employers as well as job seekers by not only matching them with candidates but ensuring that resumes and cover letters are “professionally written, cleanly formatted and tailored to [each] position” (although “professionally written” is in the eye of the beholder, I’d strongly assert).
“In this way, we’re helping employers initially evaluate candidates based on the relevance of their skills and experiences as opposed to their ability to format a resume,” Hauptfuhrer said. “EarnBetter’s AI job search assistant can also help identify roles that a job seeker may qualify for beyond what they are searching for. By doing so, EarnBetter can help broaden the aperture of someone’s search, and expand the talent pool for employers.”
In any case, VCs evidently see promise in EarnBetter’s business model. Andreessen Horowitz, Abstract Ventures and Figma founder Dylan Field are among the investors in the startup’s $4.5 million seed round, the proceeds from which Hauptfuhrer says will be put toward expanding EarnBetter’s eight-person team and building new AI-powered products and services.
“EarnBetter is an AI-native company, and we’re obsessed with thinking about how advancements in AI can benefit job seekers,” Hauptfuhrer said. “Generative AI is exceptionally powerful. By designing a product that is free, fast and easy-to-use, we aspire to make the power of AI accessible to all job seekers.”