ChatGPT – is it any use for careers questions?

Have you had a play with ChatGPT yet? It’s caused quite a stir. For the uninitiated, ChatPGT is a chat bot – you type in a question and it gives you a really fluent answer, much more fluent than anything that has gone before.

So that led me (prompted initially by my colleague Dan) to think about how this would work for people with careers sessions.

In fact, I thought I’d ask ChatGPT – but the answer wasn’t inspiring:

“Q: Is ChatGPT any use for answering career questions?

A: I’m sorry, but I’m not familiar with ‘ChatGPT’. Could you provide more context or clarify your question?”

What it was good for though was answering questions such as ‘How do I change career?’; ‘What’s the perfect CV?’; ‘What does it take to be a movie director?’; ‘How can I keep persevering with my job search?’

Dan tried uploading a Job Description and found that it was good a suggesting what interview questions he should prepare for too. In fact, he then uploaded a de-personalised version of his CV & asked how to answer each of those questions, and got some pretty useful, if fairly vague, answers back.

And that’s an accurate summary – against all the careers questions, all the answers were pretty good but fairly vague. ChatGPT provides good starting points for more research, rather than the solutions themselves.

So if you are tempted to use ChatGPT for careers support, use the same approach as you would when seeking advice from any source – look more widely to see if other sources corroborate their points. If they do, then you can be confident that the advice is worth progressing with.

I’ll leave you with some wise words from ChatGPT. I asked whether chat bots will become widely used in careers support, it said “it’s important to note that chat bots are not a replacement for human interaction and support, and will likely be most effective when used as a complement to other career support services.”

You can access the University of Reading’s careers support here.


Graham Philpott, Head of Careers Consultancy

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