Algorithmic Writing Assistance on Jobseekers’ Resumes Increases Hires
There is a strong association between the quality of the writing in a resume for new labor market entrants and whether those entrants are ultimately hired. We show that this relationship is, at least partially, causal: a field experiment in an online labor market was conducted with nearly half a million jobseekers in which a treated group received algorithmic writing assistance. Treated jobseekers experienced an 8% increase in the probability of getting hired. Contrary to concerns that the assistance is taking away a valuable signal, we find no evidence that employers were less satisfied. We present a model in which better writing is not a signal of ability but helps employers ascertain ability, which rationalizes our findings.
John Horton and Emma van Inwegen consult for the marketplace which was the empirical context for this research. The views expressed herein are those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect the views of the National Bureau of Economic Research.