• Almost half of graduates (45%) are making more job applications because of GenAI

  • Eight in ten graduates would not use GenAI during the recruitment process if requested by an employer

  • Bright Network has released the ninth edition of its ‘What Graduates Want’, surveying the attitudes and behaviours of over 14,000 UK students and graduates reveals how students use AI in job applications

Bright Network, which connects graduates and young professionals with recruiters in global companies has released findings from its latest survey, revealing how students are embracing Generative Artificial Intelligence (AI).

The research reveals that just over half (52%) are using GenAI weekly or daily, with almost three-quarters (72%) feeling comfortable about the increased use of GenAI in everyday life. Almost half (47%) of those surveyed anticipate being allowed to use GenAI when going through the recruitment process, mainly for help with CVs, cover letters and application forms, rather than later on at online assessment or interview stage.

What may pose a challenge for recruiters is that almost half of students (45%) are making more job applications than last year/they had planned to due to the use of this technology.

However, when asked, only 38% of students have already used GenAI in their job applications, with the primary reasons being to enhance wording (75%) and improve time efficiency during the application process (75%).

And, despite its widespread adoption, eight in ten (79%) said that they would not use GenAI in the recruitment process if they were explicitly instructed not to do so.

However, the survey found that 53% of employers lack clear guidelines regarding the use of it in their recruitment processes, leading to potential confusion.

James Uffindell, Bright Network, says: “GenAI is already here and we can use it to help create a more diverse and inclusive process – for example, it can be a great tool for neurodiverse students, helping level the playing field when it comes to application processes. Taking a vague stance or not allowing it will lead to an adverse effect on diverse groups, who may end up being disproportionately penalised because of their higher usage rates.

Instead, employers can support students and applicants on the correct use of GenAI by providing guidance on how it can used as a helpful tool, such as structuring and proofing CVs, advice on how to prepare for the different assessment stages and to support with refining and articulating their own ideas for an interview.”

The research also revealed that half of students surveyed believe their background hinders them in job and study applications, with ethnicity (61%) and socioeconomic background (45%) cited as the main reasons. Furthermore, banking & finance, followed by technology, were seen as the least diverse and inclusive sectors, yet were the top two sectors that students wanted to work in.

Bright Network’s mission is to ensure equal access to opportunities and support all graduates, from all backgrounds, in their career development. Using its proprietary AI data platform, Bright Network matches talent with job opportunities, facilitating connections that might not have otherwise been possible.

James Uffindell from Bright Network says: “We know that advances in technology, economic and geographical considerations, and differing perspectives for both employers and students can create challenges in the recruitment process.  We exist to connect the next generation with equal access to the opportunities, insights & advice they need to thrive as the workforce of tomorrow.  We also offer advice to both employers and students on how to navigate the recruitment process and how to embrace current technologies, to ensure a diverse and inclusive workforce.”

To download the research, go here


The results from over 14,000 Bright Network members were collected through an online survey between November 2023 and January 2024.