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How to write your CV to beat the bots…

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You can’t escape it, robots are taking over.  So maybe not in the way depicted in sci-fi films, thankfully no terminators are roaming the streets and we’re not all living in the matrix.  But, AI is playing a bigger and bigger part in our lives, and recruitment is no different.

When applying for a job, your CV is just as likely to read by a ‘bot’ as it is by a person.  With some jobs receiving more than 100 applications, most of which aren’t suitable, it can take hours to screen them all to find those few suitable applicants.

AI and the magic of algorithms means that the time taken to assess CVs is dramatically reduced.  By allowing a machine to do this time-consuming task, recruiters and hiring managers can spend more time engaging with candidates.

What can you do to make your CV bot-friendly, to ensure that you make it through their algorithms.

  1. You need to treat you CV like marketers do a website. Keywords, keywords and more keywords. Read the job description carefully and make sure the key skills they request are in your CV. Also try to match their phrasing and terminology.  For example, don’t put L&D if they call it learning and development… Don’t just focus on experience, remember to add soft skills too, such as communication or time management as this will be desired for many roles.
  2. Although you’re writing it for a bot it still needs to make sense, throwing a load of keywords onto a page won’t make you magically appear on every recruiter’s shortlist. Try to get your keywords into logical sentences, linking them with examples of your achievements.  For example, ‘I used my negotiation skills and saved the company £X on their catering spend over the course of 6 months’
  3. Keep it simple – while a person might know that a HR Director, Head of People, Staff Happiness Officer or other such titles are possible the same thing, a bot might not. If you’ve a slightly unusual job title then use one that is more widely understood.  This will make more easily understood.

Remember this works for your digital CV (LinkedIn) as much as it does your physical one, perhaps even more so.  The search function on LinkedIn is all about key words, so make sure your online profile is as optimised as it can be for your chosen profession and role.  This will help you get into and, to the top of, the search results.

People and personal interactions will always remain at the heart of the recruitment process but technology can help the enhance it. Speed up the process and give the people more time to do what they do best, interact with other people.

‘How to write your CV to beat the bots?’ was written by Lesley Colella If you like what you’ve read why not follow us on LinkedIn and Twitter and read all our future advice and musings on the world of work.