How to use AI to write the perfect CV

25 January 2024 by
Memcom, Rachel Appleton

Welcome to Memcom Recruitment’s second blog on using AI to help you with your job hunting. 

In the first blog we established that frankly, whatever stage you’re at with your job search, there’s an app for that, and in this blog we’re going to look at the more controversial aspect of using AI to help you create the perfect CV (Curriculum Vitae).

As a recruiter with more than 25 years’ experience in the industry, I’m going to caveat that by saying that I don’t believe there’s such a thing as the perfect CV, and I’d also add that I don’t think that AI has all the answers, but it can possibly help with the basics, such as creating a well-designed, attractive document with a good, cohesive structure – but the detail, the personalisation and customisation is way more important, and entirely up to you.

What follows is a step-by-step guide on how to leverage AI in this process:

1 - Choose an AI-powered CV builder or writing tool:

There are plenty of AI-powered tools and platforms designed for creating CVs out there. Some popular options include, Novoresume, and Zety, but they will all perform much the same function. However, as with all AI tools that you use to input personal information, it’s worth carefully reading the terms and conditions to see what happens to your data before you choose one that suits your needs.

2 - Input your data:

Input any personal information you’re comfortable with, including contact details, education history, work experience, voluntary experience, skills, qualifications, certificates, and any other relevant information into the AI tool. Make sure the information you provide is accurate and up-to-date, including your responsibilities. If you’re worried about what happens to your data, you could try submitting a fake name and contact details and personalise them later, when you’ve downloaded the CV for your personal use.

3 - Select a template:

Many AI-powered CV builders offer a variety of professionally designed templates, but it’s important to choose a template that best suits the industry and job you are targeting. For example, creative roles (such as those in marketing or design) are expected to look well designed, whereas a leadership role might require a more austere template.

4 - Customise the content:

Hey presto! You have a new CV in seconds…but not quite. What you have is an AI-automated CV which looks like the finished article, but it’s not. The CV you have is the same that a CV-writer could create without having met or spoken to you, and it now needs to be completely customised. This is actually the part that takes the time, since you’ll need to read and reread the CV several times, adding and subtracting, polishing and rewriting the copy.

5 - Write a compelling summary:

Think of the opening summary or statement at the beginning of your CV as the blurb on the back of a paperback. It should offer the reader a glimpse of what to expect as they read further, so summarise your career to date, your strengths, and why you are an excellent fit for the job.

6 - Emphasise key achievements:

Use the AI-generated content as a starting point and expand on it, providing specific examples of your accomplishments and how they contributed to your previous employers or projects. But remember that key achievements are specific, quantifiable results or metrics, and need to have an element of ‘wow factor’ to truly qualify as key achievements. If not, you run a risk of underwhelming the reader and suggesting that your idea of a key achievement is someone else’s idea of ‘normal’.

7 - Highlight relevant skills:

A good CV should ALWAYS be tailored to each job application, and nothing is more important than ensuring that the skills you’re highlighting are those most relevant to the job vacancy for which you’re applying, so check that your skills section aligns with the person specification.

8 - Proofread and edit:

Errors indicate sloppiness, so after customizing the AI-generated content, thoroughly proofread and edit your CV for accuracy, clarity, grammar, and consistency. Ensure it's free of errors and pay particular attention to dates, financial figures, acronyms, and of course, your contact details…

Once you’ve got a really good CV, you can play with different templates, inputting the new information, to see the results. Keeping your CV current ensures you're ready to apply for new opportunities at any time, and avoids it getting too stale.

But remember, while AI can assist in generating the framework of your CV, an AI-generated CV alone is unlikely to get you an interview, so it's crucial to personalise the content and tailor it for the specific job and industry you're targeting. 

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