Whenever you write, it is important to ensure that the document is suitable for the intended purpose.

So far, we have addressed issues that will be relevant for human readers, but more and more, cover letters and CV’s will be read by computer using AI and ATS.

It is even possible that the initial reading and cull will be completely in the “hands” of a computer which will scan the document and using an algorithm and create a score.

Applications are then ranked according to these scores. Only applicants above a fixed score will be considered by a human, it is therefore important to ensure that your CV is optimised for AI and ATS.

AI will use various techniques to evaluate CV’s including:

  • The presence of keywords.
  • Recency of work experience
  • Recency of qualifications.

To make your résumé AI friendly:

  • Be conscious of and use keywords in your writing.
  • Use both acronyms and long forms of keywords in case the AI is not searching for both.
  • Use recognisable, standard section headings (e.g. Work Experience and not ‘Where I Have Been’).
  • Don’t use tables to setup the résumé because they are harder for computers to read.
  • Don’t use headers or footers which might confuse the AI.

Submit the résumé in a file format that uses text and not an image.

  • Therefore, don’t use pdf files that are graphically created. Pdf files that are text based may be readable by some forms of ATS but not all.
  • Submitting a word document (*.docx) will maximise compatibility and the content can be protected by preventing editing in the document before it is sent.
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