artificial intelligence

Ensure your CV gets past the AI recruitment robots with these tips

If you’re looking for a job these days, you need to know what an ATS is. It’s an applicant tracking system. Despite its very dull name, it’s a bot you need to know about so that you can stop it from filtering out your CV before it ever gets in front of a human being.

These artificial intelligence (AI) bots are working at a slightly more sophisticated level than simply scanning for keywords. They’re able to consider context as well (a bit like a Google search). But they can still be led in the right direction by applicants who know what they’re doing. The important thing is to ensure that the CV still makes sense to the human who reviews it, once it’s got past the bot.

Five hints for bot-proof CVs

1. Make the title big and bold
It should either state the position you want, or make a powerful statement about who you are and what you offer. Limit the text to about 20 words and use a larger font.

2. There’s still a place for keywords
Add a couple of bullet points near the beginning about your expertise. These should contain your most significant keywords. For a facilities management job, you could use those two words, followed by FM in brackets afterwards.

Next, use a “Skills and Attributes” or similar section, to cluster all the keywords that you want the bot to pick up, and the recruiter to focus on later. But remember that you may need to explain why you have included them - so don’t be random. Put your strongest words first, followed by any secondaries.

You can give the keywords some context by providing a couple of concise examples of projects or work achievements that demonstrate how you embody the keyword or have applied it to achieve success.

3. Ensure that you unpack acronyms
For example, if you’ve helped the organisation to redefine its KPIs, write “Key Performance Objectives (KPIs). Note - don’t use a comma before the final s!

4. Don’t overestimate the bot’s cleverness
For example, to a human it’s obvious that a cool graphic box with some focused text looks great. To a bot, this looks like a picture and it may just ignore the entire box. So don’t confuse the poor bot with one-off graphics or original layouts. It’s not that bright.

5. Beat the bot by networking with a recruiter
Recruiters know where the jobs are, when they’re coming up, who’s running the recruitment campaign and so on. It’s their job to gather this business intelligence, and if you’re canny, you’ll make sure that you exploit that by talking to a recruiter. It can save you an awful lot of time and help you focus your CV writing efforts so that you get the best results.

Not only that, but the recruiters know how the bots work, and can advise you if there are items on your CV that are causing it to get thrown out early on, in the automatic sifting.

That’s not something that any bot is going to do for you!


cv writing tips

The top steps to creating a perfect facilities CV

 

cv writing tips

So you want to move upwards and build your career in facilities management? The first thing you’ll need to do is put a great CV together, so you get through the sifting process that employers use to narrow down the field of candidates. So follow these 5 tips to impress the facilities management firm you’ve got your eye on.

1. Keep it short
Two pages are OK - but one is better. Apart from anything else, it shows that you can boil a lot of information down into the key points. You don’t need the full postal address of schools or colleges. If you get to the stage where references and qualifications are being checked, then you may need to supply the information. So the name of the school, college or employer, town and postcode are fine. This should keep the information to one line.

2. Use formatting to help readers scan and skim
Make sure that the information is presented in an organised format and aligned. This gives an impression of method and neatness and makes it easier for recruiters to quickly scan through the information.

In the same vein, before you press Send - make sure everything has been spell checked! Nothing gives a poorer impression than a CV full of errors, no matter how great your work experience or qualifications are.

3. Make it specific to the job or employer
If you’ve seen a job advertised for a maintenance manager, for example, and it asks for CVs, make sure your CV is angled to the specific post being advertised. Play up all the kinds of experience you have that makes you a great candidate for this kind of job. Don’t forget to include soft skills such as being good at motivating people, or having good organisational skills.

4. Use the personal statement to the good effect
One way to point out your relevant experience is in a short personal statement - and that means one paragraph. You might want to point out that your current post requires you to prioritise and set goals, and that this would help you to be effective in the post being advertised.

5. Be honest
Don’t make up experience you haven’t got. Even if being dishonest gets you a job, you may fail due to not having the right experience. Or you may be a huge success until the day the head of HR asks you to step into the office, to tell you that you’re sacked because your credentials don’t check out.

Similarly, if there are gaps in your CV, as long as you can explain them in a way that satisfies a potential employer, they needn’t be a deal-breaker. People often say that they took time out to travel, write a novel, try and make it in the music industry or whatever. Just don’t use one of these explanations to hide a difficult truth - it will almost certainly come out at some point.

Follow these guidelines and you’re ahead of the pack when the recruiter starts sifting through those CVs.