This is how recruiters and hiring managers know you’re using AI tools for job applications

Considering professionals in UK finance are among the most exposed to AI, and those in the finance and insurance sector are the most exposed to AI than any other sector, according to a government report, it’s not surprising that the industry is leveraging AI when it comes to job applications too.

AI tools, particularly those designed for creating CVs and cover letters, have become increasingly popular due to their convenience, and the relatively polished results they deliver.

However, the growing use of AI-generated applications has not gone unnoticed by hiring managers. Recruiters can now detect AI-assisted applications, so candidates must respond by ensuring their applications remain authentic and unique, even if they’ve had a little AI boost – writes Amanda Kavanagh, Contributor at Jobbio

3 finance roles hiring in the UK now

Finance Manager, PwC UK, Manchester
Finance Controller, Fanatics Inc., Milton Keynes
Finance Manager – EMEA, Wasserman, London

Increase in AI applications

From ChatGPT and Llama to specialised platforms like Rezi, Kickresume, and, there are ever-increasing options at job seekers’ fingertips. These tools can quickly analyse job descriptions, extract relevant keywords, and even generate tailored applications that seem to tick all the boxes.

Monica Berry, Talent Acquisition at Pets at Home, has noticed this trend: “I’ve seen it mostly within finance [roles] but it’s fast becoming the thing to do.”

Berry elaborates, “I was looking at a couple of CVs that had come through and this candidate was a £22k a year candidate and they had written their CV like they were a head of department. You can really tell when somebody has done an AI CV.”

Accuracy over embellishment

This disconnect between a candidate’s actual experience and the language used in an application raises obvious red flags. It’s crucial to remember that these tools are designed to optimise your application, not to fabricate experience or skills you don’t possess.

If you use an AI tool to optimise your CV, keep the new version separate from your original CV. Fold in useful and accurate points made in the AI-optimised CV piece by piece, instead of blanket-overriding your existing document. This way you can quality control AI enhancements and ensure that your CV is still written in your own voice.

Back up any claims or skills mentioned by any AI tool, with specific instances from your work history, ideally with concrete success metrics.

It’s also important to tailor your application to the company you’re applying to. Research the organisation and incorporate language and values that align with their ethos – this level of customisation is difficult for AI to replicate convincingly, and will really demonstrate how you’re the perfect fit.

Leigh Horn, Recruitment Manager at ITV, sees similar issues to Berry – “I’m starting to see more similar-looking CVs that are AI-generated”, but AI use has become especially apparent on application forms.

“I was looking at candidates for our cyber apprenticeship and there were a couple of questions about what cyber attacks they had seen in the last 12 months that changed their way of thinking or what their interpretation of them was. The amount of people that copied and pasted the same paragraph… I used ChatGPT myself to check and [the same answer] came up. If they had followed it up with ‘I think this’ or ‘I think that’, that’s valid.”

This highlights the value of adding personal insights and opinions, in addition to factual research.

Don’t ignore Gen AI disclaimers either. Most AI tools stipulate that information may not be accurate – sometimes they full-on hallucinate. So proofread thoroughly, and always review and edit an application carefully before submission.

As AI technology continues to evolve, job seekers will no doubt continue to experiment, though Berry warns against this. “I’m asking them respectfully to send their pre-AI, real CVs because it gives a truer reflection of what you’ve done, and what you’re like.”

3 fintech roles hiring in the UK now

Compliance Analyst, Plaid, London
Director – Corporate Development, Ripple, London
Revenue Analytics Lead, SumUp, London

Authenticity is so important in the job application process. While AI tools can be valuable aids in crafting a polished application, they should never replace the genuine representation of your skills, experiences, and personality.

For professionals in the finance, payments, and fintech sectors, where technical expertise and innovation are highly valued, it’s particularly important not only to demonstrate your knowledge, but also your ability to apply it creatively.

Sure, use AI to help you structure your thoughts and identify key industry trends, but rely on your own expertise and experiences to showcase why you’re the ideal candidate for the role. This is the best way to ensure you put forward a compelling and original case for why you’re the ideal candidate.

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