Wittenborg Graduate: 'AI-Generated CVs and Cover Letters Aren't Doing You Any Favours'

Wittenborg Graduate: 'AI-Generated CVs and Cover Letters Aren't Doing You Any Favours'

Laura Serrano Reveals the Pitfalls of CVs and Cover Letters in Today's Job Market 

The world of job applications has witnessed a surge in AI-generated CVs and cover letters. A discerning graduate from Wittenborg has taken a stand against this trend, shedding light on the consequences of mass-produced applications that lack authenticity. Laura Serrano, a Department Manager within the H&M Group, shared her insights in an interview, urging job seekers not to rely on AI applications when writing their CVs or cover letters.  

Serrano, who pursued her HBA (Hospitality Business Administration) degree from 2019 to 2022 at Wittenborg, expressed her concerns within the Wittenborg alumni group on Facebook. She later shared more details about the overwhelming number of cover letters crossing her desk, all saying the exact same thing.  

"Our teachers at Wittenborg work hard against plagiarism; using AI-generated cover letters is a real-life type of plagiarism. The consequences aren't necessarily for the company but for job seekers because this can lead to an automatic disqualification, even if the person possesses the skills needed for the job."

Be authentic and creative

Serrano observed a significant increase in AI-generated content in the CVs at her workplace, expressing disappointment at the lack of authenticity and effort from applicants, particularly university students. She stressed the importance of authenticity and creativity, noting that it reflects an applicant's genuine interest in the company, the job description and alignment with company values.

Providing an example of an exceptionally well-written and authentic motivation message, Serrano shared, "One applicant had a lot of enthusiasm and wrote about being happy to see an available vacancy as they really liked the company plus their home was close by. It was a relaxed message yet polite and genuine. On the other hand, AI-generated messages have a pattern of overusing academic and elegant expressions."

For Serrano, a good message is one that expresses genuine interest in being part of a company in a simple but polite manner. "Also, the Netherlands is a very diverse country, so the motivation letter can be that opportunity to tell the reader a little more about you as a person and how your cultural background and international experience make you an even stronger candidate."

Tips for writing a CV and cover letter

What's more, Serrano believes that genuine cover letters streamline the recruitment process, providing necessary information for recruiters and establishing a better connection during interviews. She also offered specific advice for alumni in crafting CVs and motivation messages, suggesting the inclusion of brief descriptions for all experiences, especially those with a short duration.  

"If, for instance, the student had a brief work experience as an intern, it is crucial to specify it as such. Similarly, if it was a summer job, it is important to clarify that it was a position undertaken during the holidays."

As for the motivational message, she says that it is very simple. "Firstly, politely greet the recruitment team. Not 'Hey' or 'What's up?' but 'Good morning', or 'Dear HR team'. Secondly, it is important to write why you are applying; and thirdly, if possible, include any extra information that might be useful for recruiters to know (for example, if you have a valid work permit or need sponsorship, if you have to commute, if you have specific days of availability)."

WUP 28/02/2024

by Erene Roux

©WUAS Press