Can GenAI Write My Board Resume?

Can GenAI Write My Board Resume?

Not everyone loves to write. Okay, a lot of people don’t like to write.

This distaste is heightened for most of us when it comes to preparing our Board resume.

So, many are turning to GenAI (generative artificial intelligence) to produce their Board resume.

I’m personally not one to use GenAI to write anything. And the last time I updated my Board resume was before GenAI had entered the zeitgeist. I also write Board resumes as a job, so I’m fairly comfortable approaching mine. Thankfully, I got that Board role, so I thought it would be an interesting experiment to compare my application (Board Resume and Cover Letter) with one generated by Gemini (Google’s answer to ChatGPT).

It’s here that I already hit my first hurdle. Gemini doesn’t allow you to attach documents. That would have been helpful. I would have uploaded my existing CV and the candidate information pack and asked Gemini to improve my resume and write a cover letter in response to the candidate information. So, I already have to do more work than I was hoping. (I though AI was going to take over the world?!?!)

Now what? I still have to think (!) about my resume, the candidate information pack (if there is one; an alternative is to use the advertisement, again, if there is one) and how to have my resume reflect what is being asked.

Because of that, I asked Gemini how I would address the criteria requested in the candidate information pack. It churned out tips on what to address for each section of my Board resume (i.e. introduction, Board experience, key skills and attributes, and additional sections) and provided examples that could be included in my Board resume, although didn’t say where in the Board resume these should go.

Now what? Darn it. I still have to think about my career and Board background as it relates to addressing the key criteria, and how I incorporate this into my Board resume.

I then tried using my LinkedIn profile to guide Gemini to address the criteria using my profile information. Gemini cannot access LinkedIn. That seems odd given that my LinkedIn profile shows up in Google search results.

Now what? Stop trying to shortcut this process! I feel like this is wasting a lot of time that could have been spent writing my resume.

Ok. Let’s reconsider my approach.

By now I have been asking a few questions to Gemini and have a better idea about how to structure a Board resume and what to include in each section. I don’t have actual words to use yet – apart from the examples given two questions ago. But I can’t use those exact examples, because the examples never happened in my life. However, I can use the structure of those examples as a guide. Then, I can copy and paste my updated text and ask Gemini how I could make it sound‘better’ (e.g. sound more like a leader; sound less passive; sound more assertive; etc.). So, I took an entry from my professional career history (including the related key achievements) and asked Gemini to use it to address the candidate criteria.

After Gemini told me ‘Your career history entry for Get on Board Australia already addresses some of the selection criteria well’, it gave me a lesson on how to consider improving what I already had. And it provided modified examples of my existing text. Now we’re getting somewhere.

Now what? This approach worked well; when I gave Gemini something to work with – text I had written and the candidate criteria – it produced more personalised results.

So, should I just copy and paste what Gemini gave me?

No. To me, it went a little over the top by mentioning the organisation (whose board I was trying to join) in two out of the three career key achievements in a way that communicated a desperate and presumptive attitude. I would never write like that. Gemini is not my voice. So, I need to go through and use what I like, and change (edit or delete) the parts that don’t work.

If you’re using GenAI to write your resume section-by-section, this editing process is even more important. The whole document must be in harmony and needs to reflect what the Board recruiter will get from you in person. If there’s a mismatch, it will seem odd and obvious that AI wrote your resume. It’s up to you whether that’s a good thing or not.

Before I reach my final conclusion, let’s see what Gemini had to say about my cover letter.

I pasted my cover letter into Gemini.

Oddly, Gemini provided an ‘improved’ example of my cover letter that largely reflected the structure and information that I already had in my cover letter. Which in one way is reassuring (because I teach this skill to others) and in another seemed redundant. However, Gemini didn’t have my entire Board resume to learn from. I had only given it information about one career history entry (my job at Get on Board Australia).

Now what? GenAI may not have an improved version of your existing work. What you have already may likely be fine and completely usable. GenAI will provide you with something because that’s what you’ve asked for. You still have to exercise your professional judgement on the responses you’re being given.

So, can GenAI write my Board resume?

No.

But it may be able to help you improve on the work you have already done on your draft Board resume.

It’s clear that you still actually have to do a fair amount of work and reflection to get a great Board resume; one that accurately reflects you and your career and Board history to date, sounds like you, and addresses all of the candidate criteria, including nuances that GenAI doesn’t know about or cannot pick up from the information you’ve given it.

You still need to understand the theory and practice of writing a Board resume to write a great Board resume. GenAI can help you reword what you have, but you still have to have something for GenAI to use.

 


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