How To Use AI To Write a Cover Letter

CareerFoundry contributor Dr. Anneke Schmidt

Are you contemplating a career transition into the tech sector or another dynamic industry? It’s an exciting thought, but the job hunt often feels overwhelming—and the competition is fierce.

But here’s the thing: a standout cover letter can elevate an inexperienced candidate or weak resume in the eyes of hiring managers. So, how can you ensure yours makes an impact?

This is where an AI tool like ChatGPT comes into play.

Acting as your virtual writing coach, ChatGPT can offer suggestions to enhance your language, structure, and tone. But it does one better: With the right instructions, ChatGPT will write the entire letter for you, saving you precious time in the job search.

Follow this guide to unlock the power of AI for your cover letter. You’ll gain actionable insights on prompt writing, effective outlining, and refining your final draft with AI assistance.

Here’s what we’ll cover:

  1. Why should I use AI to write a cover letter?
  2. How to use ChatGPT to write a cover letter in 5 simple steps
  3. Closing thoughts

1. Why should I use AI to write a cover letter?

If you’ve ever stared at a blank page, unsure how to begin, you’ll appreciate the AI’s capability to kickstart the creative process.

With its Natural Language Processing algorithms and vast knowledge base, ChatGPT can provide you with the inspiration and guidance you need to craft a unique AI cover letter that captures the attention of hiring managers.

This has multiple benefits:

  • Speed up the process: Generating AI-powered cover letters shortens the job application process, allowing you to concentrate on other steps in your career transition.
  • Customization: AI can craft personalized cover letters. You provide some basic details and get an entire draft suited to your needs.
  • Cost-Efficiency: No need to shell out big bucks for professional writing services. ChatGPT is free to use, making it a budget-friendly option for job seekers at all stages.
  • Quality improvement: Using AI, such as GrammarlyGo, ensures your writing is clear and mistake-free with the help of AI-powered suggestions.
  • Find the right tone: The AI enables you to achieve the right formality, tone, and length in your cover letter by adjusting your text in a few clicks.

Let’s dive into the nuts and bolts of how to actually use ChatGPT to craft your next game-changing AI cover letter.

2. How to use ChatGPT to write a cover letter in 5 simple steps

ChatGPT is not limited to just text generation; it offers a range of capabilities to enhance your cover letter.

By leveraging its core features, such as natural language understanding and context-aware responses, you can create a compelling letter reflecting your skills and personality.

But before diving in, you’ll need to conduct some employer research and collect relevant data, both to give ChatGPT the necessary information to work with and to ensure you are tailoring your cover letter for the specific job opportunity.

This preparatory step ensures that your letter is tailored to the company and role, maximizing its impact.

To start, collect the following data:

  • Identify the company: vision, mission statement, core values, and products and services.
  • Review the job description for qualifications and experience.
  • Create a list of key talking points for your cover letter.
  • Gather digital copies of your resume, professional references, and supporting documents to feed the AI.

Once you’ve done this, there are five main steps to writing your cover letter with ChatGPT:

Step 1: Input information about the company, role, and yourself

Start by creating a cheat sheet with data points like the company’s mission, the role’s responsibilities, and your qualifications, structured in a machine-readable format such as bullet points or JSON-like text.

This ensures that ChatGPT can effectively parse and incorporate your details. A common obstacle is making your cover letter ATS-friendly yet appealing to human recruiters. Counter this by authentically integrating keywords from the job description into your input.

With this well-structured data, you’re ready to input it into ChatGPT, using either an interactive session or chained prompts to ensure the AI waits for all your details before generating the cover letter for you.

ChatGPT Prompts

  1. “Let’s compile some information. The company’s mission is [mission statement], the role involves [responsibilities], and I have the following qualifications: [qualifications].”
  2. “For ATS compatibility, let’s include the keywords [ATS keywords] from the job description.”

Pro Tip: Always tailor this information for each job application to produce a custom, professional cover letter.

Step 2: Create a detailed outline of your cover letter

So, what exactly should your cover letter include? Outline the structure you wish to follow, breaking it down into introductory remarks, body paragraphs, and a conclusion.

You should also list the key points or qualities you’d like to highlight. Doing this not only helps you but also guides ChatGPT in generating content that fits your desired format and flow.

ChatGPT Prompts

  1. “Generate a skeleton outline for a cover letter with an introduction, three body paragraphs, and a conclusion using these talking points: [insert list].”
  2. “Improve this outline by focusing on three role requirements I fulfill based on my skills and qualifications.”

Pro Tip: Make your outline as specific as possible. For instance, under “Body Paragraphs”, you could specify: “Discuss software development skills, teamwork, and quick learning abilities.”

Step 3: Give ChatGPT a tone of voice and language style to use

Now that you’ve inputted all the vital information, it’s time to set the tone.

Are you going for professional, casual, or somewhere in between? Mention this explicitly when you’re setting up your prompt with ChatGPT. It will help the AI tailor its language and style to match your desired tone, enhancing the cohesiveness of your cover letter.

ChatGPT Prompts

  1. “The tone for this cover letter should be professional, with a light and friendly touch.”
  2. “Rephrase the following sentence to make it more concise: [insert sentence].”

Pro Tip: Experiment with different tones for different companies based on their corporate culture, which you can often gauge from their official website or social media channels.

Step 4: Create a writing prompt with all the necessary info

Crafting the perfect prompt is like giving ChatGPT a roadmap to follow when generating your cover letter. This crucial step enables you to convey your specific needs and tailor the output according to the job description and company culture.

Here are some examples of how to instruct ChatGPT to generate a cover letter that ticks all the boxes:

ChatGPT Prompts

  1. “Based on the following outline, write my cover letter for a Software Developer role at Company XYZ, incorporating a professional tone and discussing teamwork experience, Java and Python skills, and problem-solving abilities. [Attach outline.]”
  2. “Include a closing statement that reinforces my enthusiasm for the role.”

Pro Tip: Be as precise as possible in your prompt to get a cover letter that’s closest to what you envision.

Step 5: Review and finalize with ChatGPT’s assistance

Upon receiving the first draft from ChatGPT, read it thoroughly. If you find areas that need improvement or emphasis, don’t hesitate to ask ChatGPT for revisions.

Remember, you’re not just editing for grammar or style but also for substance. Ensure the final draft accurately represents your skills and enthusiasm for the role.

ChatGPT Prompts

  1. “Review the draft and suggest areas for improvement based on the job description.”
  2. “Replace any generic phrases with specific details related to the role.”

Pro Tip: Before finalizing, read the cover letter out loud. This helps catch any awkward phrasing or errors you may have missed during the initial reviews.

3. Closing thoughts

Writing your cover letter with AI can significantly ease the often stressful process of job applications.

Here’s the deal: ChatGPT isn’t only about streamlining the process; it’s also about enhancing the quality of your applications. Yet, keep in mind the true power of a cover letter lies in its authenticity.

So, while ChatGPT provides a solid foundation, your adjustments will make your application genuinely shine.

Ready for a career change? Connect with one of our program advisors to explore how our courses can equip you for success in the tech industry.

If you found this guide helpful, explore more articles on career-related topics in our blog:

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