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How to use ChatGPT to write a cover letter

Are you having difficulty getting started with your cover letter? ChatGPT can give you inspiration and make you more efficient, but you have to be critical along the way.

With ChatGPT you can write a job application in less than 1 minute.

You just copy in the text of the job advertisement and your CV and ask it to write a cover letter. Voila! then you have an application in less time than it takes to make a cup of coffee.

But even if you save a lot of time, it's probably not worth the trouble, as the AI-generated cover letter will be so superficial and bland that it will go straight into the wastebasket. Because ChatGPT cannot perform miracles. It is just a tool, and you have to put time, energy and personality into writing a good job application.

On the other hand, with ChatGPT you get a combined search engine, spell checker and editor in one, and if you are the type of person who hates to express yourself in writing, it can make the whole process more palatable.

Here you will get a quick guide to start writing better cover letters in less time.

If you want to know more about how ChatGPT works, check out our guide

Step 1: Have ChatGPT review the job posting

One of the tasks that ChatGPT is best at is reviewing large amounts of text.

You can take advantage of this by copying the entire job posting into ChatGPT and then writing: "Choose the three skills that I must emphasize when I write a job application for this job posting".

Of course, you also have to read the job posting yourself, but ChatGPT can make you aware of important information that you yourself have overlooked, and help you get an overview if the text is very long.

Step 2: Use ChatGPT in your research

It is important that your application is targeted at the position. Therefore, you must have knowledge of both the position and the company.

Here, ChatGPT can save you the trouble of having to navigate around countless websites for information about the company's values, challenges, products and industry.

For example, you can ask ChatGPT:

  • "Tell me about (company name) mission and values".
  • “What are the main products that (company name) sells?
  • "Which skills are important in the position (job title)?"

The more precise instructions - also called prompts - you give, the better response you will get from ChatGPT. ChatGPT has a memory that enables it to take into account previous prompts, so you can continuously ask it to elaborate or phrase its answers differently if you're not satisfied.

A good prompt for ChatGPT includes:

  1. Clear instruction:The prompt must contain a clear and precise instruction about what you want ChatGPT to do. It can be a request to answer a question, write text in a certain style, perform a task or explain a concept. For example: Which skills are most important in the role of project manager?
  2. Context is important:Share some relevant information about yourself or the type of job you're applying for. For example: "I have several years' experience as an electrical engineer and in addition to my technical skills, I have good collaboration skills and can contribute to complex projects".
  3. Be very specific:Write if you have the answer listed in points, in a certain length or as a comparison of different options: For example: "Write 5 challenges for Grundfos in the coming years. Write the answer in point form and do not use more than 1,000 characters.
  4. Split complex questions:If the application has several sections, you can split your request. Eg: "First help me describe my skills in software architecture. Then write about my interest in working in a team environment."
  5. Repeat several times:If the first generated text doesn't exactly match your voice or style, try adding more details or rewording your request.

It is important that you take a critical view of information from ChatGPT. Although they sound convincing, ChatGPT can "hallucinate" and fabricate facts. You must therefore verify information with a Google search on the company's own website or from other relevant sources.

Your own research is an important part of the job search process, but you should also always call the job posting to get the very specific details about the position that you can't find information about online.

Step 3: Write your job application with ChatGPT

Now you have to write your job application. It can be divided into three main elements: Motivation, professional skills and your qualities as (a good) colleague.

If you find it difficult to start writing, ChatGPT is a really good help because it can give structure and get some words down on paper. It is often easier to correct a text than to have to write it from scratch.

Your motivation for the job:

You can be motivated by many things, but it is not a good idea to mention the salary, the transport time or the possibility of flexible working hours. On the other hand, it is a good idea to either emphasize the company's value set or the tasks and professionalism of the position.
In either case, you can have ChatGPT write a draft for you with two prompts:

  1. Describe what values ​​are important to (company name).
  2. Write a 300-character text explaining my motivation for working for (company name) based on these values ​​(insert most relevant results for first prompt).

You can use the same model if you are motivated by the task of the position:

  1. Make a list of the most important tasks to be completed in this position (insert job posting).
  2. Write a text of 500 characters explaining my motivation for solving these tasks: (insert the tasks).

Your professional skills:

To write this section, you must use the knowledge you have gained through your research. It is particularly useful if you have also spoken to the employer and have received more information about the position. You can use this prompt to write the section.

  • "Formulate my professional prerequisites in relation to (name of position). I have a background in (insert your education/work experience) and I have previously worked with (insert previous positions or projects) where I applied skills such as (insert key competencies from job postings you previously found with ChatGPT). I would like to highlight how I have used these skills to (insert examples of results or problem solving). My goal is to use these experiences and skills in my work at (company name) to achieve (insert company/department goals). Structure the text in a convincing way. Write a maximum of 1800 characters".

Your qualities as a colleague:

In the job posting, you will be able to read which personal qualities are important in the job. You can use ChatGPT to list them by copying in the text, but only you know which ones you have. You must therefore be honest with the workplace and yourself and only select the qualities that really suit you.

You can have ChatGPT write a draft of the text with these two prompts:

  • Choose the 5 most important personal and social skills in this job posting. Write them to me in a bulleted list of a maximum of 300 characters.

Select the characteristics that suit you best and then write:

  • Write a text of 500 characters in which you describe how I possess (insert the chosen skills) and how I can use them in this job.

Guide: Write a strong job application

Step 4: Let ChatGPT be your editor

Once you have written your job application, you can copy the entire text into ChatGPT and ask it for feedback. Before then, you just have to remember to anonymize any personal information – it could be, for example, confidential projects from previous jobs or personally sensitive information.

You can use the ChatGPT to help you in the following ways:

Ask open questions:

You can ask ChatGPT quite openly: "What can I improve in my application" and get suggestions for changes. You don't have to follow the suggestions blindly, but it can help to uncover blind spots for you.

Give your language a boost:

If you think your writing is boring or convoluted, you can ask ChatGPT to make suggestions for new wording. Ask ChatGPT to proofread the text in an informal, professional or humorous tone as appropriate for the situation. You can use the prompt:

  • Rewrite this text so that the language becomes easier and more humorous.

Get a handle on the commas:

Even if you don't have to write long reports in the job you're applying for, sloppiness and spelling mistakes in your application will drag you down. Ask ChatGPT to point out or correct grammatical errors with the prompt:

  • Read through this text and mark where there are spelling or grammatical errors.

English, German, Chinese?

If you need to apply in a language other than Danish or English, ChatGPT can translate your job application. But be careful not to give the impression that you have mastered a language if you don't. It will be discovered at the interview or even worse – right when you have started.

Step 5: Let your personality shine through

It is important that the employer gets a feel for who you are as a person, and they cannot do that if ChatGPT has formulated all sections of your application. Therefore, review your entire text and add personal details. It can be, for example, examples of previous work or projects that demonstrate your skills and experience.

You can also customize the language to reflect your personal tone and style. Be sure to highlight why you are passionate about applying for this particular position and how your unique experiences and skills make you an ideal candidate.