Everybody’s talking about ChatGPT, the new artificial intelligence tool that can generate unique content – including cover letters!

This is excellent news for job seekers, who often struggle to write the perfect cover letter. Now you can just let ChatGPT handle this annoying task, right?

Not so fast. There are some good reasons to use this new technology, but there are also some drawbacks.

In this blog post, we’ll explore the pros and cons of using ChatGPT to generate your cover letters.

What is ChatGPT?

Launched in November 2022, ChatGPT is an artificial intelligence model that has been trained on vast amounts of text from the internet and other sources.

It works by responding to prompts that you write into the chat box. 

A prompt could be a question like, “Are you good at writing cover letters?” and ChatGPT might reply, “As an AI language model, I am capable of generating text for cover letters based on the input provided.”

Prompts (the input) are extremely important when using ChatGPT. The more detailed and focused your prompts are, the better the results (or output) you’ll get back.

The pros of using ChatGPT to write cover letters

ChatGPT is a powerful tool that can assist with many different kinds of tasks. But to use it properly, you need to understand its limitations as well as its strengths

Let’s explore both, beginning with ChatGPT’s strengths.

1) ChatGPT is easy to use

One of the reasons ChatGPT is so popular is that it’s simple to use. 

There are no downloads or installations required. You can start using the technology right away, with just a few clicks. 

You just type your prompt into the chat bar and hit enter. You’ll have a response within seconds. 

Remember, your prompts have to be detailed and specific. If your prompts are weak, ChatGPT will return weak, generic responses. 

2) ChatGPT saves you time and effort

Writing a cover letter can be a time-consuming process. Most people struggle to write about themselves. Sound familiar?

Instead of spending hours slaving over your cover letter, ChatGPT can spit out a first draft in no time.  

Image of Kyle Law

“An efficient employee is one who effectively uses the available resources at their disposal. We want them to do that when they work here, so that applies to the job search too.”

—Kyle Law, Lead Recruiter at Jobscan

All you need to do is enter some basic information about yourself (or better yet, your entire resume) and ChatGPT will start generating ideas for your cover letter. 

Now you can focus on refining and editing the first draft rather than starting from scratch.

ChatGPT will NOT do all the work for you. But it helps get you started. 

3) ChatGPT provides you with a professional-sounding letter

A lot of people find it difficult to sell themselves. Some are too modest. Others are too boastful. 

ChatGPT can provide a fresh perspective on how to describe yourself – without any bias or emotions.

For example, ChatGPT can help you avoid language that’s either too self-deprecating or too self-promoting. 

Remember, ChatGPT has “learned” what makes a cover letter successful, and will help you create one that is professional and has maximum impact on the reader.

4) ChatGPT can generate multiple versions of the same cover letter

Why would you want multiple versions of your cover letter? Because it gives you options. 

If you’re a marketer, for example, you might create one letter that emphasizes your experience in digital marketing, another that focuses on your overall marketing skills, and one that features your SEO prowess.

You can choose the letter that you like best, or that’s most suitable to the job you’re applying for. 

You can also combine the best parts of each letter. 

Maybe you’ll use the opening paragraph from one cover letter, the body from another, and the closing paragraph from a third. 

5) ChatGPT generates unique content

Some people think that ChatGPT just copies and rearranges text that already exists – which would be plagiarism.

ChatGPT does NOT return plagiarized content. It is programmed to create new and original content based on the user’s prompts. 

But what if two or more people use the exact same prompt?

While ChatGPT might return similar answers, they won’t be identical (unless the answers are simple and factual).  

This is one of the greatest strengths of ChatGPT. It consistently generates fresh, unique content that can be used in a variety of industries.

6) ChatGPT uses correct spelling and grammar

Are you a bad speller? Terrible at grammar? Not sure about proper punctuation?

ChatGPT takes care of all that for you. It has a solid command of the English language and can identify spelling and grammar mistakes in real-time, so you don’t have to worry about them later.

BUT sometimes errors do slip through. 

Tarry Gerling

“Make sure there are no spelling or grammar errors, and what the letter says about you is accurate.

— Tarry Gerling, Head of People Ops at Jobscan

This is one reason why you should always proofread your ChatGPT-generated cover letters. And it’s not the only reason!

This brings us to the next section of this article – the drawbacks of using ChatGPT to write your cover letters.

The cons of using ChatGPT to write cover letters

ChatGPT can certainly help you write a cover letter, but it has limitations. Here are six of them: 

1) ChatGPT is only as good as your prompts

Some people think ChatGPT is intelligent enough to just “figure things out” on its own. This isn’t true!

Like any AI system, ChatGPT is only as powerful as the data you feed it. The more detailed your prompts, the better ChatGPT can help you.

Image of Kyle Law

“Whether or not I would have a problem with an applicant using it would depend on how well they feed it prompts. They should add in personalization so it doesn’t seem so “AI” written.”

— Kyle Law, Lead Recruiter at Jobscan

For example, If you only paste your resume into ChatGPT and ask it to write a cover letter, it will just regurgitate your resume. This isn’t very helpful.

To write the best ChatGPT cover letter, try experimenting with your prompts. This way, over time, you can customize ChatGPT to get even better results.

2) ChatGPT might not reflect your personality

ChatGPT doesn’t know you. This means the cover letter it generates may not be able to capture the nuances of your voice or personality in a way that feels authentic.

One way to avoid this issue is to add lots of personal and professional detail to your prompts. This will help ChatGPT “get to know you” better.

Tarry Gerling

“Proofread the cover letter and make minor changes relevant to the position and tailor it to your voice.”

— Tarry Gerling, Head of People Ops at Jobscan

Remember, the cover letter that ChatGPT generates for you should only be considered the first draft, not the polished final product.

In other words, you still need to edit and fine-tune your cover letter to reflect your voice and personality.

Don’t skip this step! Doing so is one of the most common ChatGPT mistakes.

Hiring managers may be able to tell if your cover letter has been written entirely by an AI language model. This could lead them to question your commitment and genuine interest in the position.

3) ChatGPT might misrepresent you

Even the creators of ChatGPT admit that “ChatGPT sometimes writes plausible-sounding but incorrect or nonsensical answers.” 

We won’t get into the technical reason why this happens, but you should be aware that your ChatGPT-generated cover letter might contain inaccuracies.

To reduce this possibility, try to create rich, detailed prompts. But even that won’t guarantee 100 percent accuracy.

Again, this is why you must review your letter to make sure it represents you in a truthful manner.

4) ChatGPT’s tone is excessively formal

Cover letters are professional documents and should be formal – up to a point.

The best cover letters are formal while still being personable, warm, and inviting. They should also convey your enthusiasm for the position you’re applying for.

Because ChatGPT tends to generate content that is formal and impersonal, you’ll need to fill in some details to make it more interesting to read.

How? You might add some anecdotes, talk about your extracurricular activities or use language that reflects your sense of humor, creativity, or other personal qualities. 

You should also check out the website of the company you’re applying to. 

This will give you a sense of the organization’s culture. Tailoring your cover letter to reflect the values of the company will help it resonate with the hiring manager.

5) ChatGPT won’t generate an ATS-friendly cover letter

Most companies today use computer software to help them with the hiring process. This software is called ATS, or applicant tracking system.

ATS works like this: when you send your cover letter to a company it goes straight into an ATS database. 

Employers search through the ATS database for potential job candidates by typing keywords into the search bar. 

These keywords are usually skills that are highly relevant to the position that needs to be filled.

For example, a hiring manager looking for a qualified data analyst might type in keywords such as “statistical analysis,” “SQL,” or “data mining”.

If you’re a data analyst and your cover letter contains these keywords, the hiring manager will see it. 

If your cover letter doesn’t have these keywords, it will stay in the database. 

ChatGPT doesn’t know that it should include certain keywords in your cover letter. It might add them, but it might not. 

To make sure that your cover letter won’t be filtered out by an ATS, use Jobscan’s cover letter generator

This AI-powered tool analyzes both your resume and the job description to create ATS-friendly cover letters for you with just a single click

Check out this brief video to see how the cover letter generator works:

Gif showing how Jobscan's cover letter generator works.

NOTE: Check out our cover letter examples page, which covers a wide range of jobs, industries, and situations.

Should you use AI tools to help you find a job?

Absolutely! AI tools like ChatGPT can help you create a resume, write a cover letter, optimize your LinkedIn profile, compose emails, and more.

Image of Kyle Law

“ChatGPT can be an amazing tool for quickly creating a cover letter from scratch. There is no reason not to implement it in your job search.

— Kyle Law, Lead Recruiter at Jobscan

Jobscan has recently taken advantage of this cutting-edge technology by incorporating GPT-4 technology into Job Tracker.  

Jobscan’s new cover letter generator allows you to create unique, personalized cover letters with just a single click

Each letter is automatically tailored to the job you’re applying for and will highlight your relevant skills and work experience from your personal resume. 

Is it ethical to use AI to write cover letters?

While some people have questioned whether it’s ethical to use ChatGPT to write cover letters, others believe the question is basically irrelevant.

For example, there used to be a debate about whether job seekers should use professional resume-writing services to help with their job applications.

“It used to be scandalous,” says Liz Ryan, the CEO of Human Workplace. “Like, ‘Oh, you paid somebody to do this?’”

Today, people use these types of services all the time and nobody questions it.

Key Takeaways

Using ChatGPT to write your cover letters has its pros and cons. 

On the one hand, it can save you time and effort by generating a cover letter that is professional and grammatically correct. 

On the other hand, ChatGPT won’t produce a cover letter that fully captures your unique voice. It also won’t convey the warmth and enthusiasm that can help you stand out from the crowd.

You’ll need to manually review, edit, and fine-tune your letter if you want to make a positive first impression. 

Ultimately, ChatGPT is a tool. If you use it improperly, you’ll get bad results.

But if you use it correctly, you’ll end up with an engaging cover letter that accurately reflects your professional experience, values, and personality.

To avoid any potential mistakes, use Jobscan’s cover letter generator

This tool incorporates ChatGPT technology and has been designed to automatically create unique, personalized cover letters with just a single click!

It does this by….

  • Analyzing both your resume and the job description.
  • Tailoring each letter to the specific job you’re applying for.
  • Focusing only on the skills you have listed on your resume.
  • Featuring your most relevant accomplishments and measurable results.
  • Creating a cover letter that is keyword-rich and ATS-friendly.
  • Organizing all your cover letters in one place for easy access.

As with any AI tool, we recommend that you still take the time to review and customize it before sending it off.  

With Jobscan’s cover letter generator, you’ll be able to get a quality cover letter while avoiding many of the mistakes others make by doing it alone.

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Robert Henderson, CPRW, Resume Expert

Robert Henderson, CPRW, is a career advice writer and a resume expert at Jobscan.

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