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How to use ChatGPT to write a cover letter (and why you should)

Can't find the right words for your cover letter? ChatGPT has got your back.
Written by Sabrina Ortiz, Editor
Reviewed by Emery Wright
ChatGPT opened up on a phone
June Wan/ZDNET

As if perfectly crafting a resume that encapsulates your entire career isn't difficult enough, job applications also require a cover letter. This letter is meant to help you express specific details about why you are interested in the company, what makes you qualified, and, ultimately, why the company should hire you. 

How to use ChatGPT to create: Code | Excel formulas | Essays | Resumes | Apps | Charts and Tables 

If executed properly, a cover letter has the potential to make you stand out from other applicants by showcasing your genuine interest in the role, the experiences that make you a good fit, and what makes you different from other candidates who have similar qualifications.

However, synthesizing those ideas into a one-page letter can be a time-consuming and challenging task -- ChatGPT is here to help. 

How to use ChatGPT to help craft your cover letter 

Whether you've started writing a cover letter and feel stuck or don't even know where to start, ChatGPT can help you produce the cover letter of your dreams. 

Also: How to use ChatGPT

With a couple of prompts and your direction, ChatGPT will create a polished cover letter within seconds. 

1. Sign in to ChatGPT

Visit ChatGPT's website and sign in using your account. If you don't have an account, you can create one or sign in using your existing Google or Microsoft account. 

Log in to ChatGPT

If you haven't created an account, click on Sign up. Otherwise, log in with your OpenAI credentials.

Screenshot by Maria Diaz/ZDNET

2. Ask ChatGPT to write you a cover letter

All you have to do is ask ChatGPT to write you a cover letter for the role and company of your choice. You should also include details about the experiences you would like the cover letter to highlight. 

For example, a possible input would be, "Can you write me a cover letter for the role of Associate Editor at ZDNET? I graduated from the University of North Carolina, majored in Journalism, and love technology."  

Also: More fun with DALL-E 3 in ChatGPT: Can it design a T-shirt?

That is only a loose example; you can be as specific or general as you'd like. The more direction you give ChatGPT, however, the better your output will be.

Ask ChatGPT to write a cover letter screenshot
Screenshot by Sabrina Ortiz/ZDNET

3. Kick it up a notch and paste in the job description (optional)

If you want your cover letter to be tailored to the exact role you are applying for, you can copy and paste the job description into ChatGPT before asking it to write your cover letter. This method is by far the most efficient way to get your cover letter written in a way that reflects the exact role and duties. 

Also: How to use ChatGPT to do research for papers, presentations, studies, and more

Like before, you can also include details about your own personal experience you'd like to include. Your prompt could look something like this, "Can you write me a cover letter for the position of [role title] at [employer]? This is the job description: XYZ. For context, I [include experience you'd like to highlight]."

Copy and paste job description into ChatGPT screenshot
Screenshot by Sabrina Ortiz/ZDNET

4. Co-edit your cover letter

Despite ChatGPT's best efforts and advanced capabilities, there might be something you want to tweak in the letter. If that's the case, it's super simple to change something. All you have to do is ask ChatGPT to tweak a specific aspect of your letter and it will. 

Also: How to use ChatPDF: The AI chatbot that can tell you everything about your PDF

For example, following the prompt above, you would be able to say, "Can you emphasize my passion for tech a little bit more?"

Tweak to cover letter ChatGPT screenshot
Screenshot by Sabrina Ortiz/ZDNET


Are cover letters necessary for a job application?

Cover letters are not always required for a job application. However, almost all job applications either require one or give you the option to submit one. The benefits of a cover letter include having the employer get to know you more and helping you stand out from other applicants. 

Should you use ChatGPT to write a cover letter?

ChatGPT can write an impressive cover letter within seconds, allowing you to focus more attention on other parts of your application that require a lot of time and effort. 

Also: 6 ways to ace a job interview

Once ChatGPT produces the letter, you can always add your own edits to give it your personal flair. 

What should be showcased in a cover letter?

Your cover letter should help to set you apart from other applicants. Therefore, in your cover letter, you should specifically communicate what makes you interested in the role and what experiences make you a great fit. 

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