How to use ChatGPT to write a cover letter

This article is recommended for individuals at any stage of their careers

Christian Madsen

Written by Christian Madsen

Managing Director of 11 Recruitment

A revolutionary shift for job seekers

As someone who has been working in recruitment for many years, I've noticed that most job seekers dread writing cover letters. This is due to various reasons - for example, some individuals may:

  • Find that tailoring each cover letter to a specific job is too time-consuming, especially when applying for multiple roles.
  • Question whether employers actually read cover letters - or if they make a significant difference in the hiring process.
  • Feel uncomfortable promoting themselves - or find it difficult to strike a balance between confidence and humility.
  • Worry about how their cover letter will be perceived by employers - this can lead to anxiety and reluctance to express themselves fully.
  • Find it difficult to know if they are writing their cover letter the "right way" due to a lack of clear, universal standards.
  • Find themselves repeating similar information across different cover letters - this can feel monotonous and lead to a sense of frustration.
  • Struggle to find the right balance between professionalism and creativity to make their cover letter stand out.
  • Struggle to provide a comprehensive overview of their qualifications and experiences while remaining concise.

If any of these reasons sound familiar, then you may be interested in learning how artificial intelligence (AI) can assist you in the job application process.

AI - particularly ChatGPT - presents a revolutionary shift for job seekers. It has the potential to significantly speed up the cover letter writing process and minimise frustration.

In this article, I provide a step-by-step guide on how to use ChatGPT to write a cover letter. But before we begin, you need to visit chat.openai.com to create an account.


How to use ChatGPT to write a cover letter

When writing your cover letter with ChatGPT, it's crucial to provide the program with some context about yourself.

Start your request by stating:

"Write me a cover letter for this job [insert a link to the job ad] based on the following information:"

Following this, you should introduce yourself just as you would in a job interview. Include essential details like your education, work experience (with company names), and specific accomplishments or certifications.

Once you've provided the necessary information, click send or press enter to let the software generate a cover letter based on the job ad and your introduction.

If you want the cover letter to focus on specific experiences or skills, you can request that from ChatGPT, and you can regenerate or specify the output as many times as needed until you're satisfied with the result.

If you prefer the cover letter to be in Australian English instead of American English (the default setting), simply ask ChatGPT to "rewrite the final cover letter in Australian English," and it will adjust the spelling accordingly.


Here is an example of how the conversation should go with ChatGPT. Here is the initial input.

As you can see below, this is the first response from ChatGPT based on the initial input. It isn't bad, but it doesn't match the selection criteria enough and is quite vague for a cover letter.

After asking for more of a focus on key selection criteria, ChatGPT produces a better result but it still isn’t perfect.

Here you see the final result after questioning ChatGPT further. In this example I requested the second paragraph be removed, the company name be included and the entire cover letter be converted into Australian English.


Over to you

It's important to remember that ChatGPT is just a tool, and it's not all-knowing. It may sometimes misrepresent you or exaggerate your achievements, so it's crucial that you take the final step in the process.

Always edit the output to ensure accuracy and coherence. Show your passion for the company and tailor the cover letter to the specific role you're applying for.

As a seasoned recruitment professional, I advise you not to solely rely on ChatGPT's output.

Recruiters can easily spot discrepancies between your CV and cover letter, as well as irrelevant information in your application. Use ChatGPT to enhance your cover letter and highlight important points from the job posting, but make sure to put your own human touch on it.


How to use ChatGPT to write a cover letter template

For those who are uncomfortable sharing personal information with an AI, there's still a way to use ChatGPT.

Simply paste the link to the job ad you're interested in and ask ChatGPT to write a generic cover letter, which you can then personalise with your own information and achievements.

In conclusion, ChatGPT can be a useful tool to help you create a cover letter, but it's essential to use it responsibly and remember that you are the one who adds the true human element to your application.

Be specific, accurate, and passionate about the role you're applying for, and remember to proofread your cover letter thoroughly before submitting it.

Happy job hunting!



Christian Madsen

What are your thoughts?

I'd love to have a conversation with you about this topic - please leave a comment below if you have any thoughts or opinions πŸ™‚

Christian Madsen

Managing Director of 11 Recruitment

  • Lynda Hardin says:

    Interesting stuff, Christian. I wonder if recruiters will be able to spot a cover letter that’s been written using ChatGPT and whether they’ll be more likely to reject it…

    • Christian Madsen says:

      Hi Lynda, thanks for your comment! I’m glad you found the article interesting πŸ™‚

      There certainly are factors that may indicate a cover letter was written by AI. For example:
      β–Ή The presence of unusual/inconsistent responses
      β–Ή The overuse of certain phrases/styles
      β–Ή The use of unusual words/language

      To mitigate this, editing the cover letter ChatGPT produces is crucial to add a human touch. I recommend proofreading it from top to bottom and changing some of the words/phrasing to reflect your personal writing style.

      If you’d like some guidance on how to edit your cover letter, I encourage you to check out my guide: https://11recruitment.com.au/blog/how-to-proofread/

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