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Your résumé is polished, your interview skills are strong, but there’s one thing standing between you and your ability to press “submit” on a job application: the cover letter. For many job-seekers, writing a cover letter is soul-sucking and time-consuming. It would be far easier to apply to job after job if you didn’t have to try and convince each hiring manager that you are the perfect fit for that specific position.
All of this makes it pretty tempting to turn to artificial intelligence to handle your cover letter for you, right? I mean, hey, we are no strangers to testing the ability of AI to create content. The technology is not perfect, though, and your AI cover letter might do more harm than good. Although it may seem like a magic fix to your cover letter woes, here are the reasons you should think twice before using an AI cover-letter generator during your job search.
The issue with AI-generated cover letters
A quick search of “AI cover letter” will turn up no shortage of sites promising to write you the perfect letter to a prospective employer. As most of these online generators will explain up front, the resulting cover letter is what happens when their AI references your résumé experiences and connects your information to the description of a specific job post. This is what is most important to understand about these sites: They are computer programs that cannot go beyond repeating what you say in a résumé.
What’s more, your AI cover letter might not just be redundant—it might actually be inaccurate and misleading. For instance, AI chatbot ChatGPT (which we covered recently) explains to users: “The system may occasionally generate incorrect or misleading information and produce offensive or biased content. It is not intended to give advice.”
Remember, the best way for a job applicant to stand out is to expand upon your résumé, not copy-paste reiterate your résumé. Job search wisdom tells us that a cover letter should tell a story—one that requires information only you as a person can provide.
Use AI for first drafts, not finished products
All of this is not to dismiss how useful an AI-generated cover letter can be. After all, the hardest part of writing a cover letter is putting those first few words on the page. The takeaway is that if you’re going to use AI to write a cover letter, only use it for your first draft. With an AI-generated cover letter, you can hit the ground running on perhaps the most dreaded aspect of job applications. However, the final product needs to have your personal, oh-so-human touch. For more, here are our tips to use a cover letter template without making it super obvious.