Should you use ChatGPT to apply for jobs? Here’s what recruiters say


ChatGPT, the new chatbot from OpenAI, can do anything it seems (as long as you don’t mind inaccuracies). Although leveraging AI to write your college essays, quietly publish news, and impress potential soulmates may be dubious, what about asking ChatGPT or other generative AI to write a cover letter, résumé, or other job application materials? Some job seekers, including some TikTok users, are already doing it. But how good is AI at writing cover letters? And will it help or hurt your chances of getting the job? Fast Company talked with recruiters, HR experts, and hiring managers about whether it makes sense to use ChatGPT in your job hunt.


Alexandria Brown, a human resources consultant and founder of The HR Hacker, is not a fan of the robotic tasks involved in applying for jobs, likening them to the busy work teachers give students in school.

When she first heard that job seekers were using AI, she knew she had to try it. She cut and pasted the entire job description for a position into ChatGPT and watched it generate a cover letter including keywords and phrases as well as details related to the company’s mission, vision, and values. 

“I was blown away by how good the cover letter was,” says Brown. “You would still need to edit it before you created your final draft,” she adds. “But it’s a good start.” 

Brown says it helps to think about ChatGPT as creating a template, which she recommends for anyone looking for a new job. “I think it takes some of the pressure of job seekers’ panic and anxiety about creating cover letters for every single job they apply to,” says Brown.

She adds that she would not at all be offended if she learned that someone used ChatGPT to help present themselves to her as a hiring manager. “If you’re using technology to work smarter, not harder. I mean, I applaud you.”


Many large companies run some form of AI in their applicant tracking systems (ATS) to scan resumes for keywords long before those words are seen by human eyes. 

That’s why CEO James Hu created Jobscan, a company dedicated to optimizing résumés. Jobscan uses what it calls an “intelligent predictive system,” which is a proprietary AI built-in house. Hu told Fast Company that jobseekers make a mistake when they view ChatGPT as a machine rather than a tool. “Ultimately, humans—recruiters and hiring managers—are the ones reviewing the resumes they shortlist from the ATS,” he says. According to Hu, ChatGPT provides generic responses. “A convincing cover letter is more than a rephrasing of your work experience,” says Hu. 

Cliff Jurkiewicz, vice president at Phenom, a company that provides AI-powered services for recruiting, believes that if hiring managers use AI, jobseekers should be able to do the same. “Would you care if they use Grammarly to check or improve their writing?” asks Jurkiewicz. “ChatGPT is just another tool that requires input to create anything.”

Kristen Wrigley, head of people at professional training and coaching company TaskHuman, says she doesn’t mind people using ChatGPT to automate the process, “especially entry-level candidates where there may not be as much differentiation in levels of experience.” But, she says AI-generated content can be “sterile or generic.” Good recruiters are looking for unique personality traits that jump out at them from the sea of résumés and cover letters, Wrigley told Fast Company over email. “Automated cover letters may save time, but may not help you stand out.” Especially if other candidates are using ChatGPT to write their cover letters, too.

Dave Fano, formerly chief growth officer of WeWork and the current founder and CEO at Teal, a career development platform, also sees no issue with the use of ChatGPT. (Fano is currently integrating ChatGPT into Teal’s offerings.) He says that although it’s still early days with this technology, it’s already “remarkably robust.” He stresses the need to edit the results before you send them to anyone. If you don’t, Fano says, “I just think you’re just gonna kind of look like an idiot.” 


Some HR experts noted that AI-generated cover letters work better for more junior-level positions. “The lower the complexity of the job, the easier it is for the AI to generate materials for it,” says Hu of Jobscan. 

Relying on AI may also be a bad idea for jobs that involve skills like writing. As the founder and managing director of Tanj, a brand consultancy that specializes in naming and writing, Scott Milano has a particular distaste for AI-written cover letters. 

“When we receive inquiries about jobs that are clearly either an AI-generated form letter or whatever it may be, especially on the job listing front, we have a visceral reaction to it,” says Milano. “It’s not going to be for us because our words literally are our currency.” 


Some hiring experts hoped AI would have the power to just kill the cover letter forever. Brown of HR Hacker has nothing nice to say about the cover letter, automated or not. “I hate cover letters,” Brown told Fast Company. “Nobody actually reads them.” 

Microsoft says it’s extending its long-term partnership with OpenAI through a new “multiyear, multibillion-dollar investment.” The investment comes just weeks after Microsoft was rumored to be investing $10 billion into OpenAI, the creators of popular AI tools like ChatGPT and DALL-E 2.

“We formed our partnership with OpenAI around a shared ambition to responsibly advance cutting-edge AI research and democratize AI as a new technology platform,” says Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella. “In this next phase of our partnership, developers and organizations across industries will have access to the best AI infrastructure, models, and toolchain with Azure to build and run their applications.”

The deal will see Microsoft increase its investments in the development and deployment of supercomputing systems to assist OpenAI’s research. The key part of the deal means that Microsoft is the exclusive cloud partner for OpenAI, and Microsoft’s cloud services will power all OpenAI workloads across products, API services, and research.

Microsoft is also planning to deploy OpenAI’s models across a variety of consumer and enterprise products. Microsoft is rumored to be preparing to challenge Google with ChatGPT integration into Bing search results, and the company is reportedly looking at integrating some language AI technology into its Word, PowerPoint, and Outlook apps.

Microsoft isn’t disclosing exactly how much it has invested in OpenAI, but the company has been looking to use its close relationship to further commercialize its Azure OpenAI service. Microsoft started rolling out this service last week, and it includes a number of AI models made by OpenAI including GPT-3.5, Codex, and DALL-E. It’s designed for businesses to make use of OpenAI’s models by essentially packaging up GPT-3.5 with the scaling you’d expect from Azure and management and data handling additions.

Rumors of this deal suggested Microsoft may receive 75 percent of OpenAI’s profits until it secures its investment return and a 49 percent stake in the company. OpenAI says it remains a capped-profit company after this deal, allowing it to continue to raise capital with checks and balances in place.

The past three years of our partnership have been great,” says OpenAI CEO Sam Altman. “Microsoft shares our values and we are excited to continue our independent research and work toward creating advanced AI that benefits everyone.”

Microsoft purchased an exclusive license to the underlying technology behind GPT-3 in 2020 after investing $1 billion in OpenAI in 2019. It has built a close relationship with OpenAI and is also planning to add an AI text-to-image model to Bing powered by OpenAI’s DALL-E 2.

Brown calls cover letters “a kind of false hoop jumping.” Instead, she suggests a more human approach to the whole process. “Why don’t you look at my résumé and then, if I have seven to ten of the requirements for the job, get on a phone call with me.”

Fano thinks cover letters are “kind of a joke.” He says ChatGPT and tools like it have the ability to make the hiring process better and avoid the “that’s the way we’ve always done it” mentality.  

“Cover letters were literally that, right?” says Fano. “You would write a résumé, and you had a piece of paper that was a cover to the résumé because you mailed it in.” He hopes that the increase in automation might make companies just stop asking for cover letters altogether: “Is that really then the test of someone’s competency? Like, if a tool can do it for them?”

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