How AI Can Support Your Job-search Skills and Save Time

Kim Thompson
Feb 22, 2024

Q: I want to get your thoughts about cover letters. Writing a cover letter seems like a tremendous waste of energy when I could do other things to find employment. With all the online applications for job searching, are cover letters necessary? Do you need one to get hired?

A: A hiring manager once described a need for a cover letter as using an analogy of a handshake during an introduction. It can be awkward and create a negative perception without sending a letter. Replacing the “personalized” approach to rapport building can be challenging. However, a cover letter matches that occasion, despite social profiles and applying online for employment opportunities,

For those who struggle with writing cover letters, AI can be one of the best tools for your job search, reducing the time you spend creating a good letter and helping you when you are at a loss for words. While some might believe that AI is all you need to conduct a successful search, think again about the technology’s pros and cons.

While AI can be a job candidate’s dream for writing cover letters, the technology does have some areas worth considering, such as the type of questions you need to ask AI in writing, formatting, and adding personality to your content.

Using AI to create a letter highlighting your skills, accomplishments, and tone requires editing and proofreading. Conducting a job search takes time and effort, and as much as you would like to take out the challenge of writing a good letter, using AI can have some risks associated with it for several reasons.

One of the main reasons is that employers are utilizing software that will know if your cover letter or resume is AI-generated. Some employers look at the use of AI in applying for jobs as being insincere, and they will automatically disqualify you from the application process, while others can be more tolerant.

As much as AI has made writing more manageable, it presents some issues you must know before submitting a cover letter. Once you know the pros and cons, using it will save a great deal of time and help you focus on making the best impression.

Keep in mind that the most effective cover letters are ones that generate interest. Unlike resumes, cover letters are designed for a different strategy. The purpose is to personalize your introduction statement and emphasize points that would not be appropriate for your resume.

A cover letter should complement your resume and position you in the employer’s mind by leaving no doubt about what you can offer regarding skills and experience, your enthusiasm toward the company, and your objective. Strong cover letters are always personalized and send an impression that it took thought on your behalf to write them.

When using AI-generated content, consider these suggestions:

  • Be clear when giving directions to AI for writing your content. You want the information to be formatted in a professional manner by specifically using the industry. For example, ask AI to highlight your career experience in project management in manufacturing.
  • Give AI a clear structure, such as staying within a certain number of paragraphs or word count.
  • Ask AI to write an introduction using your experience and skills mentioned in the job description that will generate attention regarding a specific industry.
  • Proofread everything and observe the choice of words AI selects. Does your content sound like your tone? Do the words used reflect an accurate snapshot of your background?
  • AI can stretch the truth, and it is up to you to clarify and edit. The worst mistake is relying on AI and sending a letter that does not adequately describe your skills. Make sure you edit before submitting anything related to your background.
  • Keep your cover letter to the point without lengthy explanations regarding your interests in the job. Your goal is to generate attention and avoid losing the reader with information you can discuss during the interview.

A good outline to follow in writing a cover letter using AI is to ensure your information is correct and that your accomplishments indicate results relating to the employer’s needs.

Always convey your enthusiasm for the position, and make sure your letter sends a warm tone that is genuine rather than a version that sounds auto-generated. Even though AI helped you with content, it is up to you to ensure it represents your unique skills and that you connect with the reader by demonstrating an understanding of the job description.

To access more career resources, including the Phi Kappa Phi Career Center, visit