Learn how to use ChatGPT to boost your job search and land your next role

Technology is an essential part of the job search process. It helps us search, prepare, find, and apply for jobs. But the tech on offer today is so much more than Googling jobs. Thanks to ChatGPT, AI has gone mainstream, is accessible to the masses, and is now a key player in every job search. Read on to unlock the potential of ChatGPT as a job search tool and for navigating career opportunities in 2024. 

What is ChatGPT?

ChatGPT is a natural language processing chatbot that's driven by generative AI. It allows you to have human-like conversations to complete different tasks – from simple ones like writing an email to more complex tasks like coding formulas.

OpenAI's generative AI tool debuted in November 2022, quickly capturing widespread interest due to its ability to provide detailed responses and engage in natural interactions. However, its factual inaccuracy is a significant drawback. 

ChatGPT-3.5 is free for the public to use. However, ChatGPT Plus, which was launched in February 2023, gives users access to premium features for a small fee, such as ChatGPT-4, ChatGPT plugins, the ability to create custom chatbots, DALL-E 3's image generation, access to the internet (Bing browser), and much more.

The limitations of ChatGPT as a job search tool

ChatGPT has a suite of impressive functions and capabilities. Whether you have the free-to-use (ChatGPT-3.5) or premium (ChatGPT-4) version, there are limitations with the AI tech to be aware of before you use it for your job search. They include:

  • It can't be 100% accurate: ChatGPT-3.5 can't access the internet. It relies on a static dataset that's largely from pre-2021, which means responses may be factually inaccurate. While ChatGPT-4 can access the internet, it's still limited by its training data and often “hallucinates” facts unless you first supply the missing information.

  • It can misread context: ChatGPT-3.5 can struggle to understand nuanced context, leading to irrelevant responses. ChatGPT-4, on the other hand, has a larger context window. In fact, the model can handle inputs that are up to 25,000 words

  • It struggles with complex tasks: While ChatGPT-4 can handle more complicated tasks than GPT-3.5, both versions struggle with deep reasoning, judgement, and specialised knowledge.

  • You'll need to fine-tune the responses: ChatGPT can't give you personalised advice because it doesn't understand your specific needs and circumstances – unless you load this into ChatGPT-4. The output will always need reviewing, and you'll likely need to adjust your initial prompt to get the correct response.

  • It can't guarantee security and privacy: The data privacy risks with ChatGPT are real because the model saves all user inputs. You don't need to worry about public exposure as the data is encrypted, but all unsaved or deleted chats are stored for at least 30 days – they can also be used to improve the language model, unless your chat history is turned off.

How to use ChatGPT to aid your job search

As long as you're aware of ChatGPT's limitations, there are plenty of ways it can help you search for a job. Here are a few:

Use ChatGPT to research a company

How you use ChatGPT to research a company will depend on the version you're using.

If you have the free version ChatGPT-3.5, you know its knowledge base is frozen in time, so you can't ask it questions like “What are the latest news or updates about [company name]?” unless you want to seem incredibly outdated in your job application. However, you could use it to research the history of a company. 

ChatGPT-3.5 can help you perform searches on search engines, though. If you inform it of the types of jobs you're looking for, it can suggest keywords and advanced search operators to help you narrow down the results.

GPT-4 can do a little bit more. You can put your search strings directly into ChatGPT because it has direct access to Bing. You can also input URLs into ChatGPT and ask it to summarise a page, which is helpful if you've just landed on a company's “about us” page and need concise notes for interview prep

If you want to research multiple companies, ChatGPT-4 will structure the findings so you can copy them directly into a spreadsheet. Neat.

Example ChatGPT prompts for company research

  • What keywords or advanced search operators should I use to find [job title] positions at [company name]?

  • Please summarise the “about us” page of [company name]: https://examplesite.com/about-us-example 

  • What are the emerging trends in [industry] that [company name] is capitalising on?

  • Can you summarise [company name]'s sustainability initiatives and their impact on the environment?

Use ChatGPT to write your CV

You should never let AI write your CV, but you can use it to assist you.

Reviewing your CV is one way to use ChatGPT for your CV. You could use it to check grammar and spelling. You could ask it to generate alternative action words and verbs if you feel the language is stale. You may also ask it to rephrase sentences or help you weave in those all-important facts and figures.

However, don't expect ChatGPT to review your CV as a career expert, even if you give it the role of CV reviewer in your prompt. The chatbot doesn't understand what it's supposed to do and lacks context.

You could load ChatGPT-4 with the relevant details, but that time and effort might be best saved for a CV review by a real expert.

Example ChatGPT prompts for CV review

  • Please check the following text for grammatical mistakes and make suggestions for corrections. The language is British English: [CV text]

  • Can you suggest 10 verbs that are related to “managed?”

  • Please rewrite the following sentence so that it is more concise and written in a trustworthy, personable tone of voice: [sentence]

Use ChatGPT to write your cover letter

You shouldn't let ChatGPT write your cover letter, either. However, like your CV, it can help with proofreading, rewriting, and rephrasing.

If you ask ChatGPT how to write a cover letter, it will grasp the basic structure. But whether it can write one based on your relevant inputs is another story. 

ChatGPT could help you find commonalities between your CV and the job posting to help you whittle down the relevant details to include in your cover letter. After all, you need to expand your CV, demonstrate why you're a strong candidate, and showcase your alignment with the company.

Example ChatGPT prompts for cover letter review

  • What should I include in the opening paragraph of my cover letter to grab an employer's attention?

  • I am about to paste my CV and a job opening. What specific skills and experiences mentioned in the job posting that are also mentioned in my CV should I emphasise in my cover letter?

  • I'm applying to a company known for its innovative culture. How can I reflect my own innovative mindset in my cover letter?

Use ChatGPT to tailor your experience

We know tailoring your CV to the job description is essential to the application process. ChatGPT can help you tweak your CV to the job description.

Give ChatGPT the job description and ask it to generate relevant keywords and phrases that could be used in your CV and cover letter. This is much faster than manually typing the keywords or printing the advert and highlighting them.

You could also ask ChatGPT to review your CV and suggest how tailored it is for the role based on the job description. But again, you might have mixed results, and your energy may be better saved for the pros at a CV writing service.

Example ChatGPT prompts for tailoring job application

  • I am about to paste the job description of a role I want to apply for. Please identify and generate relevant keywords that could be used in my CV based on this job description: [job description]

  • I'm about to send you a job description for a marketing manager position I'm interested in applying for. Please read the job description and understand the key requirements of the position, including the key duties and responsibilities and the skills and qualifications. I will also send you my CV, which you will review. Please then suggest how tailored my CV is for the role of Marketing Manager based on the details in the job description: [your CV], [job description]

Use ChatGPT to prepare for a job interview

Plenty of job interview questions have stood the test of time, and ChatGPT will be able to give you a sample of the most common. It can also generate some “out there” questions to get a flavour for something unexpected.

ChatGPT is most useful for job interviews because it can help you prepare answers using the STAR method based on your CV or a brief recounting of an experience. 

Similarly, it can help you generate interesting and uncommon questions for the hiring manager based on the job description – questions beyond “What do you like about working here?” Yawn. 

Example ChatGPT prompts for interview preparation

  • Tell me 10 common job interview questions tailored to marketing managers with example responses.

  • Show me an example answer to the interview question “How do you approach building and nurturing relationships with key stakeholders, both internally and externally?” using the STAR method, that's based on the experience in my CV: [your CV]

  • Tell me a handful of out-there interview questions.

  • What are some unique yet insightful questions for a hiring manager at an enterprise organisation?

Use ChatGPT to customise your LinkedIn profile

This shouldn't come as a surprise. You should avoid using ChatGPT to write your LinkedIn profile. However, the AI tool can be used to customise it and make impactful tweaks. 

For example, you could use ChatGPT to craft a compelling headline. Akin to a CV headline, a LinkedIn headline is a tagline. It appears below your name and should be keyword-optimised and impactful to help you stand out to recruiters, potential employers, and networking connections.

LinkedIn should complement your CV, not replicate it. You can use ChatGPT to adjust phrases or consolidate information from your CV to suit LinkedIn.

Example ChatGPT prompts for LinkedIn profile customisation

  • Craft a compelling LinkedIn headline under 220 characters tailored to the [industry] sector. Incorporate keywords like [keyword 1], [keyword 2], [keyword 3] to enhance visibility and relevance.

  • As a [your role] in the [your industry] field, I'm seeking a headline that captures the attention of recruiters and potential employers. Could you assist me in crafting a standout headline?

ChatGPT job search FAQs

Can you use ChatGPT to find a job?

Yes, you can use this ChatGPT to find a job, but it cannot guarantee you a job. The biggest part of your job search success is still YOU – your skills, experience, and actual interview performance! 

However, integrating this AI tool into your job search strategy can be beneficial as ChatGPT-3.5 and GPT-4 can help kickstart your 2024 job search. Additionally, with a ChatGPT Plus subscription, you can access Bing for the latest job openings. Whether it's tweaking your CV or identifying keywords in a job description, this generative AI tech can help you on your way to your next role.

How do I use ChatGPT to apply for jobs?

The free version of ChatGPT can help you apply for jobs by tailoring your CV and cover letter to the job description, generating interview questions and mock answers, and tweaking your LinkedIn profile. If you subscribe to ChatGPT Plus, you can access the internet and browse jobs online.

How do I use ChatGPT for career advice?

ChatGPT can go beyond a job search and supply a host of career advice in plenty of ways. From exploring career options and further education to career advancement strategies and professional development, ChatGPT has a host of potentially helpful information to share.

However, remember to provide as much context and detail as reasonably possible when seeking career advice from an AI chatbot. If in doubt, avoid the generative AI and seek career advice from a reputable source instead.

Using ChatGPT for your job search can be helpful, but be aware of its vulnerabilities and limitations. Want to see if your AI-generated CV is up to the mark? Submit it for a free CV review, or enlist the help of a professional CV writing service.

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