black flat screen computer monitor on white wooden desk

Using ChatGPT To Write a Motivation Letter (and other AI too)

It seems that Artificial Intelligence (AI), especially ChatGPT, is all over the news these days. It can do some pretty amazing things, but can it help you to write a motivation letter for a job, entry into school, a visa, or any of the other scenarios that we’ve talked about?  We wanted to know and so ran some experiments to help determine that.  It can help, but it can’t replace you and some of the other resources that we’ve suggested.

We’re going to help you get the most out of it if you decide to use it.  To do that, you need to understand a bit about how it works (no math or computer programming, we promise) and some of its limitations.

Some of the links in this post are affiliate links. This means if you click on the link and purchase the item, I will receive an affiliate commission at no extra cost to you. All opinions remain my own.

We will go over some of the basics of AI, some of its benefits and the results of our experiment, and what you can do to get better results before submitting your own motivation letter.

We are going to focus this discussion on ChatGPT, the AI solution getting most of the press these days.  These same ideas and concepts can apply to almost any similar AI solution, such as Google’s Bard.

Black and silver laptop computer
Black and silver laptop computer


What is AI?

Artificial Intelligence (AI) is a branch of computer science that focuses on the creation and development of machines and software capable of intelligent behavior. In other words, AI involves building systems capable of performing tasks that would usually require human intelligence. These tasks include understanding natural language, recognizing patterns, solving problems, learning from experience, and making decisions.

AI can be classified into two main types: narrow AI and general AI.

    • Narrow AI: Also known as weak AI, narrow AI systems are designed to perform a specific task, such as voice recognition, recommendation systems, or image recognition. They operate under a limited set of constraints and are the most common type of AI that we encounter in our day-to-day lives. Examples include Siri, Amazon’s Alexa, and Google Search.  Other examples include Google’s Bard and ChatGPT.
    • General AI: Also known as strong AI, general AI refers to systems that possess the ability to perform any intellectual task that a human being can do. They can understand, learn, adapt, and implement knowledge from different domains.  So far, this is mostly the stuff of science fiction.

AI utilizes different techniques to achieve these tasks, including machine learning, deep learning, and natural language processing. Machine learning involves training systems using large amounts of data, allowing them to improve their performance over time. Deep learning, a subset of machine learning, uses artificial neural networks to model and understand complex patterns in datasets. Natural language processing, on the other hand, allows machines to understand and respond to human language.

The goal of AI is to improve the efficiency and effectiveness of systems and processes, reduce human error, and perform complex tasks that are otherwise challenging, time-consuming, or impossible for humans to do. While there are concerns about the ethical implications and potential misuse of AI, its potential benefits to society are substantial. As research and development continue, we can expect AI to increasingly become part of our everyday lives.

Background on ChatGPT

Artificial Intelligence (AI) has seen immense progress in the past few decades, shaping numerous fields like medicine, transportation, entertainment, and communications. One of the most influential developments in AI is natural language processing (NLP), which empowers machines to understand, interpret, and generate human language. OpenAI’s ChatGPT, a conversational AI model, is a cutting-edge development in this arena.

Artificial intelligence concept with man depicting using ChatGPT to write a motivation letter

From Turing Test to GPT

The journey to a system like ChatGPT began with the concept of the Turing Test, proposed by Alan Turing in 1950. This test was designed to see if a machine could imitate human responses so convincingly that an average human could not distinguish them from those of another human. This concept has shaped AI’s goal to achieve human-like intelligence, with several models trying to pass the Turing Test.

The specific lineage of ChatGPT began with the advent of machine learning and, more specifically, deep learning models for NLP tasks. One such model, developed by OpenAI, was the Generative Pre-trained Transformer (GPT), first introduced in 2018.

The Inception of GPT

GPT-1 was a proof-of-concept model demonstrating that a universal language model pre-trained on a diverse range of internet text could perform well on multiple NLP tasks without needing task-specific training data. This was a major breakthrough, showing that a language model could generalize across different tasks.

However, GPT-1 had limitations. It was trained on a dataset of relatively small size (around 117 million words), and despite its successful proof-of-concept, its practical applications were limited.

The subsequent version, GPT-2, addressed these issues. Released in 2019, it was a significantly larger and more powerful model, trained on a dataset ten times larger than its predecessor. GPT-2 showed much better performance in language understanding and generation tasks and was notably able to generate coherent, relevant, and even creative text over multiple paragraphs. However, it could also produce biased or nonsensical outputs and had a controversial staged release due to concerns about potential misuse.

The Arrival of GPT-3 and ChatGPT

The third iteration, GPT-3, unveiled in 2020, represented another substantial leap forward. This is the version that is getting most of the press now because it’s the one that’s publicly available for free.  It had 175 billion parameters – over 100 times more than GPT-2 – and showed an even greater understanding of natural language. GPT-3 astounded the tech world with its ability to generate human-like text and perform tasks like translation, question-answering, and even basic coding with little to no training data.

Building upon the capabilities of GPT-3, OpenAI developed ChatGPT. Unlike the more generalized versions of GPT, ChatGPT was fine-tuned specifically for human-like conversations. OpenAI used a two-step process to train ChatGPT, initially training it on a large corpus of internet text, followed by reinforcement learning from human feedback to fine-tune its responses.

ChatGPT found widespread application as a conversational AI, capable of natural and meaningful dialogue. From being a digital assistant to helping in customer service, providing tutoring in various subjects, and even offering companionship, ChatGPT has showcased the potential of conversational AI.

Looking Ahead

OpenAI continues to refine and develop the GPT series. Despite the enormous progress, there are still challenges to address. For instance, ChatGPT sometimes produces responses that are incorrect or nonsensical, and it can exhibit biases based on the data it was trained on. However, the ongoing research and advancements in AI promise exciting developments for the future.

As AI models like ChatGPT continue to improve, they have the potential to fundamentally transform our interaction with technology. Just as importantly, their development also prompts necessary discussions about AI ethics, fair use, and regulation, conversations that will undoubtedly shape the trajectory of AI development in the coming years.

OpenAI has started to make its latest model GPT-4, available to paid users.  This model already shows significant improvements over GPT-3, with much more expected in the future.

Understanding the Motivation Letter

Before we move on to how AI can help us write a motivation letter, let’s spend a few minutes reviewing what a motivation letter is, how its usually structured, and some of the basics of it.

happy woman reading a letter

What is a motivation letter?

A motivation letter, also known as a letter of motivation or a statement of purpose, is a document that outlines an individual’s motivation or reason for applying to a job, a university, or a specific program. It’s a personal, detailed, and typically formal letter that complements your resume or curriculum vitae (CV) and allows you to express your enthusiasm, qualifications, and goals related to the position or program you’re applying to.

Here are the key components of a motivation letter:

    • Introduction: The introduction should briefly state who you are, the purpose of the letter, and where you found the job or program listing.
    • Explanation of Interest: The main body of your motivation letter should explain why you’re interested in the job or program and why you are a good fit for it. It’s an opportunity to express your passion and to relate your interests to what is being offered.  This should include a few areas:
      • Relevant Skills and Experiences: Highlight your qualifications, skills, experiences, or coursework that make you a good fit for the role or program. This should align with the requirements mentioned in the job or program description.
      • Future Goals and Benefits: Discuss your future career goals, how the role or program fits into those plans, and how you will benefit from and contribute to the job or program.
    • Conclusion: Wrap up the letter by restating your interest and thanking the reader for their time. Also, make sure to include any next steps or follow-ups that you will take.

The motivation letter is your chance to show a bit of your personality and convince the reader why you’re an excellent fit for the position or program. While it’s important to remain professional, it’s also essential to let your individuality shine through—after all, this is your personal case for why you’re the best candidate.

You only have a brief opportunity to get the attention and interest of the decision-maker.  Your motivation letter should be no longer than a page.  Much past that, and they may stop reading before you can convince them that you are the right candidate.

Importance of a Motivation Letter

A motivation letter is a significant part of the application process because it provides depth and context to your experience and qualifications and gives recruiters, employers, or admissions committees a sense of your personality, goals, and motivations. The motivation letter gives you a chance to stand out from the rest of the qualified and interested candidates.  Here are some reasons why it is important:

    • Showcases Your Motivation: The letter is an opportunity to express your enthusiasm for the role or program and the organization or institution. It allows you to explain why you’re interested and what drives you, which can help differentiate you from other candidates.
    • Highlights Relevant Skills and Experiences: Your CV or resume typically provides an overview of your skills and experiences, but a motivation letter allows you to highlight and elaborate on the ones particularly relevant to the role or program. You can explain how you’ve used these skills in the past and how you plan to use them in the future.
    • Communicates Your Goals: The motivation letter allows you to discuss your future goals and ambitions. This not only gives the reader insight into your plans but also allows you to show how the role, program, or organization fits into those goals.  This gives them a sense of what you want and why that fits into what they are looking for.
    • Demonstrates Your Writing Skills: A well-written motivation letter can demonstrate your communication skills, attention to detail, and ability to organize your thoughts clearly and persuasively.
    • Personal Touch: Unlike a CV or resume, a motivation letter is a more personal document. It’s a chance for you to express your personality, share your story, and build a connection with the reader.

Remember, a motivation letter could be the first document that the hiring manager or admissions committee reads, so making a positive impression through this letter is crucial. It could be the difference between your application being shortlisted for further assessment or being overlooked.

How a Motivation Letter Differs from Other Application Documents

While application processes often require multiple documents, each serves a distinct purpose. Here’s how a motivation letter differs from other common application documents:

    • Motivation Letter vs. Resume/CV: A resume or Curriculum Vitae (CV) is a concise document summarizing your work history, education, skills, and accomplishments. Its primary function is to provide an at-a-glance overview of your qualifications. A motivation letter, on the other hand, allows for a more in-depth discussion of your experiences and skills, focusing on the why and how of your career journey and aspirations. It’s a chance to explain why you’re interested in the job or program and how your background and goals align with it.
    • Motivation Letter vs. Cover Letter: The terms motivation letter and cover letter are often used interchangeably, and they do share similarities. However, there can be subtle differences. A cover letter typically focuses on a specific job application, directly addressing how your skills and experience make you an ideal candidate for that particular role. A motivation letter, while it can also be job-specific, is often used for academic applications or highly competitive job sectors. It places more emphasis on your personal motivations, aspirations, and passion for the field or study program.
    • Motivation Letter vs. Personal Statement: A personal statement, often used for university or graduate school applications, is a document where applicants detail their life experiences, academic interests, and how they led to their decision to apply for the program. While it might touch on similar themes as a motivation letter, a personal statement is usually more focused on personal development, academic journey, and future research interests rather than alignment with specific job roles or program curricula.

Overall, the motivation letter serves as a bridge between the more factual, bullet-point style of a resume and the personal narrative of a personal statement. It gives you an opportunity to explain why you’re a strong fit for the role or program, adding a personal voice to the facts and figures listed in your other application documents.

Leveraging ChatGPT for Writing a Motivation Letter

Writing a powerful and effective motivation letter can be intimidating.  With so much riding on your motivation letter, you will want to take advantage of every opportunity that you have.  Until recently, your best options were to hire someone to help you write your letter on a service like Fiverr or to use a template to guide you in writing your letter.

While these are still very powerful and effective tools, a new set of tools has opened up recently that can be useful.  Like the more traditional tools, they have limitations, but using some of the artificial intelligence tools, when done right, can help you to get a good start on a motivation letter.

Benefits and Limitations of Using ChatGPT

Chatbots like OpenAI’s ChatGPT have been revolutionizing the way we interact with technology, reshaping customer service, education, and many other sectors. As with any technology, however, they come with their own set of benefits and limitations.

Benefits of Using ChatGPT:

    • Availability: ChatGPT is available 24/7, making it a highly accessible and convenient tool for users across different time zones or with varying schedules.
    • Scalability: Unlike human agents, ChatGPT can handle multiple interactions simultaneously, enabling it to scale and cater to a large number of users.
    • Cost Efficiency: Over time, ChatGPT can reduce costs associated with human personnel, such as salaries, benefits, and training.  For many uses, you can use ChatGPT for free.
    • Consistency: ChatGPT offers a consistent user experience, as it doesn’t suffer from fatigue or emotional variations like human agents might.
    • Versatility: It can be used in a variety of applications, including but not limited to customer service, tutoring, content creation, and companionship.

ChatGPT, and other language models that offer artificial intelligence to help our writing offer a number of benefits.  However, as with any tool, you need to understand the limitations to truly use it effectively.  As we say above, a key part of a motivation letter is to show your skills, goals, and personality to differentiate yourself.  That is impossible if you only rely on a computer, no matter how powerful, to write your motivation letter.

Limitations of Using ChatGPT:

    • Understanding Nuance: Despite its advanced capabilities, ChatGPT sometimes struggles with understanding the context and nuance of certain conversations, leading to responses that may be inappropriate or off-base.
    • Lack of Emotional Intelligence: ChatGPT lacks genuine emotional intelligence and empathy, which can be crucial in certain conversational contexts, particularly when dealing with sensitive topics.  This is also a serious limitation when trying to write something personal, like a motivation letter.
    • Dependence on Training Data: The quality and breadth of responses from ChatGPT depend on the data it has been trained on. As a result, there might be areas or topics where it has limited capability to generate accurate or appropriate responses.  Your skills and goals were not part of the training data, and therefore, you need to be sure that your final product clearly highlights the things that make you different; otherwise, it will read like a template.
    • Generic Content: An outcome of the dependence on training data is that ChatGPT will produce generic content. It doesn’t know the author, it knows many authors that have written similar or related material and it uses that to write a generic letter, not one for you.
    • No Introspection: ChatGPT is a computer program is unable to perform the self-reflection that is required to generate content and lessons from past experiences.
    • Bias: ChatGPT can inadvertently reflect and perpetuate biases present in its training data. This is an area of ongoing concern and research in the field of AI.
    • Risk of Misuse: There’s a potential risk of misuse of the technology for generating misleading information, spam, or inappropriate content.
    • Hallucinations: Yes, computers can hallucinate too. There have been several documented cases of ChatGPT simply making things up.  This can be embarrassing when you are creating a document that is supposed to be fact-based.

In summary, while ChatGPT and similar AI models offer significant advantages, they have drawbacks. It’s important to understand these drawbacks as you are using it.

The Ideal Use Cases for ChatGPT

Despite the limitations, ChatGPT can be a powerful tool in your writing.  There are several scenarios where it’s an ideal tool for your writing.

  • Brainstorming: Its vast array of training data can help provide you with ideas, concepts, and structures very quickly.  It can provide a powerful rough draft to get you started with your motivation letter.
  • Structural Ideas: If you’re struggling with your motivation letter and aren’t sure how to set it up, ChatGPT can provide you that structure.
  • Grammar and Style Checks: ChatGPT can assist in refining the language or suggesting stylistic improvements or options.  Be careful here, though, ChatGPT does periodically provide some weird or generic phrasing.  It also has a tendency to provide unnecessarily flowery language.  Tools like Grammarly are much more powerful in this regard.  It uses its own AI tool specifically trained for strong grammar, word usage and spelling.

Like any tool, used in the right way, ChatGPT can be a powerful addition. It’s not a replacement for your own writing though.

Preparing to Use ChatGPT for Writing a Motivation Letter

ChatGPT can be helpful when writing a motivation letter, helping you generate ideas, structure your thoughts, or even produce drafts. Here are some steps to prepare for using ChatGPT in this process:

  • Gather Relevant Information: First, you must collect all the relevant information you want to include in the letter. This might involve details about your academic and professional background, skills and experiences relevant to the application, reasons for applying to this specific role or program, and your future goals. Your resume or CV is a great starting point.  You might also want to have your academic record and any other records that show your skills and experiences.
  • Understand the Requirements: Read through the job posting, program description, or any guidelines provided for the motivation letter. Make a list of key points or qualifications you need to address.
  • Define the Structure: Decide on the structure of your letter. A typical structure includes an introduction, an explanation of interest, a discussion of relevant skills and experiences, future goals, and a conclusion.
  • Start the Conversation with ChatGPT: Begin by providing the context. You might tell ChatGPT that you’re looking to write a motivation letter for a specific job or program, share the details, and ask for help drafting the letter. You can ask for assistance with the whole letter or with specific parts.
  • Interact and Refine: ChatGPT will generate a response based on your input. You can then iterate on this, asking ChatGPT to expand on, modify, or generate new content for different parts of the letter.
  • Edit and Polish: Finally, make sure to review and edit the content generated by ChatGPT carefully. Ensure that it meets all the requirements, reflects your authentic voice and experiences, and is free of any errors. This might be the most important step.  This is where you can make sure that your motivation letter reflects who you are as a candidate.

Remember, while ChatGPT can be a powerful tool for generating content, it’s important to ensure that your motivation letter genuinely reflects your experiences, skills, motivations, and goals. Use ChatGPT as a tool to aid your writing process, but not to replace your unique perspective and voice.

Polishing and Personalizing the Motivation Letter

When editing and reviewing a motivation letter written by ChatGPT, you should approach the task as much as you would with a letter written by a human. It’s essential to ensure that the letter accurately represents your experiences, skills, and aspirations and aligns with the requirements of the role or program you’re applying for. Here are some specific steps you should consider:

  • Check for Accuracy: Make sure the letter accurately reflects your experiences, skills, and aspirations. AI doesn’t have personal knowledge about you, so you’ll need to ensure that the details provided to the AI model have been correctly and accurately used.
  • Ensure Authenticity: The motivation letter should reflect your unique voice and personality. Make sure the language and tone sound like you and that the letter doesn’t come across as overly formal or artificial.
  • Verify Alignment: Check if the content aligns with the specific role or program you’re applying for. The letter should clearly demonstrate how your skills and experiences make you an excellent fit for the opportunity.
  • Assess Structure and Flow: The letter should be well-structured, with a clear introduction, body, and conclusion. The ideas should flow logically from one paragraph to the next.
  • Proofread: Look for any grammatical errors, spelling mistakes, or awkward phrasing. Use a tool like Grammarly or have a trusted friend or mentor review it for you. Grammarly has some great tools that you can use to judge the tone of your letter to help avoid it sounding like a computer wrote it.
  • Check Length: Make sure the letter adheres to any length guidelines provided. A typical motivation letter is usually around one page long. Longer than that, and the decision-makers may not finish reading it.
  • Relevance and Redundancy: Ensure all information in the letter is relevant to the position or course you’re applying for. Also, check that there’s no redundant or repetitive information.
  • Include a Call to Action: Your concluding paragraph should have a call to action, thanking the reader for their consideration and indicating any follow-up actions (if applicable).
  • Check Your Formatting: ChatGPT largely produces text that you need to format in a word processor. Double-check your formatting to make sure that it’s clean, professional, and what a reader expects. This can be a good use of one of our templates

Remember, the AI-generated content should serve as a base for your final draft. The most compelling motivation letters are those that showcase the applicant’s passion, dedication, and personal journey, which are all elements you know best.  You need to write these parts. No artificial intelligence is going to capture them for you.

ChatGPT can help you come up with a good starting point, but it can’t truly write the entire letter for you.

Injecting Your Personal Voice and Experiences

Injecting your personal voice into a motivation letter written by ChatGPT is crucial to ensure that the letter is authentically yours. The goal of a motivation letter is to express who you are, your goals, your unique experience, and your motivation for the position.  Otherwise, there’s no real point in writing the motivation letter.  A computer can’t do all of that for you. It can give you a good start, but you have to inject your personality into it.

Here are several strategies to accomplish this:

    • Share Personal Experiences: Talk about specific experiences, anecdotes, or stories from your life that have shaped your interests, skills, and goals. These can make your letter more unique and compelling.
    • Reflect Your Communication Style: Adjust the language and tone to match your own. If you’re more casual in your communication, you might want to adjust the tone to reflect that while remaining professional.  Text written by ChatGPT (and other AI systems) can be impressive, but they don’t read like you wrote them in your voice.  A decision-maker can pick up on that.
    • Emphasize Your Values: Discuss what you believe in and what’s important to you. For example, if teamwork or innovation is a core value for you, include that in your letter.
    • Include Your Aspirations: Discussing your future goals and aspirations can give a sense of your personal journey and make your motivation letter feel more personalized.  It also gives the decision-maker a sense of what you want to accomplish and if it aligns with what they are looking for.
    • Review and Edit: After you have a draft, read it over. Does it sound like something you would write? If not, what’s off about it? Use your answers to these questions to guide your edits.  It’s often a good idea to have someone else read it and comment on it as well. This could be a friend or family member.  For something this important, it might be worth hiring a professional editor or motivation letter writer from a service like Fiverr.

Remember, ChatGPT is a tool to help facilitate your writing process, not to replace your individual voice. By incorporating these elements, you can ensure your motivation letter reflects who you are and what makes you a unique candidate for the role or program you’re applying to.

Aligning the Letter with Your Target Institution or Organization

Aligning your motivation letter with the target institution or organization is crucial to demonstrate your fit and interest. You don’t only want to show that you are unique for the position but that the position is something that you want and you have taken the time to know the organization, its goals, and its culture.

Here are a few ideas to help:

    • Research the Institution/Organization: Start by thoroughly researching the institution or organization. Understand their mission, values, culture, and what they’re looking for in candidates. You can find this information on their website, in job or program descriptions, or through informational interviews.
    • Highlight Shared Values: If you discover that the organization values innovation, for example, and you have experiences or skills that demonstrate your innovative mindset, be sure to highlight these in your letter. This shows that you not only understand the organization’s values but also share them.
    • Address Their Needs: Use the job or program description to identify what the institution or organization is looking for. Then, clearly demonstrate how you meet these requirements in your letter. Make sure to provide concrete examples whenever possible.  Often, using the same language shows that you’ve carefully read the description and have thought about how your skills and experience apply to what they are looking for.
    • Show Enthusiasm: Express your enthusiasm for the organization and the role or program you’re applying for. This could include mentioning specific projects, initiatives, or aspects of the organization’s culture that excite you.  If this is a position or organization that you have been following for a while, tell them that and why.  If it’s true, this can be a good place for personal anecdotes.
    • Be Honest: Above all, be honest.  Don’t make things up.  Use these tips where you can honestly but dishonesty will often shine through and will cause a reader to think worse of your candidacy.

By aligning your motivation letter with the target institution or organization, you demonstrate your genuine interest in the opportunity and your potential to be a good fit. It’s a powerful way to make your application stand out.

 Addressing Potential Challenges and Concerns

We’ve talked a bit about some of the limitations of using ChatGPT.  Here are a few specific recommendations of things you can do once you have your draft back from ChatGPT to avoid problems.

Avoiding Plagiarism and Overreliance When Using ChatGPT to Write a Motivation Letter

While ChatGPT can be a valuable tool for generating ideas and content, it’s essential to use it responsibly and ensure that your motivation letter is authentically your own. Here are some guidelines to help avoid plagiarism and overreliance on ChatGPT:

    • Use ChatGPT as a Tool, Not a Crutch: ChatGPT should be used as a writing aid, not as a means to generate your entire letter. Use it for brainstorming ideas, generating structure, or refining specific sections, but ensure the core content and narrative come from you.
    • Inject Your Personal Voice and Experiences: As mentioned previously, infusing your personal voice and sharing your unique experiences is critical. This not only makes the letter authentically yours but also helps differentiate you from other candidates.
    • Avoid Copying and Pasting Entire Sections: It might be tempting to directly use the content generated by ChatGPT, especially if it sounds good. However, you should avoid this. Instead, use the AI-generated content as inspiration, but rewrite it in your own words and from your unique perspective.
    • Cross-Reference: Cross-reference any facts, figures, or information provided by ChatGPT. While it’s trained on a huge amount of data, it doesn’t have real-time or factual knowledge. Therefore, you should verify any information used in your letter.  Most of that information should be based on your personal experiences that you will need to provide, but double-check any facts, figures, or statistics that ChatGPT provides.
    • Review and Edit: Using the methods provided before, carefully review and edit the letter to ensure it accurately represents you and meets the application requirements. Consider having a mentor, peer, or career counselor review it as well.

Remember, the goal of using ChatGPT is to aid your writing process, not to bypass it. Your motivation letter should be a genuine reflection of your interests, skills, experiences, and aspirations. If used responsibly, ChatGPT can be a powerful tool to help articulate these elements effectively.

A Sample Motivation Letter from ChatGPT

To create this article, we used ChatGPT for a fictional position with a company for a fictional person.  The fictional part is important. We didn’t edit the results, and the prompt is a starting point. You should have something more specific and can ask for edits that would refine the letter a bit better.  At the end of the day, though, any letter provided by ChatGPT (or any AI tool) will be a starting point, not the final product.

Reviewing a Motivation Letter Written by ChatGPT

You can find the entire letter that we got back at the end of this article.  For a few minutes, we are going to take a few sections of the letter and provide some feedback on things that we would have done differently to make a more powerful motivation letter.

This doesn’t mean that the ChatGPT letter is bad. It simply doesn’t know you and can only provide so much information. In fact, in parts, it’s quite good.

Let’s start with what we asked it to do:

ChatGPT Instructions

You should be able to provide it with more information.  We had limited information since the scenario we were using wasn’t real.

Dear Hiring Manager

You don’t want to address your letter to a generic person like “to whom it may concern.” Your goal is to make a personal connection. Sounding like a generic letter doesn’t help with that. You should address your letter to a specific person.

During my previous role at [Previous Company], I had the opportunity to work on a project that involved building a complex web application using Ruby on Rails. This experience allowed me to enhance my skills in system architecture, database management, and software development practices. I am confident that my technical expertise, combined with my attention to detail and strong analytical skills, would be valuable assets to [Company Name].

This paragraph isn’t horrible, but you should give more specifics. This reads like it was written by someone (or something) that wasn’t there…because it was.

In the next section, you want to provide examples of where your strong analytical skills made a difference or how your passion stood out.  Show them how you can make a difference when you can.

The closing is pretty good, but it’s a good idea to provide simple contact information there like a phone number or email address. Not critical; it’s in the address block too, but making it easy to find as you’re introducing a call to action can reduce any friction of the person reaching out to you.

Overall, the letter isn’t bad. It’s short on specifics and on showing versus telling.  These are common in both resumes and motivation letters, even when written by pros.  It’s also a great opportunity for you to stand out from those other letters.

ChatGPT is a great tool for helping you get started with your motivation letter.  It’s a tool, not a replacement.  Even when using ChatGPT, or any artificial intelligence, you need to review the letter, add in personal information and your voice, and then review and edit it. ChatGPT doesn’t care if you get the position, but you definitely do.  Show them that.

Using ChatGPT to Write a Motivation Letter – Sample

[Your Name]

[Your Address]

[City, State, ZIP]

[Email Address]

[Phone Number]




[Company Name]

[Company Address]

[City, State, ZIP]


Dear Hiring Manager,


I am writing to express my strong interest in the computer programming position at [Company Name]. With a Master’s degree in Computer Science and three years of programming experience, I believe I possess the skills and knowledge necessary to make a significant contribution to your team.

Throughout my academic journey and professional experience, I have developed a solid foundation in various programming languages such as JavaScript, PHP, Ruby on Rails, and Node.js. These languages have allowed me to build robust web applications, implement efficient algorithms, and create seamless user experiences. I constantly strive to stay updated with the latest technologies and best practices, as I believe in the importance of continuous learning in the ever-evolving field of programming.

One of my greatest strengths is my ability to provide support and debugging solutions. I have worked in diverse environments, both individually and as part of a team, assisting users in resolving technical issues and identifying and fixing software bugs. My experience in this area has not only honed my problem-solving skills but also taught me the importance of effective communication and collaboration in delivering timely solutions to end-users.

Can ChatGPT Write a Statement of Purpose?

Related to a motivation letter, a Statement of Purpose. An SoP, primarily used for admissions to graduate schools and professional programs, is a personalized essay that showcases an applicant’s aspirations, qualifications, and motivations to pursue a particular course or profession. The efficacy of a Statement of Purpose lies in its authenticity, depth of introspection, and connection to personal experiences.  Like the motivation letter, the applicant is trying to demonstrate their drive, goals, and experiences and how they make the applicant stand out for the program.

Writing a statement of purpose is a similar experience to writing a motivation letter.  Can ChatGPT write a Statement of Purpose (SoP)?  Like we have seen, it can be a great tool for getting started and providing structure.  It has not, however, lived your lift or had your experiences and therefore, it can’t write with the same passion.  It’s writing according to a formula.

By following the same advice above for a motivation letter, you can use ChatGPT to write a statement of purpose or any generative AI tool.  However, that just starts the process and doesn’t end it.  You still need to include your motivations, your drives, and your goals.


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