Let’s say you’re applying for a financial analyst role, and the job posting specifies you have to include a cover letter. But maybe writing cover letters isn’t your thing. So, you ask ChatGPT to write your financial analyst cover letter, figuring it saves you time. And it does.
But the problem with using any AI to generate your cover letter is that it will likely be similar to or even the same as cover letters from applicants who used AI to generate their cover letters. So, how do you use ChatGPT to write a financial analyst cover letter that’s unique to you?
Carefully, of course! As we’ve discussed in other ChatGPT cover letter experiments, the output can be a great way to generate ideas, drafts, and outlines. But you have to put the finishing touches on it!
- Guide to Using ChatGPT to Write a Financial Analyst Cover Letter
- The Final Output
Guide to Using ChatGPT to Write a Financial Analyst Cover Letter
Like all things AI, the output is only as good as the input. And, particularly with ChatGPT, you may have to work through several iterations of output to get something close to what you want.
Here’s how to use ChatGPT to write a financial analyst cover letter.
Think of everything ChatGPT produces as suggestions. They’re a place for you to start but don’t use the output as the final product.
Step 1: Ask for an Outline
I started by asking for an entry-level cover letter for a financial analyst. I didn’t input anything else because I wanted to see what ChatGPT would produce and possibly use that as a guide or rough draft for the final product.
Here’s what ChatGPT gave me:
The first two paragraphs are decent, but in the second paragraph, you’d have to swap in the specific tools you’re familiar with if you didn’t use Excel, Bloomberg Terminal, or SQL.
The third paragraph is also a nice touch, outlining the types of skills and abilities you likely developed in school that you’ll need as a financial analyst. Mentioning your analytical and problem-solving skills is excellent, especially because the next sentence explains how you use those skills. That said, it would be better to give a specific example of how you use your analytical and problem-solving skills to identify patterns in the data.
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Overall, this financial analyst cover letter is decent, but you wouldn’t want to submit this to a recruiter or hiring manager. But that’s OK. I’m going to polish it up.
Step 2: Add a Job Description
Through all of our ChatGPT testing, we’ve learned that the more specific the prompt, the better the result. And we’ve also learned that the more information you give ChatGPT, the better.
So, I asked ChatGPT to rewrite the cover letter and tailor it to a specific job posting for an entry-level financial analyst role. I also pasted the entire job posting as part of the prompt. Here’s what I got (and for privacy reasons, I’m not showing the job description):
OK. This is where things get tricky.
The first paragraph states, “With a Bachelor’s Degree in Finance from [University Name] and 1-3 years of relevant business experience,” and the job posting says that applicants need a bachelor’s in finance, accounting, or other business field and 1-3 years of relevant business experience.
Of course, this is one of the problems with ChatGPT. It tends to parrot back parts of the input without rewriting it or giving the words context and meaning — not to mention the correct way to write the sentence is “one to three years,” and “Bachelor’s Degree” isn’t capitalized, but I digress.
There are several instances of this throughout this cover letter — excellent examples of why you need to proofread and edit whatever ChatGPT produces. However, it’s a decent rough draft for a financial analyst cover letter.
Step 3: Ask for a Rewrite
One of the biggest problems with this financial analyst cover letter is that there aren’t any personal details in it. And that’s to be expected. We didn’t include any personal information in the prompt.
To get around this, you could include your resume in the prompt and ask ChatGPT to write a cover letter for this job description using only details from your resume. That’s likely to produce a much better cover letter that’s specific to you.
But what if you don’t want to include your resume?
In that case, you’ll need to provide hyper-specific prompts, which is exactly what we did. (And even if you include your resume and additional details, you may still need to provide hyper-specific prompts.)
The next step in having ChatGPT write your financial analyst cover letter is to go through the output and rewrite it until you’re satisfied. The trick is to use the same “conversation” instead of starting a new chat for each rewrite. This helps ChatGPT learn what you want and don’t want.
The first thing I did was ask ChatGPT to rewrite a paragraph with metrics that help explain what the positive impact of my work was:
One problem with having ChatGPT rewrite itself is that small sections tend to get longer and longer. That could be good or bad, depending on what you’re looking for, but often the first output is the most succinct, even if it’s light on details.
Use the wording from the original output as a guide and include additional details ChatGPT uses in rewrites
Beyond the wordiness of the rewrite, it does include some decent ideas of how to reframe what I did and how I did it. While this includes hallucinations (I didn’t really increase revenue by 15%), it’s a great starting point and guide for what I could include in my cover letter.
Step 4: Ask for a Very Specific Rewrite
That said, rewriting the whole paragraph was a bit much. I feel like ChatGPT only got it half right. Some of the paragraph still felt a little vague to me, so I got more specific with the next prompt:
This is just OK, in my opinion. It explains what I did on the job, but is full of fluff. There’s no real explanation of how I did what I did. For example, “Through rigorous examination of financial statements” doesn’t say much outside of “I looked at documents really carefully.” This sounds like someone trying to make their job duties sound more significant than what they were.
In any cover letter (and resume), your descriptions and explanations should go beyond your job duties. You need to explain how you accomplished things and what the outcome was.
So, I tried again, using a more specific prompt to explain what I wanted in the output:
Much better! This describes the tools and techniques I used to get the job done and explains how my actions had a positive impact on the business.
Step 5: Put It All Together
But you wouldn’t want to use any of these outputs as-is. They’re far too long for a cover letter. Plus, these don’t have personal details. You need room for those, too.
So, using these outputs as a guide, you could string all of ChatGPT’s suggestions together like this:
At [Name of Company], I excelled in financial planning and accounting. I was responsible for conducting audits of financial records and used tools such as [name of tools] to conduct trend and variance analysis to identify anomalies and errors. I also developed and monitored key performance indicators in [the KPIs you monitored]. My analysis of these KPIs [state what the outcome was. Example: a 15% increase in revenue].
This mash-up is brief but still explains what you did, how you did it, and what the impact of your work was.
Step 6: Check Previous Versions
One thing I noticed about this test is that the original financial analyst cover letter changed to better match the job posting. That’s what I expected to happen. But I didn’t like that ChatGPT dropped the paragraph about what I did in school.
So, the final step of using ChatGPT to write a financial analyst cover letter is to go back to earlier versions and see if rewrites dropped information you would have liked to keep. Then pull that out; run it through steps two, three, and four; and connect all the pieces as part of step five!
The Final Output
Ultimately, the financial analyst cover letter you send should combine what ChatGPT suggested and the details you include. While there’s no formal “recipe” for success, 90% you and 10% ChatGPT is a safe bet!
Learn about other ways to use ChatGPT in your job search:
- Can You Use ChatGPT to Prepare for Technical Interviews?
- How to Use ChatGPT in Your Job Search
- Should You Use ChatGPT for Interview Advice?
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