Your guide to applying with AI

Artificial intelligence (AI) is increasingly being used in job hunting both by applicants and those hiring. For example, students are increasingly using it to provide them with ideas for phrasing, or researching organisations and employers may use it to quickly identify applicants who do not meet their selection criteria.

Some employers encourage the use of AI when you are planning an application, whilst others seek to detect it or ask you to disclose its use.

This guide will help you to explore ways to use AI more effectively in your own job applications, explore how employers are using it in their recruitment practices and highlight the things for you to be aware of.

What AI can/cannot do for you

Using AI will:

  • Provide a starting point.
  • Offer broad templates and structure.

Using AI won’t:

  • Add the human aspect – it doesn't know you.
  • Tailor your experience precisely to the role and organization.
  • Write in a style which suits your level of experience or the sector you are applying to.

Note: While AI can get closer to your style with effective prompting, it's unlikely to deliver the final product. To ensure you are using AI effectively, follow our 3 P’s below.

Our 3P’s to using AI effectively


Before employing AI in applications, gather essential information:

  • Find out everything you can about the opportunity; requirements, responsibilities, logistics of the application etc.
  • Think about your motivation for the role and employer in relation to the opportunity.
  • What else do you need to know?

Without this information, AI may generate generic, untailored content which is easily identifiable and does not match what the employer is looking for.

It is also essential to do this for every application, your application documents should be tailored to each opportunity.


While AI tools like ChatGPT can assist in crafting applications, they require precise prompts. Use the CLEAR model (Created by Danny Mirza, Coventry University London – link below):

  • Context: Introduce yourself and specify your current academic or professional status.
    • Example: I’m a pre-final year American Studies student at the University of Manchester applying for a Digital Marketing summer internship. *Insert Job description/person specification*
  • Limit: Clearly state what you want in your document.
    • Example: Please help me write a cover letter outlining why I'm applying to this company, why they stand out, and demonstrating my understanding of the role and motivation for applying.

  • Elaborate: Provide detailed information about your experiences and qualifications. This is easier if you have prepared in advance.

  • Example: I have prior marketing experience; I volunteered for Forever Manchester from July to September 2023. During this experience, I devised a 3-month social media marketing strategy to promote various fundraising activities, such as the 'They're for the Fun of It' initiative. Throughout this campaign, their Instagram page witnessed a 30% increase in engagement and a 16% rise in the funds raised. I am eager to undertake this internship as it will provide me with the opportunity to develop experience in communicating with target audiences and building/developing customer relationships. I am particularly interested in working for this company because their approach of blending strategy with creativity, along with their emphasis on analytics, resonates with my own working style
  • Assumptions: Specify any constraints or assumptions.

  • Redirect: Carefully read what it produces and ask it to adjust accordingly:
    • Example: Also, I would like to mention that I became aware of this internship opportunity through discussions with individuals who had completed internships with the organization on LinkedIn. I believe that joining this firm would provide me with a better grasp of the industry, allowing me to put the learnings from my volunteering experience into practice. I am available for an interview at their earliest convenience, either online or in person. I look forward to the opportunity to discuss my application further and to hear from them.
    • Example: Please keep the cover letter to 500 words and split it into 3 paragraphs – Why I am applying to the company, why I am applying to the role, and tailor my experience to the person specification attached.


AI pulls information from various sources and may not always filter it correctly. Always check:

  • Does it sound like you?
  • Is this information correct? Both about you and about the company, the role? The information AI generates may be out of date or from an inaccurate source – it is worth checking.
  • Is it in the required format for the application? Check the organisation’s requirements and that it fits with the standard formatting of the country you are applying to (use GoinGlobal for information on other countries’ requirements).

AI lacks genuine reflections on your experiences, so ensure your final edit includes the CAR framework (Context, Actions, Results). Find out more about using the CAR model.

It’s also often not a shortcut to performing well during the selection process either as employers may now put more emphasis on assessing your written or communication skills more fully at the next stage. We are here to support you at each stage of your application, check out our resources for applications and interviews.


Want to practice the 3Ps? 'Prompt’ our AI resources but don’t forget to Prepare and Proofread too

The Careers Service are using AI tools to support you in different stages of the application process these include:

  • CareerSet An AI CV Checker that can evaluate your resume against recruiter criteria, ensuring ATS readiness and assessing word choice. It accommodates various CV formats and offers sample lines for effective skill expression in areas like Leadership and Communication.
  • An AI powered interview simulation tool which can provide practice questions and generate feedback on your answers.

Remember both of these tools will not provide tailored feedback to your sector, you as a professional or your opportunity of interest. To enhance your answers head to our ‘Proofread’ step.

AI is evolving

  • New software updates are continuously rolled out. This guide serves as a starting point but ensure that you are staying up to date on the software that you use.
  • Regulation on how AI can and should be used is being developed, check if your sector/organisation of interest has an agreed approach. For example, The University of Manchester’s statement on its use in teaching.
  • Different AI tools have different data privacy policies. Make sure you are anonymizing your data when using AI to avoid it being used elsewhere.

How are employers using AI?

Employers are adapting to AI in their recruitment. Some of the latest (November 2023) research from the Institute of Student Employers (ISE) shows that 28% of employers are now using it in their recruitment, increasing from 9% in 2022. Read how employers are using AI in recruitment.

Employers’ attitudes vary with regard to the use of AI by job applicants. Some employers endorse its use, such as the Teacher Training programme, whereas others seek to detect or ask you to disclose its use.

Always check an employer’s guidelines for applicants before applying and remember if you are using AI to support your application, it is not the finished product. You must add your own reflection, experience and tone.

Further Resources

Keep checking this page for any updates; there are also useful resources below: