2023 has undoubtedly been the year of ChatGPT, and it is already transforming our work and personal lives. However, its rise has been so meteoric, its easy to feel left behind.
There's so much that ChatGPT can do, knowing where to start can be daunting. We've rounded up four quick and easy skills that will take just minutes to learn, and start you on your path to ChatGPT mastery today.
All you need is five minutes time, and you'll soon be creating prompts, coding, and even perfecting your resume.
Installing and Using Plugins
Plugins are extensions are a great way to add extra functionality to ChatGPT, essentially giving the tool access to your favorite programs and apps. There are a huge array of plugins available already, and they’re growing daily.
Before we start, there’s some good news and bad news about plugins. First the good news – they’re mostly free! Now the bad news – you need the premium version of ChatGPT, ChatGPT Plus, to run them. This will set you back $20 a month, but the functionality that plugins adds could well make this worthwhile.
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Installing a ChatGPT plugin couldn’t be easier:
- Open ChatGPT in your browser, and log in
- Navigate to the Plugin section by hovering over the GPT-4 icon and clicking ‘plugins'
- Click the arrow next to the GPT-4 button, then go to the Plugin Store
- Search for the app or program you want to add ChatGPT to
- Click ‘Install'
To use the plugin, simply enter your query in ChatGPT as usual, but make sure to use the name of the program you’ve added the plugin for. For example – “Give me a summary of The plot of The Sopranos from Wikipedia”. It can be a bit fiddly with some apps, so you may need to play around to find the right prompt.
As for what ChatGPT plugins to use, that’s up to you, but here are some useful ones, and their functions:
- SpeechKi – This plugin converts text to audio, and offers a variety of voices.
- Wikipedia – A handy way to access and summarize Wikipedia’s extensive database.
- OpenTable – Book tables at restaurants through ChatGPT.
- Chatwith PDF – A plugin that allows users to interrogate a PDF and ask questions about its contents.
Want to see what other plugins are available? Check out our dedicated ChatGPT plugins guide.
Creating Excellent Prompts That Get Results
You have likely heard about AI prompts, and might be wondering what they actually are. The answer is that they are, in essence, instructions for the AI. A prompt could be something as simple as ‘Give me a recipe for onion soup’.
Prompts are the crux of ChatGPT queries, and can be the difference between an answer that is total nonsense, and a full, well detailed response. This is part of the reason that ‘Prompt Engineer’ roles are currently commanding high salaries in the workforce.
To get started with creating good prompts, there’s a few pointers that you should follow:
- Keep your own language objective. Avoid loaded language and influencing the tool too much.
- Give strict parameters for your query. ChatGPT works best when it's given clear instructions that aren’t too vague. It’s best to give a word count too, so you don’t end up with answers that are too short or too long.
- Tell ChatGPT what you DON’T want. It’s a great way to ensure that the tool excludes results that you’re just not interested in.
- Give ChatGPT examples of what you’re looking for. For example, if you’re creating some text, tell it what style you’d like it in, or if you’d like it to emulate a specific author.
- Give ChatGPT a role to play. Sometimes you’ll get better results if you ask ChatGPT to give them in the style of a specific person, such as a professor or expert in the field.
- Be polite. This might sound odd, but there has been evidence to suggest that using kind language, and peppering your requests with ‘please’ and ‘thank you’ yields better results. It has to be worth a shot, right?
Follow these steps and you’ll soon be the master of ChatGPT prompts. If you’re looking for some inspiration, check out our premade prompts to save you time at work.
Coding Without the Need for Technical Skills
Up until recently, coding required a lot of skill and dedication. It still does for more advanced tasks, but almost overnight, basic programming has been made available to the masses thanks to AI. In fact, you can create your own program in less than thirty seconds, with zero programming knowledge, and we’re about to show you how.
Open up ChatGPT, and write ‘Create a basic calculator program in HTML’, and hit enter. What you’ll get is a ream of code that doesn’t mean much to you, but is actually a complete program for a calculator.
Use the handy copy button at the top to copy all the code, and then paste it into Notepad. This is a fairly unsophisticated way of creating a program, but we’re going for speed at the moment – we’ll get to the more advanced stuff in a minute.
Once you’ve pasted your code into Notepad, save it as Calc.html, and make sure that the file type is saved as ‘All Types’. Now that’s done, find the Calc file where it was originally saved. It should look like your browser icon. Open it up, and bam, there’s a full calculator, that you made. Try it – it works!
Image of a basic calculator, created in ChatGPT
Now you know you can do it, it’s time to get a bit more serious. Using HTML is quick and dirty, but a better way is with a dedicated programming application. Python is a good start, and as it’s open source, it’s free to download. With this, you’ll be able to create and execute code like traditional programs. Just make sure to ask ChatGPT to spit out the code in the Python language (so literally you should ask “Create a working calculator in Python code”).
Make sure to copy the code and save it as a .py file, and then you’ll be able to run it from your computer.
A calculator program isn’t going to blow minds, but it’s a great start. Have a play around with your prompts. Maybe ask ChatGPT to design a program that tells a joke whenever you click a button, or create a simple game of Solitaire. The more you play around with it, the more you’ll learn, and remember that if there’s anything you don’t understand, you can simply ask ChatGPT for clarification.
Updating Your Resume
Now you’ve got some AI skills under your belt, maybe it’s time to update your resume? Employers are eager to hire AI-literate people right now, and showing that you know your way around ChatGPT or other AI platforms could be enough to bump you to the top of the pile.
There are two ways to approach polishing your resume with ChatGPT. Now you know how to use plugins, you could use a dedicated tool, such as Resume Copilot, to guide you through the process. Simply follow the steps higher up the page on installing plugins to get started.
If you’d rather have more control, you can just ask ChatGPT to help you without a plugin. A good starting point is to give ChatGPT a broad overview of your skills and achievements. You can even copy and paste these from an older resume if it’s quicker.
Introduce yourself to ChatGPT, with a prompt such as “I want to create a new resume to appeal to employers in the [specific] sector. My job experience is [add experience], and my skills are [add skills]. My hobbies outside of work include [add interests]. Produce this in a traditional resume format.”
This will give you a good starting point, which you can ask ChatGPT to tweak for you. If you are going after a certain job title, you can ask the tool to rewrite the resume to focus more on the skills needed.
An example prompt for this would be “Rewrite the above resume to make it more relevant to a [specific role] role.”
From here it’s all about refinement. Keep playing with your resume and requests until you’re happy with the way it looks. You can also use ChatGPT to generate a cover letter in a similar way.
Paste the job description in ChatGPT, and use a prompt such as ‘Write a cover letter for me for the following job role, that highlights my relevant skills in these areas and makes me more appealing to the employer.’
One bit of advice from us – unless you specifically opt out, your data on ChatGPT shouldn’t be considered private, so don’t add anything you’re not happy to share publicly. Consider leaving off your name and address details, and add them to your resume later.
Expanding Your AI Skills
The skills above are a great entry into the world of ChatGPT, but they only scratch the surface of the sorts of things that the platform, and AI in general, are capable of.
If you think diving into the world of AI learning is an expensive business, then fear not – many institutes and companies are offering free AI training courses, including the likes of Harvard, Microsoft and Google. There’s a lot to learn, and the only investment you need to make is your time.
Courses available range from ‘The Fundamentals of ChatGPT’ to ‘The Ethics of AI’, and offer a great way to learn about AI and get in on the ground floor.