How Not to Get a Job at Wieden + Kennedy

22 April 2007 at 1:14AM 1 comment

Perhaps it is the far end of the bell curve of the creative population, but the advertising/public relations business seems to attract some of the world’s most… interesting… candidates. The folks at the London office of Wieden & Kennedy (Blogging at welcome to optimism) seem to get best of the worst.

First there was the cover letter received from “The Terrorist“:

This week we received possibly the most inappropriate job application for any job, any where, at any time. We’re pretty broad minded here, some might even say laissez-faire, but what would lead someone to think it a good idea to put on the front of his CV a big colour photo of the burning twin towers about to be struck by the second jet, coupled with a ‘humorous’ caption?

Then there was the Banana Boy (spelling in context):

“Hello Natalie, how are you? do you remember me? We met years ago in a supermarket, yeah, trust me, I gave you an orange and a bannana while you were in the check out counter. That was a difficult moment for you, I saw your desperate face and I was right there for you when you needed my help. Do you remember me, right? The orange and bannana boy?”

Finally, the applicant in pain:

I sent you my application on Friday today is Monday morning and I’m waiting for responsiveness. It hasn’t come. This is a shame. I wish to make my purpose fully clear to your business and so write you again.

While their count seems a little high, any recruiter who has been in the business a while will have a fair share of examples to share. I’ll admit that the banana thing is weird.

Wieden + Kennedy is the same agency who did the great Cogs ad for Honda.


Entry filed under: Corporate, Cover Letters, NotJobs. Tags: , , , , , .

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My Core Ideas

1. "I can't tell you the best way to get a job - because there is no one best way. After 21 years of recruiting, I CAN share things I've seen candidates do to guarantee they DIDN'T get the job."

2. "Most companies don't realize how their recruiting process impacts their candidate pool, and their business. Attention to simple things will result in big improvements."

About the Author

Troy Bettinger, SPHR is a Denver Recruiter, Public Speaker, HR Metrics Analyst and Human Resources Leader who has been recruiting in corporate and municipal environments since 1991.

He specializes in the complete hiring process: defining, sourcing, recruiting, testing, interviewing, offering and orienting new hires. He's also well versed in strategic human resources, college recruiting, diversity recruiting, AAP, EEO, ATS integration, recruiting metrics, social media, recruiting leadership, training and employment branding.


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