How Not to Get a Job: Bad Cover Letter/Bad Presence

28 August 2007 at 6:52AM Leave a comment

Last Thursday, a walk-in candidate drops into a Richmond ad agency:

He’s looking for a job and he’s got his untucked man blouse, pricey jeans and his product laden coif going. He looks like he’s had a facial and waxing prior to his visit and seems to take his physique very seriously. After he’s dropped a bunch of jargon on me that I – even after a mere year in branding and advertising – know he probably got from TV, he leaves with my card so that he can go home and send in his resume for consideration.

So what’s wrong with the cover letter that Mr. Candidate sent to the firm that Curtis works for? Here’s a snippet:

Instead of accepting their offer immediately, I wanted to reiterate my continued interest in Big Guns and to express my hope that we can come to terms on this matter and begin our happy association as soon as possible.

See the whole thing for the awful badness Mr. Candidate exhibits.

Bonus points if you recognized that the firm that employs Curtis is NOT named “Big Guns”.


Entry filed under: Cover Letters, NotJobs.

Tips: Resume Pet Peeves! Myths – Headhunters get jobs for candidates

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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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