Posts tagged ‘stupid cover letter tricks’

How to Screw Up Your Resume So You Won’t Get the Job

resumesOver on the Greyzone blog, the inimitable Tami Palmer, (Colorado’s Job Search Coach, Career Mentor, Author and Donut Girl), has just penned a useful article on How to Screw Up Your Resume So You Won’t Get the Job. Actually, since Tami is a gentle, positive, and encouraging soul, she doesn’t put it that way. Instead, she titled her article You Have 7 Seconds to Turn Your Resume from a ‘No’ into a ‘Yes’. In it, she writes:

Did you know that the average resumé is looked at for seven seconds? Yes, only seven seconds. Based on my own experience as a recruiter, I think that’s actually generous, as the time is often even less

( I agree 100%, Tami!)

Recently, Tami has been supporting one of her clients by reading resumes and sorting them into Yes/No/Maybe folders. This is a worthy task for any recruiter. The chance to skim a bulk volume of bad resumes inspired Tami to write her story.

Tami shares four techniques for How Not to Get a Job – Make sure your resume has:

  • No relevant career experience in the field/role.
  • A career path not aligned with company or role.
  • A cover letter addressed to wrong company.
  • Not shared necessary details.

Tami did a good job of covering the basics. NotJobs readers may remember a few other ideas on how to blow it:

Please see the full text of Tami’s article. She’s offered some good advice.

Noon Update: fixed the broken links!


5 March 2014 at 12:42AM Leave a comment

Man Confidently Hits ‘Send’ On Worst Job Application Company Has Ever Seen

Resumes for DummiesAfter a quick yet confident once-over that unfortunately caught none of the rampant spelling errors, clunky prose, and overly casual language throughout his cover letter and résumé, job hopeful Mark Lopez hit “send” on the worst application California-based marketing firm Precision Intermedia has ever seen, sources confirmed Monday.

No – this isn’t from CTRN, or SHRM, but it could be. In another “ha ha fiction funny but true” article, America’s Finest News Source The Onion delivers a great example of How Not to Get a Job. This is spot on satire that many of my recruiter buddies could have written. Check out the entire insightful but brief piece here:,34716/

In this short masterpiece, the careless actions of applicant Mark Lopez result in a resume that becomes the one that HR says is “going up on the bulletin board.”

It could be that Lopez was practicing the NotJobs blog wisdom shared in last April’s popular infographic:

Or it could be that this applicant comes by these skills naturally. Many people do.

9 January 2014 at 1:00AM Leave a comment

How Not To Get A New Job In 2013: An 8-Step Plan

Susan Strayer LaMotte, SPHR is a consultant, recruiter, career coach, branding expert and the founder of exaqueo. She authored a good article that ran in Forbes a few months back. In How Not To Get A New Job In 2013: An 8-Step Plan, LaMotte

Every year in January I hear from hundreds of people ready to start a job search. They really want a new job. They’re eager to get started. And slowly but surely, they fail. It’s not a lack of talent, experience or desire. They’re just doing it wrong.

Yep. They’re doing it wrong. LaMotte provides some specific details on her 8-Step plan for avoiding employment:

How Not To Get A New Job In 2013: An 8-Step Plan

Are you ready for a new job? Here’s how not to be successful — guaranteed:

  1. Lack self-awareness and confidence.
  2. Don’t tell anyone.
  3. Cold-apply to as many jobs as possible.
  4. Let your resume speak for itself.
  5. Be inflexible.
  6. Ignore recruiters.
  7. Don’t ask for any help.
  8. Say “I got this.”

Many of these will be familiar to the regular readers of this blog. LaMotte does a great job of summarizing the common mistakes and common attitudes that ensure continued unemployment.

LaMotte’s full article deserves your full attention. See it here:

22 April 2013 at 12:28AM Leave a comment

How Not to Get a Job at Scriptorium Publishing

Sarah at Palimpsest blogs about the experience of sifting through resumes. Palimpsest is the blog for Scriptorium Publishing, a technical publishing company based in Research Triangle Park, NC. Having received the usual mess, Sarah’s not enjoying the responses:

Cover letter for the wrong position. Of the resumes that did arrived with cover letters, about one third (!!!!) referenced a position at a different company. Several letters arrived looking something like this:

I am very interested in the position of [Not Our Position Name], especially since I am so interested in the [Not Us] industry. As you can see from my resume, I am very detail-oriented.

It’s not good when your resume makes me snort.

Yep. Snorting is not good.

See the whole thing at How Not to Get a Job at Scriptorium Publishing

15 December 2007 at 10:05PM Leave a comment

How Not to Get a Job: Unqualified Enthusiasm Cover Letter

Last year at the Ade blog, a friend of Canadian Adrian Duyzer forwarded one of the worst cover letters. Seems that Mr. Candidate was applying for a job as a media buyer. Ade dubbed the letter “Unqualified Enthusiasm“. Here’s a small sample:

So my aim is to impress your socks off, unless you don’t ware (sic) socks, then I hope to impress your shoes off. To be realistic, I don’t feel I am very qualified for this position. I understand a person with 2.5 years of sports management isn’t exactly what you’re looking for, but I believe I have what it takes to be your media buyer.

I think the only qualification I have that really applies for this position is my extencive (sic) CD collection

Check out the whole thing here:

Oh – and don’t do that.

Update: Fixed link

18 July 2007 at 5:10AM Leave a comment

How Not to Get a Job at Brains on Fire

Robbin Phillips (actual title = “Courageous President”) of Brains on Fire runs a national naming and identity company. She recently noted another way not to get a job.

Step One: Address an envelope to Robert Phillips, President.

Step Two: Start the enclosed letter with “Dear Mr. Phillips.”

Obviously, Mr. Candidate didn’t do his research.

The original post is here:

23 April 2007 at 3:21PM Leave a comment

The Best Generic Cover Letter Ever

Rahul Roy-Chowdhury at the Developing Innovation blog has some insight into the person who sent this generic cover letter:

To Whom It May Concern:

This is an opportunity I’ve been searching for. I carefully have been selecting what Company’s to send my Resume. I’m honored to send my resume to your Company and possibly be considered as a team member. My skills along with personality make a perfect match for what you’re seeking. I look forward to meeting with you to discuss my future with your company. I’m confident, coach able, persistent, and consistent in achieving success independently or with a company that has a positive direction. Please call me so we can discuss a time to meet.

Rahul seems frustrated by letters like this, noting a lack of passion.

As a recruiter, I love cover letters like this. A generic cover letter generally means that I don’t have to waste time reading the resume. I can dump this applicant, and move on to better prospects.

Successful candidates don’t send letters like this.

22 April 2007 at 3:30PM Leave a comment

Older Posts

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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