The Worst Cover Letter Ever

Businessman playing.There’s been an interesting thread in one of my LinkedIn groups about a cover letter (The Daily Muse: 7/16/12) written by a recent grad promoting himself. Lots of professionals weighing in on whether they’d interview him based on the cover letter. My unscientific analysis — 70% turned off, 30% intrigued.

The style is cheesy and promotional. But I don’t totally discount it. It might work for 1% of jobseekers or new grads. If the cover letter fits your personality it just might work. I can’t help but think that in 10 years, after he’s established his career, the author of the cheesy cover letter might cringe a bit when he re-reads it.

These types of cover letters grab our attention (and the media loves them too) because many job seekers are struggling with getting noticed. Oh yes, I sense desperation at times. So when one of these cover letters makes the rounds, we automatically make the assumption that we must follow suit to remain competitive. We’re tempted into taking a more novel approach to our cover letters. Whether it be witty language, a “hook” or a more aggressive in-your-face style. We get caught up in the comparison game and lose sight of the reality of a job search. It’s not all flash and sales — it’s about being clear about your abilities, what you have to offer, and taking a respectful approach with potential employers.

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