Job seekers often put most of their efforts in their resumes and forget about a key component—their cover letters. Ironically, the cover letter is the first thing a hiring manager will see when you apply for a job. It's the deciding factor that will determine whether your resume will earn a glance or end up in the trash. Here's Fortune Magazine's list of hilarious, real-life (unedited) examples not to include when creating yours.
"Received a plague for Salesperson of the Year."
"I demand a salary commiserate with my extensive experience."
"I have lurnt Word Perfect 6.0 computor and spreasheet progroms."
"Reason for leaving last job: maturity leave."
"Wholly responsible for two (2) failed financial institutions."
"Failed bar exam with relatively high grades."
"It's best for employers that I not work with people."
"Let's meet, so you can ‘ooh' and ‘aah' over my experience."
"You will want me to be Head Honcho in no time."
"Am a perfectionist and rarely if if ever forget details."
"I have an excellent track record, although I am not a horse."
"I am loyal to my employer at all costs. Please feel free to respond to my resume on my office voice mail."
"I have become completely paranoid, trusting completely no one and absolutely nothing."
"My goal is to be a meterologist. But since I possess no training in meterology, I suppose I should try stock brokerage."
"I procrastinate, especially when the task is unpleasant."
"Personal interests: donating blood. Fourteen gallons so far."
"As indicted, I have over five years of analyzing investments."
"Instrumental in ruining entire operation for a Midwest chain store."
"Note: Please don't misconstrue my 14 jobs as ‘job-hopping'. I have never quit a job."
"Reason for leaving my last job: They insisted that all employees get to work by 8:45 am every morning. I couldn't work under thos conditions."
"The company made me a scapegoat, just like my three previous employers."
"Finished eighth in my class of ten."
Make sure your cover letter doesn't cause you to get passed up as a candidate! Use spell-check, keep it professional and most importantly, don't reveal too much. Hiring managers read hundreds of cover letters per day and don't have time for personal stories or unrelated business. If you are using your cover letter to explain a job gap, career switch or recent lay-off, keep it short and to the point. Spare the dirty details and limit your explanation to one sentence.
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