This is kind of long – sorry but I had to let this out…

I get a lot of applicants.  Most of these applicants – if they’re at all serious – write a cover letter.  Some of them are great – I’ve posted before about what you should say & how to say it, and even included a real example of a great cover letter.

Then, there are the rest… sigh.  Look, I don’t need poetry (I’d love it if it was any good – I have a degree in writing the stuff, so my eye’s a little critical, but if you dare… I’m going to regret writing that, I just know it).  What I need is to see some effort at communicating with me about why you’re a great fit here – no generic cover letters, no one liners, etc.  Put some effort in, and check your spelling, people – these things are your absolute first impression with a potential employer, and often a deal killer.

So, with that out of the way, here are a few choice examples of what not to do:

(Mr/ Ms I can’t communicate and have no idea what the job is, but please get back to me)

Hi,

Please find attachment and let me know the feedback for the same.

Thanks,

Regards,

__________________________________________________

(The old: I just figured out Mail-Merge, and I’m applying eveyrwhere – oh, and btw, the guy applied for jobs in 5 diferent departments, on the same day, with the same letter, just diferent job titles…)

Dear ZoomInfo, Inc:I am interested in working as a Vice President of Engineering with your organization. I am an expert XML/XSLT, Web 2.0 Programming, Java,HTML, CSS  and C# with over 15 years of experience to offer you with ZoomInfo, Inc. I  have enclosed my resume as a first step in exploring the possibilities of  employment with ZoomInfo, Inc. The salary range that I am looking for would  be around $150,000.00 a year. I would be willing to work Monday through  Sunday working up to a 50 hours a week or more. In addition I would be  willing to carry a sidekick phone for emergency that would happen in the Vice President of Engineering position. I would also like to work holidays working the grave hard shift running the whole software engineering department. I am very interested in ZoomInfo, Inc. I love to work which is  my favorite hobby in the whole wide world. If given a chance at a job I  would work magic in the Vice President of Engineering position.My most recent experience was designing an automated billing system for my  senior college project. I was responsible for the overall product design,  including the user interface and Usability testing. In addition, I developed  the first draft of the operator’s guide in ms word for the School of  Information Studies. In addition I was a part of a research project working  toward my Ph.D. My project was “Designing a user interface for an  Information Retrieval System in TCl/TK.

As a Vice President of Engineering with your organization, I would bring a focus  on quality and ease of use to your software, technical writing and  usability. I would like to create a usability lab if you don’t have a  usability lab. Furthermore, I worked well with others, and I am experienced  in project management. I worked as an Application Engineer for an Internet  Solution company xxx.

It was my job to program in HTML, XML, Java, CSS, XPATH and XSLT. I am currently working on a master’s in Software Engineering at xxx College. My goal is to create two new computer programming languages. I love to work  and have fun with my co-workers. My long-term goal is to obtain my MBA/MSI  and a Ph.D in Human-Computer interaction. I would like to attend the School
of xxxat the U of xxx.
I would appreciate an immediate call for the position of Vice President of Engineering within your company. I would like it if you contact me as soon as possible. Thank you for your consideration.
__________________________________________________
(And, of course, the very personal…)

Hello,

Attached is a copy of my resume.

Sincerely

__________________________________________________

(Oh, and an all-time fave… Nothing like stomping my mother tongue to death to impress me… never text your cover letter…)

i am interested in the job U r hiring 4.  if U r interested in me.  please call me.

Okay, I’m done, have to go find some people who actually know how to write…

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