Real cover letters – real reasons you should NOT copy these really bad examples:
Letter #1 (sent to my friend that owns a small business and also supplied good input about what hiring mangers want in my last blog, “Follow Directions!“)
“Your company is looking for a motivated individual that offers many characteristics that promote success within your organization such as knowledge, dependability and someone that is a self starter.
My name is XXX and I feel that I possess the right elements that will enhance the position to which you are seeking to fill by the many traits that I have instilled in previous experiences allowing us to be successful through our working relationship. Please consider me for your available position and allow me to be part of your team. I appreciate your consideration.
Please look over my resume.” (that was the entirety of the introduction email …)
Letter #2 (sent to a recruiter friend of mine that works for a Fortune 500 company – she recruits for high end positions, people, and yet, she & her team of recruiters OFTEN receive things from job applicants that are just, well, *wrong*, like this …)
“To Whom It May Concern:
I would like to express my deep appreciation for reading this letter. At the outset I would beg your indulgence to allow me to express my true self in an unorthodox manner, for the traditional introductory letter I found very cold and insincere. At the risk of bucking this tradition I ask that you please give me this chance.
I absolutely recognize that skills and know-how would be a decisive factor in the mind of any decision maker, as it should. I have humbly outlined those in my resume. I however want to start by a story of a graceful virgin who fell in love with a prophet of old. She was the daughter of the tribe chief whom every elegant male was pursuing. But she wanted that man. She recognized two categorical imperatives, strength and Integrity. As shy and proud as she was, she said, “Engage him, father, for the best to hire is the strong, the honest” I have never forgotten the paradigm. I think about it all the time.
I understood what she meant. Strength alone I believe (as technical skills) will not do because the world is full of un-empathetic competent figures. Honesty alone would not do because we have a task at hand crying for completion. I believe both are imperative. I humbly believe that I possess both. I will uphold any fiduciary. I will honor a promise whether to a child, my client or to my superior and I will bring technical skills I believer that you will be happy with.
I am a wandering little man who is looking for a home to dwell in the rest of my career. This will be the bosom that will feed me and my family, that will preserve my dignity and for that I want to devote my life to. I ask you to please consider my request for a consideration and just give me a chance.
Thank you again for reading my letter and ask that you forgive me if I did not write in the usual business style.” (In a follow up email I asked if she DID “forgive the usual business style” and consider this job seeker for the job – she did not.)
———–>>>(more input from other hiring manager & recruiters available! Click here to visit Ask a Manager.
What’s wrong with these letters, folks? I KNOW you know these are not good examples – in fact, these real examples are really really bad, aren’t they?
Rather than picking on them specifically, I’ll ask you more usefully if either of them meet the basic rules of a GOOD cover letter:
- Is the letter tailored specifically to the job for which you are applying, matching their needs with your qualifications?
- Is it focused on the needs of the company/job) vs. only the reasons why the applicant wants or needs the job?)
- Is it professional in tone and style? Is it error free? Is it concise and to the point without being too brief and therefore useless or generic?
Along with other obvious factors, the answer to the questions above are, in part, why these example letters are only good for being bad cover letter examples.
Click here now to read “How To Writing an Attention Getting Cover Letter” post (the GOOD kind of attention, that is!)
Want a free sample of a GOOD cover letter, including input on what makes it good? You got it!