Is This the Worst Cover Letter Ever?

Cover letters are the bane of most job seekers' existence. It's hard to write one that doesn't parrot your resume, sound like a form letter, or feel fake to both writer and reader. However, no matter how hard you find composing cover letters, we can almost guarantee you've never written anything like this.

smarmy guy 

(Photo Credit: skunks)

Over at The Daily Muse, Brooke Torres shares a worst-case scenario of what can go wrong when you try to create an unconventional cover letter, and come across looking arrogant and clueless.

How bad could it be? Feast your eyes -- if you can stop cringing long enough to do so.

worst cover letter 

(Photo Credit: The Daily Muse)

The writer did accomplish one thing, though: he or she provided us with an excellent example of what not to do.

1. Don't be arrogant.

Confidence is attractive; arrogance is off-putting. Part of the point of a cover letter is to let the employer get a sense of the person behind the accomplishments and stats. Don't use that opportunity to display your character flaws. It's safe to say that no hiring manager would read this letter and think, "There's a person I'd really like to talk to first thing in the morning, while waiting for the office coffee pot to finish brewing."

2. Do be specific.

It's nice that the writer went to an "elite institution," but it doesn't tell HR anything about his or her specific skills, in relation to the job. Especially in today's competitive marketplace, you need to demonstrate a mixture of soft skills and technical knowledge, if you want your CV to rise to the top of the pile. Numbers are good, too.

3. Don't, for heaven's sakes, insult the company.

"Working at your company doesn't take a rocket scientist, and I think we both know that." Yeesh. You are not on a reality TV show about pickup artists. Don't try to "neg" the hiring manager. No one wants to hire someone who thinks the company should be grateful to have them.

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