August 1, 2011

Helium-filled cover letters

It wasn’t quite hideous enough to qualify for our Cover Letters From Hell. It’s what we call “ordinary awful” – just another jobseeker doomed by a cover letter pumped full of helium.

Out on one (pointy) end of the bell curve, the message in question could have been boiled down to as few as four words: “Resume enclosed; let’s talk.” Unfortunately, our correspondent inflated that simple clear idea to a swollen balloon of 153 words:

“I am interested in exploring the possibility of seeking employment with your organization. Please find my resume enclosed, it will furnish you with the details relevant to my experience, skills and education. References and any other information you require shall be promptly provided upon your request. As my resume indicates, I possess excellent interpersonal skills accompanied with the ability to relate effectively to a multitude of individuals on all levels of intellect. My work ethic is founded on a ‘what-ever-it-takes’ attitude and diligent persistence to ensure all projects are completely fulfilled to the utmost. I would now like to contribute and utilize my skills and abilities with your organization. Should your establishment need a self-motivated individual please call me so that we may arrange a personal interview to further discuss how I would benefit your company. Thank you for this initial consideration. I look forward to speaking with you in the near future.”

Hey. It could have been worse. Aside from the painful comma splice in sentence two, and splitting “whatever” into two words, one could charitably find it grammatically acceptable. It would get a passing grade in school. The author probably took some care checking spelling and grammar – but without one moment’s thought that 99% of the people who might ever read this flatulence don’t actually want or need an explanation of what’s in a resume, or what the purpose of an interview might be.

Yes, you should send this to those nephews/friends/students. Jobseekers need all the help they can get.

What employers are so patient (or so brain dead) these days that they will sit still for the 16-syllable “to ensure all projects are completely fulfilled to the utmost” when the forceful 4-syl “get the job done” is available?

Too much gas in too many balloons. Hmmm. Does deflating that make me a pin prick?