Jessica wanted to shine! She was excited that she found the e-mail address of the hiring manager and she wanted to stand out from the hundreds of other résumés. So here is what she sent:
E-mail Subject: PERFECT JOB FOR ME!
This job would be my perfect match.
IF I have the amazing opportunity for an interview…you will not be disappointed. TRUST ME WHEN I SAY, I would be the perfect person for this position. I work long hours, not the in at 9 and out by 5pm type of girl. Hardworking, very personable and talented.
I am hoping and praying you will consider me for this position!
Now, I know what you’re saying; I hear it all the time. “Oh, that’s a new college graduate.” or “That’s a rooky candidate move.”
Well, Jessica is not a novice… she is just trying to be different, and she failed. So many candidates today miss the mark in their application then wonder why they are not getting interviews.
Hiring managers are appalled to see the chronic repetition of the most egregious errors by candidates of all levels, ranging from college graduates to senior executives. The top application traps to avoid are:
TRAP #1: Trying to be “cute” and erring on the informal side
From the subject header to the “Hello” greeting (with no name), Jessica starts off on the wrong foot. E-mail subject heads should stand out in a good way. Examples include, “Jessica Walsh, Candidate for IBM Position # XXXXX” or “IBM Marketing Position XXXXX Candidate, Jessica Walsh.”
TRAP #2: ALL CAPS
Everybody knows that using all capital letters in any communication is analogous to yelling at someone. So why would Jessica want to yell at a potential hiring manager? Remember a key rule with every written communication in your job search: your writing is a sample of the way you would write if you were hired for the position. Therefore, if the recipient doesn’t like your writing style, they won’t want to hire you.
TRAP #3: Talking about yourself
Guess what? It’s not about you, job-seekers! Jessica uses “me, my, or I” nine times in her short note. It’s all about what she wants, attributes she has, and how great she is. She clearly didn’t read the job description or do any research as to the skills the hiring manager needs.
Here’s a trick: when you write your first draft, circle or highlight the number of times you use “I, me, my” or some expression revolving around you. My least favorite is, “Your position leverages my background in blah, blah, blah…”
Stand out in a great way, without risking your odds of getting an interview. Get a new cover letter template from my book, Cut the Crap, Get a Job! or download my Cut the Crap (CTC) Cover Letter Guide here: http://www.danamanciagli.com/tool-downloads/
I’m here to help!