How Not To Get Ahead in Advertising

BY Dashboard

Most companies receive CVs and internship requests on a regular basis. Here is one that we received recently that we would like to share (names and details removed), as an example of what not to do. Typos and grammar remain from the original document. We would like to ask, would you hire this person?

Dear Hiring Manager:
I was going through the Dashboard website, and your company seems to me like a great place to Intern. I want an internship wit Dashboard because I want to learn more about my newly chosen career path.To be  quite honest, advertising was not my first choice of careers, teaching was. But I recently had a change of heart …

So there I was the other day,(sitting around in my pajamas at 2pm) when it hit me…Actually I saw a really good commercial for Sears Optical, and then it hit me. Advertising! “I should go into advertising, I should be writing commercial ideas! I can do that, I can write witty commercials!” I said to myself,(since my family and friends were out being productive members of society). “Also, if I succeed at it, I can some day find and fire the people behind the Koodo Ads!” After another few minutes of hyping myself up, I did a little Googling, and it led me to Dashboard.Besides the awards, and campaigns, it was the ‘about us’ portion of the site that had me feeling like I wanted to come over and say hello…

Anywhow, I know I should be sending a Resume, but I thought I`d just sent an incoherent email (at 3am) instead of an old fashioned Resumé/Cover letter. I always thought the two were the concoction of a really boring over achiever who wanted to make up for his/her lack of personality. Since I`m the opposite of that I thought I`d resort to psycho babble, and secretly hope that you’d fall in love with me…like in the movies! If I must say one good thing about myself I`d say that I`m pretty creative, and I can come up with memorable catch phrases for any product. Also i`m pretty sure,“catch phrase“ is not the proper terminology, but hopefully that error will make you realize just how much I need this internship.

I have a lot of free labour time on my hands, I’m only a part time employee in the wonderful world of retail. A job so boring I find myself wondering what God would say to me if I were to murder the manager and then kill myself. Would he be mad, or would he understand? To make a long story short, an internship at Dashboard would be a life saver.



So here are our top 5 ways to NOT get a job at Dashboard.

  1. Spelling errors and poor grammar are noticed and indicate that you likely can’t cut it as a copy-writer or account executive.
  2. I just happened upon your company doesn’t elicit the “passion” or “industry knowledge” that we’d like to see.
  3. Incoherent emails are generally not a good idea at any time, personally or professionally.
  4. If résumés and cover letters are considered “over-achieving”, we think you need to look for a job involving a name tag.
  5. Don’t, under any circumstances, admit in your application that you’ve considered killing a manager. Seriously.

Have your own suggestions for career seekers? Leave us a comment and share yours.


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  • 17/02/11

    Glenn says:

    Well - I think I know her/him. In fact I have an entire squadron of these people and feel every time that I am "forced" to read something like it - I lose brain cells, life, mojo and time. Please for the love of whomever you worship - have the decency to try to work somewhere that an application needs to be filled out. It'll at least force you to answer relevant questions. I'm going to go put my head down now - for five minutes anyway.
    • 17/02/11

      Dashboard says:

      Glenn we hear you. Do you have any advice for job seekers to avoid NOT getting hired?
  • 17/02/11

    James says:
  • 17/02/11

    Val says:

    At the very least know the basics about the person you are writing to. I got an email today from a potential intern which began "Dear Mr..." I'm not a man.
    • 17/02/11

      Dashboard says:

      Exactly Val. It shows that you've taken the time to do some research and you're genuinely interested in joining the team.
  • 17/02/11

    Fiona says:

    I can't believe that person just poo-pooed the cover letters, resumes and portfolios that I and countless other "over-achievers" spend painstaking hours putting together. Here's some advice: Try hard work.
  • 18/02/11

    Ryan says:

    My advice is just to be yourself and work really hard when your in school. Let your work and portfolio speak for itself. And be nice!
  • 22/02/11

    Esther says:

    This is hilarious.
  • 17/09/12

    Jean says:

    I hope that BranchOut will help me connecting to seoirus people. I'm a DJ turntablist looking for a sponsorship and seeking contacts with agents of the major international DJ booking agencies. You can become a fan of my Facebook page and I will connect to you through BranchOut. I'll see you there!Regards,Milos Kovalevsky,DJ, Producer, Independent Record LabelHastenFreakout *(PulsarGroove Recordings)