As the manager of Office Administration, all resumes submitted to Dashboard arrive in my inbox.
On average I receive approximately 10 resumes a day. During periods where we are actively recruiting for a position, and in the Spring (when students are looking for internships and graduates are looking for that first job in advertising), I can receive up to 30 a day.
I remember being on the other side, and I know how much thought and work goes into a Cover Letter and Resume, so I feel that it is important to review every submission (note I said “submission”, not resume…more on that to follow) and acknowledge its receipt.
While I am continually impressed with the skills and talent of the people interested in learning about opportunities in Dashboard, I am equally shocked by some cover letters that I receive.
I’m not going to touch on the extremes – like the example that Barry wrote about in a previous blog where the applicant thought that discussing the idea of killing her current boss if she had to keep working at her job, was a cute and clever idea. Instead I’ll give my list of the Top 5 ways (in no particular order) of ensuring that your Cover Letter (and Resume) will end up in the delete folder:
- Using texting language and/or having Typos in the letter. If you can’t take the time to properly spell in a letter that arguably is one of the most important letters you will ever write, why would I think that you would have the attention to detail that is so necessary to do your job properly?
- “I stumbled upon your website.” I am continually amazed at how many individuals think this is a clever opening line. These tend to be the same people who demonstrate the little to no time they spent on our site and know little to nothing about our agency or why they want to work with us.
- Telling me what you want to get from Dashboard, but not what you are going to provide. So you have always dreamed of working in advertising, and you think working with our award winning team would really help with your career. That’s a given. I already know the opportunities that Dashboard will provide. What I want to know is “what are you bringing to Dashboard”?
- Using a form letter that you created for all jobs you are applying for, and not updating for the Dashboard submission. Ie. Dear Hiring manager, I was reviewing the Dashboard website, and after looking at your site, I have determined I want to work for (name of other agency) Like a typo, these letters are also deleted.
- An opening line of “Hey there” or “I stumbled across…”. Really, is that the best you can do?
Creating a cover letter that doesn’t include these five errors doesn’t guarantee an interview, but it does ensure that your resume will be reviewed. And, as I say in my letter out to all applicants, even if we don’t have a job opening now, we keep all resumes on file for 6 months, so you never know…