Like most HR people, over the years, I have received thousands of resumes and cover letters. Some are good, some are bad and some are written by people who should never leave their homes.
About two years ago, my firm ran an advertisement on behalf of one of our media clients. We were overwhelmed with applicants, about 500 to be exact (or just really close). Many of the candidates tried to differentiate their resumes by putting on creative spins. One person sent us their resume as a puzzle, he/she thought we would put it together and then call, we didn't, but my 5 year old did (well that was better than the programmer who sent me his resume in C code, my kid had the toughest time running that thing). Of course we received resumes with photos, which is a really bad idea since EEO (Equal Employment Opportunity) regulations prohibit us from discriminating against really ugly people. Just kidding (although I am sure that California must have a law against it), but EEO regulations do prohibit discrimination in general and a picture makes it difficult to say that an employer was fair in the selection process.
What other good stuff have I seen over the years? I love being called "Sir." It really gives me hope in society to see that people are still making assumptions that anyone in a position of influence must be a man. That assumption goes right up there with people who think I won't notice that their last job was actually a prison job, or that their mother is listed as their previous employer.
All of those experiences left me well prepared for the cover letter below. The best part of this cover letter is that the applicant did get an interview from it. He didn't get the job, but he did get an interview.
Deer Nice Peeple:
I seen you were looking four a writer/producer. Me writes reel good. I promise. I can produse well , two. Just last week, my prison releese prodused a lot of tears from my family and friends. So, as you can sea, I wood be perrfect for the job.
Write now, I am doing stuff at Sony's Game Show Network. Its nice their. I like Richard Dawson. Richard Dawson makes me laff. Before that, I was at E! Entertainment Television. E! was fun. Elephant stars with "e." Can you name other things that begin with the letter "e"? Hang on. I'll be write back. Its nap time.
OK, I'm back. They say I do really good work. Creativity is my middle name. Not really, it's Darrel. My mom says I'm very speciall, whatever that means. Id like to work with you becuz I like Brits. Wood you like to work with me/ If you call, you won't be disap&disappoy&dissapoint ... you won't be sorry. Strawberry ice cream is my favourite.
I have a demo tape. I recorded over Chips, just so you could sea my work. I hope your happy. Pleeze hire me. If I work for you, maybe the voices in my head will finnally go away. Bye.
p.s. You know I'm just kidding, right?
Eileen Levitt, SPHR is President of The HR Team, Inc. in Columbia, MD and our Vault Recruiting Expert. She can be reached at (410) 995-5257 or firstname.lastname@example.org.