Top 10 worst cover letter hooks. When you’re applying for a job, a cover letter lets you show a personal side and demonstrate why hiring you is a smart decision. Cover letters should be around three paragraphs long and include specific examples from your past experience that make you qualified for the position. What are the worst cover letter mistakes? Here are some common Mistakes Made When Writing a Cover Letter.
When you write a cover letter, you want to grab the recruiter’s attention from the first sentence. Be careful not to overdo it…
In a cover letter, the first sentence can make the difference. For good or for bad. To realize what not to do, we asked two recruitment specialists, Guillaume Blanchin, from Robert Walters, and Philippe Combes, from Hays, to tell us the worst things they have seen in the matter. Anthology of the worst catchphrases taken from real cover letters.
- Job offer: Executive Chef at Coraval Business Services Limited
- Job offer: Digital Marketing Officer at PROSELL Consulting
- FairMoney Nigeria is recruiting a Product Manager – POS
- Offre d’emploi: COGENI S.A Recrute des enleveurs
- Offre d’emploi: community manager chez GLOBAL TECHNOLOGY IN AFRICA (GTA) – CM
1. The superhero hook
You are looking for a dynamic candidate, able to evolve in an international environment. I am the man for you
“Are you looking for someone who will project your company into the years to come? I am the person you need. “
The reaction of recruiters: “Selling yourself too much is exposing yourself to ridicule, warns Guillaume Blanchin. It’s not necessarily prohibitive, but it’s useless. These are not earned points.”
What to do: As in love, in professional seduction, only the evidence counts. Do not say that you are made for them, prove it by explaining throughout your letter that you have already participated in projects similar to theirs or that you understand the challenges of their development.
2. The Captain Obvious hook – worst cover letter hooks
I take the liberty of sending you my application letter.
I am currently looking for a job
The reaction of recruiters: “Really? “, is likely to think ironically the one who will read you. To start like this is almost like saying “I am writing you a letter”. Of course, the recruiter had understood that.
What to do: It is better to delete this mention and move on. Or say a lot more. For example, say that we are on active standby to find the job that perfectly matches this or that criterion.
3. Resume hook
I already have a very long experience, employment, missions and various positions
Holder of a master’s degree in management specializing in human resources management,…
The reaction of recruiters: “If the first sentence is a repetition of the CV, it’s a waste of time, clearly”, slice Philippe Combes. A cover letter should be short: around 15 lines.
What to do: If you feel the need to clarify certain points in your career, for example, if you are in retraining, it is better to do so subtly in the second paragraph, rather than scaring the recruiter as soon as hooks it.
4. The “Fan of” catchphrase – worst cover letter hooks
“Your company wishes to develop by controlling its financial and accounting flows.”
“You are a family business that promotes personal development.”
The reaction of recruiters: “Talking about the company is good. Giving details of its financial health or its values is risky,” explains Guillaume Blanchin. First, because it’s often by boat. Then, because we take the risk of not being up to date with the information, and therefore of being completely irrelevant.
What to do: Avoid generalities and be sure of your shot. If the company really has a different project from its competitors or original values, you can mention it. But make sure that the facts are true by contacting one of its employees, for example.
5. The political hook
“Sunday work is controversial. For my part, I am not afraid to come to the office on weekends and holidays because productivity does not wait.”
The reaction of recruiters: “The presentations on the 35 hours or on the Minister of the Economy, we see some, even if it is very marginal, notes Guillaume Blanchin. It is extremely dangerous. »
What to do: Keep your political views to yourself. These subjects are too divisive to be mentioned in a letter or in a job interview.
6. The philosophical hook
“Entrepreneurship means daring to take risks and continually expanding your comfort zone to achieve your goals. »
“‘To believe in something and not live it is dishonest,’ said Gandhi. “
The reaction of recruiters: “It smells of the sentence pumped somewhere”, notes Philippe Combes, doubtful. Coaches, outplacement consultants and trainers often give examples of phrases to come out, such as “Expand your comfort zone”, and often the candidates take them as they are. As a result, they are hackneyed and impersonal. Ditto for the literary quotation. Even in quotation marks, do not use them if you found them in a specialized dictionary. It doesn’t say anything about you.
What to do: The quote is not totally off limits, as long as it actually speaks to you and you say why. And for the leitmotifs, Philippe Combes believes that “we can draw inspiration from them but by writing them in our own words. When we have the person interviewed, we want to find the personality of the letter, ”he adds.
7. The (too) intimate hook
“My wife is a pharmacist in the Paris region and my mother lives on rue d’Alésia”
“After being divorced following infidelity, I need to bounce back by starting over from scratch”
The reaction of recruiters: “And if not, does the job interest him? It’s true, that our search criteria for a job are often very much linked to our personal life. But the recruiter does not need to know as much. Your love life, a serious illness, or your entire family history, from the first sentence of a letter, it’s embarrassing and it won’t help you get an interview.
What to do: In some cases, your personal life is worth talking about. If you are applying for a position at the other end of France, you can say that your personal life leads you to want to move, but avoid saying too much and bringing it as a second criterion of motivation, after the job content.
8. The misspelling catchphrase
- “In response to your TV ad…”
- “Your business is…”
The reaction of recruiters: Oops. Eliminated. Stylistic errors and spelling errors are unacceptable. No need to say more, do you?
What to do: Proofread, get proofread. Re-read again.
9. The hook of despair
“You may be about to read the tenth application of the day… And without knowing it, you are also the most important person in my career. Indeed, you are going to decide to put this letter in the basket or to continue it until the end, which will lead you to grant me an interview. “
“Allow me to send you this letter, I have been in contact with establishments like yours for eight years, with a view to offering my collaboration.”
“I don’t have any big financial ambitions. “
The reaction of recruiters: “To say that we are ready to accept everything is counterproductive”, deplores Philippe Combes. A job search is difficult for everyone, you will not stand out by writing it in black and white. Even if the recruiter feels sorry for you, he won’t hire you for it.
What is better to do: Project yourself into the job you want rather than thinking about the situation you are in now. Talk to those around you about your difficulties to keep only the positive for the recruiter. Courage.
10. The too-much grip
“I have the honour to come by the present to seek your high benevolence, to kindly grant me a job within your honourable establishment which you see suitable for my skills”
The reaction of recruiters: “It catches the eye because we talk about it years later,” laughs Philippe Combes, who found this letter from 2006. But that’s not enough to get an interview.
What to do: Do not seek to mark the spirits by the form, but by the bottom.