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Have You Ever Written a Gimmicky Cover Letter?


The economy may be nearing its bottom, but the job market isn’t getting any less competitive just yet. A friend who was recently laid off told me, "I wish I could attach a big flashing sign to my application that says, 'I’m competent, I promise! Please bring me in for an interview.'"

We’ve talked about how some job-seekers are doing almost exactly that, and a recent article in the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette details how applicants are getting creative with their cover letters in particular — but not in a good way. In the article, Max Messmer, author of Job Hunting For Dummies, shares several cover letters whose authors felt that self-deprecation was the key to scoring an interview. My favorite: "I don't know what skills I could offer you or your company." Yikes!

Obviously the job-seekers featured in the article got it wrong, but unconventional cover letters are always a gamble. Some employers love them, and some toss them immediately. Have you ever taken an unorthodox approach to a cover letter? And if so, did it get you the job, or at least an interview?

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