Friday, February 10, 2012

When a Cover Letter Goes a Bit Overboard

I always hate the cover letter. They are supposed to be original and detailed and expressive of how you should stand out, but toe that uncomfortable line between self-promotion and pompous bragging. One New York University undergraduate student looking for a summer finance internship, didn't just cross that line--he went running way over it. Yahoo! Finance via Business Insider has the details of this amazing cover letter with this legendary paragraph that sounded like it might have been written more by The Office's Dwight Schrute than an NYU student:
"I am unequivocally the most unflaggingly hard worker I know, and I love self-improvement. I have always felt that my time should be spent wisely, so I continuously challenge myself ... I decided to redouble my effort by placing out of two classes, taking two honors classes, and holding two part-time jobs. That semester I achieved a 3.93, and in the same time I managed to bench double my bodyweight and do 35 pull-ups."
Modest, aren't we? The truth of the matter, as the article points out, that this cover letter did exactly what a cover letter is supposed to do: get you noticed out of the large pile of applicants and make sure people talk about your resume. This one, though, may be for the wrong reasons. Even in investment banking which values those with self-confidence and brashness, this even seems like it may be over-the-top. We wish this applicant the best, but know that it might not have been the best route to finding a finance job this summer.

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