Cover Letter Good And Bad Examples Of Cover

To warm everyone up on the Cover Letter Contest I though I would give you an example of a bad cover letter. So that you know what not to do when applying for a job.

555 interview road
any town, mn 55111


Mr. John adams
Wellington Corporation
333 Well road
Tampa, Fl 22244

Dear John,

Iam writing to you to ask you for a job. There are many reasons you should consider me for this pistion. I think you would be a fool not to hire me.

I have attend Elite college since 1995 and have a masters in computers. I am on the deans list and have an A average grade. I am also part of our local church group. We help out with conseling many of the students here at the college.

My source tells me that you are looking for a salesman. While I have no sales experience per say. I am a hard worker and would like to start my career at your company. This will be a nice stepping stone for me. I currently would like to work with computer but I think this would suit me fine for now.

I am currently working at my local church while I finish up scholl. We help counsel students at the local colleges. It doesn’t pay much so I am having to look elsewhere. I have to yrs experience with doing this and work well with people. I know your customers will love me, most people do.

I will be anxiously waiting to hear from you on when I can start. Please call anytime. If I am busy please leave a message on my voice mail and I will get back to you at my earliest convience.

Thank you,
Joe Johnson

The problems on this cover letter are hopefully obvious. Do you notice any?

  1. How would you like this employer to contact you? There is no phone number.
  2. Write out your address
  3. Write you name above your address
  4. Write you phone numbers below your address: this makes it simple for them to find if they want to call you
  5. Never call someone by his or her first name on a resume. This is not a personal letter. Keep it professional.
  6. Don’t sound desperate.
  7. Don’t insult them.
  8. Don’t mention religious groups unless applying for a religious job.
  9. Check your grammar.
  10. Check your spelling.
  11. Don’t use abbreviations. Spell words out
  12. Do not inform them that you are only planning to be there for a short time this doesn’t look good for you.
  13. They really don’t care why you decided to look for a new job. Unless they ask you this during an interview don’t give this information out.
  14. Don’t make yourself seem too busy to deal with them. You need to be convenient for them not the other way around.
  15. Don’t sound like your being egotistic.

Source (

If you need some help with your cover letter check out some of our past blogs.

How to Clinch a Killer Resume Cover Letter

5 Common Cover Letter Mistakes

5 Parts to a Cover Letter

Cover Letter

As someone who has screened many thousands of resumes, I thought you might enjoy a post with examples of serious cover letter mistakes that job candidates make all the time. For most of you, I don’t really think your cover letters are filled with this many errors, but maybe you’ll spot something that helps anyway.

And for those of you fresh out of college or new to job hunting for whatever reason, the little things really do count, including typos, grammatical errors, the way the letter looks, and even things like the font (type and size) you use. Your goal is to make your cover letter as easy as possible for the employer to read and quickly see why you’d be so potentially special to them.

Sample cover letter #1

To whom it may concern:

I read your ad for the assistant position and would like to apply. As my resume shows you, I have a lot of great experience that you can use. And, IMHO, this job is exactly what I want!!!

Please review my resume and call me soon to schedule an interview. I am so eager to meet you. Hope to CU soon!!!

Debbie Jobhunter

Cover letter review

This one has a bunch of things to teach us. Some very basic review points:

  • Don’t use “To whom it may concern”. Do your research and find a name. Try hard. If you can’t, use something like “Dear Hiring Manager”.
  • Please … no texting lingo. Use real words written in plain English.
  • Cool it on exclamation points!!!  🙂
  • Help them see why you fit the job and what you can do for them.
  • Give your phone number so they have it right there in front of them on the letter itself. Shows you are considering their needs — and may make them more likely to pick up that phone.

In general: If you’re the only person applying and are about 18 years old, and the job requires no real experience, and the person reading it is curious to see who this ball of enthusiasm is, this may get you the interview anyway.

But you can be enthusiastic (good to use a natural voice), and still present yourself more professionally.

How you present yourself can set the stage for how you are treated.

Example of a good cover letter that will get you more interviews. Just tailor it to you and the job, without coming off as OMG as Debbie did:

=>   Sample Cover Letter with Targeting Help


Sample cover letter #2

Dear Mr. Jones,

Hope you are having a good day. I want to help make it better by telling you all the reasons I am exactly right for your opening for a sales manager:

  • I have always dreamed about working for your company.
  • The commuting distance is great.
  • The salary is exactly what I’ve been looking for.
  • This is exactly the next step I want in my career.

Please call me at 555-555-5555 so we can explore this further. I look forward to hearing from you soon.


Debbie Jobhunter

Cover letter review

The biggest mistake poor Debbie makes here is that she is talking about all the reasons the job is right for her. You want to use your cover letter to make the strongest case for why you are right for THEM.

Not that you can’t mention how this fits your needs also, but you want to show the employer that your focus is on them and not on only you. They see that as an indication of what you’ll be like if you get the job.

And, in the end, a great employee looks out for the company — while also looking out for themselves, of course.

Sample cover letter #3

Dear Mr. Jones,

I am applying for the junior business process analyst job that I saw listed on I feel there is an excellent fit and would like to tell you a few of the key accomplishments I bring with me:

  • Named employee of the year when I worked as a sales clerk at StoresRUs.
  • Wrote ad copy and PR releases for StoresRUs to support exec sales team.
  • Got excellent reviews and was promoted three times in two years.
  • Helped on a project to improve employee training.
  • Wrote occasional (well-received) articles for the company website.

Please call me at 555-555-5555 so we can explore this further. I look forward to hearing from you soon.


Debbie Jobhunter

Cover letter review

Here our plucky Debbie makes an effort to come up with things an employer might like. But she doesn’t connect the dots for the employer. She needs to clearly list 4 or 5 skills and accomplishments that directly point to the junior business process analyst job she is applying for.

Has she analyzed things? Prepared reports? Done diagrams or presentations? When she worked on process improvement, what exactly did she make happen? You should use the job description to help isolate those key things you have done or skills you already have that the employer is looking for.

And if you don’t have enough direct skills that match the new job, you should do your very best to use things you already have that you can show are transferable. Your cover letter is a great place to help the employer see the connection from you to them, especially if it isn’t obvious.

=>  What Are Transferable Skills & Why Do They Matter?


Sample cover letter #4

Dear Mr. Jones,

I am applying for your opening for the Environmental Projects Coordinator position. I was born to get this job. Please let me explain why I am such a good match.

As a little girl, my two brothers and I used to go camping with my parents. We were taught to respect nature, and to this day there is nothing I love more than camping and the great outdoors. I even joined the girl scouts when I was young, so I could improve my camping and nature skills. I am proud to say that I earned many badges.

Then, when I got older, I got caught up in trying to make money, and wound up spending the next ten years of my life working in accounting. I did well and got great reviews, but my heart wasn’t in it. I used to sit and think about my next vacation, always feeling like something was missing.

And today, when I saw the listing for your job, I knew I had to write to you. I could feel it in my bones that your organization and this job were the right direction for me — something I should have done ages ago.

Since I read about your job, it’s all I can think of. I really hope you are willing to give me a chance. I know if you do, I will have found the right job for me at last.

Please consider me seriously, despite my coming from a different background. I know I can do the job, and what I don’t know yet I will learn quickly. Scout’s honor!

I can be reached at 555-555-5555 if you have any questions or want to explore this further.


Debbie Jobhunter

Cover letter review

Ah Debbie … you offer a compelling glimpse into who you are as a person, but when I’m looking to hire someone, I don’t need to know your life story. I just want to know why you match the job we have open now. If you want to share some of that (and no reason not to since it may resonate with the resume screener), maybe at most include a sentence or two on the topic.

But the rest of your cover should be about any skills you’ve acquired and used over the years that match the job description of the position you want now, even if they are not directly related. Also include any accomplishments that directly relate to showing why you would be a great fit. (See sections #2 and #3 above for more on those points.)

And whatever you do, keep your cover letter respectfully short. An employer may have 100 resumes or more to screen. Use a few well-written paragraphs at most, sticking to the essentials with enough personality and tempting job-related attributes thrown in to get them to want to call you.

More articles you might enjoy

♦   Resume Tips: How To Target Your Resume To the Job

♦   How to Write a Strong Resume that Gets You Real Interviews

♦   Your Resume and Cover Letter Story Work Together To Get You the Job!


♦   Why Cover Letters Still Matter Even If Some Don’t Get Read

♦   How a Great Cover Letter Got Me to Give Her the Job

♦   Cover Letters: How Your Cover Letter Can Help With Career Change!


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