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Job Magician This Gimmick Bombed  

I'm not making this cover letter up, folks.  Here's the bodacious lead-in:

  •  “I sincerely hope I am not too late with this letter.  My very well-connected CEO friend and colleague (who always seems to find out about these things before anyone else) told me of your very sensitive CFO search and suggested I contact you immediately.”
How dumb does he think I am?  He starts out with a gimmick that did him more harm than good.  He thought he was leading in with an eye-grabbing attention getter.  It’s clearly a form letter, starting with a lie.  I wasn’t working on a CFO search at all at the time, and if he was being referred by a well-connected CEO friend, he would have dropped his name.

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Next Blunder:  

“I'm no silver spoon preppie.  I paid for the majority of college through work, scholarships and loans.”

An attempt at impressing insults, instead.  Now he uses a derogatory term (silver spoon preppie) which was sure to insult the preppies who read his letter, and make the others wonder about his discretion.

And here he goes again:

“After I left Nearly Fantastic Corporation last fall (great story about what happens when a strong CFO enhances holding company financial standards and collides with a uniquely decentralized subsidiary culture: ask me) …”

Sounds like this head-on collision affected his brainpan.  I’m not sure about this collision he had, but it makes me think he was fired because he didn’t play well with others.

This guy had an MBA from a Top Five business school.  That alone should have gotten him attention and interviews.  It arrived in the 2002/2003 recession, and I think he had been out of work for almost a year, so he must have been desperate and feeling that he had to really do something eye-popping to separate himself from the pile.  His employment record wasn’t pockmarked and full of job hopping, and a straightforward approach, which highlighted achievements and skills, would have been far more effective for him.



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