Let’s Have a Laugh: Applicant #LOL

Laughter, like coffee or wine, is best when shared with friends. So let us share these chuckles with one another. #LOL

We have all seen at least one resume, applicant, or cover letter come across our path that leaves us unsure of whether we should be appalled, reach out to help the person…or just laugh. If this has not yet happened to you and you are in a role or industry where you deal with resumes, applicants, and cover letters on a regular basis, it will soon.

Some of my favorite cover letter chuckles.

“I look forward to hearin from ya.”
Oh yes. At first I thought maybe this person simply forgot the “g.” Maybe the applicant was typing too fast? But then when I read the “ya” for you, I realized the applicant was typing as s/he speaks. Bless her/his heart. That is all I could think.

“I am qualified.”
You have got it…that was the entire cover letter. Are you intrigued yet?

There was one cover letter that came through with the closing of, “Needing employment. Much appreciated.”
I thought his/her directness was appreciated. Granted, the majority of the cover letter was actually nicely written…so by the time I read the closing, I was a bit biased.

“please reply back asap. thank u so much & have a great day.”
I personally happen to despise the term “ASAP”. That does not give me a definite deadline to work against and your ASAP might not be the same as mine. But putting that aside, when did texting language become acceptable formal writing language?

Here is another one that has just appeared in my inbox, “In attachment pls find my latest…”
As Michelle Tanner from Full House would say, “Puh-lease!!!!”

So What if Grammar Ain’t My Forte?

There are the standard grammar issues: there vs they’re vs their, your vs you’re, two vs to vs too. These make me roll my eyes, but depending upon the position for which the applicant is applying, I may or may not focus too much on it.

The grammar mistakes that stop me in my tracks are passed vs past, then vs than, wonder vs wander, plane vs plain. The problem is that I read the sentence the way it is written and that takes on an entirely different meaning than the meaning intended. “Some people see me as a plane Jane.” No, I can assure you that no one sees you as a Jane flying through the air like a big hunk of metal.

While all of this makes me laugh, it does bring up a good question:
How much do grammar gaffes (and other instances of Twitter-fied vernacular) affect your applicant screening process?

Then, how much does it vary by position? Clearly, many people are responding to job listings on some sort of mobile device (or at least I hope so since they are using text shorthand.) Should I go so far as to ask applicants to pick the proper usage of a word in a sentence as part of my screening questions? Of course I make these mistakes occasionally, too. It is possible that the person was having an “off” day? Should I add instructions around my cover letter area reminding the applicant that this is considered a formal document where formal language is expected?

What kinds of interesting and/or amusing comments have you come across in cover letters, resumes or interviews? Please share them below in the comments area! We could all use a good laugh now and then.

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