When you are looking for a job, you need to market your background. You need to highlight your accomplishments and sell your strengths. Your resume and cover letter together are a sales brochure for you.
The problem comes in when the boasting and hype go too far.
I received a resume from a job seeker that was over the top. From the start of the cover letter to the end of the resume, a long stream of hype and exaggeration followed.
All you need to read is the beginning of the cover letter to get an impression:
WARNING: This is not your typical Cover Letter!
I know, I know, it is a bit taboo to venture too far from the norm when it comes to the traditional cover letter, but I am not the average or the norm when it comes to my desire to excel and succeed beyond the status quo expectations of an executive leader. I prefer to push the envelope and charter into under developed territories and raise the bar to new heights, previously thought to be unattainable.
This cover letter immediately put me on guard. My first reaction was to think "Warning, this resume needs to be thrown away immediately." Worse than this, I knew I was in store for a ton of B.S. This made me very skeptical of every claim and forced me to doubt most of what I read.
The job seeker doesn’t have a bad background. In fact, they seem to have a good track record with a good company. It’s tough to tell how good the track record really was because the cover letter and resume had a lot hype but not much substance.
Bottom line: Keep your text professional. Make yourself sound good, but don’t mimic an infomercial with a screaming host… “and if you hire me today, I’ll be the greatest employee you’ve ever seen. CALL RIGHT NOW AND I’LL DOUBLE THE OFFER! I’ll give you not 40, but 80 hours of highly productive work per week. Hire me now – I’m not going to be available for very long!”