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'Unusual' | Candidate posted fake job ad to get cover letter inspiration

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Sophie Parrott Press Releases, Recruitment, News...

https://www.hrgrapevine.com/content/article/2021-02-08-job-candidate-posted-fake-job-ad-to-get-cover-letter-inspiration

A jobseeker said that she previously posted a fake job advertisement online to get inspiration for her own cover letters – the Daily Mail reported.

After struggling to write a cover letter when she was younger, Nisa Tee said that she created a fake job advert on Gumtree for a barista role to find “the best cover letter”.

Recalling this on Twitter last week, Tee said: “When I was 19 I had to apply for a job and couldn't be a***d writing a cover letter. 

“So I made a fake job ad for the job I was applying for on Gumtree and 200 people applied and I picked the best cover letter as my own.”

‘I wasn’t getting anywhere with my job search’

In an image shared of her inbox from 2014, six people can be seen applying for the position and sent Tee emails with their applications.

It was reported that she then picked one and rephrased it to suit her before taking down the advertisement.

“I wasn’t getting anywhere with my job search,” Tee explained

“I was skint and needed money and everyone was always like your cover letter is the most important part of your application and mine were basic as f***.  

“So I just decided to create a job ad for a job I was looking for as a barista.

“At the time there were loads of them so I could read other people's and see where I was going wrong. So I made my ad and forgot about it then my emails were exploding.

“I was like "omg haha". So then I read through them all and rephrased my fave one.

“Then I just used it as my own for a barista role and got the job LOL so it was a win win,” she added.

Mixed responses on social media

After sharing this on Twitter, Tee’s tweet garnered a wealth of mixed reviews from social media users regarding this jobseekers’ tactics.

One wrote: “This is actually genius. Like, supervillain level genius”, with another branding the move as “smart”.

Yet not all social media users were supportive of this according to news.com.au.

For example, one social media user wrote: “Can’t believe people are praising what she did.”

Another said: “All those 200 people had hope to get a job but they were being scammed.”

‘Not an ideal way to land a job’

While it is possible that other job candidates will also have struggled with what to write in a cover letter, it is likely that Tee’s approach may not have been the best or the most professional either.

In fact, Mandy Watson, Managing Director at Ambitions Personnel, told HR Grapevine that this story is “unusual”, stating that it would not be the ideal way to go about getting a role.

“Although innovative, it does raise moral questions. The people applying for the false ads will be wasting their time and we as an industry would frown on that…” she added.

With cover letters being an essential part of a job application – and also an opportunity for candidates to sell their skills and capabilities to those reading it – it is crucial that candidates get it right.

By including a cover letter, Watson said that this can show a candidate’s “passion and interest” and can also contextualise a CV.

Watson explained: “It's a chance for employers to see your personality or to get a flavour of your character.

“It should include the reasons you are personally interested in the job, should highlight parts of your CV that you think are highly relevant and if you feel it is appropriate, a comment on the company and what has impressed you about them. 

"This is the reason we always recommend individuals write their own cover letters.

“Using a template is fine, but this is the first impression that you are likely to make, so putting a bit of your own creativity into it is essential,” the recruitment expert explained.

As Watson has expressed, writing a cover letter is a prime opportunity for candidates to show off their personality and abilities.

As such, Total Jobs shared several tips for writing an attention-grabbing cover letter on its website:

  • Ensure to write individual cover letters for each job – it should be tailored to the role.

  • Remind the recruiter/ hirer what they are looking for.

  • Keep it simple and concise.

  • Explain and demonstrate why you are the best candidate and use examples that highlight this.

  • Tell recruiters what you are looking for as well as how you fit the job description.