Offer letter fail

A lot of the fails on this blog come from form letters. They’re so tempting! How else are you supposed to store a company document that needs to be consistent across positions, but will need data filled in each time?

Actually… a “mad-libs” style form letter builder with error checking before print would be a nice weekend project. Patent pending!

Oxford commas aside, you’d think this offer letter would’ve made the cut of documents that get the once-over before sending… but not so. This comes from a friend who recently got a job offer on the east coast. And lest this seem trivial: it did make the candidate laugh at the company for such an obvious mistake, send it around to his friends, and wonder – just a bit – how interested they actually were.

We all make mistakes. But hiring managers, take note: there’s no amount of all caps, colors, etc that will do the reminding for you 100% of the time. Without a double-checking process outside of the document itself, it’s just a ticking time-bomb.

Offer letter fail


A VC high-fived one of the founders

Sent in by alert readers @NachoSoto and @Quan on twitter! I’m happy for the founder of this startup [and clearly this blog is pro-high-five] but surely there are better ways to pitch it 🙂 I’ll let the screencap speak for itself:

Classic Form-Letter Fail

Short but sweet one this week, sent in by alert reader John:

The dangers of making a form letter for your mass-spamming needs: the more eye-catching you make your ‘remember-to-fill-in-the-blank’ text, the more awesome it is when you inevitably forget anyway 🙂


Repetition Recruiting Fail

This one is short but sweet, sent in by alert reader @joshsmith on Twitter.

Persistence is the key to success, but you can always have too much of a good thing.

Maybe switch up the wording a bit when you’re spamming your twitter followers for days? 🙂

Plagiarism Fail

Click to see Pinterest's careers page, then find the "Product Designer" position

Click to see CBS Interactive's strikingly similar job description

If you’re going to copy and paste from another company’s job description, you should probably at least change that company’s name to your own…
For the tl;dr crowd, this screenshot sums it up:

Condescending advice fail

Click for the full Gawker article

A reader of Gawker sent them a fantastic piece of Recruiting Fail history today. A recruiter and self-styled “Long-time green media veteran” in Louisville, Kentucky posted this ad for various writing gigs on Craigslist. Nevermind that he somehow got 900+ people to apply (!); let’s get to the good stuff.

He sent one single email, BCC’ing all 900+ candidates, with a 3,057 word rant about the Dos and Don’ts of applying as a writer. It includes such gems of knowledge as:

• Do be a badass.

• Don’t write badly.

• Don’t send me your picture.
I don’t care what you look like.

But below are my personal favorites. Major irony points for harping on concision in an email with ~1,000 more words than your own worst example; Double points for accidentally doing it twice.

• Do keep it short and sweet.
Tell me a little bit about yourself— where you’ve written before and a few sentences on why you are awesome. Short and sweet.

• Don’t email me a novella.
One of you sent me an 11-page resume with a 2,500+ word email… Short is best.

The full article is here: Definitely worth a read.

Copy and Paste Fail

Haha ok – this one took me a few to unravel the layers. As background, Tom and Vivek are two lead programmers at Lolapps, who recently got laid off in the highly publicized implosion of the company. More details at Jonathan Howard’s blog, but for the basics, there was a flurry of recruiters trying to hire lolapps engineers within hours of the news breaking. If I’m right, this is the series of events this woman took in the process:

1) Sent an email to Vivek using LinkedIn
2) Copied the resulting page, accidentally highlighting her LinkedIn inbox “action buttons” too
3) Pasted the whole thing into a new LinkedIn message to Tom
4) Didn’t look at it at all
5) Hit send

Copy and paste fail - on so many levels!