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Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Three Reasons Why You are Not the Perfect Candidate for the Job

You are not the perfect candidate for the job.

Beware of claiming to be the perfect candidate for a job during the application process.

I understand the impulse to sound confident by writing, "I am the perfect person for the job!"

 Don't worry about not sounding confident. Your command of language inside your cover letter will establish your credibility gracefully.

Boasting that you are the perfect candidate will most likely have the opposite effect on you reader.

Here are three reasons not to introduce yourself as the perfect candidate for the job:

1.     Calling yourself perfect is illogical.  You are human, and so you are not perfect.
2.     You are not in the position yet, and so you cannot know firsthand all that is required in the position.  The boast that you're perfect for it implies a familiarity with the job's requirements that makes you sound naive, maybe even ignorant.
3.     Finally, you do not know who the other candidates are.  Without a reliable basis of comparison to the other candidates, you do not only not know if you are the best candidate for the position which in this context is what perfect implies. 

Consider wisdom, humility and a different word choice than perfect when you tender your application for a job.  Think of saying it differently and more truly with descriptions like viable candidate, competitive candidate, serious contender.  Use anything but perfect, because, you are not perfect.  When you use that word in this way, you prove it--and you usually prove it right at the top of the cover letter or resume.

Daphne Simpkins' most recent book is Christmas in Fountain City

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