Resumania™: Are You Self-Assured or Arrogant?

By Robert Half on June 30, 2014 at 7:00am

Conveying self-confidence is critical when you’re applying for a new job. After all, you’re trying to convince a hiring manager that you’re a better fit for the open position than anyone else. But if you’re not careful, self-assurance can easily come across as arrogance.

As you proofread your resume and cover letter for typos, also review for tone. You might even ask a friend to read your work to make sure you’ve struck the right balance. Remember: There’s a very fine line between confidence and cockiness. The following job applicants came across as entitled, demanding and presumptuous:

“QUALIFICATIONS: I know a lot of stuff. I can even do your job. That is all you need to know.”

Indeed it is.

COVER LETTER: “If you want me to go get the business and get you money, and you’re not insecure about me being more talented, experienced and successful than anyone else in your organization (including you), send me your phone number.”


COVER LETTER: “I look forward to the opportunity to meet with you so that I can tell you why your firm needs me. I will be calling you on Friday at 11 a.m. to set up my interview with you.”

As the saying goes, don’t call us, we’ll call you.

“SKILLS: I have very good attention to detail, and I always know what I’m talkking about.”

“Talk” about an ironic error.

“ACCOMPLISHMENTS: I am the most talented employee my company has ever had.”

And the least humble.

COVER LETTER: “If you aren’t firmly decided to hire me by the end of this letter, re-hitch the mule and move along.”

We can only hope that you’re horsing around.

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