When I worked at a newsagent many years ago, we got some amazingly terrible applications. My favourite ever was the guy who was doing a PhD in clinical psychology, and whose long-winded objective statement was something along the lines of:
blah blah blah
to shine a light in the darkness of people's minds -- to become a clinical psychologist
His main reason for applying for the job was that he wanted to 'observe people' (i.e. customers). Sure, Flinders St Station on a Saturday night is ripe with interesting characters, but you're there to sell them Holiday 50s and fruit tingles, not psychoanalyse them.
We also had quite a few applications from IT students who worked at 7/11 and whose duties included 'moping'
At my current workplace, we have had a serial applicant for entry-level jobs. He writes cover letters like the voice-over for a 50s crime film. The first one explained how he was an unemployed creative writer lying around all day in his undies in his dingy apartment, eating kebabs, and implored us to 'come on, give a guy a job'. (On that note, jobs in publishing seldom require you to write a novel or short story -- the most you're doing is writing blurbs and doing other paperwork like that. We're not paying you to hone your poetry skills.)
, too many of my engineers end up as glorified proofreaders / editors.
You'd be surprised how many people apply for jobs in publishing, make a point of telling you about their eye for/attention to detail, and there's at least one spelling mistake in there. That or they're pretentious idiots who try to impress you with all the obscure words they found in a dictionary.