When 4.5 Million people quit their jobs, you have to do better when you're looking for a new employee, especially when you are offering a good job like this one.
This was a cover letter I prepared for a job I was applying for. It's not that the salary wasn't great, but the demand that I create a special video for them kinda set me off. While I should have seen that it was a remote position, I missed that and even if I did see it, my eyes are trained to look past that because so many employers lie about it by saying
"Remote in New York City". Just because you let people work from home in a pandemic, does not mean the position is remote. I live in the desert, that's remote.
There is a very good chance I won't get this job, as they have gotten 66 applicants in 3 days. They will likely get 1000 applicants when its all done and never get back to 999 of them by virtue of the fcat that they made the job seem absolutely perfect. It will likely them take six months in hiring with all the candidates and I won't ever hear back. I'm just sick of the game. I just want a decent job and a life with my wife and two dogs. Is that too much to ask? Have a read and you decide.
Hello Bethany W.,
I am writing to inquire about the visual storyteller position you listed on Linked-IN. As you are probably aware, the job market is incredibly competitive these days and the right job is often found based on location and quality of life. Meaning I really don't want to have to live in Los Angeles or New York or Seattle due to crime rates, cost of living and housing shortages at this time.
I am looking for a remote position and that is a critically important element of the job description that is not immediately apparent on your website, or in your job listing. Additionally, you are asking me to create a video for you about your business when I have never even heard of your business or services and am not sure if I even want this job given that it may require me to live to work rather than work to live.
As you may know, many jobseekers these days are not motivated by a large paycheck or a fancy benefit package. Why, I just wrote a story for my current employer about that very thing, where I interviewed several working people about their part in the 4.5 million people who quit their jobs last quarter.
I have found that people now want a job that enhances their quality of life, instead of forcing them to exist in a quality of life by virtue of a paycheck. Your very generous pay scale seems to indicate that you are looking for a highly qualified individual, which I believe I am. However, a highly paid/qualified individual is usually not found in the boondocks where I currently live, for just $50 a month rent for my wife, dogs, cat and self. Why, I don't even pay for electric, propane or water.
Why would a generous paycheck entice me to give this all up and force me to move across country, live in a place where my dogs cannot run freely, where the cost of living is ridiculous and the availability of affordable housing abysmal?
$100,000 a year could convince me however to change my mind, but of course, I would have to know where I had to live to collect that. I do hope you understand. Missing a location on your job post, or misrepresenting your location as so many employers do now, wastes both my time and your time.
If you have any interest in my qualifications, I have attached my resume for your review. I can tell a story better than most and have a gift for the visual arts. I am also a licensed captain and talented chef. I think all of that could make me the man to tell the story of your business and its products as I have a unique user experience having lived in a number of worlds and lived a variety of lives. Can I tell a story of how a user should interface with a software package? Absolutely, because I use software every day and can spin a yarn better than anyone, especially with a high-end camera.
I look forward to hearing back from you and will be posting this letter on my blog in the hopes that you and every other prospective employer out there might understand the quandary you put a jobseeker in when you ask for extra work like a prepared video, cover letter and resume when you don't even list where the job might be hosted.
Capt. Christopher “That Sailing Guy” German
Here's the Job Listing:
XYZ is hiring a Visual Storyteller to demo and explain our software, Product XYZ – primarily on video, but also using still pictures and great writing to weave a story. Maybe you do it as a hobby today. Maybe it's your business to review other people's products. Or maybe it's currently your full-time job for another company. However you do it, and wherever you do it, you love doing it and you're excited to bring your talents to XYZ and our products.
About the work
You'll go deep on our products and come up with at least a video a week that shows people how to use them, how to get the most out of them, how other people are using them, etc. Tips, tricks, obscure power-user stuff, surprises, that sort of thing. We may point you in a specific direction from time to time, say, if we have a new feature we just released, but for the most part, you'll be free to do your own thing.
Maybe quick 30 second videos. Sometimes a few minutes. And maybe a dozen minutes or more if you really feel like going in-depth. We're out to create a thorough library of video resources as permanent reference material, as well as a steady stream of current videos showcasing what's new.
The aim is to make customers — current and prospective — go "Ah ha!". Delighting and informing with motion, description, and real-world scenarios. "Ah, so that's how it works!" "Ah, I didn't know you could do that." "Ha, that's super useful." "Ha, how cool is that?!" "Oh, that would really help us do X, Y, or Z." You should tell people things they didn't know, in ways they can relate to.
You should be adept at video production. You should have a knack for explaining things clearly. You should be a great writer. You should be good at avoiding long, arduous setups, and know how to get to the point with just enough supporting material so everything makes sense. You should be good on camera yourself, and you should be enthusiastic without being cloying or annoying. Nothing cheesy, clickbait-y, or formulaic. This isn't about picking up views or smashing like buttons — this is about showing off just how useful our products are.
As a manager of one, you’ll drive shaped projects over six-week cycles. You’ll set direction, take ownership, make calls, and see things through without a lot of oversight. You’ll be able to communicate clearly with your colleagues, work across teams, and lend a helping hand when needed.
Benefits and compensation
*This is the only place in the listing which is of extraordinary length where they mention the location
The salary for this position is $100,000. XYZ is a fully remote company, and this is a remote job.
Our benefits support a life well-lived away from work. Ample time off and all the resources you need to support you in doing the best work of your career. Our handbook has detailed information about the benefits we offer.
Applicants from outside of the US will be offered a contractor role on comparable terms and equal pay with our domestic employees.
We encourage applicants from all backgrounds to apply for a job where you can do the best work of your career. Basecamp is committed to remaining a calm company where we don't regularly work longer than 40 hours per week and take proper vacations.
What to expect
You can expect a mindful onboarding process with structured ramp-up time. You can expect a team that listens. You can expect to be counted on and the freedom to do your best work. We build our apps, our teams, and our company for the long haul, so you can build your career here if you choose to.
Whatever software or hardware you need, we'll get it for you. Nothing should stand in the way of you doing the best work of your career, here.
We respect everyone's right to participate in political expression and activism, but avoid having political debates on our internal communication systems. 37signals as a company also does not weigh in on politics publicly, outside of topics directly related to our business. You should be at peace with both of these stances.
How to apply
Please submit an application that speaks directly to this position. Tell us about yourself and what you can bring to XYZ. Be descriptive, but don’t feel the need to write a novel — 800 words or so should be plenty. Forget that generic resume, and there’s no prize for being the first to submit so take your time.
Show us some of your previous work, and send us one new video that takes no more than a day to put together (honor system here). It should be 60 seconds or less. You choose what to focus on, but the videos have to be about Product XYZ, and they have to show and explain how something works. A feature, a flow, a scenario — your call. You'll own the video, we won't use it. It's just so we can get a sense of what you can do.
We’re accepting applications until Wednesday, June 1, at 5:00PM US-Central time.
You should not expect to hear for a few weeks, while we review all applications. Please note that we’re unable to offer individual feedback during the screening process. We usually see hundreds of applications for roles, and our small hiring team simply doesn’t have the bandwidth to offer personalized feedback before the interview stages.
Those who make it past the first round will be asked to produce two more videos, and one write-up. We'll pay you for your time on those. You can also expect 2-3 remote interviews with your future colleagues. We’ll talk through your background, your approach to this job, and dive into your professional knowledge. No tests, gotchas, or surprises. We expect to extend an offer in June, with a flexible start date in July. We look forward to hearing from you!