This is famed ad writer, Roy William's article, but I know you should read it... You don't feel you need it, but if you can turn around and actually need it, and follow what it teaches, it will make you a winner. A rarity.
An it is not only about jobs, it is also about anything that involves other people. Whether you are a college student struggling to write your dissertation in Poland, or a doorman in New York dreaming of stage success. You may be an accountant in Sweden, or a policy writer in Virginia.
Maybe an earth moving company owner in Minnesota? A recent graduate of Chinese descent? Or me.
We all need to learn what he says, or else...
If you can't recognize yourself, send me an email... I'll help you with that.
Bad ads are about you, your company, your product, your service.
Good ads are about the customer and how their sun will shine brighter, the air around them will glitter with magic, and the stars in their darkness will twinkle more richly if they choose to bring you into their world.
I'm going to hire an assistant.
Hundreds of Millennials have applied for this job and sent me an ad.
But not one of them realized that was what they were sending me.
They thought it was a cover letter attached to their resume.
Hey, Millennial. Here are some examples of the kinds of ads your competitors are sending to employers. (This is extremely GOOD NEWS for you!)
“I'm looking for a position where I can grow and continue to learn. My ideal job is somewhere I enjoy working, and enjoying my surroundings.”
“I want to attain a position at your company to enhance my experience in the medical industry while working towards my degree, and provide your company with positive energy and improve productivity.”
“I am a hardworking and self-driven individual looking for full-time employment.”
“I was a cheerleader for basically my whole life so yes! I'm cheerful and a happy person. I love talking and meeting new people.”
“Working in multiple places of customer service, I have gained key communication skills. Through achieving my bachelors degree I have also develyoped excellent writing, research and organizational skills that are necessary to be successful in this position.”
I promise I didn't make any of those up. In fact, I gave Trevor – the young man who develyoped excellent writing skills – a second chance. Did I mention that he also misspelled his own damn name? (I checked.)
Those examples are 5 of the first 10 applications I randomly pulled up from a field of several hundred. Obviously, I'm offering a desirable job. Every person who has served in this position for at least 4 years is now making more than $150,000 a year.
So, my Millennial friend, the bar you need to jump is very low indeed. You should be wiggling like a puppy!
“In the land of the blind, the one-eyed man is king,” is a saying you may have heard before.
Here's all you need to do to stand apart from your competitors.
This is how to become King in the land of the blind:
- TIP 1: Send out fewer resumes. Getting a job is not a numbers game. Select a small number of companies and send each of them a cover letter crafted exclusively for that company.
- TIP 2: There is no such thing as an attention span. The applicant that wins more of the employer's time than his or her competitors is the one most likely to win the job. So write an interesting cover letter. Long isn't dangerous. Boring is dangerous. Predictable is dangerous. Orthodox is dangerous. Stand apart.
- TIP 3: Take a chance. Dustin Hoffman is considered to be one of the most versatile actors of his generation. According to the Goog, he's made about $50,000,000 since the day in 1967 when he played Benjamin Braddock in The Graduate. The problem is that his performance as a button-down college graduate and track star was so convincing that most critics and directors assumed that Dustin had not, in fact, been acting. The prevailing opinion was that his acting range was limited to only that single type of character. And John Schlesinger, the director of Midnight Cowboy, knew the lead character in his film – Ratso Rizzo – was to be precisely the opposite kind of character.
This was Dustin Hoffman's pivotal moment – the big decision – that launched him as one of the great acting talents of the 20th century: Dressed as a homeless person, wearing a dirty raincoat, his hair slicked back and with an unshaven face, Hoffman approached Schlesinger in Central Park.
At the end of the encounter, Schlesinger was sold.
Dustin Hoffman didn't assume his career would forever be bright simply because his first movie was a runaway success. He knew the world was full of one-hit wonders. Dustin was worried about being typecast. It happens to all but a select few actors.
It seems to me that Millennials want to be understood.
This is actually what I wanted you to read! What is coming
Being understood feels good, doesn't it? But to get a job, to win a promotion, to gain authority and rise to the top, it is better to understand than to be understood.
What are the attributes your employer is anxious to find in you?
Who do they need you to be?
When your attention is focused on your own needs and wants, you're probably not going to get the job, or the promotion, or ever rise to your full potential.
I promise I'm not trying to hurt you. I'm trying to help you.
Focus on the employer's hopes and needs and you're likely to get the job. Then be the person you promised to be. It may take a year or two, but people are definitely going to notice you're exceptional.
And then you're on your way.
So do the hard thing; quit thinking about yourself.
Start thinking about your employer.
I really am just trying to help you.
Roy Williams is my kind of guy. And we should be eternally grateful that he takes his time to educate us.