Thursday, March 15, 2012

The Greatest Job Application. Ever.

Copywriter Robert Pirosh arrived in Hollywood in 1934. He sent the following letter to everyone he could think of in the movie business. He was hired as a junior writer for MGM, and eventually won an Academy award for best screenplay.

(Source: Letters Of Note)
Dear Sir:

I like words. I like fat buttery words, such as ooze, turpitude, glutinous, toady. I like solemn, angular, creaky words, such as straitlaced, cantankerous, pecunious, valedictory. I like spurious, black-is-white words, such as mortician, liquidate, tonsorial, demi-monde. I like suave "V" words, such as Svengali, svelte, bravura, verve. I like crunchy, brittle, crackly words, such as splinter, grapple, jostle, crusty. I like sullen, crabbed, scowling words, such as skulk, glower, scabby, churl. I like Oh-Heavens, my-gracious, land's-sake words, such as tricksy, tucker, genteel, horrid. I like elegant, flowery words, such as estivate, peregrinate, elysium, halcyon. I like wormy, squirmy, mealy words, such as crawl, blubber, squeal, drip. I like sniggly, chuckling words, such as cowlick, gurgle, bubble and burp.

I like the word screenwriter better than copywriter, so I decided to quit my job in a New York advertising agency and try my luck in Hollywood, but before taking the plunge I went to Europe for a year of study, contemplation and horsing around.

I have just returned and I still like words.

May I have a few with you?

Robert Pirosh
385 Madison Avenue
Room 610
New York
Eldorado 5-6024


aldrin james said...

Based on what I saw in this post, I can say that it is really the greatest job application. I have a friend who is an expert in making job application. She needs to see this.

Ingles Grocery Store Application

Tony said...

I think it succeeded because it shows the genius of the writer, it was whimsical, and it went outside the 'box' that everyone else was thinking in.

I like it because it's fun.

Tony said...

Update May 19, 2012:
Sending out a job application worked in 1934, but it might not work as well in 2012. Instead, why not send out a web link to a page that shows a years worth of accomplishments.

Seth Godin suggests doing something like this over the next two years:

- Spend twenty hours a week running a project for a non-profit.
- Teach yourself Java, HTML, Flash, PHP and SQL. Not a little, but mastery.
- Volunteer to coach or assistant coach a kids sports team.
- Start, run and grow an online community.
- Give a speech a week to local organizations.
- Write a regular newsletter or blog about an industry you care about.
- Learn a foreign language fluently.
- Write three detailed business plans for projects in the industry you care about.
- Self-publish a book.
- Run a marathon.

(Don't be scared if you can't do everything on this list in 2 years. Seth Godin probably could, but I don't think I could.)

The great thing is that all of these things can be done for free. All you need is a laptop, a commitment, and plenty of coffee.

Beats sending out resumes and waiting for the phone to ring.