I’ve only had a chance to watch about half of the entries so far, but I’ve been amazed by the quality of many of videos, and the ambition and skill displayed by most of the contestants. I’m sorry that we’ll have only one contest winner, because I’ve already seen a dozen or so contestants that seem like they could do great things on the island.
We can’t reward all of you with an island internship, but since the vast majority of you are in the market for a job or in school and soon to be in the market for a job, I’d like to at least give you a piece of advice that might help you land your dream job in the future, whatever it may be.
I look at well over a thousand resumes and cover letters a year for the various positions we hire for, and most of them suck. If I had to guess, I’d say we at Amble probably only reach the first stage of interview (a quick 20-minute phone call) with less than 2% of the people who apply for jobs with us. That’s pretty bad odds, and I’d bet that most companies have similar ratios of applicants to interviews.
As a general rule, no one makes this first cut who doesn’t at least provide a cover letter that shows they know what we do and states why they would be a good fit for us. (As I see it, if someone can’t muster the 15 minutes it takes to learn a little about us and figure out what they can contribute to our cause, then they can’t possibly cut it once they start work.)
But if someone were to make a video like many of those I’ve seen, and provide a link to it in the first sentence of their cover letter with a statement along the lines of “I made this video just for you,” I assure you they would warrant a first interview. If there’s a job you want, you need to stand out, and videos like you guys have made will do just that; moreover, these videos reveal the kind of ambition and dedication that we (and employers at any other place worth working) look for in potential employees.
So, if there’s a job any of you really want, I would strongly suggest doing the above. I’m sure these videos took a ton of time and that this suggestion seems like a lot of work, but anything you can do to stand out and prove yourself in your introduction is incredibly important. Plus, I suspect you could use the majority of your video for multiple applications, by designing most of it to be applicable to any job and then just tailoring the first 20 or 30 seconds to each position for which you are applying (this is the same strategy you should use for your cover letters, BTW).
Anyway, I hope some of you will take this advice to heart: it’s a stiff job market out there (and it’s always a stiff market for a good job), and I see so many worthless resumes that it was a breath of fresh air to watch these videos: they reveal your strengths, passions, and personalities in a way that a standard cover letter/resume combo never could.
Thanks for sharing your work,