An Open Letter to my Future Employers
Below is an "Open Letter to my Future Employers", a radically different approach to writing a resume.
I am Diego Segura, a 17 year old designer and entrepreneur. On January 1 of 2018, I will have graduated high school and will begin a career and an adventure. I want you to be a part of it.
First of all, do you expect me to read this entire "resume"?
Absolutely, don't be lazy! You'll survive a couple minutes and besides, my writing isn't that bad, is it? In fact, you can read a bunch of my writing at diegodoes.com, where you'll find my blog and even a book that I'm working on (and possibly is on sale by the time you read this) called The Dropout Manifesto. I'd tell you about it now, but I'm also a marketer and want some old school direct traffic to my site, so I'll let you go find out about it for yourself.
Can I see some of your design work?
Of course, you're probably working at some sort of design firm, because I don't often apply for jobs at investment banks (though I've given it a shot: that didn't go very far). In August of 2017, I started a business called thirdbreath, at one point a graphic design firm, a branding agency, and currently a brand consultancy. Let's be honest: it's a business for me to operate as a freelancer under. You can check out all of my best branding work at thirdbreath.com to learn more.
What skills/proficiencies do you have?
I can design things, speak English (native), speak Spanish, speak German (sort of), type really fast (seriously), sell things with written word, sell things with spoken word, write copy, and speak publicly.
Let's be honest though, you are not really hiring me for my skillset, as there are an endless number of candidates who have more experience in just about everything than a kid my age. There's something else here, and I hope you and I both are able to discover it. (I haven't fully discovered it either!)
Why aren't you going to college?
In an effort to become something other than a mere student, I started a company called thirdbreath that offers brand identity design services and learned how to deal with clients, make sales, communicate design rationale, and even write contracts. Once I realized that I could make money from scratch by developing skills in design and communication, I knew that college would be a waste. Rather, here I am aiming to get experience as soon as possible and provide as much value as I possibly can, as early as I possibly can. Inspired by the "lean startup" thinking of Eric Ries, I treat my own career and development like a minimum viable product. The sooner I can begin working and possibly fail, the quicker and more effectively I will learn.
What value will you provide for our company?
I've always been slightly irritated by this question, because I don't want to sell you on the idea that I should work for you. You should already want me in your office. If you read this resume, are stunned, and have a genuine excitement to learn more about me, then I've done my job. However, if you aren't that excited and want me to sell you on why I should be hired, there's no fit! This is more about checking for fit than it is checking for value. The value should be a given, and if it isn't, then you should be walking out the door for another candidate as quickly as I should be for another job.
What is your biggest strength and/or weakness?
These are one and the same: communication. Whether it's asking a girl out or telling a client, "no," the confidence to communicate and be as transparent and honest as reasonably possible has served me and those around me extraordinarily well. Clients enjoy it, my girlfriend loves it, and employers find it refreshing. However, it is also my biggest weakness, as there are some people and organizations that abhor transparency, communication, and/or dialogue. Fair enough, I say, fair enough.
I want you to spend the next 3 minutes reaching out to me, somehow, someway. Hell, you can send me a letter, but you have to reach out. You've come this far, it would be a shame for me not to get to know you as much as you have gotten to know me. Make the call. Send the email. I've left you with no excuse not to.
This resume does a lot more than regurgitate career information (that quite frankly I do not have). Rather, it tells a story. With a couple hours of work, I was able to write something that allowed any reader to truly get to know me, and in the end, convert. This open letter gets responses because by the end of the letter, you are very clearly and honestly driven to take action. That's a way to ask for the sale.
(For the design nerds, the page is 1.414:1, top margin is 1/8 of page width and the spine margins are 1/16 of page width, which equates to 1/8 page width total gutter between the two columns of type. These are set in 9/10pt justified EB Garamond, regular weight, footnotes in the same typeface at 6/7pt size and leading.)