Forget the Cover Letterby Harun
Carrot was different. No urine test. No standard cover letter and resume submission. No, when I arrived at the Carrot site to apply, I was asked to explain what super-power I would have if I could have one. All job applications should take note. A cover letter isn’t going to reveal much about someone, other then they can copy a sample cover letter from the web and add in their personal information. But, asking someone "What three things would you bring if you were stranded on a deserted island" is going to get their brain working to come up with a clever answer.
Apparently my answers worked because I was brought in as a freelancer, the same week I applied, to help with a pitch. In the middle of my first week at Carrot I was in the kitchen with Mike (Germano) and he asked me what I was doing here. I told him I was helping with the pitch. He said, “No, why are you here?” I told him that I thought Carrot had been doing some cool work, that the whole Vice thing was interesting, and, finally, that I was a huge fan of the job application process. His eyes lit up and he started to explain the history of the application, the philosophy behind it and how some applicants think it’s a pain in the ass.
Seeing his excitement around this somewhat minor component of the overall business gave me an insight into how Carrot is different as an agency. The credo of getting the most of every experience is infectious here. And, taking a different approach to a process that could otherwise produce a poor understanding of a candidate’s background, is now, with some smart thinking and effort, a much better evaluation of a how they think creatively and fit culturally. So, for those who are not fans of the Carrot application and much rather write a cover letter, good luck with that.
Harun joins us from Vanity Fair as an Associate Creative Director.