When it comes to resumes, cover letters and job applications, even the most qualified candidates agonise over their search for employment. Regardless of a person’s achievements, looking good on paper is no easy feat.
“We know that writing a cover letter is potentially the most complicated thing someone can do,” says Alan Cerutti, co-founder and CEO of local communications agency Happiness Saigon. “It is, to be honest, the most complicated copy writing exercise for anyone.”
This idea inspired Happiness Saigon’s current campaign, Help a Jobless, which runs until the end of April. By focusing on the all-important cover letter, Help a Jobless aims not only to find and develop talented copywriters but also to lend a hand to local job-seekers. Often, says Cerutti, qualified or promising candidates are fighting an uphill battle because they don’t properly showcase their abilities from the get-go.
“We know that the reason why these people don’t have a job is often because of the economy…but it could also be because they are not able to sell themselves,” he explains.
To enter the contest, aspiring copywriters must go online to Happiness’ website, where they can choose any of the five jobless candidates profiled by the company. Writers will then create a cover letter for that individual. The jobless candidates are free to use their letters when applying for new jobs, while a panel assesses the writers and invites the top-scoring entrants to a master class at Happiness Saigon. There, participants will complete a day-long course and, in the end, one writer will be chosen to join Happiness Saigon’s staff.
Even if there can only be a single winner, Cerutti points out that the campaign is helpful to many. In Belgium, where Help a Jobless first ran, nine of the people involved found employment, including both jobless candidates and copywriters. For Cerutti, this speaks not only to the campaign’s appeal but also the philosophy of Happiness Saigon.
“We really see happiness as a way of living,” says Cerutti. “When you work at Happiness, everyone really believes in happy people being able to do great work and great work making people happy and happy people again making great work. So it’s kind of this circle where we truly believe we have to be tough on the work but not on the people.”