How to Love Applying For a Job Online (Writing a Letter To A Billionaire Richard Branson)

Don’t you hate applying for jobs online?

I do, normally. But, something interesting came over me today.

I felt compelled to apply for a job across the Atlantic back home in the USA. I am not dying to get back to the civilized world, but while reading the job description and researching the company something came over me. I was stirred to action. I finished writing the letter below and submitted it online. I have never enjoyed the process of applying for a job. Even if I  never hear from them, at least the experience was fun and educational.

Here’s how it happened:

I was tackling some research online today, when I saw that Virgin-Atlantic Airways founder Richard Branson’s new start-up, The B-Team was hiring.

The available position was being an assistant to the CEO, one of New Zealand’s leading thinkers, Derek Handley (who it would be an absolute pleasure to work for).

Derek has founded some promising companies like The Hyperfactory and Snakkmedia.

He is also an investor in Booktrack, a company committed to transforming the experience of reading. They creates soundtracks for books.

This is truly exciting for me as an author. Not to toot my own horn, but I actually played around with the idea of book soundtracks a couple years ago. This was before I understood the importance of action and motivation as concepts of bringing an idea to life. Hence, I did a lot of thinking without action which is pretty useless. Regardless, Booktrack looks promising. It will be exciting to watch the traditional reading landscape change into a more integrated and immerse experience using technology. You have to wonder if such an experience can be called reading if it encompasses listening to a book soundtrack, reading the book, and watching small films within each chapter (at least this is my vision for the future of reading).

Multimedia experiences like these are going to be gems for educators. I can’t wait. It’s so exciting.

Now, back to the reason you are here.

I wrote a passionate letter to The B-Team that I would like to share with you. My hope is that this will give you some direction and help you improve your skills for applying to jobs online. With the massive amounts of online applicants, obtaining a position within a company from an online application is a tremendous achievement. Don’t let the ease of the application process fool you, getting a job online is not easy.

For my purposes, I tried my best to convey my vision for the future of business. Much like reading paperbacks, working in a white collar corporation is dissolving before our eyes. Businesses are transforming into companies that will save the world. One of those is The B-Team.  Branson’s B-Team is truly exciting and I would love an opportunity to collaborate.

Here’s what I wrote:

Dear B-Team,

My last management job taught me three important values that I still hold today: honesty, responsibility, and respect. And to be honest with you, I am not dying to work in an office that doesn’t understand the importance of having an educated vision. The vast amounts of suffering in the world can be attributed to ignorant business practices. The saving grace of this century will be those businesses that implement a unified business model that focuses on global prosperity, unity, and well-being. The B-Team’s commitment to redefining the role of business between people, the planet, & its profit is certainly promising.

At some point in the industrial revolution, businesses stopped thinking about the well-being of their customers. In the upcoming years, businesses will face extreme challenges of innovation and implementation. In a severely short amount of time, the world must be saved. Petroleum will not solve the energy crisis of the 21st century. The current system of capitalism is under scrutiny and redesign. Umair Haque, a forerunner of cutting-edge economic design provides a few guidelines guaranteed to usher in a new era of business that some are calling philantrocapitalism or conscious capitalism. Don Talscott, a Thinkers50 nominated change-agent calls for the implementation of business openness that will rebuild the world. His plan contains four major focuses: collaboration, transparency, sharing, and empowerment. MIT genius, Ray Kurzweil, leads the field in understanding the future role of technology, its underestimated potential, and the influence of humanity’s most significant tool will have on the world. Networking with intelligent people and ideas such as these are non-negotiable for the survival of our planet and can be a tremendous opportunity for The B-Team’s growth.

It’s undeniable that communication is the key to solving the planet’s problems. Digital networks provide a unique medium to enact change at super speeds. But amazing and innovative as this technology is, it doesn’t solve decades of our planet’s abuse. An energy crisis patiently awaits the world’s metastasizing population. The stability of food, water, and environmental security is shaky. The ignorance of past generations has decimated the planet’s limited resources. To a certain extent, the survival of the human species needs a better version of life support. A few ideas look promising if we can change the maladaptive habits of business and the way we look at the world: solar energy will be the primary form of universal power in the next twenty years. Sustainable architecture and design are evolving at lightening speeds. Technology is helping to create more efficient business practices: ones that are beginning to shape our scope of the world. Solutions that consider the collective consciousness of the planet can no longer be dismissed as mere utopian wishes, integration is imminent.

International economic concerns clearly demonstrate the brokenness of the current model of capitalism. The global recession (and near collapse) is changing how businesses view the bottom line. The profits of the 21st century will not be measured in dollars, euros, or yen, but as degrees of positive progress and beneficial change. Much like the economic collapse discussed in Atlas Shrugged, irrational corporate greed and social selfishness has destroyed the world. The leaders and innovators have ran away to create sustainable models of a better world.

In conclusion, the future of business requires more than good looks, sweet charm, and a fancy resume. The explosive growth of technology is making way for a new breed of executive: the self-educating, moral youth concerned with environmental issues, political correctness, social restructuring, and education reformation. Their awareness is breaking bad business models and creating stable solutions that are changing the landscape of business across the pond. It is these people who are going to change the world. People like us.

Thank you,

Stephan M. Stansfield

I finished typing this letter and attached it to an email, attached my CV, and wrote a quick “Thank you” message in the body of my email.

And that was it. Now, I wait.

So, how do you apply for a job and have a great time?

1. Express your vision clearly and stand for something.

2. Support your vision with evidence.

3. Make a connection to something more important than the job you are applying for. Differentiate yourself from the competition.

4. Don’t apply to a job where your core values don’t align with that company.

5. Don’t apply to every online job application, pick the ones that you are qualified for. 

6. Put some effort into your application. Quality comes before quantity. (I spent almost four hours writing my letter to B-Team.)

7. After you hit the submit button, have faith. You can’t control everything. Even the most qualified application can reach the hiring manager on a bad day. His solution: delete.

8. Lastly, persist. If trying to get your dream job over the Internet isn’t working, get up, get out, and go get it.


Oh, and for those of you that haven’t seen Richard Branson’s private island on Cribs, here you go. It’s great to see happy billionaires who want to change the world.

For those that wish to help this letter or post reach Richard Branson or Derek Handley, I would love it if you passed it along to either of them via Twitter.


UPDATE (MARCH 2013): It’s been almost two months and I finally heard back from the B-Team: they don’t need my help. Oh well, I had a great time writing this letter and sharing the experience with everyone. I guess this means better things are in store for me and I am spending another year abroad teaching. It’s gonna be so awesome!

About Stephan Stansfield

Stephan is the owner, creator, and editor of Peregrine Poise.
He is currently traveling and teaching around the world. When he is not helping others discover their true potential, he finds time to surf, read, and reflect on the important issues of living a good life.

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