A Hilariously Awful Steve Jobs Job Application Shows How Not to Land a Gig

Steve Jobs is seen on a computer at the Apple World Wide Developers Conference in San Francisco, June 11, 2007
Steve Jobs is seen on a computer at the Apple World Wide Developers Conference in San Francisco, June 11, 2007. Paul Sakuma/AP Photo

Steve Jobs may have co-founded Apple — a company worth $229 billion now — revolutionized the personal computer and brought you the iPhone, but in 1973, he failed so hard at filling out a job application it’ll make you cringe.

Yep, just three years before Apple was founded, Jobs was applying for an unknown job and turned in a truly awful application that’s now expected to fetch as much as $50,000 at an auction, according to a report from CNBC.

Listen, if you want to blow what amounts to nearly the median annual income of a U.S. family on a dusty, old job application, that’s your business. But if you plan to use this particular trainwreck of an application as a template during your job search, we need to have a serious talk.

See, Steve Jobs may have succeeded beyond anyone’s wildest dreams despite this whack resume, but you might not.

How to Fill Out a Job Application… The Non-Steve-Jobs Way

First off, there’s no cover letter. You can’t expect to land a job in the tech industry without a solid cover letter.

A cover letter helps you stand out, and it adds personal flair to your resume and job application. Here are three simple steps to crafting the perfect cover letter.

And Jobs just left the experience portion in this application blank, which is a big no-no. Sure he was only 18 at the time, but he should have used the section to highlight volunteer work or skills he was developing.

One of the biggest things that sticks out on the 1973 Jobs application is that he doesn’t leave any way to contact him.

For his phone number he wrote “none,” and for his address he simply put “reed college” — from which he had dropped out after one semester — and didn’t even include capitalization. Your future employer needs to be able to find you to tell you that you got the job, right?

And please, please make sure you proofread your resume or application. Under special abilities, Jobs touts that he is from San Francisco near “Hewitt-Packard” (sic).

Of course, we all know Steve Jobs went on to be one of the most successful entrepreneurs in history. But that doesn’t mean you should take resume-writing or job-application tips from a young Jobs.

Stick to The Penny Hoarder formula.

Alex Mahadevan is a data journalist at The Penny Hoarder. He’s an Apple evangelist and means no disrespect to Steve Jobs.

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