A soon-to-be high school graduate started his job search in a unique way – he wrote a candid open letter and posted it on LinkedIn.
Ryan Lowry has autism and wants future employers to understand that while he may learn in a different way, he is worth taking a chance on.
“I realize that someone like you will have to take a chance on me, I don’t learn like typical people do,” Lowry wrote in the letter. “I would need a mentor to teach me, but I learn quickly, once you explain it, I get it. I promise that if you hire me and teach me, you’ll be glad that you did. I will show up every day, do what you tell me to do, and work really hard.”
Lowry, who recently celebrated his 20th birthday, is about to complete a post-graduate high school program for special needs children.
The Leesburg, Virginia, resident is looking forward to starting the career he always dreamed of being in: animation. Currently, he works at a coffee shop called SimplyBe, but his employment will end once he graduates. So he decided to pen a cover letter to potential employers.
“He was going to do it on his computer and his younger brother thought, ‘Why don’t you write it?” said Ryan’s father, Rob Lowry.
His father said they thought posting the letter on LinkedIn would be more effective than sending it in the mail.
The letter struck a chord with employers and job seekers alike on LinkedIn.
Ryan Lowry has received thousands of comments, connections, potential mentors and even job offers, his father said.
He added that multiple companies have reached out, but the one that stood out is Exceptional Minds, a three-year program designed to teach people with autism about animation.
Ryan Lowry is now busy getting his resume and portfolio together. And he is confident he will find his next career opportunity, his mother, Tracy Lowry, said.
Vicki Salemi, a career expert for Monster, a global employment website started in 1999, said that updating your resume, networking and selling yourself are important steps in getting hired during the Covid-19 pandemic. Salemi also says you should see who is hiring, keep learning, don’t hide your job loss and ace the video job interview.
“I’m in awe and never thought this would happen over one written letter,” said Tracy Lowry. “I’m overwhelmed with joy for Ryan and for it opening a whole topic of conversation among employers to helping … people other than Ryan.”