A father who applied for more than 200 jobs has finally secured a new role after he sent a song that he recorded to an interviewer.
Richard Stevens, 54, of Borehamwood in Hertfordshire, was made redundant last year after three decades working in the medical devices sector.
The frustrated jobseeker penned a song with his 16-year-old son Oscar called Paper Me, about being judged on his CV, and he was offered a position after sending an interviewer the recording.
Lyrics of the song include: “Only look at the paper me/ a human being you cannot see.”
Mr Stevens said it was “fantastic” to be in work again and he has his “confidence and self-esteem back”.
His new role is as UK sales and marketing manager for a company that sells software to hospitals.
Before he was offered the position, he had applied for more than 200 jobs, reaching the interview stage eight times and the final two candidates on three occasions but placing second each time.
He said that during his search, Oscar asked him why he still did not have a job.
Mr Stevens said that prompted him to write the song with his son, with Oscar on vocals and him on piano and strings.
His new boss Tim Coutts, chief executive of CareCube Solutions, said: “I met Richard and he seemed like a great guy, with great experience, but I also met some other strong candidates.
“During our first meeting, Richard mentioned he’d written and recorded a song with his son about his job-seeking experience and I asked him to send it to me.
“When I heard the heartfelt lyrics, I knew I had to take him on, plus it sounded like a mix of Oasis and Elton John – my two favourite artists.
“It was Richard’s destiny to work for me and he’s done a fantastic job.
“Richard is my gain and everyone else’s loss – don’t just look at the Paper Me!”
Mr Stevens said he was thankful to his new boss, who was “open-minded enough to know everybody’s got to get a chance”.
He said he hoped the song would give hope to those coming out of furlough “and coming into this horrendous time”, and would encourage recruiters “not just to look at what somebody’s like on a CV as it doesn’t give the true picture”.
Describing his experience of job-seeking, Mr Stevens said: “It was a mixture between, ‘I’m just going to do this, I believe in myself, I’m going to do it’ to feeling, ‘Am I ever going to get a job here’.
“You go through this rollercoaster but I’m made of fairly stern stuff and I just got through it.
“I just carried on and I kept believing.”
He said that, before his successful interview, he had started sending a recording of the song to those who sent him a standard rejection letter.
Mr Stevens said there were many examples of people being judged on paper, with his son unable to take his chosen creative media course as his centrally assessed grade was marked down on his mock exam result.
To listen to the song, see https://soundcloud.com/richard-stevens-39155540/paper-me.