Some may regard cover letters as relics of the past — not Ryan Lowry. The 20-year-old's handwritten cover letter posted on LinkedIn has now been viewed nearly 7 million times — and might just lead to his dream job.
In the poignant letter addressed to his "future employer,” Lowry wrote that he has autism, “a unique sense of humor” and is particularly “gifted at math." He learns quickly too, he noted.
“I am interested in a job in animation, or in IT,” Lowry wrote in the letter. “I realize that someone like you will have to take a chance on me. I don’t learn like typical people do.”
Lowry, who lives in Virginia, goes on to explain that he would need a mentor, but added that he catches on fast.
“I promise that if you hire me and teach me, you’ll be glad that you did,” Lowry wrote. “I will show up every day, do what you tell me to do, and work really hard.”
Lowry’s parents, Rob and Tracy, couldn’t be more proud of their son. Last month, when the Lowry family appeared on NBC Nightly News, Lester Holt announced that Ryan had received a scholarship to Exceptional Minds, a Los Angeles-based nonprofit and post-production studio for people with autism. It's a moment that Tracy calls "unforgettable."
"Everything is remote because of COVID, so Ryan will be attending workshops online," Tracy told TODAY Health. "Then we just found out that DreamWorks is working to find him a mentor. It's just incredible."
Tracy said Ryan keeps telling them that he "wants to make pictures come alive."
“Ryan is capable of so much,” Rob told TODAY. “The goal here for Ryan is independence. He can live in our basement for the rest of his life. We’d love it. But Tracy and I are going to die someday, and he needs to be able to live independently. We’re cautiously optimistic.”
Rob helped Lowry set up a LinkedIn account last month.
“My hope was that he’d make a few connections,” Rob said. “I thought, all we need is one person.”
Two days later, Lowry had more than 2,000 invitations to connect.
“LinkedIn actually shut Ryan down because there was so much activity, they thought something untoward was going on,” Rob laughed. Catherine Fisher, a LinkedIn Career Expert, confirmed that Lowry's profile was temporarily unavailable, but quickly restored.
"We occasionally review profiles when there is sudden and overwhelming engagement for our members' safety and security, " Fisher said. "We’ve very happy to see Ryan’s cover letter is getting viewed by so many potential future employers."
And for those who think the art of the cover letter is dead? Lowry has proved that theory wrong.
"Ryan is leading by example, he’s showcasing his unique skills, being authentic and asking his community for help," Fisher added. "We can’t wait to see when he updates his profile with a new job!"
Tracy can’t wait to see what the future has in store for her child.
“I lay in bed at night and I cry reading the messages,” she told TODAY. “This raw, vulnerable letter has opened up so many opportunities.”
This story was updated on April 1, 2021.