Is it possible that a really bad job application helped launch the personal computer revolution? Steve Jobs may be remembered as a genius (and rightfully so), but a questionnaire submitted by the then-18-year-old tells a different story. Although, maybe that’s a good thing. Had he actually taken the time to properly complete it, he may have landed a job that could have forever altered his career path.
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Three years before founding the Apple Computer Company with Steve Wozniak and Ronald Wayne, a teenage Jobs “filled out” this job application questionnaire after dropping out of college. The one-page document — which includes his name, address, major, a few skills and abilities, but little else — will be up for auction from March 8-15 and is estimated to fetch $50,000.
While the application seemingly shows little effort, it does highlight Jobs’s emerging interest in technology. He declares he is skillful with a calculator and computer in regards to “design, tech” and points out his special abilities in “electronics tech or design engineer. digital.”
The listing on RR Auction’s site offers some more on the document and Jobs’s time at Reed College:
“In very good condition, with intersecting folds, overall creasing, light staining, and some old clear tape to the top edge. Accompanied by full letters of authenticity from PSA/DNA and Beckett Authentication Services.
“Jobs enrolled at Reed College for the fall semester in 1972, but dropped out after just six months to preserve his parents’ meager funds. However, he hung around campus for a year and a half to audit creative courses, including classes on Shakespeare, dance, and calligraphy—these would help to shape his artistic worldview that influenced the innovation of the Macintosh computer. In his 2005 Stanford commencement speech, Jobs recalled: ‘If I had never dropped in on that single calligraphy course in college, the Mac would have never had multiple typefaces or proportionally spaced fonts.’ ”
Update: The application ended up selling for more than $174,000 at the auction.