Founded by the creator of the YOU DON’T KNOW JACK® game series, The Jellyvision Lab, Inc. creates virtual teachers, advisors, and salespeople who make online learning and decision making delightful. In all that we do, our goal is to make complex topics simple and boring material interesting, using a combination of great design, unexpectedly funny content, and serious technology.
Of all the virtual people Jellyvision has created, the tallest and least afraid of bears is ALEX (www.meetalex.com). ALEX helps companies talk their employees through the tricky choices they’ll have to make, like picking a health insurance plan, deciding how much to put in the 401(k), or whether they might want extra life insurance. Our customers love ALEX because he helps their employees figure out what’s best for their personal situations, which, in turn, saves our customers a boatload of time and money – everybody wins! As we sell more and more of ALEX, we need more and more non-virtual (i.e., real life) people to keep the virtual ones amazing. That’s where you come in.
THAT’S LOVELY… BUT WHAT’S THE JOB?
Great writing is what defines ALEX and makes our products unique. Our writers have an ear for how actual people actually speak in their actual lives. They are master explainers who create corporate communications with sensitivity both to the needs of our customers (the employers) and our end-users (their employees). And they can bring wit, playfulness, and unexpected humor to HR topics that lesser writers find intractably boring.
So what does an ALEX writer’s creative process look like? The first step is researching and understanding the topic that we need to explain. Then, the writer creates an outline for how best to communicate the key points, and gets the go-ahead from a number of internal stakeholders. Then comes the actual writing, which may include interactive conversations, videos, e-books, or whatever communication platform we can dream up next. Once everything is written and ready to go, the writer works with our design team to bring the scripts to life in a way that focuses on the user experience and adds visual wit to the writing. From time to time, previously produced work must be updated to accommodate changing regulations (Those jerks in Congress! Am I right?) or customer or end-user needs.
We look for Interactive Writers who can:
- Convey concepts creatively, logically, and concisely
- Get inside the minds of their audience
- Understand what’s inherently interesting and relevant about whatever they’re communicating
- Find the humor in any topic
- Dig deep into a number of different subjects related to healthcare and employee benefits. If you like asking questions until you figure out what makes a subject interesting, you’re the kind of writer we’re seeking.
OTHER THAN BEING A GREAT WRITER, WHAT KIND OF SKILLS SHOULD YOU HAVE?
To be a good fit for this role, you should:
Be audio-visually minded. This job is about writing for the ear, not the page. A number of your projects will involve stringing a voice actor’s recorded audio together and complementing it with on-screen text and animation to create a cohesive experience. Any background or dabbling in audio or film editing will come in handy (though it’s not required).
Be tech savvy. We won’t ask you to set up our wireless network or write code or anything, but you will be using complicated software that you’ve never used before (because we invented it). Thus, the ability to master new software is a must.
Have an interest in benefits or corporate communications. We’re looking to mine deep veins of raw natural talent, so rest assured that you don’t need 10 years of paid writing experience on your resume to be considered. However, since we’re helping companies communicate with their employees, we do want to see that you have an interest in doing that; you need to bring the smart, and you need to bring the funny, but what you’re bringing them to is corporate communications, so you really need to be interested in the challenge of making that kind of writing clear, impactful and delightful. If you’re looking at this posting and thinking “I could write stupid HR stuff to pay the bills while I finish my novel,” you’re not the right writer for us.
Some other important writer characteristics we’re looking for:
- Speed, efficiency, and the ability to meet deadlines.
- Exceptional creativity.
- Crazy attention to detail without being crazy (aka perfectionists who can meet deadlines)
- Excellent communication skills.
- Grace in giving and receiving criticism and feedback.
- Bilingual writers (English/Spanish) – if you’ve got native proficiency in both English and Spanish, we’d love to hear what you have to say in both languages.
- Last but not least, as we may have mentioned, you should be funny.
Yes. We only hire nice, bright, funny people who are willing to work hard. Jellyvision is a group effort and you must be capable of working collaboratively with creative, technical, and external client types. Everyone at Jellyvision shares a commitment to excellence and a desire to work in a comfortable, friendly atmosphere.
ARE THERE ANY PERKS? Yes, we love perks.
- Competitive pay, stock options and benefits. 401(k) with matching. And we pay 100% of the cost of premiums for medical, dental, vision, disability and life insurance for our employees (as long as you qualify for our tobacco-free discount; if you’re a tobacco user, your medical premiums will be higher than $0). We also cover a really nice chunk of the cost of premiums for spouse/partner/dependant medical, dental and vision insurance.
- Casual dress and a flexible schedule. Come in a sweatshirt, jeans, whatever, like everyone else here.
- Creative work environment. We are lucky to work in a place that is full of intelligent, talented and innovative folks. Although most hours the place is deathly quiet (we’re a focused bunch), this is punctuated with hilarious outbursts and general merriment, which makes a nice way to spend the day.
- Easy transportation. We’re really close to the “L” and the Halsted (#8) bus (right by the new Apple Store and Mega Whole Foods if that’s your kind of thing), and we have a transit FSA that allows you to dedicate pre-tax dollars to public transportation expenses. Since a number of our employees like to bike to work, we also have showers and lockers in the office.
- Did we mention our yoga class? We bring a pro instructor right to the office. Fully subsidized by Jellyvision and fully optional, btw.
- Oh! And you should know that we have a massage chair. And not just any massage chair, my friend. It’s the HumanTouch HT 5320 WholeBody™ Massage Chair. Feeling a little stiff? Sit down. Relax. Feel better? Good. Okay, back to work.
- Free food. Every week, we stock our kitchen with free healthy snack foods, and we have a “hot lunch” catered once a week to give people a reason to hang out and eat together.
We’re asking for 3 items, outlined below. Yeah, we know it’s a lot—but we take this process very seriously, and we can’t consider your application without each of the following:
1) Your resume.
2) A thoughtful cover letter that outlines why you’re right for this job, and from which we can get a sense of who you are. We weigh cover letters heavily – especially for writing positions like this one.
3) A writing sample. 250-400 words explaining what Medicare is.
Here are five qualities we’re really looking for in your sample:
- Ability to teach and explain using clear, everyday language (TIP: think of how you’d explain something to a bright 7th-grader)
- An innate understanding of how to structure a story
- Humor used on task (which means humor used to explain concepts, and not just for the sake of the humor itself). Put another way: don’t add funny around an explanation; the explanation should itself be funny
- Ability to use metaphor and example to explain complicated subjects
- Efficiency (hence, the 250-400 word limit)
Don’t write an interactive conversation. We just want to see a couple paragraphs where you explain what Medicare is in an interesting, engaging way. If it helps, imagine you work for a cool website, targeted at adults ages 50-65, that explains health care topics to laypeople, and you’ve been asked to write “Medicare 101” or “How Does Medicare Work, Anyway?” or some similarly titled piece. Please submit your cover letter and writing sample as one document where the system requests a cover letter.
If you decide to apply, please know that every complete application will be carefully reviewed. Seriously! We know it is a time commitment to prepare an application, and we respect that effort by thoughtfully reviewing every complete application and responding one way or the other. But that kind of thoughtful review means that it sometimes takes us awhile to get back to applicants, so please NO PHONE CALLS. The time we spend responding to phone calls and emails inquiring about where we are in the process is time that we could be spending actually moving the process along – so please be patient with us!
Simply put, Jellyvision is a kooky-yet-clever interactive marketing company, the spawn of a gaming company best known for creating the irreverent trivia game show You Don’t Know Jack. Since sprouting forth from Jack’s bald head in 2001, we have retained Jack’s sense of humor while embarking on our own mission of shifting the focus of the web from “navigation” to “conversation”. Basically, we want to make the internet more human (that can’t backfire, right? It’s not like the internet is going to become sentient). So we traded in the virtual game show host for a fleet of virtual salespeople, brokers, guidance counselors, and teachers who add personality and personalization to complex ideas that would be otherwise way too complicated or snooze-inducing.