OneSixtyFive, previously known as the Brunswick Inn, wants job seekers to write a personal essay. Credit: Christopher Cousins / BDN

A coastal Maine inn is looking to hire its first innkeeper to help with the expanding business. But to get this job, you’ll need to get creative.

To apply to the year-round position at OneSixtyFive in Brunswick, formerly known as the Brunswick Inn, you’ll need to submit a one-page essay or a two-minute video sharing who you are and why you’d be great at the job. The inn isn’t looking for a standard cover letter, though. They want someone to really wow them with a great personal essay.

“I just think it will be an interesting way to capture the right person’s attention,” owner Eileen Hornor said.

This comes at a time when Maine continues to struggle with a workforce crisis. Last fall, the Maine Economic Growth Council, which develops long-range economic plans for the state, released a report that listed labor shortages among the chief concerns for the state and that it was affecting nearly every sector.

The OneSixtyFive innkeeper will become the face of the inn, checking in guests, booking reservations, greeting pub and breakfast goers, and keeping up with email and phone correspondence, Hornor said. The pay is listed at being $70,000 to $90,000 per year, depending on experience. Applicants are due by June 15, Hornor said.

“It’s a wonderful old house. It has all the charm of what you think of in your mind when you think New England inn,” Hornor said.

This isn’t the first time an inn has held an essay contest. In 2015, the Center Lovell Inn hosted a successful essay contest to transfer ownership of the historic lodging. The idea caught on and a West Bath home and a Houlton movie theater, among other properties and businesses, were also offered via essay contest. Not all essay contests were successful and the trend eventually died out. This essay contest, though, it’s a little different: what’s at stake is a well-paying job at a historic inn.

The recently renovated OneSixtyFive includes three buildings. The main building was built in 1848 and has 15 rooms. There’s also a seven-room carriage house and a stand-alone cottage. There’s also Pub165, open in the evenings. The inn also recently began serving breakfast, which is open to the public, as well.

“People come back to OneSixtyFive over and over again because we see them, we hear them and we make them feel special. And I think we’re living in a world where that’s a rarity,” Hornor said.

The inn used to be known as the Brunswick Inn, but Hornor changed the name in November 2021 after completing renovations. A fire damaged part of the main building during the early part of the pandemic, and she felt like it was time for a change.

Interested in becoming a Maine innkeeper? Then get creative. Hornor isn’t looking for a run of the mill cover letter.

“I think a cover letter is more formulaic and a little bit drier than what I am expecting I will get from this. I have a feeling just the way I am going about this will inspire people to be creative in a way that they would probably be afraid to be with a normal cover level,” Hornor said.

Sarah Walker Caron

Sarah Walker Caron is the senior editor, features, for the Bangor Daily News and the editor of Bangor Metro magazine. She’s the author of “Classic Diners of Maine,” and five cookbooks including “Easy...