With the remainder of his savings account, armed only with a mustache and online marketing savvy, one man set forth on an epic quest to land a job at Google. That man’s name is Matthew Epstein. I’ve decided to create a blog post that chronicles my quest to land a job at Google. Bookmark this post and continue to check back as I update the world on my journey.
9/07/2011: “All good mustaches must come to an end.”
Well mustachios, three weeks and nearly half-a-million YouTube views later my quest to land my dream job has finally come to an end. In the past three weeks I’ve interviewed with many of the major tech companies in New York, Seattle and San Francisco. It’s been an incredible ride and an extremely humbling one to say the least. I received offers, rejections and everything in-between but in the end I was fortunate enough to have been given an offer that would allow me to fulfill my dream job.
While I’d love to dedicate all my success to my mustache, I am where I am today due largely in part to everyone out there who reached out to me with words of encouragement and support. Thousands of you jumped on this roller coaster ride with me and I can sincerely say this ride wouldn’t have been as fun without you. I originally started my journey hoping to get a job, but by the end of my quest my greatest goal was to inspire at least one person out there to either pursue their dream job or quit the job they hate to find the job they love. I hope the way in which I landed my job encourages everyone out there looking for work take risks and to fight for what you believe you’re worth.
I was only unemployed for a month but I personally know friends and family who have been unemployed for 6+ months. If there’s one thing I learned from my campaign it’s that you can’t give up when things seem hopeless. I know a lot of you out there don’t have the luxury of choosing your dream job and need to take any job you can get just to stay afloat. There’s nothing wrong or dishonorable about taking a job you don’t love or want because you need to support your family or yourself financially. However, once you’re financially stable again just remember that we only have one life to live, most of which is spent working – why spend all that time doing anything other than what it is you love to do?
Now, without further ado here’s the news that everyone has been waiting for:
TELL US ALREADY! DID GOOGLE HIRE YOU!?
No, Google didn’t hire me nor did they extend an offer to me. That’s right ladies and gentleman – the big G turned me down. Why you ask? I’ve thought a lot about it and in all honesty I don’t know why. Unfortunately Google didn’t tell me why I didn’t receive the job but in in their defense withholding that type of information is a pretty standard HR practice amongst large corporations.
Maybe it was my personality? Maybe it was my GPA? Maybe I answered a question wrong? Maybe I presented an incorrect solution to a theoretical problem? Maybe I didn’t do enough to verbalize my thought process? Maybe I posted something on my blog they didn’t like? From day one of my campaign I told you all I wasn’t entitled to a job at Google just because I dug into my savings and created a campaign for them. At the end of the day they judged me on the same criteria they judge every other candidate on and I didn’t meet those criteria – plain and simple. Regardless of the reasoning behind Google’s decision, I fully respect their choice and think no less of them. Google has great people and great products. Everyone at Google was nothing but kind to me – from the employees that e-mailed me with good luck wishes to the recruiters that made me sweat during my interviews.
So am I upset that Google rejected me? Honestly no, I’m not upset at all. The primary goal of my campaign was to land my dream job and the fact of the matter is that I’m now happily working at my new dream job in San Francisco. My secondary goal was to get Google to give me a call and a shot at an interview. Well, they called and gave me an interview and I’m indebted to them for giving me the opportunity to prove myself despite that the fact it didn’t lead to an offer.
Most importantly though the purpose if this campaign was to prove to myself that I’m a marketer and I did just that. No company or person can take that away from me.
WHERE DID I LAND MY DREAM JOB?
I, Matthew “The Mustache” Epstein, have decided to work for an innovative startup out in San Francisco called SigFig.
I’m not going to give you a sales pitch, so if you’d like to learn more about SigFig you can watch this video or you can visit www.sigfig.com to get notified once it launches. What I would like to tell you is why I turned down two household-name tech companies to join a smaller company like SigFig.
SigFig has the same three “dream-job” qualities I looked for in Google. They have a great team that I can learn immensely from, they have a product I’m passionate about and most importantly the product itself has the potential to impact millions of people’s lives in a very positive way. I joined because I believe in the product and their business model, but I also joined because of what they’re fighting for – bringing transparency to the investment world. I really can’t wait for SigFig to launch so I can show and tell you all how that new level of transparency will help everyone from new investors to seasoned investors invest better.
Some of you haters out there probably think SigFig was my fall back choice since Google didn’t hire me. That really couldn’t be further from the truth. If Google extended an offer to me I honestly may have declined in order to take the job at SigFig. That’s how much I believe in the product and that’s how much their mission resonates with me. It was a huge risk for me to join a relatively unknown startup instead of setting up shop at one of two tech giants that extended offers to me. Guess what though mustachios, sometimes the greatest risks in life are the greatest ones worth taking.
Today was my first day at SigFig and there’s already no doubt in my mind I made the right choice. Whatever you think my reasons were for joining SigFig were, I can tell you I woke up happy to go to work and I went home even happier. Waking up happy to go to work and leaving work happy to go to work the next day – if that’s not a dream job then I don’t know what is.
WHATS NEXT FOR MATTHEW EPSTEIN AND HIS MUSTACHE?
It saddens me to tell you all this but it’s time to retire my mustache. Yes, it’s true; all good mustaches must come to an end. While I thoroughly enjoyed my 15 minutes of fame I’m eager to get back to the real world. Now that I’ve landed my dream job I want to fully dedicate myself to what it is I fought so hard to get the chance to do; marketing. Even though my quest to land my dream job has come to a close, my quest to successfully market SigFig has just begun. I’m going to prove to the naysayers that I’m not just a man with a mustache, I’m a marketer too.
So for those of you who’d like to continue following me on Twitter don’t expect to see anymore mustache quips or references to scotch. For now on you’ll most likely see the real Matthew Epstein posting LOLcat’s, marketing insights and blog articles.
It’s been a blast mustachios, may the mustache be with you.
FINAL CAMPAIGN METRICS.
- …RECEIVED MY DREAM JOB!
- …received 80 interview offers and engaged in phone and in-person interviews with Google, Amazon, Microsoft and Salesforce (among others).
- …received over 400,000 unique visits and 720,000 page views for www.googlepleasehire.me
- …received 36,000% increase in visitor traffic for my personal blog www.matthew-epstein.com
- …received over 450,000 YouTube views.
- …received over 17,000 Facebook Likes, 4,800 Tweets and 4,100 Google +’s
- …receiver over 3,300 new Twitter followers.
- …received over 80 career opportunities from startups, Fortune 1000, 500 and 100 companies as well as Microsoft, Amazon and Google.
- …received over 20 offers to monetize my brand/viral success (I declined all 20 offers).
- …received over 550 LinkedIn requests and e-mails
- …received and personally responded to over 2,000 e-mails from people all across the world thanking me, wishing me luck and giving me words of encouragement.
- …received print, online and TV coverage across the world. From TV news appearances in Atlanta and San Francisco to online news articles in TechCrunch, Gizmodo, Hacker News, UOL (the biggest newspaper in Brazil), Sueddeutsche (a big newspaper in Germany) all the way to Social Media Berlin where I’ll be used as a social media case study. There’s literally dozens upon dozens of other articles and interviews (Washington Post, Wall Street Journal…).
8/25/2011: “If you know what you’re worth then go out and get it.”
“You, me, or nobody is gonna hit as hard as life. But it ain’t how hard you hit; it’s about how hard you can get hit, and keep moving forward. How much you can take and keep moving forward. That’s how winning is done.”
So am I the newest addition to Googz team? Unfortunately I’m going make you all wait a bit longer to find out because I’ll be announcing my dream job next week on YouTube. The reason I made a pre-announcement was to give hope to those of you out there looking for a job, your dream job or doing what you need to do to leave the job you hate for the job you love. Don’t give up! Keep fighting! I met two people on my travels that took the hits but didn’t let life keep them down.
One of them wanted to work at Boeing but couldn’t get a response. Instead of giving up he/she then proceeded to send their application once a day every day for a year. Guess what? He/she got the job because they took the hit of rejection but kept moving forward. The other person I met got rejected TWICE from their dream job. They didn’t stay down though, they created a comprehensive sales strategy and sent it directly to the head of sales and got hired the next day. THAT’s how winning is done mustachios and mustachias.
“Now, if you know what you’re worth, then go out and get what you’re worth. But you gotta be willing to take the hits, and not pointing fingers saying you ain’t where you are because of him, or her, or anybody.”
I got rejected by companies before my campaign and I got rejected by companies after my campaign. The fact is if you get rejected you can’t go around blaming the company or your circumstances. The only thing you can do is work harder to prove to them what you’re worth. If they don’t see what you’re worth then go out there and find a company who does see what you’re worth or start your own company and show them what they missed out on. Give them the big metaphorical finger. What drives most entrepreneurs isn’t the money or the success; it’s proving the peanut gallery wrong. Sulking and complaining won’t get you a job; it’ll only get you a migraine.
You can’t fail if you get rejected from a job because they’re not even giving you the chance to fail or succeed. The only way you can fail is if you get a job and don’t meet your goals. So for those of you out there who know what you’re worth but can’t seem to land the job just remember the only way you can fail is if you give up.
STAY TUNED FOR MY FINAL VIDEO ANNOUNCEMENT OF WHERE I LANDED MY DREAM JOB!
8/20/2011: The Mustached Marketer My Mustache knows I Can Be.
I’ve got some good news and I’ve got some bad news. The bad news is that I’ve decided not to post anymore details about my journey until I’ve agreed upon an offer and am ready to publically announce the who, what, where and when of my new dream job. The good news is that my journey for my dream job will soon be coming to an end. Within the next week and a half I’ll be receiving all of my job offers and rejections. Once I’ve heard back from each company I’ll be taking a step back to assess all the offers on the table. After I’ve had enough time to weigh the pros and cons of each opportunity I’ll make my final decision and announce it here on my blog.
It’s not going to be easy to make a final decision. All of the companies I’ve interviewed with are amazing, the opportunities they’ve presented me with are incredible and the products they develop are world class. My potential job offers range from innovative start-ups with renowned investors to some of the biggest names in tech. From Googlers to ex-Googlers, VP’s of the largest tech companies on Earth and even big name serial entrepreneurs I’ve had a once in a life time opportunity to be interviewed by and pick the brains of the best and brightest in the tech industry. If I’m fortunate enough to receive an offer from just one of the companies I interviewed with I’ll consider myself the luckiest man on Earth.
Since I’m not going to spill the beans on Google just yet, I’ll throw you mustachios and mustachias a bone and tell you how I feel my interviews have gone so far. Every single interview has been challenging, thought provoking and far from a home run on my end. I’m fairly certain I struck out on a question here and there but I personally believe I did my best for someone who has never interviewed with Fortune 100 corporations or Summa Cum Laude Harvard graduates before. The great thing about the high caliber of these interviews is that they’ve forced me to verbalize my thought process and approach problems in ways I’m not used to. Getting the chance to vet my interviewing techniques’ in such challenging environments has been invaluable for me.
So while I highly doubt any of these companies will hire me based off my remarkable interview talent, I do believe (and hope) that I was able to show them that even though I don’t have a degree from an Ivy League college or 15+ years on my resume I have the passion, will and raw marketing talent needed to be an effective marketer. The fact of the matter is that the companies I’m speaking to don’t see me as a marketing guru nor are they interested in offering me a senior position. What they’re interested in is giving me a chance, a chance to learn, work hard and prove that if given the proper mentors and resources needed to foster my talents I can grow within the company and become a marketing leader in 3-5 years.
While that’s all well and good, I know there are still a lot of unanswered questions. Did Google interview me in person? Did Google offer me a job? Am I thinking about taking a job with someone besides Google? Once I finalize an agreement I promise that all your questions shall be answered. So as I wait to hear back from recruiters I can only sit and hope that one of these companies will take a chance on me and help me grow into the mustached marketer my mustache knows I can be.
Matthew Epstein “The Google Guy”
8/15/2011: BIG Google Quest Update Coming This Friday
In the meantime mustachios, check out this video and see why it’s so important to settle for nothing less then your dream job.
8/11/2011: The Day of Reckoning
While I wait for a call/e-mail from Google I figured I’d use this post to address some things people are asking me about.
NEW CAMPAIGN METRICS
8 days after launching www.googlepleasehire.me I…
- …received over 300,000 unique visits and 640,000 page views for www.googlepleasehire.me/ and shockingly 36% of my traffic came from direct traffic (typing in the URL) which seems to suggest strong brand/campaign awareness outside of social sharing and news articles.
- …received 20,000% increase in visitor traffic for www.matthew-epstein.com
- …received over 330,000 YouTube views
- …received over 14,000 Facebook Likes, 4,000 Tweets and 3,600 Google +’s
- …receiver over 2,500 new Twitter followers (I <3 my Twitter mustachios!)
- …received over 80 career opportunities from startups, Fortune 1000, 500 and 100 companies as well as Microsoft, Amazon and Google.
- …received over 20 offers to monetize my brand/viral success (I declined all 20 offers).
- …received over 400 LinkedIn requests and e-mails
- …received and personally responded to over 1,500 e-mails from people all across the world thanking me, wishing me luck, giving me words of encouragement, providing me advice and telling me the campaign was inspirational (my mustache and I would like to personally thank who contact us – you’re all gentleman and scholars in our book).
- …received print, online and TV coverage across the world. From TV news appearances in Atlanta and San Francisco to online news articles in TechCrunch, Gizmodo, Hacker News, UOL (the biggest newspaper in Brazil), Sueddeutsche (a big newspaper in Germany) all the way to Social Media Berlin where I’ll be used as a social media case study. There’s literally dozens upon dozens of other articles and interviews (Washington Post, Wall Street Journal…) but I think this short list gets the point across.
Campaign fun facts:
- 39% of visitors viewed my website in Chrome. I guess it should come as no surprise that I applied to Google and Chrome was the most used browser. Does that mean lots of Google employees visited the website? I can only hope.
- Besides the United States (97,000 visits), Brazil generated the most traffic for the website with 29,000 visits! Eu amo Brasil! The UK and Germany followed close behind.
- At the start of the campaign I created two e-mail folders, one for positive e-mails and one for negative e-mails. After doing the math 89% of the e-mails I received had positive sentiment. Way to show the haters all you lovers out there!
- Only 25,000 of you (8%) visited the site more than once. I don’t blame you! One can only watch a bad actor with a mustache but so many times.
- According to YouTube insights only 17% of the viewers were female. I’m a bit hurt by this data. I had assumed women would have been fonder of my pasty legs and mop top haircut.
- Apparently my video is more popular in Poland, Slovenia (really?) and Germany then it is in the US. Clearly I need to move to Europe.
FREE CAREER GUIDANCE AND LEADERSHIP
At the end of my last post I promised to provide career guidance (as best I could) by way of 15 minute Skype sessions. The response has been great! Over 50 of you and counting have reached out to me for help, advice and tips on how to build your brand and land a job. As all 50 of you know (because I e-mailed you back) I plan on e-mailing you with a date and time to meet once I get my life back in order. I encourage anyone who is interested in speaking with me about creating a personal brand or looking for ways to improve your CV to e-mail me and request a 15 minute session. As a reminder this offer expires 8/12/2011, so act fast!
On a side note, I’ve decided to use Google+ to conduct these 15 minute sessions. I’m applying for a job at Google, so it only seems logical that I’d use Google+ hangout! If you don’t have a Google+ account no worries – I have 150 invites to give out!
MY THOUGHTS ON NON-TRADITIONAL JOB APPLICATIONS
After doing dozens of interviews over the past week and a half I noticed that one question seemed to come up over and over again; “What advice do you have for those looking to creatively apply for a job.”
BE YOU AND DO WHAT YOU DO BEST
If there’s one thing I don’t want this campaign to lead to its copy cats. The last thing recruiters need is 1,000,000 men and women sending HR videos and photos of themselves with facial hair and no pants. Creatively applying for a job doesn’t require humor nor does it require outrageous stunts (like shipping a cardboard cutout of you to Google).
For example if you’re a shy programmer don’t send a whacky video like mine to a recruiter. A whacky video doesn’t accurately portray your personality (shy) but more importantly it doesn’t do anything to demonstrate what you do best – programming. So how should a shy programmer creatively apply to his dream job at Google? Well, if he’s being himself and he’s doing what he does best the shy programmer should create an awesome program, application or mobile app that demonstrates his abilities in a way that recruiters have never seen before.
If I were that shy programmer I’d create an awesome Android app that serves as a resume, a portfolio and a showcase for the cool things I could do with the technology that Google is currently looking to leverage. Imagine creating an Android app built for no other purpose then to get a Google recruiters attention and to show them not through or references that you have the chops, but actually showing them through hard work and a real app that you have what takes.
The reason I created www.googlepleasehire.me was to demonstrate what I do best – marketing. Even though my campaign didn’t directly mention my marketing skills, the campaign itself was meant to act as both my resume and my portfolio. By doing what I do best I was able to show recruiters at Google a live example of what I can bring to the table and ways in which I can add value to their organization. By personalizing my campaign for Google I was able to provide them with tangible examples of how I could apply my messaging, positioning, branding, ability to create exposure, etc. to their business.
So remember to always be you and to do what you do best!
KNOW YOUR AUDIENCE
The key to great marketing is about understanding your audience. If you’re applying for a job, always remember to keep your audience (the company) in mind. Do you think my campaign would succeed had I used the same video to get hired at a prestigious law firm? I have a sneaking suspicion that the law firm of Epstein & Epstein wouldn’t have made me a partner. So remember: whatever company you’re applying to make sure your creative CV fits the personality and image of that company.
DON’T DEPEND ON YOUR JOB TO BUILD YOUR PORTFOLIO
A lot of college kids who are just graduating and even a lot of people who have held a job for a few years either don’t have good portfolio pieces or don’t have a large quantity of portfolio to show recruiters. For those of you depending on your job to build portfolio pieces STOP WAITING. A portfolio piece is simply an example of what it is you’re capable of. Why do you need to wait for a project at work to create a great project that can serve as a portfolio piece?
If you’re someone who doesn’t have a strong portfolio (like I was when I graduated college) use your weekends or time after to create portfolio pieces that you’re proud of. If you manage to capture a recruiters attention with your creative application you’re going to have to prove you’re not a one-trick pony so be sure to have portfolio pieces ready!
ALWAYS REMEMBER YOUR RESUME IS READ BY PEOPLE, NOT MACHINES
I’ve received a ton of e-mail from recruiters commending me for applying in an alternative manner. The fact of the matter is that the people reading your resume are just like you. They like to be entertained, wowed, intrigued, mystified, etc. Before you submit your job applications (or whatever else you’re doing to apply) remember to think to yourself “would this catch my attention’” or “would this interest me?” If the answer is no then you probably need to go back to the drawing board.
GETTING THE EMPLOYERS ATTENTION IS ONLY HALF THE BATTLE
So you sent a cardboard cutout of yourself and got Google’s attention. GREAT! Neither I nor anyone will be hired based on a single act (or mustache for that matter). You have to make sure you actually have experience and real projects to show for the position you’re applying for. You need to display confidence in your abilities, you need to prep for interviews and you need to know the company you’re interviewing with inside and out.
So don’t forget, while there is creative ways to catch an employer’s attention it still takes good old fashioned hard work to demonstrate you’re the man or woman for the job.
BELIEVE IN YOURSELF AND YOUR ABILITIES
Never give up on yourself or doubt what you’re capable of. If you creatively apply for a job and don’t get hired don’t give up! Maybe you had an off day the day of your interview or maybe the recruiter failed to see your potential. For whatever reason you don’t get hired always remember that in this world nothing worth having comes easy. You have to fight for it.
HATER MAIL OF THE DAY (I’m intrigued. What’s the starting pay and benefits? Do I get dental?)
LOL OF THE DAY (I think he kind of missed the point of my campaign. Can someone please inform him I’m LOOKING TO GET HIRED at Google, not actually HIRING FOR Google?)
WTF OF THE DAY (Hmm. So apparently I decided not to work for Google and instead work for a fashion website. Interesting. )
8/07/2011: Achieving a Phone Interview & How I’ll Pay It Forward.
(My brother bought me this t-shirt yesterday to congratulate me on the success of the campaign.)
Top of the morning to all you mustachios out there with, without or thinking of one day growing a mustache! Sorry for the gap in updates, I’ve been a bit overwhelmed. For those of you following my mini-saga you know I had a second phone call with Google on Friday. Judging by the fact they didn’t hang up on me and want to schedule my FIRST PHONE INTERVIEW early next week seems to indicate it went over well. I’m so excited about the opportunity they presented to me. It’s right down my alley! Among other skills, this job description will allow me to hone a marketing tool I’ve really wanted to improve upon or a long time; data analysis and analytics. The position will also allow me to explore and understand what I really want to do both at Google and in the technology world in general.
If my first phone interview goes well next week there may be one more phone interview, and if that goes well they said they’d like to fly me down for an in person interview! I also have calls scheduled with Microsoft, Amazon and several big name start-up’s throughout the week to discuss opportunities that I can’t wait to learn more about. It’s so surreal that I started this campaign nearly two months ago to land a job at Google and now I’m days away from my first interview. Can someone please pinch me? I’m pretty sure I’m still dreaming. I guess I can’t be dreaming though because I’m still 5’8…if I was dreaming I’m pretty sure I’d be more around the lines of 6’1.
Now that I’ve updated you all on my mini-saga I’d like to say one last time how humbling, genuine and sincere the outreach has been since this campaign started. I’ve received e-mails from people around the world – literally from Japan, to Brazil, Poland and even Australia wishing me good luck, giving me advice and often times just offering up sincere words of encouragement. My phone bill will probably be $1,000 this month (I wish I was being hyperbolic, but I’m not) because I’ve received dozens upon dozens of calls from all types of people who want to do nothing more other than wish me good luck and tell me my campaign inspired them. It means a lot to me and I want you all to know that – that’s why I’ve personally responded to over 800 e-mails (some responses ranging from a few sentences to a few pages) and plan on getting around to responding to all 300+ LinkedIn e-mails and requests (sorry I haven’t gotten to everyone on LinkedIn yet!). I’ve also received a crazy amount of Google+ adds and I’m getting to you too, I promise!
In addition to the good luck well-wishers there have been a lot of people e-mailing me asking for help, tips and advice. These are people who were in my exact position 4 weeks ago. In other words they are hardworking, dedicated and driven job seekers who can’t seem to land a job, let alone their dream job. You’ve all been so gracious to me I think it’s only right that I return the favor. I want to return the favor by helping you all in any way I can (within reason of course). Whether you want me to give you tips on how to create a sexy resume template or just general advice on what to do to create a brand for yourself – shoot me an e-mail either through this website or http://googlepleasehire.me and we’ll schedule a 15 minute Skype session to talk.
I obviously can’t do this forever, so if you’re interested in reaching out to me with questions or requests for guidance please be sure to contact me by Friday (8/12/2011). If you don’t contact me before 8/12/2011 I’m afraid I won’t be able to help you – I’ll have absolutely no bandwidth. For those of you that contact me I ask you to please be patient, I promise I will respond to your e-mail. Think of this as my way of giving back to everyone who has given so much to me by sharing my campaign and helping me get to my first phone interview with Google. It’s only a 15 minute Skype session, but I’d like to do whatever I can to pay it forward and help increase the the odds of you landing a job.
On a side note I’ll be updating my quest on Monday with the latest campaign metrics. They are sort of hard to believe. I can’t wait to share them with you.
Monday approaches so stay tuned mustachios!
8/05/2011: “Yesterday was Thursday. Today is Friday. It’s Friday.”
This quest has taught me that the universe has a great sense of humor. 5 minutes before my Google call a Microsoft staffing agent calls to talk about potential opportunities. My favorite part is that shortly after my call with Google I get a call from Amazon who’s also interested in speaking about potential opportunities. I used to believe that the greatest moment of my life was the first time I ate Ben and Jerry’s Phish Food …but that’s all changed. Receiving three consecutive calls from the largest tech companies in the world is now the greatest moment of my life. NOTE: To the companies I’m in talks with please rest assured I’ll never reveal names or details of our talks. My goal is only to update people on my current job status, the progress of my interviews and ultimately whether or not I’ve been hired.
Lastly I’d like to reaffirm one thing. Google, Microsoft and Amazon nor any other company who has contacted me has promised me a shortcut or express ticket to a job. Everyone has kept the playing field level and rightly so. In fact every communication I’ve had so far with recruiters has followed industry standards. While some of you believe I’m undeservingly receiving a job from my campaign, it’s important to keep in mind that the only thing I’m receiving from this campaign is a FIRST STAGE interview. Getting hired at Google or any other big tech company can take months and I can assure you if my answers, portfolio and experience aren’t up to par they won’t turn a blind eye and hire me just because I created a viral video based on a fake mustache.
8/04/2011: This is Dedicated to The Haters
Some of you may think I’m responding to the haters because I’m a brat and can’t take criticism. The truth is, whether you believe me or not, I wanted to comment on the hating because I didn’t want those of you out there trying to find a job in a new or creative way to become discouraged.
My campaign wasn’t brilliant, it wasn’t revolutionary. I’m not the greatest marketer that ever lived nor will I ever be. My website won’t win any awards and videos of kittens yawning will continue to gain 10x as many views as my video. I believe that the reason this campaign resonated with people is because I actually did it. I didn’t just think about it, I acted on it. There is no doubt in my mind 90% of the people who saw my campaign have thought of creative ways to land a job that were better and smarter than mine. The only thing separating me and them is that they didn’t go through with it for one reason or another; fear of failure, a lack of confidence in their abilities, who knows?
It’s the haters out there who discourage the hundreds of people who e-mailed me with their support saying that putting myself on the line like that inspired them. It’s the haters who keep the next great CV from being created. The reason I’m responding to the haters’ comments, beyond defending myself, is to show everyone out there that no matter what you do or how well you do it someone out there is going to hate you and consider you a failure. My story exploded in popularity thanks to Hacker News. The people commenting in the Hacker News forum were the biggest haters of them all and guess what? THEY’RE THE REASON MY STORY WENT NUMBER ONE. If I owe my success to anyone it’s actually the haters! Thank you haters.
So for those of you out there looking to send a CV with no pants or whatever it is you’re planning to do creatively to get hired don’t listen to anyone. Do it because you believe in your idea and because you have fun doing it. If you’re out of work don’t settle on a job just because you need the cash. Before you settle at least TRY to apply for a job in a way which you’ve never done before. If you don’t get hired then get whatever job you can if the cash is needed. But never stop trying to get the job you really want.
The difference between a doer and hater is that the doer actually does it. The hater wishes they did it. So go out there and find some way to land your dream job – with our without pants.
YOUR RESUME SHOWS YOU GOT FIRED AND CAN’T KEEP A JOB.
First off I’d like to address those saying I haven’t held a job. I free lanced with big brands for over two years in college and worked at a digital agency for nearly 3 years. I left the agency, which I loved, for my most recent job; the only job I stayed less than a year at.
My most recent employment ended ½ months ago. It was an amiable parting. I didn’t quit and I wasn’t fired. The products I marketed were profitable and they were pleased with my performance. It was an agreed upon separation due to the fact the change in their product lines no longer matched my skill sets or interests. So I started looking for new jobs. The company I’m referring to is fantastic and has some of the nicest people I’ve ever worked with. They have a 90% client retention rate and continue to do great things. In fact I called the founder today to thank him for encouraging me to purse the Google project.
I CANT BELIEVE YOUR CAMPAIGN COST $3,000 AND THAT’S ALL YOU DID
First off it didn’t cost $3,000. $3,000 is what I had budgeted for INCLUDING the marketing stunts I had planned on doing. Well, I never did them. The actual cost of everything was $1,200. I paid Impact Design Works for some dev help and my two friends Judith Prays (directed the video) and Caroline Smith (cinematographer) to create the video.
Keep in mind I did everything myself – the website, video, design work, business cards and more. Most people can’t do all of those things without paying someone else to do it. You may be able to, but most people can’t. $1,200 to do what I did is pretty cheap in my book. Tell me how many agencies drive 200,000 hits to a website in 36 hours for $1,200. The funny thing is that it’s not even about the money. It’s about being creative and hustling as hard as you can within YOUR budget. These guys used Twitter to land a job for free. I had to hustle to do this for $1,200. The Twitter guys above had to hustle and did it for $0. At the end of the day it’s about how hard you’re willing to hustle – regardless of cost.
YOU’RE ALL TALK. YOU CREATED THIS CAMPAIGN BECAUSE YOU HAVE NO REAL SKILLS OR EXPERIENCE.
Let me begin by saying the only reason I created this campaign was to challenge myself and land a job. It wasn’t to prove to anyone but myself that I understood how to use the marketing mix. The fact people insulted my marketing capabilities as they talked about my campaign on a post that’s sitting on the front page of one of the biggest tech blog’s in the US is almost laughable.
As far as experience goes you’re absolutely right. 5 years in the field really isn’t very impressive. It’s a problem a lot of job seekers have. They believe they have the skills to add value to a company like Google but don’t have the years on paper to back it up. So what should a person in that situation do? Should they work for 10 years in jobs that stunt their professional growth to achieve the special number “10” or should they find creative new ways to PROVE to companies like Google that they have enough raw natural talent to be of value. I’ll be the first to say that I’m not a master marketer, not even close. If those who made this comment would have read my website they’d have seen I admit to having a lot to learn. The whole POINT of working for a company LIKE Google isn’t for the salary or the free food – it’s about the access to their human capital. It’s about getting to sit down with a guy at lunch 10x smarter than you and getting the chance to learn something new.
You can call me a shitty marketer (in fact a lot of self-proclaimed marketers out there said I was nothing more than buzzwords with nothing to back it up) but the fact is that you read about my story and became engaged enough to spend time commenting on it. That act alone should have shown you that regardless of whether or not I have marketing skills, the marketing I used for this campaign worked. I’d like to post a challenge to those saying I’m a talentless hack. If your skills are better than do what I did and land your dream job. I’m not even upset at your negativity. I’m more upset at the fact that the time you could be spending putting your skills to use to land your dream job are being wasted insulting a complete stranger. I sincerely want everyone who commented on my campaign to land their dream job but they can’t do it if they’re too busy trying to take away mine.
YOU’RE WASTING YOUR TALENT ON BIG COMPANIES LIKE GOOGLE. IF YOU WANTED A REAL CHALLENGE YOUD JOIN A STARTUP.
Who said I’m not going to join a start-up soon or in the future? I’ve turned down dozens of start-up opportunities today not because of the fact they’re startups – it’s the fact their product doesn’t resonate with me. Google’s products resonate with me. I use them. You probably use them. My passion for marketing is directly tied to my passion for the product. If a start-up approached me with a product I believed in more than Android I’d take it. The fact of the matter is though that I really love android.
YOUR VIDEO ISNT FUNNY. YOUR VIDEO IS BORING. YOUR VIDEO SUCKS.
Gizmodo among many others are less than thrilled about my video. You’re probably thinking I’m pissed at them but I’m not…I actually AGREE with their commentary. I don’t think the video is very funny and my acting definitely won’t win me an Oscar. To be honest with you I myself think the video is kind of boring. Could it have been funnier if I hired a real actor? Definitely. Would the lines have been cleverer if I had hired a copy writer? Absolutely. Guess what though? They’re not applying to Google, I am and I am neither an actor nor a screenwriter.
That was the first time I had ever acted in my life. I have no dreams of walking the red carpet. I’m applying to Google not Julliard. You think my acting sucks? Well, I do too! And as far as the weak jokes? Guess what? My punchlines were indeed pretty weak. Again, I’m applying for a marketing position I’m not fighting for a spot on stage at the local stand up club. We shot the video in less than 4 hours and only had two chances at filming each scene. I spent 400 bucks on the video and that was to pay my friends to help me. You’re right, the quality wasn’t the greatest. But this isn’t Hollywood.
The people who are focusing so heavily on the video are missing the point. First and foremost it’s the CONCEPT behind the video. The people who LIKE the video like the CONCEPT. They respect the fact I applied clichés like mustaches and fireside chats to a CV for one of the largest companies in the world. It’s true, the video isn’t stellar. In fact I’d say it’s mediocre at best. Before you trash the video though (which you have every right to do) take a look at it in context of the larger campaign.
I created an entire website that pulled from Google’s elements. I used copy and positioning that spoke directly to my audience; Google. Whether you went to my Facebook, Twitter, Resume or whatever else I had my name on it was branded, messaged and positioning towards them. What I wanted people to notice, and what I think most people did notice, was the scope of what I had done and how much detail I had put into it – FOR JUST ONE COMPANY. I literally spent four weeks creating EVERYTHING around ONE COMPANY. If four weeks of work didn’t pay off I’d be screwed. But I took the risk. I think the thousands of people who have privately sent their support and kind words to me understand that fact and respect it.
There are haters and then there are those who just miss the point like I believe Gizmodo did by focusing on one element of a larger campaign. To the haters (not Gizmodo as they did actually provide CONSTRUCTIVE criticism rather than just pure hate) I challenge you to take a risk.
8/03/2011: So I Woke Up At 4 A.M. to Go to the Bathroom and…
…I noticed a sharp spike in my tweets, up significantly from the mere 30 tweets I had prior to going to sleep. As I blindly shuffled to the bathroom in the dark, my cellphone in hand, I checked my e-mail and noticed someone had given me a heads up that I was #1 on Hacker News. I almost didn’t make it to the bathroom because I knew that post would be the match that lit the fire. Shortly thereafter a blogger from TechCrunch generously covered my quest. From that point onward the past 15 hours can only be described as the most exciting, happy and surreal time of my life. Before I go any further though I need to sincerely thank TechCrunch, Hacker News and all of the people that shared my campaign and contacted me with words of encouragement. Without that winning recipe of media coverage and social media support I’d still be a weirdo with no pants searching for a job. Seriously, thanks to all of you.
HAS GOOGLE HIRED ME AND/OR CONTACTED ME YET?
Google HR/Staffing has yet to informally or formally contact me. I’m not complaining; I’m just answering the question everyone’s been asking. What I CAN say is that dozens upon dozens of non-HR Googlers e-mailed me today with their support, encouragement and kudos. I’m permanently indebted to the men and women at Google who contacted me today. Even if I don’t get the job, the fact you all went out of your way to help a complete stranger speaks volumes. So for the record, as of 5:36PM EST I have yet to be contacted by anyone from Google HR about a job or an interview. Tomorrow is a brand new day though!
DO YOU HAVE ANY CAMPAIGN METRICS AVAILABLE?
I know marketers love data, so here are the latest campaign stats as of 5:36PM EST. In the past 36 hours I have:
- Received over 100,000 visits by day two. 95,000 of those were unique visitors.
- Received over 90,000 YouTube visits by day two.
- Received over 4,000 Facebook Likes, 3,000 Tweets and 1,500 Google +’s
- Received over 150 LinkedIn requests and my LinkedIn profile has been viewed close to 400 times.
- Received over 60 interviews requests from all types of companies – big, small and start-up. There are several which I won’t mention but are significant both in size and prestige among the technology community. I’m excited to have received all 50+ requests though, regardless of their stature in the community.
- The full list is too long to post, but my story has been covered in outlets such as Hacker News, TechCrunch, SF Chronicle, Yahoo Finance, Bloomberg, Washington Post, local Atlanta news websites, BusinessInsider, BusinessJournal and so on. I also appeared on my Local TV station and CBS5 San Fran News.
- Approached by numerous TV stations and media outlets requesting an interview.
- Unfortunately I can’t give any data around my YouTube video yet as the counter has yet to refresh and I can’t provide any data yet around my website analytics as those metrics haven’t refreshed either. I’ll post the stats here tonight once I receive them.
- My favorite part is that I’ve received hundreds upon hundreds of calls, e-mails and tweets from complete strangers who have no motive other than congratulating me, wishing me luck and asking for advice. Of everything that’s happened to me today, it’s these communications that mean the most to me.
- If anyone wants to know any other metrics feel free to ask.
HOW DID YOU GET THE IDEA FOR GOOGLE PLEASE HIRE ME?
As soon as I left my job I jumped right onto LinkedIn and started looking for work. The problem was NO ONE was responding to my applications. I felt as though I was qualified for the positions I applied for but all I got back in return was silence. After a week of nothing I sat at my computer and literally yelled “CAN SOMEONE PLEASE HIRE ME ALREADY?” The INSTANT I heard myself yell PLEASE HIRE ME I went on GoDaddy, searched for www.googlepleasehire.me and purchased the domain that very moment. At the time I had NO idea what I was going to do with the domain or why I even bought it…but that’s when the building started. Over course of a few days I began shaping the idea and concept and spent the next 4 weeks using my savings to do nothing but build. Build, build, and build. From the website, to the video, to the branding and messaging all I could do was build. I was obsessed.
WHY DID YOU CREATE THE CAMPAIGN?
Ultimately I created http://googlepleasehire.me as a way of proving to myself whether or not I actually had what it took to be a marketer. I had been rejected by so many companies during that two week period that I felt the need to prove to myself, almost remind myself, that I was worthy of being in the profession. This project was only intended for two purposes – to create something I was proud of and to land a job at Google. At the very least I know I accomplished my first goal.
I didn’t create the website or the video for 15 minutes of fame. After my employer and I parted ways I had this uncontrollable urge to create SOMETHING, ANYTHING. Right out of college I joined corporate America. I had worked in the cubicle environment for so long that I had forgotten what it was like to just sit down for hours on end and just build. No meetings, no managers, no deadlines – just me and whatever I was creating at the moment. From the cardboard cutout to the other marketing stunts I had planned I did it because I loved doing it, it was fun and I believed it would work.
I’m not looking to become the next OldSpice guy. I love my video character and it’s really fun talking with all of you in his brand voice but I don’t want him to define who I am. All I want is a job that allows me to work with people smarter than myself, that challenges me and that fosters my creativity and passion. It may be Google, it may not be. So what’s next for me? A job.
In addition to Google I’ll be reaching out to everyone who has contacted me with interview opportunities. There’s quite a few of you and I’m trying to get around to all your e-mails ASAP so please bear with me. I can’t wait to speak to all of you about any potential opportunities you may have for me.
LASTLY, I’D LIKE TO CLEAR SOME THINGS UP
- A lot of people and articles are saying I’m Canadian because of the line in my video. Rest easy Canada, I’m American. You can retain your dignity.
- I’m not sure why but a lot of people seemed to think the recommendations on my homepage are fake. I can assure you those are all real recommendations written by real employers.
- I’m not sure how this started but a lot of media outlets are calling me Michael. My name’s Matthew…but Michael works too I guess.
- I’ve gotten a lot of flak for not being on Google+ and rightly so. I’ll be sharing my Google+ details tonight or tomorrow.
- I have personally responded to every single (e-mail, tweet and LinkedIn request I’ve received. The fact that someone, anyone, took time out of their day to message me deservers my full attention and respect. I really want everyone to know who’s received a message from me that it was genuine and not copied and pasted. I’ve even responded to the hater e-mails because haters deserve a response too. I’m still working through e-mails so if you haven’t heard back from me yet trust me you will.
- For those of you calling my cellphone from private numbers then insulting me or yelling a profanity could you PLEASE do me a favor? If you’re going to waste 5 seconds of my time, can you at least make your prank a bit more creative? Try an insult with a punch line maybe? Let’s get beyond one word insults. I believe in you.
With day three of my campaign coming to a close, I once again stand back in awe and admiration of where this has gone and how supportive friends, family and complete strangers have been. If there’s one thing I’d like people to take away from today’s post it’s my sincerity and my gratitude for each and every one of you who tweeted my campaign on my behalf, sent me words of encouragement or offered me exciting new opportunities.
I can’t wait to see what tomorrow brings. Stay tuned mustachios.
BONUS LOL – A SCREENCAP FROM MY FAVORITE HATE MAIL OF THE DAY
8/02/2011: Google Contacted Me. Well, that was quick.
Some of you may be wondering why I printed a giant cardboard cutout of myself. Well, from the very start I had planned on shipping a giant cardboard standup of myself over to Google’s Staffing/Human Resources department at Mountain View HQ. That’s what I had planned and that’s exactly what I did. I woke up this morning at 10:00 AM and went to the local FedEx to ship it off before heading to the gym.
After all of the FedEx employees were done laughing at the 6’5 cutout of me, I shipped it off for the low, low price of $250. Well as it turns 5 minutes after I ship off my doppelganger I receive an e-mail on my phone from a @google.com address. Apparently he/she (not going to release their name) had seen my website after another Google employee forwarded it to them. Long story short after several e-mail exchanges he/she took steps to get the staffing ball rolling for me. Moments later I received an e-mail from Google Staffing asking me to fill out a voluntary identification form which suggests I’ll be hearing back from them sometime this week about next steps (hopefully a phone interview!).
I want to be clear about one thing: Google didn’t promise me a job or afford me any special privileges. The initial Googler who contacted made it clear that from this point on I’ll be taking part in Google’s standard hiring process – in other words there’s no guarantee I’ll be hired. In fact there’s no guarantee I’ll even make it past an initial phone interview, which is fine with me. At the end of my viral video I state my primary goal is to obtain an initial phone interview.
It’s extremely exciting that I reached a major milestone in my campaign less than 36 hours after launching http://googlepleasehire.me. Despite these exciting recent developments, I’m actually somewhat disappointed. Now that I’ve caught their attention it no longer makes sense to execute all of the marketing/PR strategies I had planned. I told my Google contact what I had in store for Google and even he/she agreed it’s probably best not to pursue the remainder of my campaign as it will add little value at this point. It’s a bummer because I was really excited about executing several of my “big ideas” and potentially gaining media attention from them. Unfortunately, it looks like I’m going to have to put my ideas back on the shelf for another day.
I guess I’m disappointed because I should have executed my core marketing strategies in sync with the launch of http://googlepleasehire.me. I thought there was no way that Google would contact me so quickly, so I launched the website two days earlier then I had planned due to my eagerness and excitement. Well, needless to say I definitely learned a valuable marketing lesson. The good news is if I don’t hear back from Google by the end of next week I’m going to move forward with my original ideas, so there’s still a chance you’ll all get to see what crazy plans I had in store for Google!
Today has been a complete whirlwind, but I learned two valuable lessons over the last 12 hours: Never overnight large object across the United States and don’t launch your campaign piece by piece, launch it all at once for greater impact.
8/01/2011: My Journey to Land a Job At Google
Today was the official launch of my campaign. Over 150 Facebook likes later I consider the launch of “Google Please Hire Me” to be a success. I already received a formal job proposal thanks to website (NOT from Google), over 80 tweets and re-tweets, 20 Google+’s and interest from several large blogs as well as a T.V. station in regards to my story. Taking into account everything I’ve seen today, there’s no doubt in my mind that traffic and social sharing will continue to multiply throughout the week as I begin to unveil the larger elements of my campaign. I’m waiting for Google Analytics and YouTube Insights to finish compiling today’s data before I provide official visitor metrics.
In the meantime, here’s a marketing teaser of me standing next to a 6 foot cardboard cutout of myself. Do any of my readers want to take a guess at what I’m going to do it with it?
7/31/2011: The Calm Before The Storm
Nearly a month later www.googlepleasehire.me has gone live!
Creating this campaign has been an incredible adventure. It’s been challenging, exciting, fun and so much more. It’s forced me to dive into my network and reinforce my professional relationships, it’s brought me closer to friends and family and it’s introduced me to so many new people and taught me so many new marketing lessons.
Now that the website is live, the next two weeks will be a flurry of marketing and public relations activity. I have several big marketing and PR initiatives scheduled and I can’t wait for Google and everyone else to see them. The next 21 days will prove whether I walk the walk or just talk the talk. This isn’t about proving to people that I excel at marketing, this is about proving to myself that I have what it takes to solve complicated problems with enthusiasm and passion.
To everyone following this story keep in mind that www.googlepleasehire.me is only the beginning! There will be media, there will be OMG PR stunts and there will be WTF marketing to look forward to so stay tuned.
Google, here I come!
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