Mashable posted a story about someone who landed an advertising job by buying keywords of the names of their prospective bosses. At the risk of unleashing the wrath of Mashable fans, I’d like to illustrate why Mashable’sadvice that lots of people should throw Ad Words on their potential bosses name on Google is not a high-success strategy for most people. First, here’s the ppt deck from the Mashable piece:
Done watching? Cool. Here’s why this is bad advice unless you happen to work in very specialized industries (advertising, PR, social media jobs are the least terrible industries for this strategy, but my gut would tell me only slightly less terrible than other industries).
Reason #1: The coincidence of a particular hiring manager googling themselves when you are looking for a job is exceedingly low (Now, quite possibly Creative Directors are a bit more interested in their own online presence, but I know a lot of CDs – they are working or playing, not glaming).
Reason #2: Because a few people had success in a particular technique, it does not follow that everyone should do it. There are loads of stories of how people got their jobs. Many of them are creepy. Some have involved felony charges. Alex Bogusky from Crispin Porter & Bogusky has a “TV-MA” rated web show with great stories including cryptic hand written notes unsigned by an Art Director, and an Israeli team that kidnapped Alex’s Facebook fan page (Alex doesn’t have a fan page btw, it’s a funny story). Put on your headphones or turn down your volume if you’re in an office, colorful language within the first 5 seconds.
They are very funny stories, but please, don’t do these things in real life.
Here’s what does work (and oddly enough, is what the Crispin video does really cover):
- Be true to who you are, what you love, and be original – no matter what kind of job you are looking to land.
- Gimmicks are not necessary – original thinking and self-knowledge is.
- Want to update something? Start with your LinkedIn page. Will a recruiter or manager admit they looked you up? Usually not. But they probably did. And yours could probably use a tune up.
Good luck job hunters. I’m rooting for you. Anyone that wants to post their original ideas on how their job search worked for them – please do!