Get your Dream Job for £4

Wednesday, May 2nd, 2012 - 5 steps to employment, Dream Job

Get your Dream Job for £4

I read with interest recently about how New York based copywriter Alex Brownstein got his dream job for £4 – well, $6 actually, but this is a UK based blog after all!

What did he do? Knowing who he wanted to work for, he bought the names of the heads of the top six advertising agencies in New York on Google Adwords, and then added the message:

Hey [creative director’s name]: Googling yourself is a lot of fun. Hiring me is fun, too.

The resultant link led to a page on his website, where it explained why they shoud hire him.

As a result of the campaign, out of the six agency heads targetted, Mr Brownstein got 5 interviews, and 3 job offers. He is now employed in his dream job!

Now, firstly let me say that for most, there is no point in directly copying Alex Brownstein’s tactics: you are probably not looking for a job in marketing or advertising; and secondly, you are probably not a copywriter. Thirdly, who wants to look like a copy cat: you would have to do something different.

Dream job application: demonstration

What I wanted to do in this article was there show using the 5 Steps To Employment process, show why Brownstein’s system worked, and how you could vary it enough to both look original and get employed.

The nice thing about Brownstein’s entire strategic approach to his job application process, is that he physically demonstrates his capability throughout the entire job application. This system “worked” because if the target employer had a question over his ability in the area that he was applying for a job, then it was immediately answered within the way Brownstein had structured his job application. This is absolutely key in understanding why this system worked, and hence copying it may not in your target market.

Step1: Know what you’ve got

Brownstein was a copywriter, who knew how to create great advertising copy. Hence the only thing he needed technically to get a chance of his dream job was someone or something else to do the lead-generation side of the project.

Step2: Know what you want, and who is hiring

Brownstein knew not only what his dream job looked like, he also knew how it was with and most importantly, who the hiring manager(s) were. Did he know that they were hiring? For his system to work, all he needed to do was watch the news stands for two signs of “yes”:

  1. Were the agencies (target employers) upsizing or down sizing? If upsizing, he knew that it was only a matter of time before his dream job was being hired for
  2. Were the agencies (target employers) wining new business?

Upsizing (and not down sizing), plus winning new business meant that it was only a matter of time before his dream job was being hired for. Accepted that it might not have been now, but his strategy at least placed him at the top of any shortlist.

If you don’t know what your dream job looks like, then you will end up in Any Job Will Do syndrome. If you know what your dream job looks like, then ask yourself the new question: who is the hiring manager in the top 5 employers? Then simply check whether they are upsizing and winning new business, and you know that it is only a matter of time before your dream job will be being hired for.

Step3: Job application

If there is a step in this process in which Brownstein’s strategy comes together, then its in his job application. Perfect execution, perfect demonstartion of his skills.

As you will know from reading this blog before, there are 5 Ways To Employment:

  1. Promotion
  2. Head Hunting
  3. Networking
  4. Recruitment
  5. Job Application

Brownstein’s system used four of these! Firstly, it was a combined “blind” (but tested) job application. Secondly the online method he used meant that it was a networking approach. If you read the article, most of the targetted agency heads didn’t know that Brownstein had targetted them until frinds and colleagues called them to say “Hey, did you know that someone has bought your name on Google?” Now the system flipped on its head, as these agency heads turned into internal recruiters, or their competitors asked “who’s Alex Brownstein, and why are we not recruiting him”, so hence Head Hunting. Shear genius!

Now the second issue within this form of job application – use of lead generation through Google Adwords; conversion through clicks onto his own website – meant that Brownstein was demonstrating his ability to do the job of an advertising creative throughout his entire job application. Shear genius point2!

What can you learn from Brownstein’s approach to job application? Firstly, that one method of job application – namely, Click to Apply – just won’t work: use multiple methods to increase your chances of employment/reduce the time that you spend job seeking. Secondly, think about how you can demonstrate your skills and capability through your job search. Can you make something, create something, and specifically do something that shows the hiring manager what you are capable of? Thirdly, can you engage the power of the crowd – networking – within your job search to target that hiring manager? Could you present something at a conference, or get some where where all of the people around that hiring manager go?

Step4: Job interview

The last two steps were easy for Brownstein. Simply, he had not approached the agency heads, they had approached him/bought his pitch. In fact, each one who came back to him – 5 out of the 6 – proved his method had worked, in that the target customer had bought.

Step5: Package negotiation

Package negotiation was easy. As he knew who his target employers were, Brownstein had undertaken research on thier remuneration packages. He knew that they were acceptable. Plus as thye had come to him, were they likely to offer him the bottom of the shop option?

Dream jobs are easy to get:

You just have to know who and why!

The thing that I enjoyed most about Alex Brownstein’s story, was that a job seeker who knew what his dream job looked like, got it.

The fact that he got it so easily is a mark in part of his creative genius, but also in understanding the needs of his customer, the hiring manager: people who can deliver, and want to work for us. Brownstein’s genius strategy inside this whole system was he demonstrated both aspects.

So, what if you want a job in architecture? Will buying the names of the five heads of the five best architecture heads in Google Adwords work? Possibly, it might get you a meeting, but how does it demonstrate your ability as an architect? Better hence to take a theme or issue that the traget practise is interested in (Steps 1 and 2), create a critical paper or model of an application of that theme (Step2), and then meet people from that practise at the local RIBA meeting (Step3).

I don’t think many will be abe to successfuly replicate Brownstein’s system, or get a job for his low cost. But a tenner and a bit of creative thinking should get you at least three interviews.

Good Luck!


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