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How to Get a Job: Try a Mustache and No Pants

How to Get a Job

What Happened to the fake mustache, no pants guy?

Ever wonder what happened to the fake mustache, no pants guy who waged a ‘Google, Please Hire Me’ campaign to get a job at Google?

We did.

Back in 2011, Matt Epstein waged a guerrilla marketing campaign targeting Google as his next employer. To this day, the innovative campaign serves as a case study on how to get a job by making a grand gesture. While one can always respond to job postings, you may not always learn of the most attractive job openings.  In fact, research has found the Google Ad platform offered men ads featuring better jobs opportunities. Matt did not wait for a job opportunity to find him online. Rather, he turned the process on its head.

  • Matt set up a website that spoke to Google and Google alone. To leave no doubt as to the purpose of the website, he selected the domain name
  • Next, he created a video where he adopted an intentionally cheesy persona along with a fake mustache.
  • In the video, he appears without pants in his boxer shorts.
  • He brought it all home in the video by allowing us to meet the real Matthew at the end.

“Google Please Hire Me Campaign” Went Viral

Matt’s experiment worked. It went viral. In the Internet world, that’s not an easy thing to do. Some would argue that accomplishment alone qualified him for further scrutiny as a marketing candidate. His innovative method of applying for a job demonstrated he can write and market effectively with few resources at his disposal. Moreover, his effort demonstrated he is creative and that he is willing to risk possible failure.

Grand Gestures Often Work

Matt’s “grand gesture” is a tried and true device that has been used by some of the most successful people in the business world. Donny Deutsch, one of the most successful CEOs in advertising history used it to capture clients. Donny is reported to have sent car parts to the home of the Pontiac rep to land an account with Tri-State Pontiac dealers. He sent a fender with a note that read, “We’ll cover your rear end.” Donny won the account, doubling its size.

We provide career advice, including this blog post, in our Career Collection. This particular post helps candidates seeking employment think about ways to be seen. You don’t have to do it with a mustache or without pants and you don’t have to send a fender — but candidates need to find ways to break through all the distraction and noise. Executive makeovers are a powerful way to improve your chances of capturing a retained recruiter’s interest.

So What Ever Happened to Matthew Epstein?

Matt Epstein became an Internet sensation. If you Google the name of his campaign, it returns more than 25 thousand pages. He made the evening news on network television. In fact, news organizations around the world covered the story. #GooglePleaseHireMe took off as a Twitter hashtag. Matt was an early mover on the use of hashtags. Perhaps, the biggest accomplishment was being featured in an article in AdWeek, a marketer’s dream.

While applying for a job in your boxers is not an approach we’d generally recommend, Matt Epstein’s campaign was a huge success. The video got him 300,000 unique visitors at his website which has since been redirected. To date, the video — which sadly has been taken to down — was seen more than a million and a half times on YouTube. In addition, his 2011 campaign generated 400 LinkedIn requests and captured phone interviews with Google, Amazon, Microsoft, and Salesforce.

So Who Ultimately Hired Him?

Ultimately, Matt accepted a job at a financial services startup called SigFig where he stayed for 2 years. Next, he took a job as employee number #1 at an HR benefits startup called Zenefits. There, he ultimately became CMO, helping grow revenue to $60MM+ ARR and the company to 1,000+ people. While at Zenefits, Matt built and managed a team of 24 marketers. He also created a sophisticated lead gen machine that fed 300 + sales representatives.

Matt’s LinkedIn profile indicates that he currently serves as Chief Marketing Officer at Rippling, an employee management platform. Yep, he’s a CMO.

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Krista Bradford

Krista Bradford

Krista Bradford is CEO of the retained executive search firm The Good Search and of its research division Intellerati. A former award-winning television journalist and investigative reporter, Ms. Bradford now pursues truth, justice, and great talent in the executive suite.View Author posts

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