June 24, 2018

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The Simple $6 Job Search

As a rule, simple is good.

The iPad interface, Google, popsicles -- they’re all simple things that achieve great results.

Applied to your job search, simplicity can achieve great results, too.

Example: What if you identified the people you wanted to work for, then advertised directly to them, asking for an interview?

Do you think something that simple might get you a job?

Well, it worked for one man, Alec Brownstein, an advertising copywriter from New York City.

Here’s what Brownstein did: He created Google AdWords for the names of people he wanted to work for. When each person Googled their name, an ad appeared that addressed them personally. Clicking on the ad took them to Brownstein’s Web site, which served as an extended resume. Interviews ensued. And he was hired in less than 90 days.

I spoke with Brownstein to discuss his simple plan, and the three lessons you can use in your job search …

How did you get the idea to use Google Adwords in a job hunt?

Brownstein: “It was the summer [of 2009]. I was working at an ad agency, but I wanted to work at Young & Rubicam. I was Googling the creative directors I wanted to work for and I noticed amongst their results that there were no sponsored links at the top and nothing on the side -- no ads.”

As someone who Googles [his name] quite frequently, I realized that if there was an ad there at the top of my results, I would notice it.”

How many creative directors were on your list?

Brownstein: “I targeted five.”

What was the ad that appeared when any of these people Googled their names?

Brownstein: “The ad read, ‘Hey, [name] -- Googling yourself is a lot of fun. Hiring me is fun, too.’ When they clicked it, it took them to my Web site,, which has my portfolio of the work I had done over the past several years.”

How long did this job search take you?

Brownstein: “It was a little bit like fishing. I sort of threw some lines out and waited. I had the luxury of actually being employed at the time and I was trying to get a better job. After putting up these ads, I waited for a month or two and responses trickled in.”

So, you did not contact people and say, “Hey, Google your name.” You let them find your ad on their own?

Brownstein: “Exactly. It’s funny because, when I did go in for interviews with these people, they all said the same thing: ‘Somebody else showed it to me. I was not Googling myself; somebody else Googled me.’”

How much did all this cost?

“The good thing about AdWords is that you only pay for clicks. The only times my ad showed up was when somebody Googled exact matches. For example, one of the people was Ian Reichenthal. If you were to Google “Ian,” or “Reichenthal,” it would not show up. Only when you Googled “Ian Reichenthal,” did the ad appear. I think I bid about 15 cents a click and the total for everything was about $6.”

Now. Here are your three takeaway lessons.

  1. Begin with clarity

    Brownstein started his search with a list of five people who could offer him a job. It was a simple matter to reach them with a message that spoke to each person, literally, by name.

    Contrast this with how most people begin a job search -- they’ll work for anybody. But how can you reach “anybody” with a focused, compelling message? You can’t.

  2. Prove your skills

    To get hired as an advertising copywriter, Brownstein wrote an ad for himself. Simple. Brilliant.

    Here’s how other “guerrilla” job hunters have proven their skills in job-winning ways:

    • a software developer delivered a white paper on software development to the hiring manager;
    • a mechanic created a portfolio of past projects, with pictures of the engines he had worked on;
    • a proofreader showed employers examples of their magazine with typos that he could have prevented;
    • a sales rep delivered qualified sales leads to the hiring manager
  3. Get the idea? Anyone, with a little creative thinking, can prove their skills.

    If you can’t think of a way after 15 minutes and want to give up, rejoice. Because that means most of your competitors for jobs will refuse to think creatively, too.

    Then, start brainstorming again until you find a convincing way to prove your skills.

  4. Deliver your message directly to hiring managers

    Brownstein didn’t email a resume to HR. He got his message in front of the people he wanted to work for. They, in turn, told HR to schedule an interview with him.

    Got that?

    If you send a resume to HR, you are seen as an applicant and herded in with the other 500 or so people who want a job that day.

    But if you send a customized message of value to a hiring authority, you are seen as a solution to a problem, a way to capitalize on an opportunity -- or both. Which puts you in a class of your own, with no competition for the job.

The choice is simple, isn’t it?

Kevin Donlin is author of "Guerrilla Resumes." To learn how people are getting hired for new jobs in 30 days or less, please visit:

Best regards,

Kevin Donlin, Co-Director Guerrilla Job Search International

Phone: 952.946.7952 -- Fax: 952.941.7258 7455 France Ave. S., #263, Edina, MN 55435

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