Alec Brownstein, born in 1980. He worked at Publicis New York, Maxim Magazine and BBDO New York. He became known through The Google Job Experiment. The action was based on the fact that when the heads of major New York advertising agencies did search Google their names, they saw first advertisements with a short message “Finding information about yourself is pleasant. Employing me, too”. Alec chooses five bosses, 4 of them invited him to interview, and two proposed job. Alec accepted one offer and started his work at Young & Rubicam. All the campaign cost him $6. I asked him about the experiment, building personal branding of the network and extremely popular in the US Pandora radio.
Why did you decide to carry out the Google Job Experiment? You’ve had enough of sending a CV, or simply you choose to do something unusual to get a dream job?
My goal was to show my creativity directly to people with whom I wanted to work. In my business, in principle, we do not use the CV, our portfolio is our CV. I wanted to draw attention to the portfolio and create a new project to it.
Your experiment took some time (last few months), so it is not a method of job search for people who need immediate employment. What would you do if you need the job quickly? Also, would you use the Internet?
Gaining employment is a slow process. Even if the company is in a hurry, it remains a lot of paperwork and approval before employing someone. I suspect that if I needed a job immediately, I would call the friends from agencies. I would ask them to arrange a meeting with the manager who is decision-making person. And during such a meeting I could explain why they should hire me immediately. The sad truth is that if there is no available job you don’t get a job even if you stood on your head. But nothing beats meeting face to face when applying for jobs.
You received several awards for the experiment you did. Did you (besides these awards and of course job at Y&R) receive any benefits?
I think it’s nice to hear the story of a man who was looking for work and got it. I received a lot of emails from people around the world in which they wrote that my experiment was an inspiration to them and made them start thinking creatively about how to look for a job for himself. These e-mails were just an additional reward and benefit for me.
Have you heard maybe about other people inspired by your experiment decided to do something similar?
I heard about one person from the advertising industry, who tried to do the same for me. But because it was the job of creation department, I do not think he succeed. The most important in creation is originality.
Have you seen the video that made Dave Berzac? What do you think about this form of self-promotion?
I have not seen this video before. But it is cool. Unfortunately, I do not know how to sing or dance, so I would not do something like that.
I found the information on your website that you were doing the advertisement for Pandora.com. I heard a lot about this project, which is unfortunately available only in the US. Do you use Pandora? And if so, is this really so revolutionary radio as the media write about it? (Pandora.com is an online radio that learns the listener’s taste).
Advertising of Pandora.com was a project that I created for the competition. But privately, of course, I use Pandora, and I think that is fantastic. I firmly believe in Internet radio such as Pandora.com or Last.fm and I think this is the future of this medium, I think it will also have them in cars in future.
What do you think about building the personal branding on the Internet? Do you care about it?
Building the personal branding in the Internet becomes very important when someone is looking for information about you, and you want to have influence on what (s)he can get. It’s more like choosing the right dress for an interview to make a good first impression. You do not want your future employer that first picture (s)he sees is your picture from Facebook where you are not so sober and drinking another beer.
What would you do if you would look for a job today?
If I would look for a job today, I probably would send emails to prospective employers with a link to Google Job Experiment and have written: ‘Do you remember that I did it!?’