GooglePleaseHire.Me: Matthew Epstein Looks for a Job, and Campaign Goes Viral

PHOTO: Matthew Epstein
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Matthew Epstein, three years out of college and looking for a marketing job, set his sights on Google, one of the world's most successful companies.

He didn't get a job there. But on the way to landing a job at a San Francisco startup, he became an online sensation.

He set up a website, which he called GooglePleaseHire.me, and produced a video resume for YouTube, in which he playfully showed himself in a suit, a fake moustache and boxer shorts. He was trying to show he could market something -- in this case, himself -- and it paid off. In three weeks the website had 720,000 page views, and people clicked on the video more than 450,000 times.

"The flurry wasn't manufactured by me," Epstein said. "It was definitely much more organic than that."

Still, his online postings got numbers many companies would kill for. And these kinds of things don't just happen.

What did?

Epstein, in need of work, says at first he did what many other people do in a bad economy: He applied for jobs posted online at LinkedIn. He had no luck, and after a couple of weeks he began to feel discouraged.

"So I decided you can't just sit and do standard stuff. You have to fight."

Many people build their own websites, but Epstein, who's 24 and a native of Florida, did more than post his resume. The Web address he picked, "GooglePleaseHire.Me," just popped into his head as he tried to think of something clever. (Web addresses that end in ".me," by the way, are usually registered to the small European country of Montenegro.)

The Web has a very efficient version of word-of-mouth. Epstein's postings were noticed by one technology blog, and then another, and then another. Someone posted a link to his site on a chat board called Hacker News, where people began to post enough comments to attract the notice of TechCrunch, one of the country's most popular tech blogs.

"For what it's worth, Google has already gotten in touch with Epstein but informed him that he should go through the standard hiring processes over there (which he's fine with)," wrote Robin Wauters of TechCrunch. "My spider senses are betting on Epstein getting hired rather swiftly, though."

So Epstein's name quickly spread all over cyberspace, and almost every website that mentioned him included a link to his site. (In case you missed it, this story includes links to his site, too.)

"I love the focus and tenacity he is using. Google hire the guy already! :)" one person wrote in a comment on TechCrunch.

"He might be a good marketer, but he'll definitely need Google's engineering team," a man in France wrote. "[H]is website is down due to capacity problem."

There were, perhaps inevitably in the unruly world of cyberspace, also people calling him an idiot, but they were drowned out by others inviting him to job interviews. He says he got 80 in all. "It definitely was cool traveling around the country talking to Microsoft and Amazon," Epstein said.

Though he didn't get an offer from Google, he says he did get three other offers, and has just started with a new financial firm called SigFig. It might actually be better for him, he said, than Google.

"One of the best things I do is get people's attention, and Google doesn't need attention," he said. "With a startup, it's really about creating things, seeing your ideas really come to something without politics and red tape."

So Epstein, in this time of high unemployment, has a new problem many others wouldn't mind: He's just started work in a new city.

"My life is in two suitcases," he said, "while I look for an apartment."

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