Is Impersonating a Company a Good Way to Get That Company to Hire You?

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Let’s say you were a 22-year-old recent graduate looking for work in social media.

Then, let’s say a new social media network appeared.

What would you do?

Well, if you were Kunal Basu-Dutta, you’d create Ello accounts for every company you wanted to work for, maintain those Ello accounts as if you already worked for that company, and hope one of the companies would be so impressed by your work that they’d hire you.

As Basu-Dutta told The Atlantic:

I’m a social media guy—hopefully that came across—and a lot of people have these inventive resumes. People have used Google Ad Words to push their name to the top, or when you search their name it has their resume. That’s really creative, but I don’t want to do any of that since it’s already been done, and everyone has probably seen it. So when Ello came around I’m like, “Hey, I can set up accounts and run them to show that I have an editorial voice that matches and I get it.” I get the importance of pictures, or that with The Atlantic it’s a mixture of politics and culture.

I wrote earlier this week about the idea that sometimes the internet creates opportunities for new voices, and it’s clear that Basu-Dutta saw an opportunity and took it.

It’s also clear that Basu-Dutta knows what he’s doing. Before The Atlantic knew that Basu-Dutta was behind their Ello account, here’s how they described the mysterious voice posing as The Atlantic on Ello:

The Atlantic‘s Ello is currently being run by parties unknown.

Not that we’re upset about it! Whoever is running the account is doing a bang-up job. Great art is being used, the copy in the Ello posts is clean and engaging, and there’s a good mix of stories showing the range of what we do here every day.

Basu-Dutta has already gotten an interview with another company he impersonated, AJ+ (an Al Jazeera app that Gigaom describes as “an ambitious attempt to produce news for a generation that doesn’t watch news networks on TV anymore”) which led him to describe his experiment as “So… in a way: success!”

I suspect that this particular strategy will only work once, and future social media account impersonators might get hit with cease-and-desist notes.

But, this first time, it was clever—and, more importantly, it boosted Kunal Basu-Dutta out of the noise.

So I’ll be interested to see if one of these companies ends up hiring him.

Photo: Quentin Meulepas



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