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Fake Amazon resume proves the power of personal branding

By Dean Irvine, CNN
updated 7:25 AM EST, Fri February 1, 2013
Despite some one-star ratings, Dubost's online '
Despite some one-star ratings, Dubost's online '"Amazon" CV has done wonders for his career.
STORY HIGHLIGHTS
  • Web product developer created online CV to look like Amazon page
  • Resume went viral and Dubost gained over 100 offers of work
  • "I was so completely not expecting this," he says
  • Proves the importance of personal branding in job-hunting

(CNN) -- A French job-seeker has "sold" himself with an online resume made to look like an Amazon page, proving that some creativity and attention to personal branding can go a long way.

Philippe Dubost began his trawl for a new job as a web product manager in late December.

Depressed by the thought of sending a regular resume into the ether as part of the usual job application process, he built his to look like an Amazon page, complete with product dimensions, five-star ratings, world-wide shipping and even a gift-wrap option.

"Amazon's pages just naturally fit the form of a resume," he said. "I just thought that if a company thinks that this is fun, then that's a company I would like to work for."

I just thought that if a company thinks that this is fun, then that's a company I would like to work for.
Philippe Dubost

"At first I sent it out as a link with the normal job applications I was sending, but then sent an email to a popular French blog saying 'Hey guys, if you're bored and have nothing to look at...'"

That was the beginning of last week. From there its journey across blogs and social media has propelled it from around 500 hits a day to over 200,000, and the page has gained over 27,000 Facebook "likes".

But more than just being a fleeting Internet sensation, Dubost's Amazon resume has also done what it was designed for.

From the 800 or so messages he has received over 100 have been work-related with job offers coming from across Asia and Europe.

"Quite a few are great and are really fit what I'm looking for," he said.

Imitation may be the sincerest form of flattery and Dubost admits that Amazon is one of the companies he greatly admires and would like to work for. However he remains tight-lipped about how the company has responded, or even if it have contacted him at all.

As well as being a smart piece of design, the creative resume also shows Dubost's personality, something he believes has helped it reach its target audience.

Personal packaging is absolutely vital.
Whitney Johnson, career and life advisor

"It made me realize how important personal branding is," he says.

Whitney Johnson, author and career and life advisor agrees: "Personal packaging is absolutely vital" she says.

"If you think about it, people don't buy products, they hire them to do a job. You have to figure out a way to make employers believe that you're the person who can get a job done. It is not the responsibility of any future employer to figure out how the employee can do the job, it's the employee's responsibility."

Dubost's advice to others is to do what you can to differentiate yourself from other would-be job-hunters and be creative with it.

"Although that doesn't apply for all industries; if I was an accountant it's not the same," he says. "But you can always do something that is relevant to the industry you work in."

The overwhelming response to Dubost's experiment did make him question if he shouldn't take his career in a different direction instead of just search for a new job.

"It occurred to me, and many friends said the same, that maybe I should (do something different). But in the end I did this for a job and it has opened up opportunities with companies I really want to work for. I was so completely not expecting this."

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