Recruitment & Hiring

US worker creates fake Airbnb website to land her dream job

Kirsten Robb /

A woman working in Silicon Valley has taken an unusual step to land her dream marketing role with accommodation site Airbnb—creating a fake version of the accommodation website with her resume details.

The out-of-the-box approach follows a stunt earlier this month by a US student who created a video resume on social platform Snapchat to grab the company’s attention, suggesting a new trend in the way applicants are approaching their dream careers.

Nina Mufleh took the novel approach of creating a mirror-image version of Airbnb’s website after going through traditional channels, including sending numerous emails and job applications to the company, failed, according to a report from Business Insider.

Mufleh substituting Airbnb’s content for details from her own resume and research that demonstrated her knowledge of the company.

“I want to work at Airbnb,” says Mufleh in her fake Airbnb host profile.

“I realize thousands of other talented people do as well, so to show the kind of value I’d bring to the team, I’ve decided to be proactive and have anaylzed the global tourism market to give you my two cents on where Airbnb should focus next.”

Mufleh then tweeted a link to her website to the company and its co-founders Joe Gebbia, Brian Chesky and Nathan Blecharczyk.

She caught the eye of Chesky, who then tweeted her back, “am reviewing right now. Very impressive :)”

Mufleh not only captured the attention of Twitter users, who have been tweeting how impressed they are with her entrepreneurial approach, she has a formal job interview with a marketing recruiter from Airbnb this week.

Sue-Ellen Watts, managing director of wattsnext HR, told SmartCompany there is a definite trend emerging where candidates are thinking out of the box to land a job.

“I think we’ll see this sort of thing more and more, with the technology to do it becoming cheaper and relatively easy to use,” says Watts.

As a recruiting specialist, Watts says she would like to see the “death of the resume” and traditional thinking around hiring.

“What someone did 15 years is not really relevant,” she says.

Watts, who recently asked job candidates for wattsnext to create a press release about themselves for marketing job, believes creative ways of grabbing attention can show a candidate’s skills better than traditional methods.

“From an employer’s point of view, what [Mufleh] did shows this person absolutely wants to work with us – she’s not just applying for any job, it’s really targeted. You couldn’t ask for something better than someone who really wants to work with your company,” Watts says.

“I still see cover letters that are addressed to ‘Whom it may concern’ when the ad says the person’s name. Something like this immediately tells us how much effort and how much they really want the role.”

Watts urges small business to pay attention to job seekers who take different approaches, especially given limited recruiting resources.

“If we’ve got people showing they are interested in our business, we absolutely need to be grabbing these people,” she says.

“They are perfectly suited to a small business run by a passionate owner… You need to hang on to as many people who share your passion and your dream.”

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Kirsten Robb

Kirsten Robb is a former journalist at SmartCompany. Previously, she worked at News Corp as a property reporter for Leader Newspapers and the Herald Sun, and holds a Masters of Journalism at Melbourne University.

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