If you get a LinkedIn “connect” request from characters in Netflix’s “Arrested Development,” there’s a good chance you may be connecting with Justin Ratz, an advertising copy writer.
In an attempt to stand out on the professional networking site, Ratz decided to create profiles for characters George Bluth, Sr., Gob Bluth and Tobias Funke. The idea is to get recruiters and potential employers to visit these fake profiles and click on links throughout the page that lead back to Ratz’ own LinkedIn profile.
Within a few days, Ratz had more than 300 connections and so far, he’s been in talks with five recruiters about possible future opportunities.
“When you don’t have a big budget … how else do you stand out?” Ratz tells Business Insider. “This is what creative people do. At least I have an interesting portfolio piece.”
Ratz, who went to business school, was inspired by his friend’s “Google Experiment,” which involved him buying Google ads that allowed him to place messages on certain people’s names. When they Googled themselves, Ratz’ friend’s personal message would come up.
Originally, Ratz says that he wrote hundreds of profiles for celebrities, but decided that he needed to focus his project if he wanted to attract the right kind of attention.
“It’s a good way to put myself back on the radar and refresh myself. It’s like saying, ‘If I can do it for me, of course, I can do it for a company with a budget.’ “
So far, Ratz hasn’t received any penance from LinkedIn, who typically aren’t too keen about fake profiles created on its site.
Below is a video about his creative project:
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