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« Opportunity of a lifetime | Main | Before you buy your next ad... »

Why bother having a resume?

In the last few days, I've heard from top students at Cornell and other universities about my internship.

It must have been posted in some office or on a site, because each of the applications is just a resume. No real cover letter, no attempt at self marketing. Sort of, "here are the facts about me, please put me in the pile."

This is controversial, but here goes: I think if you're remarkable, amazing or just plain spectacular, you probably shouldn't have a resume at all.

Not just for my little internship, but in general. Great people shouldn't have a resume.

Here's why: A resume is an excuse to reject you. Once you send me your resume, I can say, "oh, they're missing this or they're missing that," and boom, you're out.

Having a resume begs for you to go into that big machine that looks for relevant keywords, and begs for you to get a job as a cog in a giant machine. Just more fodder for the corporate behemoth. That might be fine for average folks looking for an average job, but is that what you deserve?

If you don't have a resume, what do you have?

How about three extraordinary letters of recommendation from people the employer knows or respects?
Or a sophisticated project they can see or touch?
Or a reputation that precedes you?
Or a blog that is so compelling and insightful that they have no choice but to follow up?

Some say, "well, that's fine, but I don't have those."

Yeah, that's my point. If you don't have those, why do you think you are  remarkable, amazing or just plain spectacular? It sounds to me like if you don't have those, you've been brainwashed into acting like you're sort of ordinary.

Great jobs, world class jobs, jobs people kill for... those jobs don't get filled by people emailing in resumes. Ever.

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Listed below are links to weblogs that reference Why bother having a resume?:

» Word Of Mouth Career Advice from //steve clayton: geek in disguise
Brilliant. Thanks David and James . btw, this holds true for many more careers than marketing. [update] [Read More]

» if stellar people shouldn't have a resume...... from 8 hours
seth godin writes brilliantly today asking 'why bother having a resume?' unfortunately, resumes are, for most people, still a necessary evil. but as seth gets us thinking about better ways to be found when we're looking for a job, how [Read More]

» Why Bother with Marketing Brochures? from Alliance Science
Does your prospect community expect more information before they decide to engage at any level with you? When I hear that question, I immediately ask, what information are you looking for? Typically, there's a stammer and the ol' well, like [Read More]

» Your Blog is Your Resume from Technology Evangelist
Seth Godin posted an argument on why resumes are becoming a worthless way creative & professional people market themselves compared to other available options. How would you rather be judged: Based on what you can cram into bulleted lists on... [Read More]

» Great Jobs, World-class Jobs, Jobs People Kill For - don't get filled by people with resumes. Ever. from marginally subversive communication thoughts
Seth Godin writes - Great jobs, world class jobs, jobs people kill for... those jobs don't get filled by people emailing in resumes. Ever.True. When I was younger, I was obsessed with writing the best - which was equivalent to comprehensive, 5pages-lon... [Read More]

» Your Blog is Not Your Resume from Marketing Headhunter.com | Recruiters for Ecommerce
Conceptually, I like blogstar Robert Scoble. I have never met him, but I have seen him on video, heard his podcasts, and read his blog. That makes me as much an expert on him as the rest of the world [Read More]

» Why bother having a resume? comments from Neil Hernandez's Blog
The prevailing paradigm out there if your looking for a job is to make a resume and then send it out to everyone you know or use it as application for a job. However, Seth Godin in his blog post [Read More]

» Are You Predictable? from The YouBlog
WOULDN’T YOU AGREE: “Predictable” = “Boring”? And to extend this: “Predictable” = “Invisible”. We certainly know it when we see it, and we tend to tune out quickly when encounter things that are predictable-boring-irrelevant-et al. Case in point: When ... [Read More]

» Seth Godin: Why Bother Having a Resume? from B.L. Ochman's weblog: Internet marketing strategy, social media trends, news and commentary.
Great people, says Seth Godin shouldn't have a resume. "I think if you're remarkable, amazing or just plain spectacular, you probably shouldn't have a resume at all. Great jobs, world class jobs, jobs people kill for... those jobs don't get filled by p... [Read More]

» Resume Advice from a Master of Marketing from drasticcareerchange
After publishing the resume post, I found an even stronger view expressed here [Read More]

» Should You Have a Resume? from Ben Casnocha: The Blog
Seth Godin, as he reviews applications for his college-student summer internship, says:I think if you're remarkable, amazing or just plain spectacular, you probably shouldn't have a resume at all.He goes on to comment on the dismal self-marketing skill... [Read More]

» Resumes Are Dead. Your Blog is Your Resume. (Still). from Zoli's Blog
I havent updated my resume for at least 3-4 years now. (There must be some old versions floating around, as just a few days ago a recruiter solicited me for a SAP Implementation Project - she must be especially dumb, not noticing the decad... [Read More]

» Why bother having a resume? from bizdig.com
This is controversial, but here goes: I think if you're remarkable, amazing or just plain spectacular, you probably shouldn't have a resume at all. Here's why: A resume is an excuse to reject you. Once you send me your resume, I can say, "oh, they're m... [Read More]

» Re-Engineering the Resume from *Star In The Margin
I've interviewed a lot of people lately...seen a lot of resumes, cover letters and recruiter intro's. Here's what I've noticed...1. the resume is no longer an effective way to get someone's attention, and 2. most resumes sell the past and convey very l... [Read More]

» Seth's Blog: Why bother having a resume? from Iluminario
En casi todas mis reuniones de amigos el tema de búsqueda de trabajo sale como tema (por lo menos antes de cierta cantidad de cervezas). Una frase que escucho regularmente es: estuve tirando CVs. Tirando CVs. El curriculum vitae es [Read More]

» Dump Your Resume--Build a Reputation Instead from The Bamboo Project Blog
For anyone who’s looking for a new job or just wants to keep their options open, this is a little scary. Dan Enthoven, vice president of marketing of job search firm Trovix, recently conducted a study where he sent out [Read More]

» Seth's Half Right from Career Hub
Seth Godin is one of my favorite bloggers and but in this post about resumes, he's only 50% right. Seth's looking for an intern and he doesn't like the resumes he's seeing. They're bland and boring and they don't tell [Read More]

» Internet killed the resume star from eSoup
The resume is dead. If you want to truly get that client, that job, that project, you need to step out of the box and market yourself and your abilities in a more creative way. Torch your resume or anything you have on your website that looks like a r... [Read More]

» Seth Godin: Why Bother Having A Resume? from sk-rt.com
Interesting blog post from marketing extraordinaire, Seth Godin. He questions the role of the traditional resume and lists its drawbacks. [Read More]

» Do you need a resume? Google thinks so. from Marketing Headhunter.com | Recruiters for Ecommerce
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» Deleting your resume from I want to work with Seth Godin
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» The problem with your resume from career guide - Don Huse's Blog
Seth Godin is right. If you really believe you have something remarkable to offer, your resume is not likely to help you much. As Seth says:I think if you're remarkable, amazing or just plain spectacular, you probably shouldn't have a [Read More]

» Sorry, folks, you still need a resume from One Louder
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» The STAND-OUT Resume from Career Hub
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« Opportunity of a lifetime | Main | Before you buy your next ad... »