10 reasons I have no résumé

Everyone I respect online who I’ve heard talk about résumés says résumés are dead (or dying). So to follow those mentors, I also I’m avoiding the résumé.

However, I am in the market for work. And I realize not everyone agrees with the anti-résumé culture (yet). As a result, I thought I’d take a moment and explain why I have no formal résumé

1. Résumés are fake. It’s me telling you what I can do. While I try to write accurately, the truth is it’s extremely difficult to tell exactly how well I’ll do a job without actually doing it. Saying I can do it on paper is presumptuous.

2. Résumés are boring. Who actually wants to read a résumé? This blog post on the other hand…

3. Résumés are for cogs. Résumés work when you want someone who will follow measurable instructions. But if you want someone who will creatively outperform your expectations, a résumé won’t cut it.

4. Résumés lower expectations. Does Bill Gates need a résumé? Does Steve Jobs? Does anyone amazing need a résumé? A résumé screams, “I’m a nobody. You’ve never heard of me. You need to read this paper to know I’m amazing.”

5. Résumés are too quick. They bestow the false feeling that you know me after scanning a page for 30 seconds. Might it work better to offer 30-second interviews instead (read the last two paragraphs here for where I’m coming from)? Subconscious decisions are made then anyway.

(Note: Not all potential employees want to admit this. As a result, most want a long, drawn out interview to make it seem worth their while even though the real decisions are (usually) made within the first couple seconds.)

6. Résumés create competition (when I want a monopoly). With a résumé, I have a piece of paper, some ink, and 30 seconds of attention (if that). And so does everyone else. Potentially that means my paper is competing with a pile of other papers. Without a résumé, though, I’m free to create what I want (e.g. this blog post) and grab attention in a way that’s more enjoyable for the would-be résumé reader.

7. Résumés are confused: they’re designed to stand out while fitting in. How many books teach how to résumé formatting etiquette? But of those same books, how many offer tips to help the résumé stand out. Which is it? Am I to stand out or fit in?

8. Résumés force the (potential) employer to try to predict future performance based on past results. If I were the employer, I’d struggle with that. Why force the employer into such a risky decision?

9. Résumés tell no story. Actually, if you read Seth Godin’s definition of a story, you’ll notice a résumé is the opposite. And marketing is all about telling compelling stories.

10. Résumés are not as helpful as I can be. Straight up, I’d rather invest effort working for an amazing company, genuinely showing what I can do, than write it out on paper.

To finish…

This post links to some of my all-time favorite articles. Follow a few of these links. My recommendations tell you who I am more than my writing alone  ever could.

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