Resumes are Dead

November 7, 2005 - Get free updates of new posts here

I read Paul Graham’s article on Jobs and one point really stayed with me, “jobs in the future people will be acquired by companies for their talent not hired into positions”. This was a really strong statement and got me thinking how resumes are so overrated and what students/young professionals need to do stand out. Clearly, I know resumes will never go away but I think for individuals to be differentiated from the rest of the pack they should try something new.

resumes are dead

While sitting in my cubicle I was searching for jobs a few months back when I saw JotSpot.com and thought it was a unique idea with great management. I shot off an email to the founder, Joe Kraus, who created excite.com and sold it for tons of money. Basically I said I no longer wish to be a COG, cost of good sold or just another piece in the corporate puzzle and I want to kick ass in your company. Joe did not respond with oh please send me a resume or tell me about a time when he asked me for my blog. That was such an interesting thought to me.

You can learn SO much about a persons feelings, thoughts, actions, work ethic to name just a few things by reading a persons blog. I think more so than anything Resumes include so much bogus or ultra-fluffed information that it is hard to determine the quality of a candidate or get a good feeling of how this person will fit in your company. But spending 10-15 minutes reading entries about what they do or how they organize their thoughts/daily activities you can really learn a lot.

Does this mean Noah that I need to jump on the web 2.0 bandwagon and sign up for my blogger.com account today?

1- No, I think it first depends on the field you are going in and that you are blogging for the right reasons.

2- Second, I think if blogging is not your thing or you want to test the waters start writing and include that on your blog on your resume. I think regardless just writing stuff relevant to your field will give you better insight on what’s going on.

3-Third, if your industry is related to technology/business you should be writing a blog about your particular focus and help build your own brand name. Your brand name is the articles, ideas and positions you take on topics within your site that define you as a person.

The reason I see this working is from hearing results from people who maintain sites on specific topics. They get emails monthly for consulting contracts, job offers (Russell at Yahoo) and pitches about products.

How are you going to stand out?

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6 responses to “Resumes are Dead

  1. Neville Reply

    When I applied to the University of Texas, I made a special Resume Website for myself. I did this because the standard two-page max resume they accepted was just not enough. I had a bunch of extra curricular activities, but I could have just made them up and they would have never known.

    What I did literally got me into college (Many friends with much higher grades/SAT etc. did not get in):

    -Posted my two mandatory entrance essays PLUS another one about a subject I wanted to write on. That essay showed who I was, not who I was posing to be in their required essays.

    -Posted my standard resume with links to actual events I hosted, planned, participated etc. They could click on “Science Club” and SEE what I had done on a different page, complete with pictures and all.

    -Picture section. I think it’s important to see who is typing.

    That webpage was better than any resume I have ever made…and it worked pretty well!
    -Nev

    P.S. Great job on the Entrep. 27 thing

  2. Erin Reply

    What you have written above is so true…I was trying to think how I would be able to ‘stand out’ from the pile of big resumes and so I started my blog on the travel industry. I also linked my blog to my website that has my resume on it…you never know who might read it and offer you the job of a lifetime.

    I think that it is really important for future employers or investors to be able to see the real you and what you are thinking about your day to day life or your industry.

    Fingers crossed that my blog will help me in the future!

    – Erin

    p.s I like your blog…keep it up.

  3. David McClelland Reply

    I googled “blog as resume” in Google and this came up. I wondered how many other professionals are doing resume/portfolio blogs besides me?

    I am currently using a blog for a portfolio during an employment search. It works but it is essentially a hack on a typical WordPress theme.

    I am looking for a specialized theme that could allow a prospective employer to view my resume chronologically, by job-role, by skills, see associated examples, etc etc. instead of the basic calendar and slug linear orientation.

    And it should still be as simple as WordPress, and free. OK?

  4. blogMeTender Reply

    That’s a very important point aboug blogging for the right reasons. It’s even more true for people in management.

    People who have a specialty (e.g., technical, travel, etc.) can blog about it and demonstrate their competence that way. However, as some in management will attest, you do get ahead in your career by knowing what to say and what not to say.

    It’s paradoxical for managers because many live and die through that form of career advancement known as “networking.” (If you have a good network, you many times won’t even need a resume, an increasingly useless form of job hunting for the 21st Century.) Yes, blogging presents a chance for managers to really get known by more throughout the corporate world, inside their specific industry and by others too. However, nowadays that it’s becoming more common to Google candidates before job interviews, a future boss may not like what you said and how you said it because of the “unwritten code” that exists at the management level.

    If you do decide after years in management that you really want to be on your own, blogging can work wonders, far better than any resume ever could.

  5. Ashtray Reply

    Erin I really like your plan of action mentioned above. I have a blog but not about anything that I do for work, just rants and ramblings about my favortie sports teams and what not. I really think I am going to start a personal blog based on my daily experiences and findings at my workplace and in my field.