The Death Of The Resume

According to copyblogger – no one is reading my blog.

There are 200 million blogs around the world and around 900,000 blog posts made every day. So why should I bother writing? Or more importantly, why should you?

The old school way of getting jobs is broken. Resumes can be copied, cheated, exaggerated or not do you enough justice. Can you really tell everything about your personality within a page or two? Or within an hour or two of an interview?

Everyone’s “weakness” is that they are a “perfectionist”. That 18 % profitability and the 298 % growth rate for your company – most people in your organization are taking credit for that achievement on their resume.

A decent resume used to get you through the door. The fact that you spell checked it. It was in the right format and had the right university degree on it. The resume was looked at for a whole 30 seconds and if you happen to get the HR person on a good day, you got through. The interview typically lasted an hour and within that time the interviewer, who was usually as nervous as you were, had to judge if they would like working with you. An hour can be faked – especially as most people are not trained to be interviewers. You can easily have the canned responses memorized. Or you might actually have been good, but forgot an example of a time when you took initiative or had to deal with a difficult situation or whatever standard question that came up.

The resume was more about testing your ‘creative marketing’ skills. You could be the best computer nerd in the world – but if you didn’t know how to market yourself on your resume, you lost out.

Now the world has become even more competitive. I can apply for the same job from Kabul as I can from San Francisco. Google receives over a million applications every year and have openings for less than 5,000 jobs. How many resumes do you think they actually read?

The resume is soon to be dead.

Your online brand will replace your resume. Good news if you want to “stand out from the crowd”. Bad news if you were able to fake your way through before.

Russell Buckley , blogger at mobhappy , used his blog to talk about the mobile business. Russell gave away free reports, such as the lessons he learned from running a failed startup. He was looking for opportunities, but instead of just sending his resume around, he spent time blogging his thoughts.

Omar Hamoui, the founder of admob, was a reader of his blog and saw that Russell could add a lot of value to his “amazing idea”. Omar asked Russell to join his venture and eventually, Russell became employee number two at AdMob.

So how much did this opportunity lead to for Russell? Three years after joining as employee number two, primarily because of his blog, Admob got bought out for $750 million by Google. Its not quite a billion – but I’m sure Russell won’t need to fly economy class any more.

Omar is obviously a smart entrepreneur. Why go through a resume and an hour long interview with someone – when you can hire someone like Russell, whose material you read and come to trust overtime. Its like interviewing someone over several months. Every blog post, every article is like an interview. As any entrepreneur will tell you, who you hire is the key to your business success – Omar was smart enough to use the new method of recruitment – and you can’t argue with the success his company has had.

More and more people are going to hire through blogs, more business and personal relationships will be started or advanced through blogs (facebook, linkedin, twitter). We don’t have the time to get to know everyone so it saves us time to check out their pictures on facebook or read a few of their blog posts – to figure out who we are dealing with.

You, one of the exclusive few, are reading my blog. This is the same as me spending 5 minutes with you. Except I didn’t have to force myself or make you feel uncomfortable by asking for your time. You are reading at your own free will.

In the grand scheme of things the few hundred people that read my posts every week is not phenominal – but imagine if every week a few hundred people looked at your resume – wouldn’t that lead you to some opportunities?  For Russell, just one of the thousands of readers made it all worthwhile. Same as if you start blogging – just one client or employer could make it all worthwhile. You don’t have to worry about being number one of the 200 million blogs – you just have to cater to the readers in your little niche.

The new economy will be run by “free agents”. How can you distinguish one consultant from another? You might be shocked to hear this, but not every McKinsey/BCG/Accenture consultant is a genius. Most are ordinary people that have a huge marketing engine behind the brand. The future will be about the individual free agents and you will have to do your own marketing through producing your own content.

The world will become full of micro brands. Not all of us will become the McKinseys, IBMs or Accenture’s of the world but to a handful of our readers we will become a brand. It will be less important what degree you have or what grades you got – the content you produce will be more important. Do you really care if I have an MBA or not? Or got straight “A’s” at school? No, you care if the content is relevant for you, can you learn something from it? How does it help you?

When you go to buy products form an unknown company – you will read about the people behind it – do their values align with yours? The resume may be dead, but for those that are willing to work for it – a whole new world of possibilities will open up.

The internet will create mini-celebrities. In the old days, we could only follow Steve Jobs and Bill Gates as CNN and the BBC determined which CEOs were worth following. But now you can be your own Steve Jobs or Bill Gates. You can have your own product launches and PR stories. Just as some people think Steve Jobs is “cooler” than Bill Gates – so they go for Apple products, your small business will also have to come up with an image. Buying is about emotions – and if you let people know about the personalities behind the business (Richard Branson – Virgin, Jeff Bezos – Amazon, Jack Welsh – GE), the business is likely to sell more. Just as Britney Spears has a PR team behind her, you will also have to do your own PR to sell your own records or paintings.  Or for that matter – yourself for the job.

Your success can be linked to the followers you have online. Just as Richard Branson figured out that if he does some crazy stunts, he gets some free publicity for his company, so will many other entrepreneurs. Instead of just dealing with large media companies though, niches on YouTube and facebook will occur.

So does it matter if just a few people are reading your blog? For Russell, it led to a job that made him a millionaire. For you it could also lead to something you want to do in life. Write about things that genuinely interest you – unlike a resume or an hour long job interview – it will be harder for you to fake your enthusiasm for MS Excel or PowerPoint.

The new economy will allow you to be you. The old way of having a different persona in your “corporate” day life and being a different person in your personal life will disappear. The “truer” you will appear. Companies will hire “mini-brands” rather than “robots” that are hard to differentiate from one another.

Perhaps you should take a minute’s silence for your old resume, and prepare for the birth of your online brand.


About the Author

Amir Anzur

1 Comment

  1. Sally Wanjiru

    Brilliant writing!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *