Resumes Are Dead. Your Blog is Your Resume. (Still).

I haven’t 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 decade-old timestamp on my SAP qualifications.) But back to resumes: I don’t need one, and neither do you.

Even in the “old days” of writing resumes any recruiter would confirm that the single best way of landing a job was through your personal network. Top Executives, genius engineers, star salesmen, well-published academics don’t ever need to look for a job: they get invited. It’s always better than knocking on the door. Or many doors.

But now Seth Godin sets the same rules even for applicants to his internship:

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?

We’ve looked at the two extremes: the top 5% whose personal reputation and network carries them on, and those who can’t really have a meaningful resume, since – unlike Ben – they are barely starting their careers. But in between is the rest of us, average Johns ad Janes, who probably have some achievements, are remarkable in one way or another … if only the world knew about it! Well, that’s the point! Most of us don’t have an extensive enough personal network, or they may be geographically dispersed, or they may not be in the right position… so how to get the word out?

Blogging changes it all. If you’ve been blogging for years, you certainly did not do it with a particular job in mind; your blog is likely to be a true reflection of who you really are, what you are an expert in, your communication skills, your priorities … YOU as a whole person, not as a candidate for a specific job – the brand called You. That’s certainly better than a resume, which is likely tailored for a particular job, and let’s face it, often “cosmetically enhanced” – no wonder it ends in the waste-basket.

You don’t have a blog? Why? Don’t you know the best time to market yourself is when you don’t need it?

Tom Peters has been saying for years:

Regardless of age, regardless of position, regardless of the business we happen to be in, all of us need to understand the importance of branding. We are CEOs of our own companies: Me Inc. To be in business today, our most important job is to be head marketer for the brand called You

My friend and fellow Enterprise Irregular Roth Boothby argues:

“…hiring a blogger is a lower risk proposition because you have more information and a better idea of how they are going to perform.”

He should know – he got hired twice, based on his blog. By the way, I really envy Rod’s charting skills:smile_eyeroll

It’s never been easier to build that Brand Called You: if you’re still not doing it, what are you waiting for? Start your blog today!

(hat tip: BL Ochman)