I don’t have a resume. I’ve been self-employed for almost 20 years. I have a website, a LinkedIn presence, and social media accounts. My 100 character (yes, character), 200 word, and 2-page bios with graphics tell you a lot about me. Resumes are not for me and I am believing more and more each day that they need to go for all!
Almost 20 years ago I wrote the following across the top of a whiteboard…..
I will never do another resume again.
It was there for me; to remind me in those times and those moments when things were tough to keep plugging along. To not give up. To remember that showing up to the same place every day, while that is good for some, sucked the soul out of my life. It was there to remind me to recite, over and over again, one of my favorite quotes……….
Truthfully I despise resumes and the importance people (especially hiring folks) put on them. I think they’re full of exaggerations, lies or misconceptions. I believe they hurt people who truly don’t understand the value of their contribution to an employer. I think they eliminate great candidates from job interviews because of software and keyword algorithms and the wrong people reviewing them. Heck, there’s a whole industry of “experts” getting paid to re-write your resume in keywords! Then let’s not forget the people reading them not even thinking about the time and energy people dedicate to putting them together and aren’t even afforded the courtesy of some feedback or a polite “not a fit.” Yes, I know they’re supposed to weed out the bad. Sadly, they weed out some great people too!
And the whole painstaking process of putting a resume together…….Well………just ask people who are still “working” on their resume!
Over the years I’ve had conference committees ask me for my resume. Again, I don’t have a resume. Never really understood why hiring me to give a one-hour keynote or a couple of breakout sessions required a resume?? I would just send along a speaker bio asking them why they needed a resume. The bio was always good enough. They never answered my question.
Recently I decided I wanted to become more active in my community. A community oversight committee is being assembled after the city voted in a General Obligation Bond. You fill out a questionnaire asking why you want to join the committee and what you bring to the table. So I talked about my ability to take a leadership role, to inspire teams, to be able to truly listen, ask questions and communicate in a team environment, my background in accounting/finance and that a large part of my client base is municipalities. I think I’m a perfect fit. HAHAHAHA!
And then the last question………………….and you know this is coming……………….
Please attach a resume.
Our new general obligation bond is about progress and moving forward with new ideas. Personally I think my website and LinkedIn presence is more exciting than any resume. So is my bio. And if those 3 things aren’t good enough for them I guess I wasn’t meant to help them move forward.
But I guess here is my real point. Bios can really get the attention one is looking for. They let a person know who you are. They can give a picture of your background and skills without you worrying about whether or not you should do things chronologically or not. And they are a great conversation starter because they tend to be written in a more casual tone!
I really do believe we should go to a system of bios and not resumes. Every bio I have ever read has gotten me more excited about a person, as compared to a listing of dates and places – and let’s face it, those dates are often being used as age discrimination anyway. A well written bio let’s you be real, show your uniqueness, and gives the reader the opportunity to learn your personality—-which let’s face it…………..is probably a more important fit to an organization than skillset!
And yes, there are companies doing this to open the interview process. So why not yours? Or if you’re looking for a job why not submit a bio and see what happens when that resume keeps getting no results.