In the nearly three months since losing my job, I’ve opened my resume once.
One look at it made me remember how much I hated the thing and having to make it in the first place. In the words of Jack Sparrow:
Here’s why the idea of the resume is dead, and, if you read to the end, what you can do about it.
1. Nobody wants to read it.
Why would someone want to look over this wordy document that I don’t even like reading myself?
I’ve seen dozens of resumes over the years, and nearly every one of them makes me cringe seeing how much text was on it. Maybe it’s the creative in me, but I can’t imagine all the “official” stuff on it gets anyone ahead.
According to this Forbes article, the average number of job applicants is 118.
You’ll never stand out if you’re just like everyone else. You can’t get ahead by following your typical resume advice because that’s what all the other applicants are hearing and also doing. Why be like everyone else?
One important thing to note here though is that this whole “ you have to submit a resume as part of your application” thing isn’t really our fault.
We live in a society that is plagued by clinging to less-productive industrial age thinking.
We’re in the information age. It’s time to wake up and take advantage of it. Your resume-requesting efforts are useless. Let’s find something that works better.
Sooner or later innovation will, I hope, win out and we’ll do away with this and other dusty old productivity killers.
2. Most jobs come from your connections anyway.
The day I was terminated, not even an hour after it happened, I was on the phone with one of my connections who had previously left the same company.
Almost 24 hours to the minute from when the rather unkind manager who hardly took the time to know me anyway cut me, I was in the office of that same friend I had spoken with on the phone the previous day.
He is a kind mentor who was willing to help me out, provided I put in some work.
And work I have.
I found it incredibly ironic that this friend of mine never asked for my resume. He didn’t want to see a piece of paper with my accomplishments on it; he wanted to hear my voice and see my passion for the ideas I had.
My personality landed me the opportunity, but it was the connection I had previously developed that got me to a place where I could present it.
I’ve held over 16 different jobs over my lifetime. At least 10 of those came from people in my network. Some of them I still needed to present my resume to, but I’m pretty sure it didn’t make much of a difference because they already knew me.
It’s not what your resume looks like that gets you a job, it’s who you know.
3. We’re in the information age and should take advantage of it.
“The internet is the most underutilized advertising medium that’s out there.”
— Mary Meeker
As mentioned before, this industrial age thinking is holding us all back. The 40-hour workweek is almost 100 years old. The idea of a pension doesn’t even cross most people’s minds now. I’ve lost all hope in social security.
I wouldn’t need it anyway because I’m not planning on retiring, which is also more possible now because of the information age.
It’s estimated that over 50% of the workforce will be freelancer’s in the next decade.
To become a freelancer, you don’t need a resume.
How do I know? Because that’s exactly how I’ve supported our Family of four since losing my job and I never used my resume to get here.
I had done the math, both on working for someone else and for trying to use my resume again. The numbers were not in my favor without turning my skills into freelance work.
So, as mentioned, I connected with a firm as a freelance engineer.
And just a few weeks ago I also started a freelance writing, editing, and minimal web design company that I hope to grow.
I didn’t need my resume because I ditched the industrial age thinking for a better, more productive path. I’m a millennial, and I thought it was time to think like one who grew up learning how to search Google, even in school.
Do yourself a favor and ditch the resume. Take a look at the world, and you’ll realize that you’ll likely never need it again. With all the opportunities there are to make money on the internet, you’ll be more than fine.