March 27, 2008

An argument for career searching sans resume

Seth Godin is ready to remake another industry, this time the job search. Flipping the funnel he asks why even bother to have a resume?
Great people shouldn't have a resume.

Here's why: A resume is an excuse to reject you. Once you send me your resume, I can say, "oh, they're missing this or they're missing that," and boom, you're out.

Seth believes that great jobs, your perfect job, is most likely to get filled via referral.

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?

So that means you'd better get started now to make an impact in your industry, network with people who might just find you a job in the future, or become a subject matter expert through a popular blog.

Keep in mind the caveat that some jobs won't be filled via referral. They'll expect you to follow the instructions on the help wanted ad to the t. The ability to follow instructions being a key requisite for that position, failure to do so automatically eliminates you. Of course, you have to ask yourself if that's the kind of job you deserve.

As much as anything Seth's idea is a strong argument for using LinkedIn. The networking, recommendation, and referral systems built into LinkedIn practically automates the referral process.

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March 18, 2008

Use YouTube, but not for a video resume, please

Seeking a new job? Want to prove you're an expert in your field? Here's an idea that will help you stand out in a crowded, talented field. Do a video everyday on YouTube that demonstrates something you know. Doesn't have to be much, just a two minute how-to, or your subject matter expertise on something in the news.

You don't even have to write a full script. Just an outline with a couple of the big points you want to hit. Maybe put in a good joke or two. But don't do anything forced, let your natural self shine through. It is a good idea to dress and look professional, though. Always dress for the job you want to have five to ten years from now.

If you don't have a video camera, get on eBay and get a cheap Web cam then set up a YouTube,, or Seesmic account (or all three). If you don't have a video you can at least do a few Screencasts of software or research you're an expert at or Google-doc Presentations.

Make sure each account links to your Linked-In page or Emurse resume (or both). You can even add a little tag to the end of each video with the URL and your email for contacting you.

Finally, publicize your videos on Linked-in, Facebook, Twitter, your blog, etc. You want the full affect of your social network to help you promote your job expertise. You don't have a job and even after reviewing and answering job wanted ads you're still going to have extra time in the day. So you have no excuses.

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