Friday, March 4, 2011

The resume is a lie!

I was speaking with my very good friend Dan McGarry today about the process of searching for new employment. Dan was part of the Kynetx "rightsizing" of a week ago, and just to get this out of the way, is one of the best humans I know. If you are looking for someone who knows how to get things done and has tenacity that is second to none, Dan is your man.

I noticed that Dan was updating his resume and made mention that I also had recently overhauled my resume. I also mentioned that I thought the tradition of the resume was utter bullshit and should be scrapped altogether. To my surprise, Dan voiced his violent agreement, so I thought that maybe I had something to say on the subject worth sharing.

To state my position more succinctly, I believe that a resume does a fairly good job of presenting the  litany of your skills, but an utterly miserable job of providing a potential employer any data about who you are and what value you bring to an organization.

Now there are countless boutique businesses built around the business plan of helping you wordsmith your resume, but at the end of the day, the best that they can hope to do is help you create a "beautiful lie." Instead of spending your hard earned money on these types of services, your resume should just be a cover letter that says this:

"My name is [insert name here] and I would very much like to tell you all about me over coffe."

Seriously, it is THAT simple. To back this up, the best and brightest people I have ever hired were personal referrals that were interviewed over coffee. Now it is true that many of them had also submitted resumes to me because that is "what you do" (aka tradition), but frankly, I would have invited them to chat based on a personal recommendation(s) alone.

This brings me to the essence of my argument;  If you want to find great people, you will not find them sorting through stacks of paper. You will only find great people by using your network to solicit personal recommendations.

At Kynetx, we had a "no cold hire" policy in place. This means that if someone did not come with at least one personal recommendation from someone either already at Kynetx, or one degree of separation from someone at Kynetx, they did not get an invite to be considered to join the team. What this did for us was it allowed us to build an AMAZING team of people because A+ people know and want to be surrounded by A+ people.

Instead of looking at a resume, ask the candidate for their LinkedIn profile or their Twitter name. These glimpses into a person's social graph will tell you more about who the person is and what they are all about than their resume ever could.

So to sum this all up, resumes, neigh the TRADITION of the resume, is bullshit. If you want to get to know me and let me get to know you, let's go have coffee (more metaphor then literal, breakfast works too) and you will know within the first five minutes whether or not you are going to hire me. Conversely, I will know within the first five minutes whether or not I want to come work with you.

(This is another point for another post, but job seeking really is a two way street and you should never feel pressured to take or stay at an interview if you know that it is not a fit. If within the first five minutes you know it is not going to work, do yourself and the person interviewing you a favor, call an end to the meeting.)

1 comment:

  1. I agree. In order to work and higher the best, it's becoming more and more imperative to network and make friends in the field that you want to work. I also recently upgraded my resume but still have yet to actually use it or give it out to get a job. I find the best jobs through my friends and contacts and I think that most of the time, companies find the best employees the same way.