Resumes are overrated.
Of course your references are available upon request. What are you going to do, refuse?
If your references are amazing, don’t offer them on request, include them. If they’re not stellar, do better work and get some stellar references. Give me names and phone numbers and actual testimonies.
And that objective line? Objectives are a relatively new addition to resumes. Their original purpose was to show a big company that you had aspirations to move up the corporate ladder (their corporate ladder) in a specific direction. For a few isolated careers, this made sense.
But now, the objective line is either used as a narcissistic caption about what’s in it for you (not me) to hire you (“to learn about what you do so I can quit and go do it somewhere else soon”) or, far more common, as an exercise in say-nothing doublespeak that can best be summarized as blah, blah, blah.
Starting your resume with blah and ending with an obvious bit of boilerplate does no one any good.
In the last few days, I’ve heard from top students at Cornell and other universities about my internship.
It must have been posted in some office or on a site, because each of the applications is just a resume. No real cover letter, no attempt at self marketing. Sort of, “here are the facts about me, please put me in the pile.”
This is controversial, but here goes: I think if you’re remarkable, amazing or just plain spectacular, you probably shouldn’t have a resume at all.
Not just for my little internship, but in general. 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.
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?
Some say, “well, that’s fine, but I don’t have those.”
Yeah, that’s my point. If you don’t have those, why do you think you are remarkable, amazing or just plain spectacular? It sounds to me like if you don’t have those, you’ve been brainwashed into acting like you’re sort of ordinary.
Great jobs, world class jobs, jobs people kill for… those jobs don’t get filled by people emailing in resumes. Ever.