Why I don’t have a resume…

…is the same reason you shouldn’t either: we’re remarkable.

And remarkable people don’t market themselves sub-remarkably.

I’m sure I’ll catch some flack for challenging the tried-and-true resume, but that doesn’t matter. I feel very strongly about this.

This conversation has come up a lot lately. These are a few of the excuses I’m hearing against my stance:

“But I can’t get a job without one.”

Sure. You can’t get a j-o-b without one, but who wants one of those. I’m looking for a career, a passion, a way to express my creativity. I want to wake up in the morning excited that I get to do what I do. A job doesn’t provide that, it provides a paycheck. If you’re applying for a job, fighting over whether or not you should have to submit a resume wastes more time than it’s worth.

“But I put a lot of time into concocting mine.”

Great. Now put that much time (and more) into marketing yourself remarkably. If you’ll put hours and hours into a single sheet of paper, I’m excited to see what you can do with a blog, or a video series, or any type of art.

“But that’s what the organization I’m applying to expects.”

Right. They expect you’ll come with resume in hand. Wouldn’t they be suprised if you showed up with a five by five card that said, “See my work here!” “Read my blog here!” or “Check out what I’ve made here!” (Maybe even show up with something you’ve made. People love to touch and feel.)

Doing what’s expected is for the average. If you’ve read this far, I don’t think you’re average.

“But anything else is hard.”

Exactly. Here in lies the heart of the problem. Resumes are easy. Hell, open Word and you can have one in half an hour. Resumes are safe, and anything else is dangerous. (I think you know which of these options I detest.)

A friend and I have this debate continually. Her excuse is that my “field” (whatever field that would be) expects different and new and attention-grabbing, while her industry is looking for a nice, crisp, professional, one-page, by-the-book resume.

First, I think we’ve been taught to consider different as bad. While being different does challenge the norm, it doesn’t come down to “piss everyone off or you’re not doing it right” (not all the time, at least). Being different doesn’t mean flashy. It’s about displaying the uniqueness of you. Don’t you want people to see who you really are?

Second, while industries and fields do vary on expectations and creative freedom, they don’t vary on this: Everybody wants to hire someone remarkable.

By submitting to the lie that it’s “resume or the highway” you’re essentially allowing someone to put a box around your creativity.

“Here, show me what you’ve done…on this 8×11.” Yeah. That’s possible.

Resumes do something else to the psychy. They make every applicant the same. The paper is the box and you MUST think inside it. Anything outside the box is bad.