Conceptually, I like blogstar Robert Scoble. I have never met him, but I have seen him on video, heard his podcasts, and read his blog. That makes me as much an expert on him as the rest of the world who only knows him through these media. In that sense, blogging is like the Truman Show.
In today's episode, Mr. Scoble says he just told a "clueless" recruiter from Yahoo who was asking for a resume that he "just took a job that didn't require a resume, sorry." While that's not quite the same thing as telling someone to pound sand, I wonder: Does Mr. Scoble have a driver's license? Because I'm pretty sure that unless his new employer is insane, they did a routine background check on him. Good luck being above that.
Memo to everyone else:
You need a resume. A good one, in fact. We all do. I'm sure Steve Rubel had one when he joined Edelman. I've been self-employed for several years and mine is up to date. What's the big deal?
We all have to work within a system. Nobody's above it. In fact, if you're self-employed, you probably need a fresh, hard hitting, credential-rich resume more than anyone -- along with a believable story as to why you would consider going back "in-house." Trust me, I applied for a handful of jobs during the last recession and couldn't get arrested. Having my own website and newsletter only made it worse.
Will your blog help you land a job? In my experience [as a blogger and a recruiter] it is far more likely that you'll get a new job with a company that has no idea what a blog is. To wit, last year I was contacted by a B-list blogger who wanted me to help him get a "blogging" job with a Fortune 500 company. His salary idea? After some coaxing, he said "Oh, I dunno. $200K?"
C'mon. Consider that most of Corporate America wonders whether it should even be blogging -- let alone under which department's budget a blog would appear. And good luck determining the blog's ROI. Even experts like Charlene Li say "it's not about the math." Which just means they don't know. Indeed, my expert B-list candidate is still looking for work. And blogging, of course. For free.
A blog is no substitute for a resume.
Look: Even if your blog rocks, part of being an acquirable "microbrand" is knowing that when the right opportunity arises, you must be able to capitalize on it without giving your suitor pause to wonder what kind of "target" refuses to jot down their credentials on paper. If you're above that, what else are you above? Nobody likes a diva. Or a cover-up artist.
I'm not saying anything about Mr. Scoble other than he's lucky to have skirted the system -- in much the same way that Blake Gottesman skirted the system when he got into HBS without a college degree. But that's unusual, and I would not count on that happening to you.
UPDATE 3-17-2008: Seth Godin says you don't need a resume. Gentle reader, I assure you that Mr. Godin is 100% wrong. Trust me. I do this for a living at a very high level. It's unusual, but Mr. Godin can be dead wrong. Perhaps this is some kind of St Patrick's Day hoax.
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