Seth Godin, as he reviews applications for his college-student summer internship, says:
I think if you’re remarkable, amazing or just plain spectacular, you probably shouldn’t have a resume at all.
He goes on to comment on the dismal self-marketing skills of college students looking for a job. I agree with his larger idea here — anytime I look through resumes or try to hire someone, I’ve shocked at how poorly people present themselves.
But this doesn’t mean you should hang up the resume. Seth concludes with:
Great jobs, world class jobs, jobs people kill for… those jobs don’t get filled by people emailing in resumes. Ever.
Agreed, but how many college kids are looking for a world-class job, a job people kill for? Most students or recent grads are just looking for a job. Opening an interview with, "I don’t have a resume, because I’m an A+ kind of guy" isn’t going to work out too well.
Have a good resume, but also have a personal web site with a custom domain (seriously – do you have your own domain and web site?), have a blog, do something remarkable. Follow the rules and change the rules — at once.
So I agree that true all-stars don’t send out resumes to find a job. Those people work within a trusted network of contacts, and there’s a body of public information about their work that’s more useful than a resume can ever be. Yet most college students are not all-stars and shouldn’t, in their quest to be remarkable, just ignore all existing hiring conventions.