Sunday, July 03, 2011

Resume as Relic and the Networked Economy…

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I was a guest speaker at an MBA class recently and the professor and I got into a (heated) discussion following a question from one of the students.

My basic position was: Don’t even bother with making a resume.

Instead of TELLING me what you can do, SHOW me what you know.

  • your YouTube channel showing you present on your area of expertise
  • your channel
  • your  LinkedIn profile with a great bio and recommendations from people who have worked with you
  • your blog showing me hundreds of posts over the past 2 years demonstrating how you have sought mastery of a subject
  • and any of the other hundreds of opportunities we now have at our disposal

Her response was that “yes, but that’s not going to get the attention of an executive recruiter who wants a resume.”


Because the same rules that to marketing your company/product/service in this economy apply to would-be job seekers.

(Think about it: the above examples apply just the same if you substitute “resume” for “brochure” or “slide deck.”

These are all of the ways that you can demonstrate why your organization is the “the most trusted name in…”)

But now, let’s get back to our MBA students and their future career prospects.’

If they continually demonstrate to their community that they are driving towards mastery of a given field and combine that with a relentless passion, their community, their network will have NO choice but to do the targeting for them.

60% of jobs are filled via referrals and that’s UP from 48% a few years ago. My bet…it keeps growing.

(And, for those where recruiters are involved…95% of recruiters look at LinkedIn.)

You know the conversations.

“Do you know someone who can do X?”

and if you, as the hiring manager, get a strong recommendation about someone, meet that person for coffee, then what happens?

You go to the recruiter and you say “this is the person we need…make it happen.”

But there’s an even BIGGER problem than just the resume

The “meta-message” of the professor’s guidance re: an executive recruiter.

It implies the nature of the organizations that will be the source of employment in the future.

Hint: it won’t be the large ones we’re used to.

It’ll be small, dynamic, ever-changing ad-hoc groups that come together for a project, execute it, and then disband.

Or, so says one of the most acute observers of the changes to society brought about because of social networks and technologies is Kevin Kelley.

As he writes:

“Of the 250,000 people involved in the entertainment complex in the Los Angeles region, an estimated 85% of the firms employ 10 people or fewer.”

and “Fewer than ten entertainment companies employ more than 1,000 employees.”

Instead, the way it works is that:

Giant film studios no longer make movies. Loose entrepreneurial networks of small firms make movies, which appear under the names of the big studios.

And he summarizes:

Joel Kotkin, author of a landmark 1995 article in Inc. magazine entitled, "Why Every Business Will Be Like Show Business," writes: "Hollywood has mutated from an industry of classic huge, vertically integrated corporations into the world's best example of a network economy. Eventually, every knowledge-intensive industry will end up in the same flattened, atomized state. Hollywood just has gotten there first."

It seems to me that this is the world for which we want our smart MBA students to be prepared.

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