Throw Away Your Résumé

Why are you failing?

It’s a question a lot of people are asking today.

Like this person. 

Or this person. 

Why is no one responding to my emails? Why is no one giving me a callback after that job interview? Why am I floundering? Why can’t I find work after doing everything I was told to do?

People don’t seem to get it: the rules have changed.

If you’re asking for someone to answer the question, Why am I failing? for you, you’re not an idiot. You just don’t understand how the world works now. You’re living in the past.

Before, in the Medieval period, or the Industrial age or whatever the fuck, lords, bosses, kings, popes, whoever — they were the ones who told you how to live. They defined your existence and it was your job to conform to them.

Today it has very little to do with these authority figures, because power is becoming increasingly more evenly distributed. It’s all about you. And I don’t mean this in a Millennial “me generation” way so much as I mean that you’re going to serve the world, if you’re a good citizen. It’s your responsibility now to (1) find what makes you happy on your own and (2) help other like-minded people to do the same. Then hope that has a good global butterfly effect.

Needing someone else to tell you why you are failing is just so backwards and retrograde (retrograde in a non-productive way) that it’s painful. As James Altucher says, choose yourself. Don’t wait for someone to choose you. You don’t need them anymore. You don’t need advice. You just need to listen to your heart and pursue that passion illogically to the end, and if you do that, it will work out — because instead of conforming to someone else’s logic, you define the logic of the world for yourself. It might take 2 months, it might take 2 years, or 2 decades, but as long as you have food and do what you love, you will be happy and you will be a success.


And if you switch into this mindset — if you do choose yourself — then you will have employers flocking to you, because they aren’t hiring a robot, they’re hiring someone with soul, ready to shape the world, ready to think critically and make great contributions. But you won’t even need them anymore. Because you’re beyond that, you know who you are, and you’ve found not co-workers but people you love and collaborate with, a network of true support.

A lot of people will say you have to be rich to choose yourself. The only thing you need is to be able to eat. If you’re so desperate you can’t eat, email me and I’ll send you money for food. (Will vet the hell out of you to make sure you’re actually legit.) Or, more first-world realistic, send me your Kickstarter — I’ll donate and become your ally for life. Kickstarter is great. Actually, Kickstarter requests only… I don’t believe you can’t find food if you’re reading this stupid website.

Why are you failing? Because résumés are absurd. Résumés are an artifact of an age passed. Résumés reduce your existence into a little piece of paper. Haha, are you fucking kidding me? Do you really think your beautiful personality and contribution to the world can be reduced to a few words on a piece of paper? Fuck that and fuck the French for their stupid conformist words and ways. #OccupyParis.

And fuck any employer who takes résumés all that seriously.

Seth Godin explains it better than me:

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.

Everything is infinite — granted you believe it is. Believe. Thought Catalog Logo Mark

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