How to skip the resume…

People think they need resumes to get good jobs. Seth Godin argues they don’t, not if they think they’re special.

Instead of the usual resume with the boring facts about you or the product, Godin suggests instead:

“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.” Fair enough, he says.

“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.”

Think that applies to you and your product too? “a reputation that precedes you” is something you can begin work on right now, by treating your potential and existing customers so special they can’t stop talking about you and your product.


Average doesn’t beget honor or word of mouth – much less a reputation that precedes you.

About the author

Kim Klaver


  • Dear Kim,

    I was beginning to think you had run off to help with the campaigns.

    As you will recall, I am not always swift to embrace Mr. Seth Godin’s viewpoints. However, this one resonates for me; particularly, “a reputation that precedes you”.

    Once again just yesterday I got slapped by the reality that many people are not anywhere near the ‘giant’ that they present themselves to be. If that be so, then the inverse obviously exists as well. And that would be some people that truly are ‘giants’ but don’t see themselves as such in their own mine’s eye.

    This “fake it until you make it” stuff is not the reputation that you want out there ahead of you. I say this because when you hold it up to the light of scrutiny just right, it is total transparent and you are caught naked as a fake.

    I believe that genuineness and honesty are still two very admirable components of a good reputation. They also make for less stress when you are happy in your own skin and not pretending to be something or someone you are not.

    It is also becoming very apparent to me that those that have to blow the biggest, brightest, and loudest horn about themselves are secretly trying to cover up some ugly character flaws. Has anyone else noticed this?

    Fortunately I learned some time ago the one thing that I can do better than anyone else. That is to be myself. This realization truly helps me grasp a healthy attitude about myself without being obnoxious and arrogant.

    Last one, I promise. I find it is a common belief in business that if you give ‘over the top’ service that your clients will drown you in referrals. So we attempt to treat these people as we like to be treated. We pat ourselves on the back for practicing the golden rule in our customer service. I have been learning about the platinum rule that Dr. Tony Alessandra developed. “Do unto others as THEY would have you do unto them.” So if you can dig down with you potential customers to find out how they like it and then deliver it on point; you will at least get splashed with a referral or two. For example, when I am consulting with my potential customer and they express a specific concern that they have; I write it into their proposal using their very own words. Additionally, I make sure it gets handled properly and finally I call their attention to the fact that it has been done.

    You should see the praise this simple little procedure generates on my customer satisfaction form I ask them to complete at the wrap up.

    Happy to be me,

    Tom Doiron

Leave a Comment