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The Anti-Resume Experiment

April 19, 2010

The connections one can make on the internet are often awesome and amazing. Through meeting Megan M (Ideaschema), I was introduced to the blog and ideas of Angela Lussier (365 Degrees Consulting), and her book (that she self-published, how cool is that?): The Anti-Resume Revolution.

That’s just cool.

So now I’m reading The Anti-Resume Revolution (“Wait, you mean you’re not done with it when you’re writing this ‘review’?” Yes, now hush.), and I had some thoughts I just couldn’t wait to share.

When I first started reading the Anti-Resume Revolution, I was blown away by the power of the ideas Angela Lussier had to offer. I was immediately thinking of how much fun — not to mention liberating — it would be to send out resumes her way, instead of the stupid way I was taught.

Angela talks about what I mean:

I took it upon myself to make an appointment at the Career Center before graduating. I was greeted with what sounded like the 5-minute speech they give every graduating senior. They handed me a template and told me to use that as a guide for the layout of my resume. Once I was done, the told me to get some resume paper and print it out on the fancy stuff. No pictures, or personal information; just an outline of my past work.

The “typical” way resumes are done has gotten me exactly two interviews in my entire working career, and that doesn’t sound so bad until you realize that I’ve found and held 12 jobs. In four years. Over the course of those four years, four of the jobs I got had your typical minimum wage job application for me to fill out, six of them I got through contacts I knew, and two of them I got because they picked my resume out of a stack and decided from that that I was the best fit for the job.

Strangely (or not), the two jobs I got based on my resume are the two that I meshed with least, and that lasted the shortest amount of time. Huh.

So my first reaction to the book was a complete recognition of how amazing the insights of the book truly are. I would be pleased an honored to have Angela as a friend.

My second reaction to the book was frustration. “Frustration?” you ask. Indeed. I felt frustration because if my life follows the course that I have plotted for it (HA!), my husband and I will not be living in Michigan in six months. We’ll be moving to Colorado. At the outside, the move will happen one year from now. Maybe. If things go horribly, horribly wrong. And while I have held jobs for six months (one I only held for five…), the job market is so bad right now that it might take me six months even to get an interview, never mind a job.

Whine whine, bitch bitch, moan moan. Get over yourself, Megan.

So yeah, I was frustrated, because I thought that even if I wanted to use the ideas that Angela put forth in her (totally awesome and amazing, you should go buy it right now) book, I wouldn’t be able to until we were in Colorado, which meant that I would have to wait at least six months to put any of the ideas into effect.

But then I realized, “That’s stupid!” Just because I don’t want a job in Michigan, doesn’t mean I can’t send resumes (or anti-resumes) and apply for jobs in Michigan. I actually have, almost literally, nothing to lose. That is an incredibly liberating thought. And possibly my most favorite thought I’ve had in years! (Okay, maybe months… or weeks, but still!)

So, I pushed aside my frustration, and had my third reaction, which was glee. ^_^

I could try every single one of the things she suggests for an “Anti-Resume.”

  • I could put my picture on the resume.
  • I could move the blurb about the 19 months I’ve spend abroad to the top, instead of leaving it at the bottom.
  • I could send it on colored paper.
  • I could create a video resume.
  • I could send in a resume that closely resembles a roleplaying character sheet.
  • I could create a website that doubles as a portfolio, not only for the things I’ve done, but for the things I’m talented at and have little to no experience at (like project management, and graphic design).

And I could write all about it. Write about the process. Let you, my readers, know what I did and what (if any) response I got.

As part of any cover letter I send, I could say, “Whether or not you think I’m a good fit for this job, I would love to get your feedback on the unique resume that I am sending you. Did you love it? Did you hate it? Could you spare a moment to tell me why?” And I could even include in the envelope a self-addressed, stamped envelope with a piece of paper in it, maybe even with questions on it, on which they could write feedback if they so desired.

So that’s my plan. I’m going to send anti-resumes to companies that I might be remotely interested in working for, and see what they say, and how they react.

By Monday I’m going to have a list of companies that I would like to apply to, as well as the type of anti-resume that I would would best suit the position for which I’m applying. My goal is to send out one anti-resume a week, on Fridays.

And also, if you have any ideas for an Anti-Resume that you’ve never tried but always wanted to, go ahead an leave them in the comments. I’ll be happy to add them to my list of things to try.

Wish me luck!

PS – For those of you who have read the book and are wanting to point out that Angela does a spectacular job of translating all of her job-search and branding advice to advice for the budding entrepreneur, and I should focus on that aspect of it instead of the job aspect because you know that I actually want to be self-employed… you’re right. You’re absolutely right. The only problem I have with that version of the plan is that I’m not sure yet what I want to be offering as an entrepreneur, and while I’m still thinking about that and exploring my options, I don’t know if I’m ready to try to brand or market myself. So. I’m hoping that this project will give me experience and insight into the whole process, so when it comes time to brand and market myself as a business instead of as an employee, it’ll be that much easier.

4 Comments leave one →
  1. April 26, 2010 2:05 pm

    I think it’s a great idea. Employment is one way to figure out what you have to offer that people might pay money for… even if the value you provide is not the value they thought they were hiring you for.


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