Looking for a Job? Throw away your resume

This is a guest post by Fauzia Burke, President of FSB Associates

As the needs of our clients increase and FSB expands to serve them better, I find myself looking to hire people. However, this year, my approach is very different. As we are working on branding authors on the web, I am looking for people who can demonstrate that they have the skills to help us market and publicize books in a new way, using social media and web technologies to communicate a story.

What I have found is that a resume is just not enough to get my attention. The job market is tough, for sure, and everyone is looking for an edge. My bold suggestion is that you pretend you don’t have a resume. Think, then, how would you get someone’s attention, how would you tell them your story? Rather than crossing your fingers and sending out a one-dimensional paper resume, I recommend that all job seekers use a variety of social media tools.

One way to stand out to potential employers is to develop a personal story and a personal brand. Today, your online personal brand is much more valuable than your resume.

Before you get started, like all branding campaigns, start with an analysis of your goals.

1. Think about the following questions: What are my goals for generating income? Take time to meditate on the types of things that you enjoy doing, along with the unique set of skills that you possess. How can you parlay these specific talents and interests into landing a fulfilling job for yourself?

2. Who am I? Easier asked than answered, of course, but this question will be presented in each and every interview you attend. “Tell me about yourself.” Make sure that you are able to answer this question with your individual goals and aims in mind. Above all, be authentic, be YOU because there is no competition for YOU.

3. How will my potential employers be able to verify my professional experience and references? Brainstorm about the ways in which you can communicate your assets to potential employers or clients. Maintaining a social media profile is a fantastic way to present your past work experience and professional connections to potential employers.

Here are some sites and services that can help you develop a three-dimensional resume and your personal brand.


This site enables you to showcase your employment history, professional contacts, and endorsements from peers and clients. Potential employers want to see the extent of your commitment to an industry, as well as the level of respect that you have gained from colleagues and former bosses. Make sure you use a professional looking photo of yourself.

A blog is a great way to show off your expertise and comment on the latest news in your industry. Of course, your blog posts should be current, well-written and representative of your brand and goals in all ways.

Your twitter feed allows potential employers to examine what sorts of things interest you and what sort of information you choose to share with your social network. Become a source of good information and resources for people. Make sure you follow the companies you’d like to work for.

Post videos of yourself on YouTube to give employers an idea of your presence and persona. If your personality is your greatest asset, why not show it off?

The idea behind developing an online brand is twofold: to spread the word about you — your story, experience, and your portfolio — and also to allow potential employers to verify your professional history — references, dates of employment, professional recognition. That said, the next time you apply for a job, don’t just forward your standard paper resume. Instead, attach a cover letter with links to your various profiles online. My advice is to replace that dated, one-dimensional resume and bring yourself to life with social media.

I would love to hear about the ways in which social media and personal branding has helped you secure a job or make connections with other professionals in your industry. Employers, have you ever hired someone that you found through the Web? Job seekers, how much time do you devote to maintaining your social media sites and pages?

© 2010 Fauzia Burke

Author Bio
Fauzia Burke is the Founder and President of FSB Associates, a web publicity and social media firm specializing in creating awareness for books and authors. Founded in 1995, FSB’s mission is to give authors an opportunity to promote their work to an eager, targeted audience online. FSB is based in the NYC area.  For web publicity and social media news, follow Fauzia on Facebook and The Huffington Post.

For more information please visit fsbassociates.com.

3 Responses to “Looking for a Job? Throw away your resume”

  1. Adam

    Good post Fauzia.

    I’ve always hated CVs. I find them a poor reflection of the individual – CVs are regularly used to find reasons to say No to a candidate rather than a resounding Yes.

    When I was but a humble uni kid finishing up my marketing & advertising degree, an opportunity came up to apply for a role in a digital ad agency in Melbourne.

    I knew a CV wouldn’t cut it. Plus, I hate the damn things. So I built a WordPress blog in the colours & style of the company I was applying for, hosted it on my own domain, recorded a YouTube video introduction, and populated the site with content.

    The blog had information on me personally, a live feed to my Twitter stream, links to the blogs I read religiously, a reference to zombies and foosball, my professional experience, and buried somewhere in there was a PDF of my CV, just in case.

    I sent the link through to the contact.

    A few days later, I followed up with a DM flyer with a QR code on it, reminding them to check out my site. I got a phone call the day the flyer arrived.

    Long story short, out of 300 candidates, I was the only one to get a call and the only one they even considered for the job.

    That kickstarted my career in advertising. So yes, there are success stories when you throw away the conventional and actually *care* about what you’re applying for.

  2. Damon Klotz

    Brilliant story Adam.

    Eventually your story wont be so unique and it will force not only the other candidates to think outside the square even further but for HR departments and recruiters to reevaluate their approach and policies on how they recruit their employees.

    Again can’t forget context here. You contextualized your application to the company and it worked!

    Would love to hear more success stories in the future and I hope readers use your example as inspiration.

  3. Fauzia Burke

    Thanks for sharing that great story Adam. What an inspiration! To be honest nothing ever beats hard work and a good reputation. Social media and the Web allow more people to see your talent and creativity.


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