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The Only Thing on Your Resume that Matters to a Smart Person

I finished writing a long, in-depth entry about the discussion that ensued from yesterday’s TechCrunch post.

Then I deleted it.

I deleted it because a lot of people just weren’t getting the point. So, instead of going all in-depth and being overly meticulous (as is my habit), I figured I’d just come right out with the goods.

What really matters

Intelligent people really don’t care what’s on your resume. In fact, intelligent people don’t really give a damn about formal interviews, resumes, or anything of that sort. Sure, your portfolio matters, but even that’s secondary to the number one, be all, end all factor. It’s the one thing that matters above all else to any truly smart person with whom you’ll ever do business. What is it?

The Botticelli Anomaly on the moon

It’s you. It’s everything about your character. It’s every emotion you represent. It’s the reflection of your passions on your character. It’s how you represent yourself—verbally, physically, mentally, and socially.

It’s you.

Really good, really smart people actively seek out those with whom they share an intrinsic kinship. The capitalists among them are constantly on the lookout for those who stand head and shoulders above the crowd not only because of everything they represent now, but also because of everything that they could represent.

Just like Major League Baseball scouts judge talent on the basis of perceived potential, intelligent people rate others with the future in mind. The only basis they have for determining your future worth is your current character.

What really matters for YOU

No matter who you are or what you’re doing, people are going to try to classify you, to try and lump you into some kind of quantifiable group. While I think it sucks, the fact is, it’s human nature. We use devices like this to help us understand things; otherwise, we’d spend all our time running around, trying to catch up with all the anomalies and inconsistencies.

You want to go further? You want to catch the attention of the other intelligent people out there who will listen to you and appreciate you because of who you are? You want to step outside the classification that successfully stifles about 99.9% of our ridiculous corporate culture?

Be an anomaly.

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73 comments… read them below or add one

Nick May 17, 2006

Chris,
I think you’re right on the money with this post. Intelligent people do tend to seek each other out because they share some type of bond.

I try to represent myself the best I can no matter where I am. I think its only the best practice in the world.

Great insight, like always.

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Dennis May 17, 2006

You said it Chris. These days to stand out your have to show what make you an individual other wise you are just another schmuck in the crowd.

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Mike Sigers May 17, 2006

If you don’t make people think you’re remarkable, they won’t think it on their own.

I could write a whole post about this…so I guess id better do just that and LINK back to you.

Better than monopolizing your comments section with a rant of mine.

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Lelia Katherine Thomas May 17, 2006

This is so true, and this is why I’ve loved the work atmosphere much more than the school environment. (I took a year off between high school and college.) Work is rarely about grades, or number grades anyway, and I made it my number one priority to relate to people and to have a good personality that helped build up people around me. This is hard to do on days when your personal life is terrible, but it’s worthwhile for your employment.

This is why schools really needs to teach etiquette and basic human interaction. Where I decide to put forth the effort, I’m very good at those things, but I’ve been lucky enough to come from a family that’s taught me how to act appropriately in public and in the workforce. Not everyone knows.

On a bit of a different note, if you are a female reading this, consider seeking out jobs where there are more men than women in the workplace. You’re an automatic anomaly, and provided you can take some of the good-natured jokes along the way (and you should be able to laugh at yourself!), you become really appreciated.

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Evan Tishuk May 18, 2006

Dangerous advice here Chris. If everyone becomes anomalous I’ll have to become “normal” in order to be different. Hell, I might have to start watching American Idol! Maybe you should just delete this post too.

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Gail Gardner June 23, 2011

LOL…that can never happen because truly intelligent people ARE different. They would go insane trying to be ‘normal’.

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Rick Turoczy May 18, 2006

Intelligent people really don’t care what’s on your resume. In fact, intelligent people don’t really give a damn about formal interviews, resumes, or anything of that sort.

Absolutely agree.

It’s you. Really good, really smart people actively seek out those with whom they share an intrinsic kinship.

Ack! Disagree. I think the one thing that matters above all else–and honestly the thing that makes this whole T*chCr*nch fiasco so interesting–is that old, old, old platitude: It’s not what you know; it’s who you know.

People don’t really seek out an “intrinsic kinship” with new people. They talk to people with whom they already have that kinship. They bridge that kinship with someone that you have in common. And more often than not, it’s what those people you have in common say about you that will get you the gig or kill your chances.

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Bear May 18, 2006

I always thought the most important thing on resume was if you could use Microsoft Word or not.

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Chris P. May 18, 2006

Oh, well of course I meant besides that…

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street May 18, 2006

We dumb people like to seek each other out too. We tend to find each other based on our lack of smugness.

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Abi May 19, 2006

I’ve enjoyed reading your site and I look forward to putting the ‘teaser’ idea to use. The designs are lovely and make me wish that I had more artistic talent.

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Chris Cree May 19, 2006

Your resume doesn’t get you the job. Your resume gets you an interview.

The interview gets you the job – for all those reasons you mentioned.

I’ve been down that route often enough to know…

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Chris P. May 19, 2006

Abi, who needs artistic talent when you can just go and get PressRow? :)

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lawton chiles May 20, 2006

Chris, Pressrow is very cool. If you want, please take a look and rip my posts to shreds.

Lawton

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Jamie Aaron July 24, 2006

I totally agree. While knowing the skill gets you the interview, how you bond with the person in the interview will make or break the deal.

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Hayden Shumsky July 28, 2006

I think you’ve written an absolutely fantastic post. In the end, a resume is just a brief synopsis of you and an opportunity to catch someone’s eye. A good resume is worthwhile because it helps to stand out. But a good resume doesn’t come from the prestige of your jobs, education, or your writing talent. It comes from your ability to express who you are, what you’ve done, and where you’d like to go. It is the ‘you’ factor that will create the success in your life. The more you’re able to tap into your passion, your talents, your desires, the more confidence and energy you will feel. That positive, confident energy is contagious and a fundamental element of what truly smart and successful people are looking for. I’ve written a series of posts on Finding Work you love, which I think your readers would enjoy. The posts are a good companion to this one. Please see http://www.haydencoach.com .

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stephen October 12, 2006

Be an anomaly. If that were true (and I don’t mean to suggest that it may not be true, only that I have concerns that there are other just-as-important factors to also consider), I would be the perfect employee for EVERY and ANY organisation. I suspect I am not. But I am prepared to have someone tell me I am something other than an anomoly.

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Chris P. October 12, 2006

Stephen,

This is all about the self-fulfilling prophecy. If you believe you are great, and you live each day in such a way that you try and fulfill that personal promise, then others are far more likely to see that and recognize it for what it is.

As simple as the subject may seem, the truth is, greatness is very much an anomaly. Be great; get noticed.

Simple as that :)

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Fell the Don October 16, 2006

Wow am I glad someone finally just came out and said it!

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Brian October 19, 2006

If your work does not speak for itself,
and you are unable to effectively communicate in writing (resume) or verbally (interview), why would “smart” people be interested in hiring you?

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Iulia Mihailescu October 31, 2006

Congratulations for the great topic! And for the quantity of arguments you wrote to support your idea.

One big problem: when you talk about intlligence, do not forget that there ar many ways in which people can express or are able to express their intellignce. One may be a genius in finance let’s say, but have very poor social skills. Unless a CV speakes for her achievements, the interviewer might fail in recognizing the rough “diamond” he is talking to.

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Cosmin November 18, 2006

You know “talent attracts more talent” so yes, you are right. Intelligent people tend to seek each other.

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Britgirl January 8, 2007

Great post Chris and very good points. Many times I have interviewed prospective candidates for a job and despaired at how so few even attempt to sell themselves or do their homework. They end up wasting my time.

Though the resume “only” gets you an interview, it still has to stand out. How can it stand out? By telling me how you, out of oh, 200+ other prospectives, are the one who is going to solve my work problem. People think it’s about them. It isn’t entirely. It’s about how you are going to make someone else’s problem go away. So, say I believe you and then at the interview what, you do is simply prove it to me. This is what many don’t get.

Having also been an interviewee, of course, that’s exactly the strategy I use. And it always works.
It is also about who you know – but often people still don’t network – until they need a job. If you know how to work your network, BEFORE you need a new job, chances are you will not need to rely on a resume.

One other point.. I agree that people seek out others they have a kinship with, and if that kinship is based on objective understanding, such the comfort level a person has when someone they trust recommends someone to them, then that’s when it works beautifully

There is a problem though when people simply seek out/employ those who look, sound and think exactly like themselves to the detriment of people who do posses talent, skills and proven ability to do the job, but who may be “different”.

Besides, even “intelligence” can be subjective. And if you have no social skills, or communication skills forget it. I’ve met many so called “intelligent” people who don’t have a social clue, but are totally convinced of how intelligent they are. And sometimes they are :) They could be a MENSA, for all I care. I would never hire them if my business depended on it.

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Benjamin Jones February 13, 2007

It’ was weird reading this post because I knew after the first few sentences what I’ve been practicing for many, many years to easily score jobs. I’ve had 7 jobs in the past 3-4 years in a lagging economy and I have people constently asking from left to right how I do it…I try to tell em’ that it’s not about the application or the resume you put in (more then half the time), it’s about how you personally connect to people with a certain style they have not.

You have just articulated the exact process I have been using since I got my first job. When I go to interviews, I don’t just talk to the interviewer, I talk WITH them. I don’t just rehash info that was already on my app, I give them brand new reasons why they should let me on their team. I’ve been doing it so naturally for so long it’s 2nd nature to me.

Great post

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Alex February 25, 2007

I just want to say, in response to Street’s May 18th comment, “oh, snap!”

While it’s true that people hold a “just like me” bias, I wouldn’t rely on that getting you surrounded by the smart creative types. More than that, it takes many different types (even dumb ones!) to make big things happen.

If I say much more, I’ll be parroting Britgirl.

However, the kind of rapport-building you’re talking about is just as essential as you say.

I’m enjoying the site.

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Jay Yates April 4, 2007

Well, I’m going to have to be the pessimist here. I think that what get you the job is what the employer can get from you. Do you have longevity in the work place? Are you reasonably priced? Can we make money off of your talents? What is the profit to loss ratio with you?

Integrity in the workplace for employee AND employer is almost non-existent today. Gone are the days when employers looked at their employees as an extension of the family. Now we are as disposable as a diaper.

You know, years ago I heard that in order for globalization to work, the employment playing field had to be leveled. The US, especially, had to be brought down to make it work. It looks like that wasn’t far off. Look at how the international market has brought down wages in the web field and how many jobs have been lost to overseas markets.

It was and is the middle class that was and is holding globalization back and if we are not careful, we’ll find ourselves out of the drivers’ seat and in the back of the bus.

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S. Rindge April 7, 2007

Having been a recruiter it is a combination of things that will get you the job. But basically it is whether or not the two parties click. I have known people that are absolute screw ups get jobs where someone with far more talent never gets a second interview. What made this first individual an anomaly, was that he came in prepared with more questions than answers and was able to circumvent answering more questions than he asked. Thus, he appeared more intelligent and got the job.

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otto tromm May 27, 2007

Hi,

I’ve only just found your blog and have already found a wealth of interesting posts: great work!
I really do agree with the post above, based on personal experience:
I wrote a detailed business plan when starting up my business, when a year after receiving our loan, I had to revise our projections downwards. Only then did I find out that the bank didn’t care that much about the exact numbers; we had received the loan based on the fact that they had trust in the team…

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Paul Montwill July 11, 2007

My first thought after reading this post is – instead of looking for a job, just start your own business and appreciate your individuality. If people only look on you resume then they are not worth talking to you.

Problems lies somewhere else – when you apply for a job probably there are 30-40 other CVs on the pile. Imagine you are a great person, standing out from the crowd, creative problem solver, giving 100% but… you have got 2 years experience in the area you apply for and somebody else has 3 year. And sometimes it does not even matter that you have been doing many great things in your life because you won’t be short listed because your resume does not tick one of the boxes.

Do you feel the same?

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Chris P. July 11, 2007

As someone who has both submitted resumes and hired people out of irrepressible stacks of the damn things, I can say that I have very little confidence in that method of hiring.

I’m sure there are plenty of HR people out there who cross off candidates because of a lack of certain “requirements,” and I think it’s a joke that this type of scenario actually occurs. I mean, honestly, how do you know that my two years’ worth of experience doesn’t place me far ahead of the guy with five years?

I feel terrible for college kids who have to read all of those ridiculous constraints for resume postings on monster.com and the like—it breeds an unhealthy mentality.

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Prue November 21, 2007

thanks for the insight, question, after all has been said, do you think people have a specific worth based purely on expierence and talent in their specific field and, if they do how does one calculate thier worth ?

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Chris P. November 21, 2007

Prue — If you’re looking for the person with the highest top end potential, then talent has to outweigh experience by a mile. That said, if you’re actually looking to hire someone for your own company, you might want to look towards experience instead.

Why?

Because the person with talent is far more likely to leave in pursuit of his or her own goals, while the person with experience has a proven ability to stay in one niche and excel (theoretically).

As far as calculating worth goes, I’d have to give that some thought… Honestly, though, worth is, to me at least, more akin to a belief than anything else. If you believe you have a high worth and live your life accordingly, others will have no choice but to take your word for it :)

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dcnelles January 8, 2008

c’mon, how many people does it take to convince everyone that the em porer really is wearing clothes?? just exactly which world do you live in? this is a bell curved society that rewards those who don’t stand out. those who know how to blend and obey rise to fill those positions which are competed for. anyone who stands above the crowd are marginalized at best. yes people judge and people are always on the look out for those that excel. but they are looking for them so that they can thwart the competition and further euthanize the gene pool. wake up people. as einstein said: ‘great spirits encounter violent opposition from mediocre minds.’

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Javier Yep Garcia January 14, 2008

And you know what Chris?, The world needs so much of these kind of man.

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dcnelles January 14, 2008

i’m sorry your sentence doesn’t make sense to me. could you elaborate?

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dcnelles January 14, 2008

javier: do you mean that the world needs more einsteins even though the majority of men who believe themselves to be superstars of optimistic excellence and devotees of the protestant work ethic will hunt them down and seek to enslave their souls with a double speak that would make george orwell shake his head in disbelief??

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Freelance - Javier Yep Garcia January 15, 2008

dcnelles, I would like to explain you things, but I dont do it right now, because of 2 points: You probably already know, and the second point is that it would be to long to have it explained :) – However, I can tell you one thing: “Both are necessary” or the world and its futur would be another one.

Do you know that in Europe (France, Switzerland, Germany, Italy, Spain…) employees can be working in the same position for its entire life, without ascending, never? – In order to go up in job’s positions, You Need To Have a Diploma.

In the US and Canada, a brilliant employee can go up on positions just by showing its general intelligence, practice, its winner attitude…

Both worlds are necessary, Who is Right and Who is Wrong?

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Dina at Wordfeeder.com January 29, 2008

Chris, I’ll give you my pure, unadulterated reaction to this post. Ready?

XOXOXOXOX

There you go, virtual kisses and hugs, and I don’t even KNOW you.

When strangers spontaneously want to kiss and hug you for something you said on your blog, you know you have to be good. Rock on.

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Bob Fritz January 31, 2008

But here’s the question–how do you become an anomaly? How do you bond with the people in the interview? Are there some examples?

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TolMol July 15, 2008

I believe that resume does serve as a great filter. During the interview, I may not look at the resume at all and generally I don’t however, for filtration I do scan a few things in the resume. For example for professionals with 0 experience I look for school, and academic track record. Like gas, you can get professionals at any level – unleaded, regular, and premium. Why waste time interviewing if you know the quality you are looking for?

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Anne August 16, 2008

Don’t listen to the nay-sayers here. They disagree just because they don’t understand. The truly intelligent know and agree and do not think you are being smug, it only seems that way to those who aren’t intelligent.

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marco October 22, 2008

I always thought the most important thing on resume was if you could use Microsoft Word or not. :)

yOU ArE mY IdoL

GREAT!

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Dental Assistant November 14, 2008

In a tightening job market, every detail of the interview process is important. Those few employers who will be hiring over the next year will have a much more sizable pool of qualified candidates to choose from than they had last year. It’ll be much harder, and much more important, to stand out in the crowd.

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Sparky U December 20, 2008

Great post Chris! I have done done hundreds of interviews in the construction industry over the years. Your right about the resume getting you in the door-but when you get to the interview and open you mouth-that’s when you start to sink or swim.

“It’s you. It’s everything about your character. It’s every emotion you represent. It’s the reflection of your passions on your character. It’s how you represent yourself – verbally, physically, mentally, and socially.”

I love it when the person looks at me and says-Look at my resume,that proves I am qualified!
Nope!Just a piece of paper to me!

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Jack February 17, 2009

good point – and this sounds more beneficial to those who are young and inexperienced in the working field.

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Jack March 17, 2009

Too bad most interviewers and people aren’t smart people so we still have to perfect such things as resumes, cover letters, etc.

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Barbara Saunders June 15, 2009

When I was screening resumes, I looked for “the story.” Things like where a person went to school, what jobs she’d held, and where she does community services were important only as the basis for that story.

The corollary to “smart people actively seek out those with whom they share an intrinsic kinship” is, sadly, that many people (including some who are smart but lack confidence) will do everything they can to ensure that smart people are soundly punished for “showing them up.”

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AlphabetSoup 101 July 13, 2009

I was just about the end of the What Is It? sentence on the What Really Mattters part, then I said to myself – well it’s the person himself.

And then… next line – head on you said it there.

I’ve been to so many of these in the past and many times I am unable to complete the requirements needed because I was immediately placed in the interview seat. And when I was already ” taken in” most times HR did not bother to ask other the requirements.

In other instances there were no formal interview at all. That is if you are talking to the decision maker and big boss. I will admit thought that word of mouth also played a big factor at times.

In fact, most of my transfers to a new job, though related to my field (IT – non technical), in many cases I had no actual experience of the job at hand. I was paid while being trained the case 99%.

I am not saying this is a general thing, but in my case – it was always like this before.

I’ve had in the past my fair share more than enough of interviews or meet ups (if you can call it that way) and what you said is very true.

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Crazyhorse August 21, 2009

I agree that clever guys does not rely on the resume! They are up to your characters that’s why personal interview is the last and crucial part not just for the job seeker but for the interviewer as well since they may get into trouble if they have chosen the inappropriate guy for the position.

Since the topic here is about the only thing the smart person looks on your resume, I would say is the last part of your resume– your length of service with your previous employers. Length of service does really matter since it will reflect your character. They want to know how serious or patient were you with your previous job regardless if it was related to your new desired position or not. At least 1 year should be good enough. If you had been 2 or more companies within the entire year you better ask yourself if something is wrong with you, maybe you do not have patience that is why you left the companies!

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Rafa October 3, 2009

Hi,

It’s true that people look at your character to see if they can deal with you if u are given he job.

You may have better grades than someone else and appear in the sam interview, but the other person can impress the smart guy interwiewing both of you, than you colud.

So, your character matters alot. Remember First Impression is key!

Rafa.

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Steve October 30, 2009

I ended up on this blog. Stuck around to check it out more.

> Really good, really smart people actively seek out those with whom they share an intrinsic kinship.

And this explains why. :)

I think in the old days our parents just said “birds of a feather flock together”.

Great site and insight.

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Christina Lockett November 25, 2009

I totally agree. I’ve been able to maneuver many career opportunities by simply being a mirror to my boss or the one I interview with. I simply pickup on the body language, speech patterns, drive or relaxed nature of the other.

I grant you its nothing but a lie — but hey — work is work. People always like others that remind themselves of . . . themselves and when I happen to be that person — I simply show them how I can make them look good — r-e-a-l good to their boss.

Yep – a sucker born every minute.

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Judy Cannon December 1, 2009

I agree in part, but in our country the workplace is modeled after the military. There are grunts, those without college degrees, and there are “Officers”, those with the degree. After serving in the military for three years, and realizing that my Associates Degree meant nothing to the Army, I had a rude awakening. When I left the military, I realized that companies are exactly the same. A highly intelligent, experienced person cannot even get his/her resume read by a Human Resources department worker, unless the college degree exists. I know folks with 20 years of experience as a working Engineer in the Semiconductor industry, who have been doing the work of an Engineer, who will never even be considered for an Engineering position at a different Semiconductor Fab, because the degree is not there. So, it isn’t just about how smart you are or how different you are – in our society it is mostly about how much “credibility” you have – and that is almost entirely based on the type of degree you have. I hate that this is true, but it is.

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Gail Gardner June 23, 2011

In the Corporate world Judy is correct and the only explanation I can come up with for that is HR and Management lack the intelligence to be able to recognize talent and ability when they see it. Two examples to illustrate what I mean:

1) During my 23 years at IBM every mainframe account I ever managed had their talented programmers spending all their time fixing the error-filled code written by incompetent programmers – and they paid them all the same. If they fired the bad ones the good ones would have spent their time coding and they would have gotten many times more done!

2) A brilliant self-taught man I know taught himself computers and knew more about PCs than the best PC techs I worked with at IBM. He built an ISP entirely from scratch – literally. He worked as an Engineering consultant at Chrysler / e-Systems / Ratheon where he did the actual aerospace engineering work that the permanent PhD Engineers were unable to do themselves. He was not eligible to become a permanent employee because he didn’t have an Engineering degree.

Sometimes corporations really do require a degree (even if you don’t need it and already have experience sufficient to replace it), but other times requiring a degree is simply one of many methods they use to keep their underpaid, under-appreciated employees from leaving. I know this because IBM continually tried to promote me into management (even though I only have an A.A. in music) while they kept telling several qualified co-workers who WANTED into management that they needed first a bachelor’s degree – and after they got that degree – a Master’s degree – for the same position.

Other favorite corporate ploys to keep from paying you better are promotions with long impressive-sounding titles but hardly any raise and awards in lieu of raises or promotions. The military uses tests and medals in the same manners. Needless to say I left the corporate world in 2000 and will never have another J.O.B. (Just Over Broke).

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Mar February 4, 2010

Every word succinctly describes ‘it’. I am forever surrounded by peers and family members who go all nervous and shaky during job interviews, and despite wondering why I don’t, I think this article explains it — that I don’t care what’s on my resume. All I can think of is ‘are my prospective employers ready to utilise me and my skills’?

More fresh graduates should read this and look at interviews from a different perspective. Great post Chris!

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Karilee February 10, 2010

Your post is absolutely true for entrepreneurs. My clients hire me because I’m smart and because my services “stand out” to them, in terms of how I can solve their problems.

I’m not so sure it applies within organizations, at least not large ones. Most that I’ve been involved with crush anomalies ruthlessly. I know there are a few smart organizations that don’t, but they sadly seem to be in the minority.

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Ruby June 29, 2010

Hey Chris

I really like what you’ve said here, and I totally agree with the self-fulfilling prophecy comment you made; if you answer to yourself, and hold YOURSELF responsible for whatever standard YOU think is important, you’ll likely be happier and more successful in life.

When it comes to job interviews, however, and I’m in the business of job interviews, I think the very WORST way to make a hiring decision is by going on what people say or do in a job interview. Anybody who is any good at HR and hiring knows that past performance is the most reliable indicator of future performance. Unless being good at your job involves being interviewed five times a day, what happens in the interview is, or should be, largely irrelevant. Too many times, people are hired on their ability to “talk themselves up” and when they get into the job, they don’t perform.

But if you follow the idea of always representing yourself as the person you want to be, which is what I think you’re recommending, then your past behaviours and accomplishments should speak for themselves, your references should check out, and hopefully, you’ll live happily ever after. I’m saying this to reassure people who aren’t particularly confident in “selling themselves”: trust yourself, you’re ok!

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Jamil Carbo September 14, 2010

Chris,
This is so true! In every interview Iv’e been in, I was able to tell that they hired me because they liked me! Liked my personality, attitude, behavior, and character. They would actually tell me that. Of course, experience, degree, and talent come in to play but once an interviewer gets to know you well as a great person all around, the more chances of getting hired. If only one could transmit all that goodness on a resume…
This is the third article I read and I gotta say, great design, helpful articles, and you got me hooked!
Keep it up!

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Gorjan December 22, 2010

A few of the comments get into too much detail about this post. Which is what I think you meant when you said “they don’t get it”. What you are ultimately saying is – be yourself. And as far as success at an interview, a job, or life in general goes – that is very good advice. Hiring recommendations I have given have always been for people that were not afraid to be and show who they are, with all their flaws and imperfections. I didn’t even care about their portfolio (to an extent of course – you have to be “good enough” at least).

Too much social conditioning makes everyone too careful, suppressing their character in order to fit socially. Trying to manipulate people’s perceptions by guessing what people don’t like and then trying to fit their character into that box. But if you are trying to be average, the output of your work will also be average.

Every person is an anomaly – if they just let themselves be themselves. Thank you for the inspiring post. I have forgotten this important principle.

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Lelia January 6, 2011

This is so true, and this is why I’ve loved the work atmosphere much more than the school environment. (I took a year off between high school and college.) Work is rarely about grades, or number grades anyway, and I made it my number one priority to relate to people and to have a good personality that helped build up people around me. This is hard to do on days when your personal life is terrible, but it’s worthwhile for your employment.

This is why schools really needs to teach etiquette and basic human interaction. Where I decide to put forth the effort, I’m very good at those things, but I’ve been lucky enough to come from a family that’s taught me how to act appropriately in public and in the workforce.

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mark williams January 8, 2011

I think I might be in trouble – my friends often comment how smart I make them feel when Im in their presence – sort of like when a group of hotties drag along a fugly chick to make them look even better :D

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TaltonFiggins January 8, 2011

I totally agree but people pay a lot for HR departments who don’t. It’s unfortunate because being someone who has sat on the hiring side, I know that there is more to someone than their resume and sometimes even someone with a weak resume can have 10 times the determination.

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Carmen January 8, 2011

If you’re looking for the person with the highest top end potential, then talent has to outweigh experience by a mile. Yes That said, if you’re actually looking to hire someone for your own company, you might want to look towards experience instead.

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Michel January 12, 2011

Unless being good at your job involves being interviewed five times a day, what happens in the interview is, or should be, largely irrelevant. Too many times, people are hired on their ability to “talk themselves up” and when they get into the job, they don’t perform.

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Luis January 20, 2011

But here’s the question–how do you become an anomaly? How do you bond with the people in the interview? Are there some examples?

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Empresas February 4, 2011

Work is rarely about grades, or number grades anyway, and I made it my number one priority to relate to people and to have a good personality that helped build up people around me. This is hard to do on days when your personal life is terrible, but it’s worthwhile for your employment.

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Roger Faus June 1, 2011

I agree that clever guys does not rely on the resume! They are up to your characters that’s why personal interview is the last and crucial part not just for the job seeker but for the interviewer as well since they may get into trouble if they have chosen the inappropriate guy for the position.

Since the topic here is about the only thing the smart person looks on your resume, I would say is the last part of your resume– your length of service with your previous employers. Length of service does really matter since it will reflect your character. They want to know how serious or patient were you with your previous job regardless if it was related to your new desired position or not. At least 1 year should be good enough. If you had been 2 or more companies within the entire year you better ask yourself if something is wrong with you, maybe you do not have patience that is why you left the companies!

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Summertime August 30, 2011

I agree, mostly. After graduating from my degree, the only job I could get (beginning of 2010 in the midst of the recession) was for long hours and low pay where they milked me for my talents as I was consistently getting the job done and exceeding expectations. It was, however, enough experience to scrape me to that next level so I started trying for a better job.

I put a lot of effort into my resume and went to 3 interviews for relatively ‘corporate’ jobs. I failed miserably at all three and realised I was saying all the wrong things. I was being honest, explaining my flaws and where I would need to build up experience as I thought it was obvious I was inexperienced, but clearly had the talent to do what was required with a bit of trial and error (I’m the sink or swim type). A friend that is good at interviews (all interviews had asked similar types of questions) pointed out that I needed to tell them what they wanted to hear as the interview was the main ‘weeding out’ process – say the wrong thing and you are culled.

So I downloaded the ’64 most commonly asked interview questions’ off the internet (low and behold, I had already been asked many of them and had said the WRONG things), I aligned my own answers to mimic their recommendations and practised, practised, practised. I then went to my fourth interview. The interviewer was down to earth, welcoming and praised me on the presentation of my CV (I had a graphic designer friend present it in a way that reflected my own style/taste) and we had and hour long interview over coffee. Not one of the commonly asked questions popped up, I was asked more about what I knew, had experience with and what I wanted to gain from the job. None of them felt like questions to ‘trip me up. This was also the first job that I really felt like I wanted. I got the job.

My moral of the story, be yourself, but put your best self forward. If the interview still goes badly and you don’t get the job, you weren’t the right person for the job, would not have fitted in there and probably would have hated the job. Or else the interviewer was hopeless and you would have ended up with a hopeless bosses. Good interviewers who know what they are doing pick the right people, run successful companies and are good bosses. Be your best self and they will easily spot you.

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Cupcake Murphy January 5, 2012

LOVE THIS and agree 100%. I worked as a VP in the corporate world for 20 yrs, reading hundreds of resumes and doing a mind boggling number of interviews and I always felt slightly guilty because I would know in the first several minutes in the presence of the person if I’d hire them. Sometimes in the first glance (which might be a misspelled word on a resume!) It is so true that it is about who the person is however intangible that may be. Great post!

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Mark June 2, 2012

When it comes to job interviews, however, and I’m in the business of job interviews, I think the very WORST way to make a hiring decision is by going on what people say or do in a job interview. Anybody who is any good at HR and hiring knows that past performance is the most reliable indicator of future performance. Unless being good at your job involves being interviewed five times a day, what happens in the interview is, or should be, largely irrelevant. Too many times, people are hired on their ability to “talk themselves up” and when they get into the job, they don’t perform.
But if you follow the idea of always representing yourself as the person you want to be, which is what I think you’re recommending, then your past behaviours and accomplishments should speak for themselves, your references should check out, and hopefully, you’ll live happily ever after. I’m saying this to reassure people who aren’t particularly confident in “selling themselves”: trust yourself, you’re ok!

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Rose June 4, 2012

It’s my first time to visit your site but had a great time reading your posts! This article catches my attention the most, great article by the way. I totally agree that it will still YOU that matters the most and a great factor in getting the job, cause I believe that Grades are just numbers you got earned from school. They say, when I enter college I must get good grades to get a good job on the outside world, that doesn’t apply in all cases. As from my experiences, I just realized this is so true, good bosses looks on true and honest individuals that can easy to work with and do not just rely on a piece of paper but what and who really is you that will fit the position. Just Be Yourself!

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Mike December 11, 2012

nice to see people are still making comments here!

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Melisa October 12, 2013

I wish all HR people conducting interviews have this kind of thought. They should learn to be smart, really smart in another way–smarter than their traditional practice of hiring people which still exists today.

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Hoot and/or Holler

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