Much of my consulting work is coordinated through friends and former colleagues. When someone needs something done, I get a phone call. If it sounds interesting, a price is negotiated. Work is completed. Everyone is happy.
A few weeks ago, someone called and asked if I could work on a project. The client had a simple request. She wanted to see a résumé.
I was a little shocked. I was referred through a former employer who gave me a glowing recommendation. I am more than qualified to do the work. There was no RFP process. My price was competitive.
And I said, uh, yeah, uh, I no longer maintain a résumé. I have a LinkedIn account. I have a large group of clients who would sing my praises. I have a bullet-point list of sites where my work has been published. I can send you some links to my PowerPoint presentations, my keynote speeches or my blog.
In the end, I was too slow. I didn’t get to close the deal. I really needed an up-to-date résumé.
Listen, I am all about the new economy. Although I cut my teeth in the conservative world of human resources, I created a social media division for an enterprise software and services marketing agency. My former employer has a reputation for being more than a little progressive. I was sought out for that position by the founder and CEO. This is a man who never met a rule he didn’t want to break.
I had to give that guy a résumé before I was hired, so I should really know better than to do the “I don’t have a résumé” dance. And you should know better, too.
If you are looking for a permanent job or a consulting gig, you have two games to play. You have the inside game where you leverage your network to cement meetings and lock down opportunities. And then you have the outside game where you give someone a sheet of paper that demonstrates your bona fides.
The inside game can be biased and unethical. The outside game can be bureaucratic and cumbersome. But as long as both games exist, you need a stupid résumé.
You better get to work on a reverse-chronological document that highlights your accomplishments and work history.
And if you don’t have a résumé, you can call my friend Dawn Bugni. She is a lifesaver.