One Thing: Forget About The Resume

January 3, 2018 Lynn Abaté-Johnson 2 comments
resume, social media

One Thing: Forget About The Resume

Many years ago when I was looking for work, I didn't have a resume.

resume, social media
PC: Green Chameleon on Unsplash

I hadn't since I was in college.

Even then, because I was working full time, going to school full time, and helping raise my four younger siblings, my resume was pretty lame.

As you may already know, I'm a born-and-bred entrepreneur. I never needed a resume. So I didn't make time to construct one. It seemed like an exercise in futility, even when the time came to start looking for a job (again).

And then I had to get a "real job". Still, no resume.

I got hired in 2010 by a Silicon Valley Internet Startup called LikeList, without a resume.

My friend Selma Blanusa, a friend and mom at the local public (Waldorf-methods) school my nieces & nephews went to, witnessed my work ethic and style, almost daily, as a volunteer.

Selma knew, long before I did, that I would be the perfect hire for this startup. And she was friends with one of it's three Founders, Rob Gemmell, Jr., a Sonoma local.

Turns out that Rob, now a dear friend, and birthday buddy (we share the same birthday, one year apart), also saw something in me that led him to make the hire.

Working with the marketing team at LikeList was one of the best experiences of my professional life, even though the company (sadly) didn't make it through to their next round of VC funding.

To this day, I still keep in touch with cherished friends I made there in Sunnyvale.

The time came. I was at a crossroads.

resume, social media, blog

Do I go back to a "mothership" in Silicon Valley or San Francisco, which would have been an easy "play", or do I start up my own Social Business Consultancy, continuing to forge the skills and tools I had gained during my two years at LikeList?

I went the "traditional" route at first. One reason was that my husband (who is completely traditional in the professional realm) encouraged me to get with another "mothership" (you can read between those lines, can't you?).

I went for it. I subscribed to LinkedIn's subscription service, paying my 20 bux a month, enrolled with a couple head-hunting companies in the Bay Area, and started creating a different resume for every job I applied for, on my own and through the head-hunters.

In the end, I weighed all the variables, such as logistics and pay rates, as well as conversations with mentors and friends "in the industry". I determined that it made more sense to go out on my own. I do what I've always done best - make a more direct impact by helping others grow their businesses, on a smaller scale.

On the enterprise level (where I was looking, in the Bay Area), I was frustrated because I could not see a direct correlation between my efforts and outcome/results.

Starting up my own company enabled me to work with clients I believe in, who pay well, and most importantly of all, we can see the impact of the daily work we put in, together.


It's a noble and important pursuit for those who are inside "motherships" all over the world, to be "intra-preneurs", working for the good of the whole, inside a structure that provides some sense of security. That's not for me, however. After six years of focusing solely on my clients, as well as building community around my own brand, I've realized that I am right where I belong.

I also learned that when we use social media as a tool to build community, we are writing our individual resumes every time we post on the social channels. We create digital footprints that cannot be disputed or hidden…ever. Attorney Jennifer Hoverstad mentions this, as she addressed & advised a law school class at her alma mater. See her comments about it at the 26:00 mark on this timeless and relevant conversation with Gary Vaynerchuk and Mitch Jackson.

Lessons learned

I wish I could say that I focused on my personal "brand" while I was inside my little Silicon Valley startup. I didn't. Which is why I was "late" to Twitter, for example. I think I've made up for lost time. I really enjoy the interaction and engagement I find on Twitter, and the other social media channels. The point is that for the rest of our lives, reputation, work ethic, experience, history, knowledge, personality, and more of our innate characteristics, are displayed for the world to see.

In 2015, Shannon Byrne, then blogging for CloudPeeps, wrote "The End Of The Resume", and there are five personal stories of professionals who landed "dream jobs" without a resume (including me), which I found very insightful.

If you have any questions about how to use social marketing (and other) tools effectively, please reach out, let me know. I am here to assist you in making a difference, for yourself and others.

If you have a story about how you got hired, with or without a resume, please tell me all about it in the comments here. And if you read this far, I am supremely grateful, and I'd love to know you stopped by. Thank you.

Join the discussion, leave a comment

1 Comment threads
1 Thread replies
Most reacted comment
Hottest comment thread
2 Comment authors
Lynn Abaté-JohnsonRich Lee Recent comment authors
newest oldest most voted
Rich Lee

Thanks for sharing your story Lynn.