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The Modern Day Resumé Is Missing This 1 Crucial Thing

A resume is nothing but a list of skills. Here’s what’s missing.


The resume is dead.

I’ve been saying this for a while now, and usually my perspective is rooted in this belief that having a personal brand is far more valuable than a sheet of paper that says where you went to college and what other jobs you’ve previously held.

But ever since I started my own company, Digital Press, and started thinking about the resume from a hiring perspective, the more I truly believe that a resume is actually a very poor representation of who you are and the value you can bring.

As an employee, what skills do you typically highlight on your resume?

When I interview people, I barely even look at their resume.

What I really care about is what type of person you are:

I want to know if you have an “owner mentality,” or a “follower mentality.”

I want to know if you’re confident in your abilities, but also open and humble enough to learn.

I want to know how you handle conflicts, how big your ego is, and whether or not I can trust you to make good, genuine decisions.

I want to know who you are as a person. And most of all, whether or not you’re teachable.

This is the 1 thing nobody puts on their resume–and it doesn’t make any sense to me.

I was recently reading The Road To Character by David Brooks, and in the book he breaks down what it means to separate your “achieving self” from the part of you that holds much deeper values.

He explains that in our society, we all spend a great deal of time nurturing our “achieving selves.” That we prefer to present the part of us that can perform tasks well, climb the ladder and reach some level of success. In the working world, especially, this is the part of ourselves we highlight. Our resumes are filled with concrete skills on which we can place a numerical value. 

As Brooks puts it, which perfectly encapsulates my own belief, we do not reveal the most important part of who we are, which is our emotional place of judgment–and whether we are kind, open, genuine (or critical, negative, and egotistical).

The modern day resume doesn’t give an employer any idea as to what sort of person you are.

Which is precisely why, as a founder, I don’t look at them. 

I skip the whole resume phase and ask more revealing questions via email, or set up a call so that I can get a vibe from you 1 on 1. And my decision to hire you is always rooted in how I feel when I talk to you, and whether you are someone with a solid core and a good heart–or if you’re someone obsessed with external success and willing to cut moral corners in order to get there.

Skills, in themselves, are not valuable. 

Skills are only valuable when they are used by people who have the emotional competency to use them effectively.

A resume is nothing but a list of skills.

But what the modern day resume is missing is information on the person behind those skills–who you are, what you believe in, and what drives you forward in life.

Those are the things I want to know as a founder. And I’m sure I’m not alone.

Nicolas Cole is the founder of Digital Press, a content marketing agency that turns founders, executives, and entrepreneurs into world-renowned thought leaders. As an author, Cole is a 4x Top Writer on Quora and Top 30 Columnist for Inc Magazine with over 50 million views on his work. His writing has appeared in TIME, Forbes, Fortune, Business Insider, CNBC, The Chicago Tribune, and more.

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