Question Of The Week #24

Hey SCG,

24th #QOW is an extension of the video post featuring Unusual Live CV.

How would you impress your potential employer, investor or business partner, if you could not use your resume?

I cannot wait to hear your “pitch” for yourself and your art 😉

P.S.: Thank you for making 2010’s birthday so memorable for me! 😉




  1. I love to write, so if I could not use a resume, I would write something tailored to the situation. For a potential investor I would write an example of how lives might be changed for good by applying more money to a project. I might write a short essay to a prospective employer telling them how how their products and services have impacted me or those I know and explaining why I would be proud to be a part of their team. And for a business partner, I would share my most passionate vision for our partnership. That sounds like more fun than a resume, doesn’t it?

    • Brilliant, Jean!
      Your passion for writing can be “felt” through your sincere confession.
      Indeed, it is far better than 2 pages of resume! 😉
      Who knows maybe we will “write” to each other one day, too;-)

  2. Well, I am faced with such an issue right now. I am an investor and financial analyst. I want to work with really smart people who know what they are doing.

    What I am attempting is creating a body of ideas that potential employers can read about before even they meet me. These ideas are available on my website and I wrote a book about the financial crisis to document my ideas.

    It hasn’t worked yet (haven’t got that cool must have job) but I got introduced to some of the best brains in business. While they are not going to employ me right away, it gives me confidence that my ideas are palatable with the smart people.

  3. Michae Yanakievl says:

    Ivana – I would say that you should treat a job interview as a ‘potential chance’ that can be turned into a fortune. What would a serious investor / business partner expect to hear, taking into account that in a formal CV, nothing worth knowing can be taught, so that it can be learned by heart, as to be performed ? You as a ‘potential’ are supposed to be able to convince that you have a clear understanding as to how to create a ‘desired future’ for yourself and the organization you apply for. So let us give it a try.
    I will begin by quoting a fantastic comment of great young lady of our time – Vanessa Miemis :
    “We can’t see the future – it doesn’t exist yet, it’s not set in stone. (ok, unless we’re talking quantum mechanics, in which case it is actually coexisting, but i’m not sure how deep you wanna go here).
    We create the future in our minds, and then do things NOW that will push us in the right direction. If we can get enough collective minds around a vision for a better future, and change our behaviors now, we’ll survive as a species.
    And though I do care about humanity as a whole, I don’t believe that an individual is going to single-handedly change the system because they’ve envisioned an ideal scenario. I think each individual has to see that thing for themselves, whatever it looks like to them, and then be the person who would thrive in that world. I envision a cooperative interconnected future, and so I try to live with integrity, be open hearted, share, build community and be part of community, learn how to grow food and make stuff and build stuff, and lead from love. That’s just my personal manifesto and life philosophy.
    i’ve been thinking about the idea of “universal values”….. is there some framework that every human on the planet could agree upon, despite religion or politics or culture or anything else? is there a way to create a foundation for some kind of unified vision? i keep distilling it down, and i’ve come up with 2:
    sustainability and thrivability
    i would think that every sane human could agree that they want what these 2 concepts represent. sustainability – our basic needs met in a way that is in alignment with our environment and non-exploitative or exhaustible. thrivability – the ability to Be, to emerge, to grow, to experience, to love, to explore our greatest potentials. do you think humans could agree that these are things we all want for ourselves?
    and yes, there’s opacity…. many of the things we care deeply about cannot be measured, analyzed, or even seen. that’s the magic of the universe. you can chase after it and try to quantify it and name it, but it always seems to slip away then, doesn’t it? “
    I can only add that nowadays we need the ability to question everything very seriously . The product breakthroughs that we all expect are still scarce at this moment. We need to change our industry dogma, as to be able to become more efficient. So we are expected to challenge : products; strategy; distribution; business models; sales and service; production; etc. We are in a stress- scenario. A confusing, time –critical situation, designed to test our intelligence and resilience. Tough decisions have to be made by wise administrators, that combine a listening disposition with attention to details and a compassion for their fellow men. We have to develop abilities to foresee through all the possible messes that surround us, and be able to rise above them by idealizing, as to start the redesign process.
    Such questions and considerations that really matter are very seldom discussed in a formal CV and the job selection process .

    • WOW, Mike!
      What an insightful comment! (as always)
      Yes, such important questions are rarely discussed during interview.
      It would be super cool, if you would conduct my interview, I believe we would have long talk;-)

  4. Hello Ivana, an interesting question like always.

    I have been in such situations many times, and almost all the time I got it. 😉

    Well I would engage them in a conversation about any relative case / topic , and encourage them to ask questions. Sharing some relative experience also helps me out.

    • Excellent Waqas, yes when asked meaningful questions, one can truly elaborate a lot. Many times I am just sad and discouraged by silly questions some people are asking on interview, it can also tell me a lot, if this is the place where I should stick around;-)
      Sharing your own experiences as examples of your skill set is the best way, how to “sell” yourself.
      Rock on my friend and believe me, that I am counting with you for future projects, inshaAllah.

  5. First I get a solid handle on their core values and see if there’s a match there. It doesn’t have to be perfect, but I look for deal-breakers.

    Next I get a solid handle on the problem or role and context. This helps me see whether I’m a fit.

    If I’m a fit, then I tease out a concrete example of why and I share my relevant experience or achievements and how they relate to the problem, role, and context.

    The key in all this is being super relevant and having a sticky way to articulate what sets me apart.

    I find for a lot of folks that results speak louder than words, so I try to grow a portfolio of meaningful results.

    • Hey J.D.,excellent approach!
      Yes, getting aligned with core values and envisioning yourself within the job is very powerful way of making yourself an attractive candidate.
      Walking your talk, so you can showcase your footprints in this world is a must, any other loud speakers will be only left with mediocre “factory” jobs.
      Indispensables like SCG-ers should certainly practice your approach.
      Thank you for sharing!

  6. Thanks Ivana.

    There are few points I would like to add.

    First, most interviewees think it is one way street – employers judging employees. I think it should be other way round. Employees should actively judge employers. Often prospective employees only look at salary or job description and accept the job.

    Second, some employers think that by putting prospective employees down in job interview they can better negotiate the salary terms. This is sure recipe for future headaches.

    Based on my experience as an interviewer, I think problem is two-fold. Employees actively hide the most interesting bits of their personality. Employees try too hard to guess what interviewer wants and it starts looking fake. When we try to impress employers or dates by being someone else we set the relationship up for failure.

    • Namaste Rahul,

      yes every interaction is having 2 sides! And I agree with you, that even tough employers feel “safe” and in power, when doing interview, they might miss the importance of their performance as well. You never know, what if an early Seth Godin is applying to work with you 😉 plus spreading word like: “guys, don’t bother to engage with XY company, if they work the way as they conduct an interview, you better stay away from them.”

      @being interviewer:
      I have been always asking “unconventional” question out of “expected” questions range;-) and then you can truly see the authenticity of a person sitting opposite you…

      I have had an interesting chat with ex-colleague of mine, who was very proud of himself, that he was appointed to do an interviewer, I have asked him, so what is the most exciting part about it? He said, to be in power….

      So, as you have said Rahul, relationship set in this manner is failure in advance.

      I trust SCG-ers are setting examples how to stand out on both sides of this process: as creative and authentic applicants and as empathetic and experienced company representatives.


  7. Hi Ivana, thanks for a very current question of the week. Three of the last Five books that I have read have used the words “The resume is dead” as a tool for finding a job and for hiring. Yes it is still necessary for the file but that is about it. As Seth would say, a resume is an opportunity for an employer to plug in your information into a program and find a reason not to hire you, based on arbitrary points about education or experience. A projects based portfolio is richer for both the employer and employee because it shows what the person can do, not what the person has done.

    In my world, as a visual artist and owner of a mural painting company, everything starts with a visual, project based portfolio. That gets me in the door on competence, and then I have an opportunity to show my personal portfolio of caring… caring by listening to their needs, caring by the way I communicate, caring by how I design the project, caring by how I work on the project (giving as many “gifts” as possible in the process) and caring that they are not just satisfied, but actually excited about the results.

    That is how I try to impress my clients… who happen to be my ’employers’, my ‘business partners’ and my ‘investors’ 🙂

    • Hey Scott!
      😉 I liked Seth’s analogy for resume, too!
      Yes! We ALL should have personal portfolio to present ourselves with, not 2 pages of a CV.
      My dream is that one day we will live in society, where people will consider themselves generous artists.
      Scott, you are setting awesome example to those around you and to us SCG-ers!

  8. Hi Ivana;
    For almost any situation – hiring, partnering etc, I look for connections. I ask my network when I need something and that way people, including me, come pre-approved.

    Online platforms like facebook and linkedin are great for this. I’ve been meeting all kinds of wonderful people from everywhere and finding amazing opportunities.

    • Hi Frances!
      First of all, welcome to our SCG. Thank you for your 1st comment here and congratulations for being second person from Canada, commenting;-)

      Yes, network and relationships based on trust, can do really miracles even when one is looking for job or future business ventures!
      Word of mouth is certainly more powerful tool than 2 pages of pdf = resume;-)

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