Tools & Tips

The ‘Relevant’ Résumé – Littered with your failures, bad references, and non-skills

How do you leave a lasting impression on a prospective employer?

Jeff Scardino, senior creative at Ogilvy & Mather and professor at the Miami Ad School in Brooklyn, may have an answer to this classic job seeker’s dilemma.

He designed what he calls the relevant résumé — a résumé littered with your failures, bad references, and non-skills.

His personal one highlights several losing pitches during his time in the advertising industry, “missed honors,” his inability to remember names, and even romantic failures from his time at Ohio University:

We spoke to him a few months ago when he launched this innovative strategy, and he was confident in its potential, despite its extremities. He believed it would be a creative way to stand out and get your foot in the door.

Capture d’écran 2015-07-24 à 10.00.07

Since our conversation, he put his theory to test.

Scardino applied for 10 positions, all of which he was qualified for and genuinely interested in. Not all the positions were in the realm of advertising, his expertise. “I kept it within my skill set,” he tells us of his application process. “But I did expand outside of advertising by applying for writing roles.”

He sent in two separate applications to each company, spacing them out over a week and using a different name and address on each one. He also wrote separate cover letters to pair with the different résumés.

The results were surprisingly lopsided.

The regular résumé received one response and zero meeting requests, while the relevant résumé received eight responses and five meeting requests.

One company replied:

First off, I applaud you. I have never received a résumé like yours. I see hundreds of résumés a year so it was refreshing to see someone take a different approach. I’ve been passing it around the office, and everyone is dying to meet you.

Chosen excerpts by Job Market Monitor. Read the whole story at A resume of failures stands out to employers – Business Insider.

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