Last night I had meeting with an entrepreneneur. He wanted to chair the board of his small business. While I am humbled by the offer, this proposal got me thinking about how people get appointed.

When Carlos Alberto Parreira was about to be appointed the coach of Bafana Bafana (South African soccer squad) before the 2010 FIFA World Cup, SAFA wanted him to send his CV and to interview him. He was actually surprised by SAFA’s approach because he felt that being a World Cup winning coach, his track record spoke for itself. When Jose Mourinho was reappointed coach of Chelsea, I doubt Roman Abramovich wanted a CV and a formal interview to determined if he is fit for the job. I am sure brilliant actors don’t carry CV’s, their reputation precedes them.

This is controversial, but I will say it, here goes:

I think if you’re remarkable, amazing or just plain spectacular, you probably shouldn’t have a CV at all.

Not just for the appointment of a chairperson of a small business, but in general. Great people shouldn’t have a CV.

Here’s why: A CV is an excuse to reject you. Once you send me your CV, I can say, “oh, they’re missing this or they’re missing that,” and boom, you’re out.

Having a CV begs for you to go into that big machine that looks for relevant keywords, and begs for you to get a job as a cog in a giant machine. Just more fodder for the corporate behemoth. That might be fine for average folks looking for an average job, but is that what you deserve?

If you don’t have a CV, what must you have?

How about three extraordinary letters of recommendation from people the employer knows or respects?

Or manage your Facebook, twitter, LinkedIn is such a way that you will a great person to follow?

Or a sophisticated project they can see or touch?

Or a reputation that precedes you?

Or a blog that is so compelling and insightful that they have no choice but to follow up?

Some say, “well, that’s fine, but I don’t have those.”

Yeah, that’s my point. If you don’t have those, why do you think you are  remarkable, amazing or just plain spectacular? It sounds to me like if you don’t have those, you’ve been brainwashed into acting like you’re sort of ordinary whiles you are extraordinary. 

Great jobs, world class jobs, jobs people kill for… those jobs don’t get filled by people emailing in CV’s. Ever.


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