The Resume is Dead

One summer day, Matt Epstein applied to 20 different companies on LinkedIn to find work. He waited. And waited.

He never heard back a single response. Fear began to creep in. He couldn’t find a job because of one simple reason: He was blending in with the masses. Panic began to race through his mind. Maybe I don’t know what I’m doing. Seriously, what the hell am I doing here?

He took a deep breath, stepped back and assessed the situation.

And then a stroke of genius hit him.

He was going to be bold. Inspiring. Outrageous. Awkward. Funny. Unbelievable.

It was in this moment Matt Epstein created the most viral and successful job campaign of our lives. was born.


By the time his campaign was finished, he had amassed these results:

*Received 80 interview offers from companies like Google,, Microsoft, Amazon, Etsy and SigFig (among many more)

*Received over 400,000 unique visits and 720,000 page views

*Received 36,000% increase in visitor traffic for his personal blog

*Received over 450,000 YouTube views

*Received 20,000 Facebook Likes, 4,800 Tweets and 4,100 Google +’s

*Received over 3,300 new Twitter followers

*Received over 20 offers to monetize his brand/viral success

*Received over 550 LinkedIn requests and e-mails

*Received and personally responded to over 2,000 e-mails from people all across the world thanking him, wishing him luck and giving him words of encouragement

*Received print, online and TV coverage across the world. From TV news appearances in Atlanta and San Francisco to online news articles in TechCrunch, Gizmodo, Hacker News, UOL (the biggest newspaper in Brazil), Sueddeutsche (a big newspaper in Germany) all the way to Social Media Berlin where he’ll be used as a social media case study. There’s literally dozens upon dozens of other articles and interviews as well (Washington Post, Wall Street Journal)

How is it that Matt was able to get publicity from just about every big name media outlet, generate a massive fan base and garner 80 interview offers from top tier, innovative companies while so many of us have to beg for a single interview?

What does Matt Epstein know that we don’t?

It’s simple really.

Matt acknowledged one fundamental fact…

The Resume is Dead

We’ve become zombies.




Since the day we were born, our schools and colleges have brainwashed us to live in a standardized world. Nearly everything you can imagine was standardized. From textbooks, lessons, and tests to our personalities and even our creativity.

We mindlessly march to the orders of being on time, getting our homework done and scoring high on tests, only to find that in the real world this is far from enough to prepare us for a successful career.

They’ve taught us that if we follow the “rules,” we’ll get the dream job we’ve always asked for. And year after year, so many of us continue to follow these rules like a sea of mindless zombies.

The rules were:

  • Get good grades (as close to 4.0 GPA please!)

  • Write a resume (that looks like everyone else’s)

  • Submit it to a company (online or in person)

  • Interview

  • Rinse and repeat with multiple companies

  • Cross your fingers and hope someone hires you

Admit it, you’ve gone through this process before, haven’t you? It’s not hard to understand why. After all, it’s easy (and we all love the big red easy button don’t we?). But that’s exactly why it’s ineffective. It’s so easy that everyone does it. And by following these rules, you’ve put yourself squarely among the masses.

Mass is boring. Mass is typical. Mass is average.

Guess what.

It pays to be different.

If you want to land your dream job, you’ve got to think outside the box.

How about writing a blog that’s so compelling that readers pass it onto their friends?

How about filming a funny YouTube video on why you’re the best fit for the job?

How about telling your story through a website?

Recruiters are yearning to hear a unique story they can tell their friends about. In the era of Youtube, Twitter, and Facebook, these stories are told faster than ever before.

People want to be wowed. People want to be entertained. People want to be inspired.

Out with the mundane and in with the extraordinary. Let go of all the traditional information you’ve been told about job hunting. Disregard the robotic cover letter templates. Toss out the incredibly boring resumes that fail to tell your story. It’s time to come to terms with understanding how the world works for those that are extraordinary.

The era of the resume is officially over.

The resume is dead.



Nelson WangComment