Greg T. Spielberg

Resumes in a social world

In ia on March 23, 2010 at 8:00 am

Paper can’t capture a person, so I’m done with writing resumes. A portfolio of past work is good; if I consider myself a writer, I gotta write, right. Writing a resume, looking at it, printing one off: Feels fake. For instance, I am a community editor at Bundle, and here is what I wrote on my resume:

Share personal finance insights with savvy business community members. Stimulate conversation while moderating incoming posts. Execute competitive analysis, assist in development of Twitter game plan.

Savvy? That’s dripping with Jay Rosen. Share? That’s sandbox creed now co-opted by Flickr, Facebook, Twitter and 2.0. Community, the incorruptible word, is a farcical TV show not worth the link. What does it mean to stimulate conversation? There’s talking or there’s mute. That’s it.

Lil Wayne, the rapper who needs no resume, takes this perspective further. He told Rolling Stone writer Chris Norris that simply writing down lyrics seems fake.

I feel that when I was writing [raps] down and anyone could read it, it was like, ‘Is it real?

So now, like Jay-Z and Biggie, Lil Wayne goes inkless (except for tattoos). And his voice is pure.

I’d like to go inkless with my own resume by using photos from past work spots. Start with the Smithtown Bull’s Eye, my high school paper, just for kicks. On a paper resume, there’s no space, but on a slide show, one extra click is OK. Then, the small house near campus where we published the Bowdoin Orient. The Three Village Herald might be tricky, because it got scooped up, shut down and combined with a local network of community newspapers. Maybe someone caught a picture of me smoking cigarettes out of my editor’s window while he was gone, because someone certainly reported it. The Vail Daily was so vibrant, I’d need to include the sound track of fellow copy editors‘ wise cracks to show the real scene. At Stop Smiling, a perfect Chicago culture magazine, the store room is most indicative of my work — packing boxes of magazines to ship out and cutting up mag sections for an e-zine. And so on.

Jim MacMillan, the Pulitzer-prize-winning photographer who’s teaching convergence at the University of Missouri School of Journalism, has a good model. Check out his resume. It’s impressive, but the words don’t speak as powerfully as his photography. On the other hand, here’s the top of his bio (about) section:

– G

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