I have this ongoing disagreement with my best friend: she believes that a degree from a prestigious (read: Ivy League) college means something, and I say it doesn’t. We’re both wrong.

Actually, it isn’t as simple as that. The real story is that we both believe a degree from a well-known school with lots of well-connected alumni can be really useful, but her position preceding that statement is that a bachelor’s degree has an intrinsic value that I believe stopped meaning very much around twenty years ago.

The résumé is what’s becoming all but meaningless. In the Internet age, education means something different than it used to. So does experience. Or as a writer at GigaOm stated recently, The Future of Work Won’t Contain Résumés.

The man who wrote that article is named Lukas Biewald. Mr. Biewald is CEO of a company called CrowdFlower, and his company uses technology to create on-demand labor. Meaning that they do something similar to what we do at Virtual VIP, except that CrowdFlower automates contractor assignments rather than take on the work and find the contractor for you.

I’m not going to tell you that Virtual VIP’s way of doing things is better than the CrowdFlower method. It’s just different and therefore appeals to a different group of business change leaders seeking skilled labor.

What I am going to say is that I had never heard of Lukas Biewald before I read the article. And until I did a little research on his background I believed (mistakenly) that he was just a paid writer at GigaOm, which would have left him very little credibility in my eyes even if I agreed with what he wrote.

Re-read that last statement. It contradicts itself. On purpose.

GigaOm is a very popular blog. If you have the chops to be a paid writer there you have some credibility. But the next question is what you are writing about. Is the subject labor, while you’re a medical doctor? Or a general journalist?

And what if it is? Might you not have learned enough along the way to qualify as somebody with an opinion worth reading?

None of that comes through in the standard résumé. It’s a list of what you’ve done, written by you to put yourself in the best possible light. Further, the résumé isn’t actually about putting yourself in a good light so much as it’s about not being seen in a bad one; a résumé’s purpose is to get you past a gatekeeper to real decision makers.

On the Internet, a few seconds of research tells you more about a person than his or her résumé ever could, and it’s a lot harder to fake.

What does your Internet Résumé say about you? Or your business? And are you taking the steps you need to whip it into shape?

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