We’ll let you know. No, we won’t.
The story of Non Résumé,
a project about the portrayal of identity.
This article appeared originally in Italian on Medium.
Today, we are very aware how important it is to project ourselves and make a good impression, even more so if we’re talking about an on-line presence and work. We take for granted the need to register on LinkedIn and similar platforms, make known our skills and the targets reached, to give all the “right” information to our followers. Looking for work (and being noticed by employers offering work) also goes through social networks.
Everything we say and share on internet makes up our digital identity. When professional targets come into play, the rules to follow become stricter. In this case, it is easy to become obsessed with the idea of constructing your own personal trade mark, taking the concept of Personal Branding or Web Reputation to an extreme.
For anyone who doesn’t have clear ideas about how to promote themselves on-line, there are a lot of articles, e-books and guides of every type, often divided into specific professional categories. Generally, what they offer is very similar advice and instructions, and they all end up being more or less the same. Starting from the titles, which usually sound like this: «Winning strategies for an effective curriculum», «Your creative curriculum in just a few simple steps», or again: «How to create an avant-garde curriculum». These are all things that we have actually read.
Non Résumé. Frames from the documentary
The opposite of the creative curriculum is perhaps the curriculum in European format. According to some, its limit lies in its excessive standardisation. Fortunately, there are alternatives: on-line there are numerous platforms which automatically generate curriculums. Some, such as Kinazaa and Vizualize.me, are truly very simple to use because your CV is generated using your LinkedIn information.
The are many advantages, the first being the ability to provide, with very little effort, a clearer and concise representation of your work experiences. In fact, the aim is to work exclusively on the form of the CV, on its layout and the architecture of the information. Another advantage is that using these platforms means that it is much faster to share CVs on other social media.
However, these services have limits: however much you strive to customise your résumé, it is always a document created by a template. When you leaf through the available models, you feel as if you are in an artificial world. Like in stock photos, where young and brilliant start-uppers appear intent on enjoying huge cups of American coffee.
And finally, there are those who decide to design the most suitable format for their curriculum by themselves. These are usually young designers who dedicate a considerable amount of time to creating pictograms and info-graphics.
These polished résumés usually end up in a graphics portfolio. It is all a fun game of Chinese boxes that reveals what we already suspected: a lot of energy is used to represent our professional career. Looking for a job, really is a job.
Non Résumé. Laser cut posters
The things we never became
We have seen a few ways of representing a human and professional pathway. Different from each other but also with a lot in common. What comes back is always a story that runs along a straight line without interruption. Is there something missing?
These types of portrayals miss out on important subtleties, difficult to trace in a series of consecutive steps. There are no U-turns, afterthoughts, sudden changes. The fear of the uncertain, difficult choices. Mistakes. For every goal reached, we have always given something up. For every role, we have covered there is always a Me who has never expressed him or herself. Following your vocation means setting aside a lot of projects and certainties.
Non Résumé. The stages of the project
Non stories about non curriculums
Non Résumé is an interactive documentary about choices and mistakes in the pathways of a person’s life and career. The project consists in an on-line platform and an itinerant physical installation, whose objective is to question the classic form of the curriculum vitae that we all know. The idea is to explore our identities by collecting testimonies about pathways not taken: after all, these also shape us as people and professionals.
During the live Non Résumé events (for example, during the 2016 Matera Design Weekend) visitors are asked to compile a sort of “non curriculum” telling us about what they never became. We then ask them to be interviewed and filmed; the interviews are the crucial point of the project, because they reveal the most emotional aspects that hide behind every life or career choice. The non-curriculums are subsequently stuck on a physical wall and on the digital “wall” of the web community.
Step after step, the physical installation and on-line platform become enriched with non-careers and unexpressed potential, difficult to portray using a simple linear time line.
Non Résumé is also a community of people who share the story of choices they decided not to take. Tell us your non-story and send your non résumé here.
Non Résumé. La tappa a Göteborg