Dear Libby

Libby_Sartain.gif Guy Kawasaki
3300 Hillview
Palo Alto, CA 94304

August 16, 2006

Dear Libby,

I read your interview in Guy Kawasaki’s blog (To show I’m digitially hip enough to have read a recent blog item.), and your responses sparked an interest (A little bit of sucking up to show her that I thought that her interview was compelling.) in working at Yahoo!. I would like to apply for job #RX1000016867 (To show that I read her interview, so I know that I should apply for a specific job.), Brand Marketing Mgr2, located in Sunnyvale, California.

The breadth (To show that I got her key positioning against Google et al: Yahoo!’s breadth of opportunities.) of Yahoo!’s business is very attractive, and I would relish competing with a company like Google (To show that I got the code that Yahoo! likes people who want to compete with Google.)—the new Microsoft, if you know what I mean (To show a sense of humor.).

I’ve listed my qualifications and background in the one-page resume that’s attached. My career was forged at Apple where I worked for Steve Jobs, the Herb Kelleher of computers (This is taking a risk: I figured out she worked for Southwest Airlines by reading the Yahoo! web site. I’m betting that she will find this comparison amusing, but it could backfire. Finally, it also shows that I’m diligent enough to figure out she worked “for peanuts.”). My experience and expertise that matches up (To make it obvious that I’m perfect for this job I matched up to what the job description says.) with this position include:

  • I managed the third-party evangelism program for Apple Computer. In a nutshell, this position involved the creation and implementation of programs to build buzz (I never describe what I did for Apple as “building buzz,” but I’m applying for a buzz marketing job, so I use the job description’s terminology) for Macintosh in the developer community. This position required interfacing with internal resources and business units(Again, lifting terminology from the job description.) as well as external events, promotions, and stunts to convince companies to write software for a computer that had no installed base.
  • In a subsequent position at Apple, I was responsible for “maintaining the Macintosh cult” (I use the word “cult” because the job description indicates an affinity to evangelism/guerilla/word-of-mouth marketing) during the mid nineties when Apple, according to the experts, was supposed to die (again) (To show a sense of humor and personality.). This broadened my buzz marketing experience from the developer community to all of Apple’s customers and constituencies (I don’t want to create the impression that I can only do technical evangelism/marketing.).
  • It’s one thing to build buzz with the might and force of an Apple (or Yahoo!) behind you. It’s another to do so with a small startup. I learned the lessons of guerilla marketing and buzz creation without million-dollar budgets by founding three companies. (To show two things: first, I understand that even though Yahoo! is a huge company, that doesn’t mean everyone has unlimited marketing budgets; second, that I don’t need unlimited budgets.)

These references will attest to my ability to generate buzz, work with partners, manage vendors, and create programs (Again, lifting a list of functions from the job description.):

  • Geoffrey Moore, author of Crossing the Chasm (email address) (How could someone who provides Geoffrey Moore as a reference not at least get an interview?)
  • Steve Hayden, vice chairman, Ogilvy & Mather Worldwide (email address) (More reality distortion: Steve Hayden is a legend in advertising—he wrote the script for 1984 commercial for Apple. The job description mentions working with vendors, so I put this in. Finally, I’m betting that someone of Libby’s seniority at a media company like Yahoo! would relish the opportunity to make contact with the vice-chairman of Ogilvy.)
  • Andy Sernovitz, CEO of the Word of Mouth Marketing Association (email address) (Andy is less well known, but he has a great title. He also has a book coming out soon, so he might get real famous soon. Also, it can’t hurt my career for Andy to find out that I mentioned him in my blog in case I don’t get the job at Yahoo!.)

In addition, I’ve asked Seth Godin, the author of Permission Marketing, Unleashing the Idea Virus, and other books as well as a former Yahoo! employee to call you on my behalf. (Dropping another big name and alumnus.)

If this really matters, I have an MBA from UCLA (The job description says Yahoo! prefers an MBA, but I’m betting that this gal from Texas isn’t that impressed by MBAs even though she has one so I threw in “If this really matters.”), and I have written eight books and given hundreds of keynote speeches on the subjects of marketing, evangelism, and entrepreneurship (You can’t be afraid to toot your own horn, and I mention, again, the key functions from the job description). The bottom line is that I am excited about this position, and I believe I have all the background, experience, and connections to achieve success at Yahoo! (To provide a nice, upbeat close with an expression of real interest.).


Guy Kawasaki (She doesn’t even have to look back up to the top of the page to email me.)

This may seem like a long cover email, but you have to factor out all the text in blue. It’s on the long side, but I have to compensate for my short resume. 🙂

Some people who read this will say, “Sure, Guy, if I had this track record and connections, I would do this too. But I don’t. So what do I do?”

And the answer, albeit evasive, is that getting a job is not about competing on an even playing field. You use everything you can to tilt the field towards you: friends, relatives, hours of research, school alumni connections, vendors, service providers, whatever.”

If you don’t agree with my line of thinking, send me your PayPal account name, and I might transfer $.50 to you so that you can call your mama and lament about how unfair the world is.

The key is to get in. Then the hard work really begins: delivering results.

This is the Yahoo! job posting.

Brand Marketing Mgr2, Job No. RX1000016867. Description: Buzz Marketing Sr. Manager – Business Unit Specialist Connected Life, Communications, Network Products

Yahoo!, the World’s #1 internet destination and its unique, corporate Buzz Marketing team are seeking a dynamic, creative and strategic thinker to join its cross-functional team. This team member will have the opportunity to work with multiple clients within Yahoo! as well as key sales and strategic partnerships.

Position Summary / Roles and Responsibilities:

  • Responsible for supporting the Buzz Marketing Team in the creation and implementation of local and national press worthy, marketing programs involving events, stunts, guerrilla and grass roots efforts, promotions, entertainment marketing, co-branding partnerships for Yahoo!
  • Interface directly with senior-level marketing, product management, engineering and PR staff inside your target Business Unit(s). Partner with management teams to identify key strategic initiatives for Buzz Marketing.
  • Manage and own the entire Buzz Program life-cycle: concept ideation, budget and planning, sales cycle and co-marketing partnership development (as relevant), event execution and results/findings/business analysis.
  • Act as a liaison between Yahoo! corporate marketing, business units and assigned Yahoo! sales teams. As part of Global Brand Marketing team, consistently represent Yahoo! master brand values, goals and key strategies.
  • Proactively develop program ideas for key sales areas, business units (BU) and corporate. Persuasively pitch these concepts to various stakeholders, iterating as necessary to meet strategy and objectives.
  • Manage, directly or indirectly, in-house and outsourced staff for creative, on-line and in-market tasks. Source vendors as necessary.
  • Travel as needed to execute in-market events and sell-through partnership programs.

Qualifications and Skills / Experience Required:

  • Outgoing, energetic and enthusiastic: independent thinker, driven, takes initiative yet works well with others
  • Team builder: can easily bring people together from different backgrounds, skills and reporting structures and create a coherent, cross-functional team
  • Has the ability to be creative, quickly and strategically. Must have talent for translating an outlandish buzz idea into a strategic, defined brand communication. Experience with creative development essential.
  • Detailed yet flexible thinker: must be nimble enough to respond quickly to changing circumstances, but careful and detailed in thinking, strategy and execution.
  • Has an understanding of a sales organization needs and basic marketing fundamentals such as marketing strategy, advertising basics and media terms, brand positioning and identity. The ability to strategize, pitch and sell advertising and marketing programs to clients.
  • Solid presentation/communication skills: ability to persuade others about what’s needed to get buzz projects done
  • Extremely organized and willing to implement down to the smallest detail

The ideal candidate must be extremely organized with the ability to multi-task. BS/BA degree (or equivalent) and 10+ years of experience in public relations, agency, brand marketing, event marketing and promotions required. Previous Internet and/or Consumer Electronics industry background a plus. Must have good written and verbal communication skills as well as excellent knowledge of PC including Word, Excel, PowerPoint, email and a strong understanding of the Internet. MBA preferred.

This is my one-page resume. It is what I would use for this particular position.

Guy Kawasaki
3300 Hillview
Palo Alto, CA 94304


1972-1976. Bachelor of Arts, Stanford University. Major: Psychology.

1977-1979. Masters of Business Administration, University of California, Los Angeles. Major: Marketing.

Work Experience

1977-1983. Vice president of marketing, Nova Stylings, Inc. Los Angeles, California. Managed all marketing and sales functions for a fine-jewelry manufacturer.

1983-1983. Director of marketing, EduWare Services. Agoura Hills, California. Supervised all marketing functions for an educational software company.

1983-1987. Software evangelist/director of software product management, Apple Computer, Inc. Cupertino, California. Proselytized the Macintosh operating system to third-party developers and managed the Apple-labeled software products.

1987-1989. CEO, ACI US. Cupertino, California. Directed the operation of a Macintosh software publisher.

1989-1993. Independent author, speaker, and Forbes columnist. San Francisco, California. Starting at this time, wrote eight books and keynoted several hundred conferences about the topics of entrepreneurship, evangelism, sales, and competition.

1993-1995, CEO, Fog City Software. Directed the operation of a second Macintosh software publisher.

1995-1997. Chief evangelist, Apple Computer, Inc. Cupertino, California. Supported and maintained the Macintosh cult.

1997-Present. Managing director, Garage Technology Ventures. Palo Alto, California. Founded and led an early-stage venture capital firm.

This is my three-page, holy moly, this guy is clueless, “this is the kind of resume many people believe they should create” resume. The scary thing is that some people are going to tell me that they think this resume is better. 🙂

Guy Kawasaki

3300 Hillview

Palo Alto, CA 94304



To find a position in a dynamic, high growth company that enables me to use my broad range of marketing and management skills to achieve success for the company and its shareholders. I desire a fast-paced environment that provides continuous challenges and enables me to grow as an individual contributor, team player, and manager.

Areas of Expertise

  • Marketing (positioning, branding, pricing, and promotion)
  • Sales (direct and indirect sales including consumer and enterprise markets)
  • Evangelism
  • Partnering
  • Conference management
  • Entrepreneurship
  • Intrapreneurship
  • Product management
  • Product demonstration
  • Public speaking, panel moderation, and panel participation
  • Writing
  • Blogging


1972-1976. Bachelor of Arts, Stanford University. Major: Psychology. Graduation with departmental honors. Additional coursework in biology and economics.

1977. Attended U. C. Davis School of Law.

1977-1979. Masters of Business Administration, University of California, Los Angeles. Major: Marketing. Additional coursework in statistics, operations research, and entrepreneurship.

2003. Honorary doctorate, Babson College.

1990. Billy Graham School of Evangelism.

Work Experience

1977-1983. Vice president of marketing, Nova Stylings, Inc. Los Angeles, California. Managed all marketing and sales functions for a fine-jewelry manufacturer including branding, positioning, pricing, sales force management, and key account sales.

1983-1983. Director of marketing, EduWare Services. Agoura Hills, California. Supervised all marketing functions for an educational software company including branding, positioning, demonstration, and tradeshows.

1983-1987. Software evangelist/director of software product management, Apple Computer, Inc. Cupertino, California. Proselytized the Macintosh operating system to third-party developers and managed the Apple-labeled software products. Responsible for outreach, technical support, developer tools, and documentation.

1987-1989. CEO, ACI US. Cupertino, California. Directed the operation of a Macintosh software publisher including sales, marketing, fund raising, key account sales, and corporate governance.

1989-1993. Independent author, speaker, and Forbes columnist. San Francisco, California. Write r for Macworld, MacUser, and Forbes. Keynoted several hundred conferences about the topics of entrepreneurship, evangelism, sales, and competition beginning in 1989 to present.

1993-1995, CEO, Fog City Software. Directed the operation of a second Macintosh software publisher. Responsible for overall creation and management of the company.

1995-1997. Chief evangelist, Apple Computer, Inc. Cupertino, California. Supported and maintained the Macintosh cult through the use of guerilla marketing techniques, press relations, and employee motivation.

1997-Present. Managing director, Garage Technology Ventures. Palo Alto, California. Founded and led an early-stage venture capital and investment bankingfirm including branding, conference speaking, deal flow, due diligence, negotiation, and fund raising.


  • Ranked in the Technorati 100
  • Author of eight books: The Macintosh Way, Selling the Dream, Hindsights, Database 101, The Computer Curmudgeon, How to Drive Your Competition Crazy, Rules for Revolutionaries, and The Art of the Start.
  • Frequent appearances on television and radio including CNBC Power Lunch, CNN, and Bloomberg.
  • Give approximately 100 keynote speeches per year to companies such as Audi, Boeing, Nike, Yahoo, HP, Dell, and Churchill Club.
  • Frequent baccalaureate and graduation speaker including Palo Alto High School (three times), DeAnza College, Harker School, and Babson College as well as industry events such as Demo and D.

Board Participation

  • Board of directors: Razz
  • Board of directors: FilmLoop
  • Board of directors: BitPass
  • Advisor: Kaboodle
  • Advisor: Coghead
  • Advisor: Simply Hired
  • Advisor: TripWire
  • Former board of directors member of the Stanford Alumni Association

Not-For-Profit and Community Activities

  • Board of directors, Hawaiian Islands Ministry
  • Board of trustees, Bowman International School

Technical Expertise

  • Macintosh Operating System
  • Word
  • Excel
  • PowerPoint
  • Entourage
  • BBEdit
  • MarsEdit
  • TypePad
  • Safari
  • Firefox
  • iPhoto
  • iTunes
  • FilmLoop

Other Qualifications

  • Passed Series 7 NASD test
  • Passed Series 24 NASD test
  • Passed Series 63 NASD test

Outside Interests

  • Parenting
  • Hockey
  • Digital photography


Available upon request

About the Author:

Guy Kawasaki is the chief evangelist of Canva, an online graphic design tool. Formerly, he was an advisor to the Motorola business unit of Google and chief evangelist of Apple. He is also the author of The Art of Social Media, The Art of the Start, APE: Author, Publisher, Entrepreneur, Enchantment, and nine other books. Kawasaki has a BA from Stanford University and an MBA from UCLA as well as an honorary doctorate from Babson College.


  1. Sarah O'Keefe August 17, 2006 at 10:07 am - Reply

    Fun, but you violated rule 1, which is:
    Might I suggest that you change “installed based” to “installed base.”
    In my universe, applicants get one typo on the theory that no one is perfect. Two typos lands you in the “too sloppy” category.
    Then again, I’m hiring writers, editors, and publishing people. Maybe spelling doesn’t count in MarketingLand.*
    * j/k (mostly)
    Yeah, but I knew people like you would catch things, so I was standing by waiting for comments so that I could immediately fix it. Can it get any better than having 25,000 fresh eyes proofing for me?

  2. Brian Clark August 17, 2006 at 10:29 am - Reply

    >>>And the answer, albeit evasive, is that getting a job is not about competing on an even playing field. You use everything you can to tilt the field towards you…”
    You just gave a copywriting lesson too. 🙂

  3. Criss Ittermann August 17, 2006 at 10:34 am - Reply

    Uh — You know, Guy — I was only JOKING when I said you were going to apply for Yahoo! to make up for your past mistake.
    Good luck!! 🙂

  4. michael bernstein August 17, 2006 at 10:46 am - Reply

    Another typo: “I could immediately fixed it.”
    When it reigns, it pours! 🙂

  5. Scott Schnaars' KnuckleSandwich August 17, 2006 at 10:47 am - Reply

    Guy Libby

    Its been career week on Guy Kawasakis blog and, IMO, he could not have picked a better person to work with on this. Yesterday, he had a great 10 (okay, 13) questions with Libby Sartain, Yahoos VP of HR. Today, Guy followed up wit…

  6. PaulSweeney August 17, 2006 at 11:10 am - Reply

    Great posting. Nearly “action based learning”. But do Yahoo! have a Venturing arm? 😉

  7. Doug Rohde August 17, 2006 at 11:11 am - Reply

    While I agree that the first resume is “better”, I think you are begging the question in assuming that the succinct, aesthetically pleasing resume is better than one that what will actually get you hired. The sad fact is, most screeners are trained to prefer the second example. One could make the case that the longer one is better because it more effectively serves its purpose, which is to get the applicant hired.
    Maybe I’m wrong. Maybe the first one will stand out. But as long as the first person reading my resume continues to come out of business programs as they exist today, I have my doubts.
    You think that people are trained to look for the second type of resume? Wow, I wouild have said the opposite. I’d rather not get the job than have a resume like that. 🙂

  8. Laura Matthews August 17, 2006 at 11:28 am - Reply

    okay, since we’re on proofreading (sorry Guy!), I’d say “breadth” instead of “broadness.”
    your stuff is superb, we’re just anal.
    Breadth it is! Thanks for the suggestion.

  9. JR August 17, 2006 at 11:56 am - Reply

    One of the things I find most refreshing about your posts is that they are real. Your blog is intended to help people get better at whatever it is they want to do. For me this is one of the reason your blog is worth reading – it may be about you but it’s for us, the readers.

  10. Tony Haile August 17, 2006 at 12:00 pm - Reply

    Dear Guy,
    I disagree with your line of thinking. Coming from a large family, I am accustomed to sharing my grief at inequity fairly widely. Would you be willing to up your offer of .50c to something that might allow me to communicate my message across the breadth of my family?

  11. JRMcNulty August 17, 2006 at 12:01 pm - Reply

    Thanks for the current series of posts on resumes and applying for positions. While I know and practice most of these techniques. It never hurts to have a reminder from time to time.

  12. James August 17, 2006 at 12:01 pm - Reply

    Guy, thanks for following up with an example like this one, I’m sure it will come in useful to lots of us. One question, though: Do you have any tips on overcoming a scarcity of references? For example, recent graduates.

  13. Curd Nerd August 17, 2006 at 12:25 pm - Reply

    You know how to use iTunes? You’re hired!!

  14. lokki August 17, 2006 at 12:46 pm - Reply

    I thought you had already missed your chance at Yahoo CEO..:-)

  15. Ann August 17, 2006 at 1:05 pm - Reply

    Add me to the list of people who are thanking you for this series of posts about job hunting in the Valley and resume/cover letter writing. It couldn’t be more timely for me as I’m starting to look around at what is out there since I just started a hunt after being employed in one place for 7 years and having achieved all that I can there.
    I’m not going to pick on you for typos… it happens even to the best of bloggers, but I will pick on you for your resumes. I think the first one, considering your vast experience, is a little too barren and unappealing. I do agree that the second one is way too much information no matter who is looking at it, except maybe as a fully fleshed out career guideline for yourself when you want to retool your resume for another unique position. There is a happy medium, folks: he retools his areas of expertise, board participation, and community service sections as part of a cover letter, drops the Billy Graham item from education (but mentions it during an interview perhaps because I’m sure there’s an intriguing story behind it), and groups his technical expertise into one line item groupings (productivity programs, browsers, photo software) so that his multiplatform experience shows through.
    Funny that – I have a great time retooling other resumes, and have a tough time with my own.

  16. carol August 17, 2006 at 1:37 pm - Reply

    Why don’t you list job experiences in reverse chronological order? I want to know where you are now and then where you’ve been. Has conventional thinking on this changed?

  17. Bill August 17, 2006 at 2:28 pm - Reply

    I’m embarrassed to say that my last resume (a few years ago now) had an objective section along the lines of your “bad” example. I got the job despite it!
    I like your approach to a simple factual C.V. plus a letter that explains point by point why you are a good fit for the job.

  18. CJ August 17, 2006 at 2:33 pm - Reply

    i would throw your resume in the garbage for listing firefox under ‘technical expertise’. color me impressed. good thing you proudly embrace nepotism to get an unfair advantage over other, possibly more deserving job candidates.
    also, going to a school that bears billy graham’s name is absolutely reprehensible. how dare you be associated with an organization that is so opposed to scientific progress? you know how the fundamentalists feel about stem cells and evolution – they hate science.
    you know why companies like GM are dying? because they love people like you. you make me sick, and that’s no bull shiitake.
    I rest my case. This is why less is more. Resume 2 is exactly how many people present themselves: More is more. But providing more, they run the danger of close-minded people making judgments about them.
    On the other hand, you could make the case that they probably wouldn’t be happy working for a company with a recruiter who thought like you. 🙂

  19. Eric August 17, 2006 at 2:53 pm - Reply

    Is it bad form to point out the horrible “IT’S” error in their job posting?
    “the World’s #1 internet destination and it’s unique, corporate”
    I should apply for their editor position, because if they’re a good company, they’ve already fired the person who let that one by. ::shudder::
    I fixed it. A company like Yahoo! is pumping out 2,500 job descriptions a year, so I wouldn’t lose sleep over it.

  20. AG August 17, 2006 at 2:58 pm - Reply

    The resume in the first example looks better than the one in the second but it works only in the fields that are not technical related. For example if you are a pro in Java/Java platform technologies your skills itself would run to 2 pages and the recruiter wants to know where(what project) you used them and in what role (e.g.Architect/Developer/Support …) making it longer.
    Great post !
    (I also observed that you have used a comment on your previous blog post as an idea to this blog topic, so I guess thats’ one more reason why allow to comment)

  21. Anon for this one August 17, 2006 at 3:00 pm - Reply

    I’ve received a lot of advice that once you turn 40, age discrimination rears its ugly head and you’re likely to get axed off the “to call” list if the dates on your resume (especially the year you graduated college) reveal you to be in this category.
    I’d appreciate some feedback on how to handle this issue. Which of these is a better strategy?
    – Be up-front about your age even knowing that doing so may cost you the job?
    – Don’t put enough information on your resume for people to be able to guess your age (eg, don’t list the year you graduated from college)?
    – Lie to make yourself look younger (eg, add 5 years to the date you graduted from college)?
    Stick this in the category of, “This is easy for you to say, Guy,” but I wouldn’t work for a company that is so stupid as to discriminate on age–either too old or too young. In this competitive world, a company should grab the best employee no matter what age, creed, color, religion, etc, etc.
    Business is hard enough without limiting your choices of employees based on irrelevant characteristics.

  22. Guillaume August 17, 2006 at 3:20 pm - Reply

    I would have added one or two extra lines for publications. But I guess it’s because I’m coming from a place where people are still impressed by books … Ah, old Europe !

  23. Blog Alexa August 17, 2006 at 3:23 pm - Reply

    Jak ubiegać się o pracę w nowoczesnej firmie

    Właśnie natrafiłem na ciekawy wywiad, który Guy Kawasaki przeprowadził z Libby Sartain, szefową Human Ressources firmy Yahoo!. Znajdziecie tam interesujące informacje, jakie czynniki w przypadku takiej firmy decydują o zatrudnieniu i jak możn…

  24. one9 August 17, 2006 at 3:25 pm - Reply

    1st, the 50cent joke..funny and true.
    2nd, thanks for the your input.
    I really like your letter of intro which shows your personality while, most importantly, list how your experience aligned with the job requirements. In addition, I think the most important thing in this whole job search process is Networking, inside and out. You can have a ideal resume but it still has to land on the right person’s desk. I just accepted an offer today at a large int’l financial service firm, and if it wasn’t for my internal connections, I would still be looking.

  25. Mike Johnston August 17, 2006 at 3:34 pm - Reply

    I love you man! (Sincere sucking up)

  26. Gagan Jain August 17, 2006 at 3:54 pm - Reply

    hi guy,
    i am another person who would like to thank you on your previous two posts. More specifically, the resume example really emphasised the interview with Libby yesterday.
    Also, being an MBA student, it is really helpful for me to see how to “actually” write a cover letter and a resume.
    Thanks again,

  27. Justice~! August 17, 2006 at 3:54 pm - Reply

    I definitely agreed with you about the need to research and do everything you can in terms of “getting in.” I think it displays interest, passion and initiative, which I feel are essential characteristics to success in *any* field, much less one in a marketing one.
    However, I’d almost argue that part of the format of your cover letter works as the “other page” of your resume – great in situations where you are applying for a job directly, but what about when going through a recruiter?
    Great post, though; I definitely thought it spoke more to the art of writing a cover letter than the power of the one-page resume!
    You’re saying when a recruiter is representing you, not a recruiter than is coming after you, right?
    I believe in either going directly for a specific job or demanding that the recruiter help me personalize the cover letter.

  28. David Kellam August 17, 2006 at 4:34 pm - Reply

    Job Applications

    This is how job applications should be. I can show you that one. I can’t show you the applications I received for this position, but suffice it to say most came nowhere near Guy’s second version, let alone his first.
    I did lament this fact to a few …

  29. Thierry BEZIER August 17, 2006 at 7:26 pm - Reply

    Hey Guy,
    Thanks so much for this great post, I have to admit that my previous resume had also an “objective line” and I always thought that having a 3 pages resume can makes recruiters forgot that I am under 30…
    I’m french and working in Japan (well not anymore in September) and I left France thinking this country suck because they hate under 30’s and people who don’t have an MBA…with my 3 pages resume I found a job at a Japanese IT company and it was…fine(but really boring and underpaid) I bought an MBA if anybody ask me for it, and began thinking about the “killer” resume…
    Now that I’ll be back soon in the “occidental” world, I wonder how to manage the “age” issue, cause even if I have some good and unusual experience in my field, skills and potential to change the world…I’m still under 30…and many people hate that and don’t even “waste” their time on an interview…(or just offer you underpaid jobs)
    My usual method on the resume is to indicate my birth date (26/11/1980) at the top of resume, so the time they just began to realise how old I am the recruiter might be already reading the experiences “section”…
    What do you think? is the age an issue? how to go through that? how would do Guy? 😉
    Thanks for your blog!

  30. Edward Kuryluk August 17, 2006 at 7:36 pm - Reply

    Maybe you’ve heard the legend of the popular blogmeister who didn’t need a resume to get his current job. And how he proclaimed this to the followers and the followers chanted “Yes, down with the resume”. Well, your contrasting viewpoint is refreshing to this working-stiff. Great week of posts. Helpful and entertaining.
    One other thing…. I’m guessing that if you have done a keynote for Yahoo! you could probably sidestep the whole “Dear Libby….” thing and schmooze a connected contact (however, bring a resume!).
    As we fade out…. a light bulb goes on above my head, “Must give more keynote presentations, Must give more keynote presentations, career bliss awaits”

  31. rags August 17, 2006 at 7:37 pm - Reply

    Some of my thoughts, for what they are worth.
    I was at a MBA recruitment event at UC Berkerly last month. The AdCom directors said three things about resume they want to see from prospective students
    1. Write it as if you are applying for a job.
    2. Don’t just list your responsibilities, say what you accomplished.
    With all due respect I would say that your listing “Supervised all marketing functions for an educational software company.” does not say what difference you made.
    3. List the month as well, not just the year.
    I think one should find out (from insiders) what kind of resumes they like and write it in such a way.

  32. Anonymous Resume Screener August 17, 2006 at 8:54 pm - Reply

    When I’m reviewing resumes, I always prefer reverse chronological (most recent first) listing of education and experience. Just like entries on a blog!

  33. W.P. Wily August 17, 2006 at 9:49 pm - Reply

    Wow, posts like these are why I read this blog. Excellent follow-up to the previous post with clear examples. I really liked the editorial comments as well.
    I remember when I graduated computer school, every one of our student “cookie-cutter” resumes had an objective statement of “employment in a computer-related position” or some such. Duh 🙂
    It appears that the cover letter is intended to do the heavy lifting nowadays. It used to be that the cover letter was “I’m interested in your x position, please let me know if you have any questions”. Guy’s cover letter really made me want to call him for an interview (figuratively). If nothing else, it would be entertaining.
    I’m not sure why “nepotism” is a bad thing when you’re trying to get a job. If I know half the tech guys in the company, I’m sure as heck going to use them as references.
    Saber, bad form posting your whole cover letter in the comments. Do we all care? (No, we don’t.) You’ve just negated any technical expertise you might claim by proving you don’t know how to use e-mail.

  34. Marc Duchesne August 17, 2006 at 11:42 pm - Reply

    Guy, you made my day ! Thank you so much for this post, which is a typical example of why we all come daily to read your blog 😉
    ps & btw : i made a copy & paste of it, changed your name for mine, modified the experience stuff accordingly, and… sent it to Yahoo! HR. No, just kidding !

  35. Famous Teas August 17, 2006 at 11:44 pm - Reply

    Cult maintenance !

    Signum sine tinnitu–by Guy Kawasaki: Dear Libby: , I was responsible for “maintaining the Macintosh cult” Famous Teas, Cult Creation and Maintenance.

  36. Patrick August 18, 2006 at 12:32 am - Reply

    Guy said: “If you don’t agree with my line of thinking, send me your PayPal account name, and I might transfer $.50 to you so that you can call your mama and lament about how unfair the world is.”
    Save your $0.50, and send them to Skype. Those are going to be long calls!

  37. John Dodds August 18, 2006 at 3:31 am - Reply

    Dear Mr. Kawasaki,
    We at Yahoo welcome your interest and acknowledge your suitability for this position. However, we have decided not to take your application any further because we fear your blogged declaration to climb further in the Technorati top 100 will prevent you from devoting your full attention to the required duties.
    We are nevertheless greatly enjoying this week’s postings and look forward to an improvement in the standard of applications we consequently receive.

  38. GUAGUAU August 18, 2006 at 5:32 am - Reply


  39. Pardis August 18, 2006 at 8:04 am - Reply

    Hi Guy,
    Just became a reader last week. Great site.
    I own a small business and when someone worked somewhere for only a few months (eg. 1983-1983), that raises a red flag for me. Thoughts?

  40. Matt Boman August 18, 2006 at 8:17 am - Reply

    As a software engineer I rarely get to do the resume selection, but always end up reading them when they have been selected for an interview.
    One thing I’ve noticed with long resumes is they tend to embellish (even just a little) and this can be the end of an otherwise good candidate. It is much better to be short and to the point, and then explain and add when your in the interview.
    Some time ago I found “Joel on Software”, and specifically his superb article “The Guerrilla Guide to Interviewing” (
    Which I think should be required reading for all interviewers (at least for software positions).

  41. Milo Riano August 18, 2006 at 8:54 am - Reply

    I can’t see in your one page resume any compelling reason to believe you have what it takes to take on the task of making a difference in competiting against google (brand built by boys…).
    Having a long list of positions for a person working for twenty years is normal.
    Me too. That’s why I’m a VC.

  42. Larry Chiang August 18, 2006 at 10:26 am - Reply

    This post is why Guy is good and always will be at the top
    1) funny
    2) to the point
    3) dumbed down but simple-smart (make that simple genius)

  43. Spencer Hill August 18, 2006 at 11:36 am - Reply

    I’m impressed you have your series 7, 63, and 24. Best of luck on the job.

  44. eROCK August 18, 2006 at 11:46 am - Reply

    Probably one of the best and most interesting posts I’ve read thus far!

  45. Steve August 18, 2006 at 3:06 pm - Reply

    Guy, thanks. This was inspiring. Finally cut my resume down to a legible page.
    I will have 25,000 people proof it next,

  46. Tech-Blog August 18, 2006 at 5:19 pm - Reply

    links for 2006-08-19

    10 things you should be monitoring tracking the buzz (tags: web2.0 marketing) Signum sine tinnitu–by Guy Kawasaki: Dear Libby Guy walks through a job app with yahoo (tags: jobsearch unread)

  47. Robert Yang August 19, 2006 at 12:28 am - Reply

    Your CV(both 1 page and 3 pages long) lacks one important element to me: number.
    Recruiters including me like number man, so I think it is a best practice to indicate this quality on CV.
    Robert from Shanghai, China

  48. Dev Zero August 20, 2006 at 1:22 pm - Reply

    I guess I’m slow; I don’t get the joke. Obviously Guy isn’t really applying for the job.
    And posting his stellar resume like this does nothing but intimidate those who might actually want to apply for — anything. We aren’t in the Technorati Top 100. We didn’t get ourselves hired by Steve Jobs for the Macintosh Project. We didn’t run two companies.
    If Guy is suggesting that these accomplishments are overkill for the job he applied for, it doesn’t show. The job description basically implies that they want a guy like Guy (they’ll never get one).
    So, sorry, what was the point of this post? So that Guy can show us how kick-ass he is?
    Dev Zero,
    There were several points to this post:
    – Many people complained about my one-page recommentation: “Why I’ve been working for five years already: How can I boil down all my experiences and list all the two-day .Net classes that I took into one page?” So I showed how I could summarize my twenty-six year career into one page.
    – Many people don’t write a compelling cover letter/email. It’s as if they don’t even read the job description. The point of my cover email was to show how to write one that was relevant to the position by, in many places, just using the job descriptions vernacular.
    – Many people would find a job listing and simply submit an application to the “HR department.” They could, now that they read my blog interview of Libby Sartain, address it to the person who runs all of HR for Yahoo! with a personalized letter, and let her send it to the right HR person. That’s a lot better than throwing it over the transom.
    – Many people don’t do any background research on the person the cover email/letter is going to. In this case I singled out Libby, researched her background, and wrote my cover email/letter directly to her.
    – You actually brought up another interesting point: companies write job descriptions that are way overkill and unreasonable for the actual position. This too is a valuable lesson.
    – Then when Stephanie Tate shredded what I did, that made this series of postings even more valuable.
    So a lot was going on in this series…much more than me simply trying to show off.

  49. Ed Daniel August 20, 2006 at 9:05 pm - Reply

    But what’s new? Everyone with a similar profile will use similar tricks – albeit the best of the best will use a style that leverages their personality/skillset in the best possible light.
    If I was hiring I’d be looking for the person who differentiates, is the exception – someone who in their very being demonstrates an ability to stand out.
    Text is so yesterday/traditional. I’d want someone who knew how to go the extra distance – perhaps Fed-Ex me a videoblog/micro-site on a USB key that shows their abilities in a visul medium – that would tell me more about that person in 5 minutes than the letter above and ensuing interviews.
    Time IS precious I recall.
    Time is precious. That’s why I doubt, on the first pass, any HR person will go read a blog, watch a video, or insert a thumb drive.
    Also, the 10/20/30 Rule of PowerPoint has been spread far and wide. I’ve spoken about it to probably 50,000 people in person. Still, 90% of the presentations we see are 30-50 slides. My point is that advice is seldom taken.

  50. blog of geewiz August 21, 2006 at 6:36 am - Reply

    Writing good job applications

    Sometimes I get job applications that make me wonder if the applicant did even read the job description. Those are nothing more than a waste of paper (or storage space) and of my time, which is worse. There is only a small percentage of applicatio

  51. News... Literatur, Wellness, IT, Fun... August 21, 2006 at 10:57 am - Reply

    Bewerbung mal anders

    Durch meine aktuelle Suche nach Mitarbeitern sichte ich sehr sehr viele Bewerbungen und fuehre so ca. 3 Gespraeche die Woche. Ich wuerde mir nichts mehr wuenschen als eine Bewerbung, die sich an diesem Muster (Englisch) orientiert.
    Natuerlich wuerde di

  52. Orion August 21, 2006 at 1:10 pm - Reply

    I like the cover letter, but I don’t like either resume. The cover letter is good because you make a point of matching up your experience with the demands of the position. So, why wouldn’t you do the same with your resumes?
    Put yourself in the shoes of those that have to read 100 cover letters and resumes a day. They don’t have the time to figure out why you would be a good match for the position. They need you to tell them. A chronology of job titles (regardless of the order!) and brief job descriptions is no substitute for a persuasive argument that explains *why* they should hire you.
    A resume and cover letter are sales tools to sell yourself to a potential employer. Your particular resumes are akin to a car salesman who describes all of the features of a car without bothering to match them up to the specific needs of the potential buyer.

  53. Brian August 21, 2006 at 6:42 pm - Reply

    1990 – The Billy Graham School of Evangelism? really? thass kewl.
    Yes, really. But it was only a two day course.

  54. Ken August 23, 2006 at 12:17 pm - Reply

    Thanks for this post. Lots of morsels to chew on, think about and hopefully implement. I will be telling others to come here, having proofread so many bad resumes for friends. Hopefully reading an ‘authority’ on the topic can convince them I’m not crazy!

  55. TimTheFoolMan August 31, 2006 at 6:27 pm - Reply

    While I really enjoyed the entry, am I the only one whose RSS feed suddenly went screwy? For the time being, the only way to view your content in a readable manner is to come to the site. Count me in the category that wants a one-page resume and an RSS feed instead of visiting a thousand blogs by browser.

  56. The JobSyntax Blog September 26, 2006 at 5:45 pm - Reply

    CareerBytes ScreenCast: It’s about the Quality, Yo! Part 1

    Today, I’m happy to introduce the Media Division of JobSyntax, Inc: CareerBytes. Sounds…

  57. CultivateGreatness October 19, 2006 at 12:21 pm - Reply

    Your stuff is great. I love your books, and I just saw your presentation of Art of Innovation at the Tech Coast Venture Pitch Competition online….
    Sorry about your -2billion dollar Yahoo CEO decision. Unreal. You are an inspiration and a smartass, which in my world, is a perfect combo.
    Much love-
    Travis Wright

  58. Shiny November 20, 2006 at 8:04 pm - Reply

    Nice blog & cool content – I liked the interviews & the kind of info you have filled your blog with. Keep posting more -cheers
    How much a Software Pro gets Paid Storage area networking -Lots of free Tutorials – COOL Videos and many Customer Case studies explained in detail.

  59. Brad January 26, 2007 at 5:04 am - Reply

    One page resume too skinny, three page resume too fat.
    Grammatical errors are never acceptable. You get an overly anal retentive pre-screener and the resume and cover letter finds the round file.
    Are cover letters good, bad or necessary? In my seven years as an executive recruiter, I only read a few I received but I am a “get to the point” type of person. Most people don’t read today, they skim, so if you are using a full cover letter, structure it to be easy on the eyes and to the point. Maybe put your references on a separate page if you include them at all.
    Reverse the chronological ordering on the resume. Don’t make the reader waste time to scan to the bottom to find out what you are doing today. Also, your accomplishments are hidden and sparse. Consider a two page resume and the following:
    Your version
    Managing director, Garage Technology Ventures. Palo Alto, California. Founded and led an early-stage venture capital firm.
    My version
    Garage Technology Ventures, Palo Alto, CA 1997 – Present
    Founder and CEO
    GTV is an early-stage venture capital firm focusing on Pre-IPO, Macintosh based emerging technology leaders.
    • Successfully raised $1.7 trillion for LSkywalker Technologies, funding ground-breaking software designed to render Microsoft Windows obsolete.
    • Conceived and organized the first ever, “Mac, it’s not just a fad” virtual conference which attracted millions of attendees and is widely credited for the demise of the Windows based PC.
    Immediately anyone who does not like Microsoft is going to hire you and a bonus is Microsoft is going to hire you just to get you off the street.
    And the age old question brought up by many, what about my age? You can’t hide it. If you don’t put a date by your college experience, a red flag goes up and you have drawn attention to the fact you are not confident about your experience and worried about your age. Lie on a resume? Does the word “ETHICS” mean anything or did you miss school that day? By the way, that was the same day they covered it’s and its usage.
    If you are worried about age, stay relevant. Keep up with technology, embrace change and stay in shape, physically and mentally. Sure some companies are on a youth movement but they miss having experience that comes from been there, done that. Also, remember that job attendance is the poorest in the under-35 age group.
    I just read an article about a man who plans to take his boat down the Colorado River in the Grand Cannon one more time. To celebrate his 90th birthday no less.
    All in all, a great article that gets everyone engaged. Keep up the great stuff….

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