The Da Vinci Resume (Live, from Roma)

Well, I was in Rome until yesterday… now I’m in Barcelona to finish out my European holiday!  Last week we went to the Da Vinci Museum, which was really quite awesome.  One of the first things to see was this huge poster thing talking about Da Vinci’s resume. I have seen this before, I probably blogged about it, but I want to revisit it.


Da Vinci was a genius… for sure.  Even the genius, though, had to hustle. He had to eat, and he had bills to pay.  Even after he did amazing things, and his reputation was growing, he still had to hustle.

When do we stop hustling?  If Leonardo had to keep hustling, shouldn’t we?


In the first line he doesn’t say “To whom it may concern,” or “Hiring Manager,” or anything generic. It is appropriately addressed to the person who should read it. Please make sure you are addressing a human, not a concept!

In the next paragraph he says “I don’t want to take away from anyone but man, I’m awesome!!”  Do you communicate with confidence, or are you quote-humble-unquote? Nothing wrong with being humble, it’s a virtue… but we must get to a point where we communicate with confidence when we need to… and when we are in a job search, selling ourselves and our skills, we need to!

In the bulleted list of “I can do this” and “I can do that,” you’ll notice that Leonardo doesn’t say “here’s how I do it,” or talk with technical jargon. He is bringing out specific issues and problems!  He understands the relevant, specific things that his most Illustrious Lord is grappling with, and addresses those things saying “I have figured out how to solve this problem.

He talks about solving many problems… as an employer I have problems… can you speak my language, and address thing things that are keeping me up at night? Of course, I want to know details, but that can wait for another conversation.



He goes on to talk about more specific problems, and then says “I can do these other things, too.” Be careful that you don’t talk about all of your skills as that can get distracting. But he goes there. The thing I love about the bottom is that he says “want to see any of my solutions? I’ll make it easy for you… name the time and place and I’ll show you how I’ll solve your problems.”

A genius, but he knows that his audience is crazy busy. Why not accommodate?

Of course, your resume will not look like this.  But your cover letter might have some of these elements, and you can incorporate some of these ideas into your networking conversations and interviews, right?

Heck, if Leonardo could do it, I’m sure you could, too!