How to write a resume like DaVinci

Leonardo Da Vinci was born on April 15, 1452, and but we’re nonetheless studying from this grasp of the Renaissance. His résumé—in some ways the primary private advertising and marketing doc in recorded historical past—stands the take a look at of time to present an efficient instance of how you need to promote your self.

Da Vinci wasn’t at all times well-known, after all, and simply like you, wanted to market himself. So in 1482, he wrote a doc outlining all of his achievements and capabilities, and addressed it to the Duke of Milan.

In different phrases, he wrote a résumé.


At Leet Resumes, the place we write thousands of professional résumés for free, we discovered enduring themes in Da Vinci’s résumé you could apply in 2021.

Key accomplishments are extra necessary than key phrases. Anybody can stuff a number of key phrases into a résumé within the hopes of turning up in search outcomes. That’s not as efficient as telling a persuasive story.  By weaving his previous achievements into a nice narrative, Da Vinci’s résumé is way more practical than a disconnected jumble of key phrases.

Write what it felt like to be your boss. Not essentially often known as a author, Da Vinci wields the pen convincingly on this letter.  He doesn’t write about what it felt like to be Da Vinci in his previous jobs. As an alternative, he paints a image of what the long run will look like for the Duke of Milan with Da Vinci in his make use of. His efficient use of images all through the letter makes it straightforward for his future boss to visualize success with this new worker.

The best artist in historical past didn’t want graphics—neither do you. When customers submit their résumés at Leet, the previous drafts we see are sometimes replete with graphics like bar charts, blue backgrounds, and quirky icons intending to convey significant details about efficiency. Da Vinci, correctly, held off on the drawings for this letter. It’s a lot better to make an efficient case within the easiest-to-understand, easiest-to-digest format: the written phrase.  

Let’s step via this wonderful letter and see what Da Vinci acquired proper.

“Most Illustrious Lord, Having now sufficiently thought-about the specimens of all those that proclaim themselves expert contrivers of devices of struggle, and that the invention and operation of the stated devices are nothing completely different from these in widespread use: I shall endeavor, with out prejudice to anybody else, to clarify myself to your Excellency, displaying your Lordship my secret, after which providing them to your greatest pleasure and approbation to work with impact at opportune moments on all these issues which, partially, shall be briefly famous under.”

Right here we learn Da Vinci’s cowl letter, or on this case, cowl paragraph. He does a remarkably efficient job at setting the stage for why he’s writing, and what the Duke of Milan will get from the letter, in a single sentence. One nice sentence might be far more practical than a lengthy cowl letter that received’t get learn.


  • I’ve a type of extraordinarily mild and robust bridges, tailored to be most simply carried, and with them, chances are you’ll pursue, and at any time flee from the enemy; and others, safe and indestructible by fireplace and battle, straightforward and handy to elevate and place. Additionally strategies of burning and destroying these of the enemy.
  • I understand how when a place is besieged, to take the water out of the trenches, and make limitless number of bridges, and coated methods and ladders, and different machines pertaining to such expeditions.
  • If by purpose of the peak of the banks, or the power of the place and its place, it’s inconceivable, when besieging a place, to avail oneself of the plan of bombardment, I’ve strategies for destroying each rock or different fortress, even when it had been based on a rock, and so forth.

Da Vinci shares his previous accomplishments together with designing robust bridges, taking water out of trenches, and strategies for destroying rock fortresses. He focuses his letter on sharing what he’s really been ready to do up to now, and the way these experiences relate to the Duke’s wants.

  • Once more, I’ve sorts of mortars; most handy and simple to carry; and with these I can fling small stones nearly resembling a storm; and with the smoke of those trigger nice terror to the enemy, to his nice detriment and confusion.
  • And if the battle ought to be at sea I’ve sorts of many machines most effective for offense and protection; and vessels which is able to resist the assault of the most important weapons and powder and fumes.
  • I’ve means by secret and tortuous mines and methods, made with out noise, to attain a designated spot, even when it had been wanted to cross beneath a trench or a river.

Show your capabilities and enthusiasm. Throughout the centuries, we are able to really feel that Da Vinci is fairly enthusiastic about mortars, sea fights, and secret methods. Right here’s a man who may be very pumped up about “flinging small stones nearly resembling a storm” or passing beneath a river “with out noise.” In your personal résumé, convey your enthusiasm for the cool, fascinating, intelligent, and modern methods you’ve introduced your capabilities to bear on problem-solving at work.

  • I’ll make coated chariots, protected and unattackable, which, coming into among the many enemy with their artillery, there is no such thing as a physique of males so nice however they might break them. And behind these, infantry may comply with fairly unharmed and with none hindrance.
  • In case of want I’ll make massive weapons, mortars, and light-weight ordnance of superb and helpful types, out of the widespread kind.
  • The place the operation of bombardment may fail, I might contrive catapults, mangonels, trabocchi, and different machines of marvelous efficacy and never in widespread use. And briefly, in accordance to the number of instances, I can contrive varied and limitless technique of offense and protection.

Join the dots in your future employer by making your résumé about their wants, not yours. Lined chariots, massive weapons, catapults, mangonels, and trabocchi had been music to the ears of the medieval lord. Da Vinci knew how to converse his future boss’s language.

You’ll additionally discover there’s no point out of duties and obligations at his prior jobs.  Fairly than saying “I used to be chargeable for the protection of the villa,” or “I managed a studio,” or “I used to be assigned to paint footage,” Da Vinci writes about outcomes. It’s best to as effectively. Your future boss is aware of what duties somebody along with your title would have, however what they don’t know is how highly effective or efficient your mangonels and trabocchi are so allow them to know.

  • In occasions of peace I consider I may give good satisfaction and to the equal of some other in structure and the composition of buildings private and non-private; and in guiding water from one place to one other.
  • I can perform sculpture in marble, bronze, or clay, and in addition I can do in portray no matter could also be accomplished, in addition to some other, be he who he could.
  • Once more, the bronze horse could also be taken in hand, which is to be to the immortal glory and everlasting honor of the prince your father of pleased reminiscence, and of the illustrious home of Sforza.

Da Vinci consists of the war-fighting in addition to the artwork and structure multi functional résumé.  Employers know that you simply’re multitalented, so share these a number of skills with them.  Something that’s vital sufficient to be significant in your profession and employability belongs in your résumé. 

The fashionable anxiousness about writing a number of résumés, every of which showcases completely different abilities, is ineffective, pointless, and sometimes counterproductive. Right here, Da Vinci consists of his peacetime pursuits of structure, sculpture, and portray—fairly completely different from struggle machines, however, because it turned out, of permanent and timeless value to his patron.

And if any of the above-named issues appear to anybody to be inconceivable or not possible, I’m most prepared to make the experiment in your park, or in no matter place could please your Excellency—to whom I remark myself with the utmost humility, and so forth.

Leonardo wraps up with a pitch for the in-person interview. I really like the way in which the artist tried to shut the deal right here.

Now, there have been some enhancements in advertising and marketing your self up to now 4 centuries. From our vantage level in 2021 at Leet, we’d have some strategies for Da Vinci:

  • Incorporate extra numbers. How many sea preventing machines has he constructed? How many fortresses of rock has he destroyed? Offering numbers would make the psychological footage much more vivid for the Duke.
  • Put a abstract on the high. “Warfare Machines • Large Weapons • Destroying Enemies • Sculptor • Painter” This skilled abstract on the high of the doc would’ve helped seize the Duke’s most pressing consideration.
  • Embody exterior validation. Who else has already been impressed with Da Vinci’s work? He’d studied at del Verrochio’s studio, who was an artwork world massive shot on the time. And he’d accomplished works for the Florence Metropolis Corridor. Demonstrating previous pleased employers would assist validate all the capabilities Da Vinci ascribes to himself.

Nonetheless, Da Vinci’s historical résumé markets the person so successfully that he landed the gig and stayed for 17 years. Given his mastery of each type of creative endeavor, I’d think about if he had been alive in the present day, he’d be education us on the perfect TikTok movies and extra.

And so forth his 569th birthday, we have a good time this exceptional Renaissance man, his résumé, and his studying, which stretches out to us throughout the ages.

Marc Cenedella is the founding father of Leet Resumes which writes professional resumes for free, and Ladders, the house for $100K+ careers.