Stand Out Resume

Be Your Own Credential

Morgan Von Gunten
Morgan Von Gunten
March 2019

Paper credentials won’t launch your career. Be your own credential.


At Crash, we often say, “Be your own credential.” This phrase holds one of our strongest beliefs: you don’t need a credential to create a career you love.

You don’t need a third-party credential. You can be your own credential by showcasing a body of work and projects. Even works for non-coders!


But how does this idea translate into real-world work life?

What is a Credential?

A credential is an official “stamp of approval” from someone else–from an institution, a school. It certifies you. Says, “I validate this person.”

A few examples of credentials:

  • Degrees
  • Certifications
  • Anything from someone besides yourself that says you’re qualified to do something

What “Be Your Own Credential” Doesn’t Mean

This doesn’t mean you shouldn’t learn. You need to learn–that’s how you grow.

This also doesn’t mean degrees are evil, or that certifications are bad. They make sense–for some people.

But 72% of jobs don’t need a degree.

A lot of the skills we go to school for are now taught outside the classroom. Companies are becoming incredibly eager to take on young apprentices who’ve shown they can learn on the job because they know how to create value–on their own.

Credentials are broken. And if you rely on a credential to open the gates to success, there’s no guarantee it’s a key that’ll fit.

Proof of Work Instead of Proof of Paper

“Be your own credential” means demonstrating what you can do without relying someone else’s stamp of approval.

When someone says, “You should hire me because I got a degree from this university”, it’s asking a business to rely on a degree as validation the person can actually do the job they’re applying for.

But what if someone said, “I’d love to work for you. Here’s something I built so you can see what I can do”?

Giving proof of work–instead of proof of paper–gives companies something real to look at. They’ll see your value. They’ll see your skill level. They don’t have to guess if you’re ready to take on the job (or if you’re ready to learn how the job works) because they’ll know.

Show Your Work

Create projects that demonstrate your ability. Earn employers’ attention. They’ll see your work, and they’ll say, “I’m amazed because you’ve shown me you’ve got skills. You’ve also got value.”

You’ll be noticed not because of what someone else has said about you, but because of what you’ve done, what you’ve shown.

Be your own credential. You’ll have a signal louder than any piece of paper.