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Leonardo da Vinci's resume is still the benchmark for perfect job application even after 542 years

Leonardo da Vinci, the renowned Renaissance genius, is credited with creating one of the earliest resumes in history.

Leonardo da Vinci's resume is still the benchmark for perfect job application even after 542 years
Cover Image Source: Leonardo da Vinci's 'resumé' letter to Ludovico Sforza, 1482. (Photo: Wikimedia Commons, Public domain)

The great Renaissance genius Leonardo da Vinci just like us had to write a resume early in his career. It was mainly to get work from the wealthy, noble patrons of Italy, according to MyModernMet. However, how he personalizes the letter and grabs the attention of the reader is truly commendable. It was written in 1482 to Ludovico Sforza, the future Duke of Milan talking about the artist's capabilities. The letter he wrote is said to be one of the earliest resumes in history.



 

It boasts of the many skills that the artist had including designing machines for sea battles and engineering sturdy bridges. According to a blog for job searching advice, Marc Candella writes that da Vinci was "an artificer, an armorer, a maker of things that go "boom". Though da Vinci was a budding artist, in his letter, he focused on his other skills. It states that he can "make covered chariots, safe and unattackable, which, entering among the enemy with their artillery, there is no body of men so great but they would break them."



 

Reportedly, by then, he had made two Madonna paintings and the Annunciation, but he didn't mention them in his "resume." However thanks to the letter, he ended up being hired for the role of Director of Festivities in Milan, per Forbes. The letter was originally written in Latin and the translation talks vividly about the things he could do for Milan. He made sure to inform Sforza that he had studied structures and that he could be useful in wars. So he states that he knew “methods for destroying every rock or other fortress, even if it were founded on rock,” “how to dry up the water of the moats, and how to construct an infinite number of bridges.”

He adds that he could “fling small stones almost resembling a storm,” and create ”mortars; most convenient and easy to carry; and with those I can fling small stones almost resembling a storm." He goes on to write that “in times of peace I believe I can give perfect satisfaction and to the equal of any other in architecture and the composition of buildings public and private; and in guiding water from one place to another." He adds, "I can carry out sculpture in marble, bronze, or clay, and also I can do in painting whatever may be done, as well as any other, be he who he may." Da Vinci mentions about his already-sculpted piece.



 

"I can carry out sculpture in marble, bronze, or clay, and also I can do in painting whatever may be done, as well as any other, be he who he may," he adds. Da Vinci mentions about his already-sculpted piece. "Again, the bronze horse may be taken in hand, which is to be to the immortal glory and eternal honor of the prince your father of happy memory, and of the illustrious house of Sforza.” It is said that the letter left a lasting impression on Sforza and he became a longtime patron of da Vinci and is known for commissioning "The Last Supper," reports Gizmodo. "And if any of the above-named things appear to anyone to be impossible or not feasible, I am more than ready to test the experiment in your park or in whatever place may please your Excellency, to whom I commend myself with the utmost humility, etc.," the letter concludes.

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