What You Need to Know to Stay Sharp – Resumes, Cover Letters, LinkedIn Profiles, etc.

April 27, 2011 | blog,Career | Written by: admin

–Text from Career Thought Leaders Consortium “Findings of 2010 Global Career Brainstorming Day: Trends for the Now, the New & the Next in Careers.”

QUESTION: What do we see right around the corner that will begin to impact careers, employment, job search, and how we work within the next one to two years?

Resumes, Cover Letters, LinkedIn Profiles & Other Career Marketing Communications

New resumes look different, read different, and are different. Most, although certainly not all, career professionals believe there will always be a role for the “traditional” resume. However, most also believe that we need to keep moving forward with new ways to communicate our clients’ qualifications. Some of the newest documents already hitting the market are white papers and press release resumes. White papers establish a job seeker’s expertise and credibility around a specific topic, product, technology, or the like. Press release resumes are just that … resumes written in a press release format. Resume writers are already using these documents, so we anticipate they will increase in greater popularity over the next year.

Headlines continue to lead the way. As with resumes in 2011, headlines are expected to be a critical resume element for the foreseeable future. Headlines communicate – in an instant – “who” the job seeker is. They provide instant clarity, and that’s a huge value-add.

Resumes are written and designed to read on a smart phone. With each passing day, more and more people are reading resumes, cover letters, and other career communications on their smart phones. Within a year or two, it will be commonplace. As such, career documents must be written and formatted in small digestible chunks that can be quickly perused and absorbed. Lengthy paragraphs, long lists of bullets, and other text-heavy formats are becoming a thing of the past as we continue to move quickly to new technology platforms.

Resume branding transitions from reputation to value as key differentiator. Reputation will always be important. However, value is shifting to the forefront of personal branding as a more effective strategy to differentiate one qualified candidate from another. By integrating the “who, how, what, and why” into the resume, job seekers communicate the “who” they are, the “how” they do it, the “what” they do, and, most importantly, the “why” an employer should care.

Resumes move to #2 position. We see it happening already and anticipate it will be relatively common within two years. Connections are now being made online through all of the various social media channels, in tandem with traditional face-to-face and phone networking. The result is that relationships are built first and resumes move from the lead to a supporting role.

Street addresses become passé on resumes. Snail mail is becoming a thing of the past and, within the next two years, it will be atypical to see an address on a resume. Stick with your email address and one phone number and that’s all the contact information you need to include on any of your career marketing communications.

T-letters are coming back into vogue. Everyone has seen T-letters – Company’s Hiring Requirements on the left and Your Qualifications on the right. They used to be a staple in job search. They’re now experiencing a resurgence because they’re “simple” and communicate a candidate’s qualifications succinctly… just like we’re communicating with many of our social media tools.

Job proposals are on the rise. An increasing number of executives are already using “job proposals” as part of the interviewing process – during the interview or as a leave-behind or a follow-up. Focused on that company’s challenges and how the executive would define the milestones, solve the problems, and deliver the desired results, these presentations communicate an instant message that the job seeker is already engaged with the company, the people, the products, and – most importantly – the solutions and strategies to take the company into the future.

New entry points are created to make new connections. Each job seeker’s portfolio of career marketing communications is expanding and will continue to do so over the upcoming years. Because of the new ways in which we virtually communicate, there is a growing need for bold and brief entry- point messages as part of each job seeker’s larger messaging suite that will include print, audio, video, online, slideshares, and more. This need opens a wealth of opportunity for career professionals to lead the way in creating and advancing these new communication tools.

–Text from Career Thought Leaders Consortium “Findings of 2010 Global Career Brainstorming Day: Trends for the Now, the New & the Next in Careers.”


  1. Hi Ilona and thanks for those very useful bulletpoints.

    I’m especially hooked by the use of ‘job proposals’ and ‘white papers’ for job seekers. This has been a great lead generation tool for businesses, and it could be more than helpful to warm some interesting contacts.

    “Resume branding transitions from reputation to value as key differentiator” – with a growing list of candidates wanting to use blogs/social networks, we’re probably going to have a sea of digital profiles. Then, what’s happening? We hear a lot about Employer Value Proposition for example, this could be applied to job hunters with a Candidate Value Proposition (CVP). This would also change mindsets and encourage people to consider themselves as ‘Business Developers’ (rather than job seekers).

    Comment by Lilian Mahoukou — April 27, 2011 @ 6:24 pm

  2. Great post!
    You are right job proposals are on the rise, but most people don’t know how to effectively create them, which is why The One-Page Company built the 1-Page Job Proposal app.
    The system is based on the International best selling business book The One-Page Proposal (by Pat Riley, the co-founder of the company)
    Ilona we would love to talk to you about it, and job-seekers we hope that you find it helpful to fully construct your job proposal.

    Comment by Joanna — May 9, 2011 @ 6:27 am

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