The long-awaited Findings of 2014 Global Career Brainstorming Day: Trends for the New & the Next in Careers has been released by the Career Thought Leaders Consortium! This report summarizes the findings of a November 14, 2014 meeting of 150 career professionals from six countries who brainstormed “best practices, innovations, trends, new programs, new processes, and other observations that are currently impacting, and are projected to impact, global employment, job search, and career management.”
The section that most interests me in the report is “Career Marketing Communications,” which includes resumes, cover letters, social media profiles and other career marketing communications. Here are some of the findings and advice you’ll want to keep in mind:
- Powerful, consistent branding is essential in resumes and across all job search messages and materials. Taglines with a candidate’s USP (Unique Selling Proposition) are becoming more common.
- Great resumes tell stories with testimonials and other unique information that “connects the dots” for readers.
- Keep resumes short and snappy, with smart, strategic use of SEO/keywords!
- Infographics, hyperlinks, graphs and charts are all fair game on resumes!
- Resume content may evolve to address behavioral questions.
- Mailing addresses may be omitted from electronic resumes (this reduces the risk of identity theft)—but consider including them on paper versions.
- Short, half-page cover letters are most frequently submitted in the form of an email. Use a punchy subject line to capture interest!
- LinkedIn profiles should almost always be written in the first person.
- Make sure your resume is readable on mobile devices.
- Craft your job marketing messages with an organization’s culture in mind. Is the organization conservative/traditional? Casual? Dynamic?
- Send your resume by snail mail to stand out – especially with older hiring managers.
- Don’t skip the thank you letter! It will make you stand out. Send a thank you email (it’s fast) and follow up with snail mail to make an impression.
- LinkedIn Premium is not recommended except to human resources professionals and recruiters. (I would add that anyone wanting to pursue leads from those who view their profile would also benefit.)
- The portfolio approach for career marketing documents is valuable, in particular for technology and engineering fields.
- 30/60/90 plans will be requested by more and more employers.
- Applying to jobs on job boards is discouraged. Instead, identify the jobs on the job boards, then go to LinkedIn or the company’s website to network with key decision-makers.
- Networking and referrals are still king for getting into a company. 80% of jobs are found by networking!
- Apply to jobs if you meet at least 75% of their requirements. 100% is not required.
- Companies understand a LinkedIn profile is an essential networking tool. Employees can be less afraid of their companies’ becoming suspicious when they update their profiles.
- Companies are sourcing candidates directly from LinkedIn, and using recruiters less.
- A large network on LinkedIn is attractive to many companies.
- Resumes are still important documents, distinct from LinkedIn profiles!
If you are engaged in a job search, take this report to heart and create your career success!
To read more about the New and the Next in Video Bios, Web Portfolios; Job Search & Job Boards, Networking, Interviews & Hiring, Career Planning & Management, Personal Branding, and other important career topics, see Findings of 2014 Global Career Brainstorming Day: Trends for the New & the Next in Careers.