The Future of Your Job Search: Findings of Career Jam 2018What is Career Jam?

Every year, I look forward to the Career Industry Trends released by the Career Thought Leaders Consortium. This week, the long-anticipated Findings of 2018 Career Jam: Where Experts Forecast the New & the Next, was released! This report summarizes the findings of brainstorming sessions held on November 30, 2018 in the United States, Canada, Spain, Austria, and the United Kingdom.

2018 Career Jam participants brainstormed “best practices, innovations, trends, new programs, new processes, and other observations that are currently impacting or projected to impact, global employment, job search, and career management.”

The sections that historically have most interested me in the report are “Career Marketing Messages & Documents” and “Social Media Profiles…” which include resumes, cover letters, and LinkedIn profiles, as well as other career marketing communications. This year, the report is significantly shorter and more compact. The sections that most relate to resumes and LinkedIn profiles are “Artificial Intelligence (AI), Machine Learning & Other Technology,” “Social Branding & Sourcing,” and “Storytelling.”

Here’s what the brainstormers have to say in these realms:

Artificial Intelligence (AI), Machine Learning & Other Technology

  1. Job seekers are becoming more aware of the role of technology in the hiring process. Everyone knows about ATS (Applicant Tracking Software) systems now, and they want keyword-optimized resumes.
  2. It’s likely that more platforms will emerge for job seekers to test keywords in resumes.
  3. One size resume does not fit all! Resumes must be adjusted for each application to improve keyword density and alignment to the specific target position.
  4. Issues of privacy and bias have arisen with the use of AI. These are starting to be addressed.

Social Branding & Sourcing

  1. Young professionals are ditching the resume! I don’t completely believe this, but certainly younger job seekers are making inroads toward applying to jobs solely through social media. In most cases, however, resumes are still requested.
  2. LinkedIn is King. Creating a strong presence on LinkedIn will increase your visibility and give you a leg up on the competition. The power of the platform simply can’t be ignored – even by older job seekers, who are increasingly embracing LinkedIn. I’m happy to report that the 14th edition of How to Write a KILLER LinkedIn Profile is through the final editing stage and contains more robust information than ever on maximizing the power of LinkedIn! Watch out for announcements coming soon!
  3. LinkedIn keeps changing. What a headache! Thankfully, my new book addresses all the changes.
  4. LinkedIn is a prime place to nurture connections and network with alumni. Students especially are finding value in using alumni networks on LinkedIn. Not sure how to connect with alumni on LinkedIn? See my article, LinkedIn inMail Templates: Contacting Graduates of Your Alma Mater and check out the updated information in the 14th edition of KILLER!
  5. Facebook and Instagram are used by recruiters, but this is not resonating with job seekers in the US.
  6. Posts and interactions on social media are more important than ever. Computerized programs are scoring personality traits based on your activity on social media. So stay engaged in productive ways with relevant online content – especially on LinkedIn, where your search ranking is affected by your engagement [I added that last part].
  7. Instagram is a good place to create a portfolio.
  8. Twitter is a good place to connect with influencers like journalists.


  1. Online portfolios and personal websites are making a comeback. How interesting! Just yesterday, my self-publishing advisor was telling me he is creating a platform for job-seekers to post their resume to a personal website. Perhaps he’s caught a trend! Certainly, a website and online portfolio provide flexibility that a site like LinkedIn probably never will.
  2. By the same token, hard-copy portfolios will make you stand out and provide great interview material. Give the employer certificates, recommendations/testimonials, your most up-to-date resume, success stories, case studies, photos of projects, and other items that demonstrate your value, qualifications, and achievements.
  3. It’s more important than ever to communicate your story succinctly in your written documents. Attention spans aren’t getting any longer! So grab attention fast with a clear message. And remember, you need to engage humans while also keeping keywords in mind for the ATS systems.
  4. On the other hand, there’s a move away from the “elevator pitch.” People want to hear stories and to build relationships. Effective in-person networking is about more than a quick pitch.
  5. Be ready with stories for your interviews. Have an “arsenal” ready so you can pull the right one out of your hat. If you’ve done the right prep for your resume, these stories should be at your fingertips!
  6. “Grit” is prized. Grit and resilience are being valued more and more, so demonstrate yours!
  7. In Silicon Valley? Use slides. 10-slide “walking decks” are being used in place of resumes to provide a creative, holistic view of the candidate. Graphic design skills are required.
  8. Executive bios are subbing in for resumes for executives who are conducting a job search while employed. If you need a top-notch executive bio, please visit my Executive Bio Services page.

To find out more trends, such as how age is being treated in the job market, the state of the gig economy, and how college degrees are being valued (or not), see the full white paper. To stay on top of the latest in job search documents and strategies, keep following The Executive Expert and The Essay Expert.

What job search and employment trends do you want to know about? Please let us know and we’ll do our best to deliver!

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