Do You Use These Alternatives to Your Resume?

There has been quite a bit written about alternatives to resumes these days.  But can you get away with just your LinkedIn profile?


Résumé (Photo credit: Michael Paul Escanuelas)

A résumé is a marketing piece designed to get you the interview, not the job.  It is also a scratch pad for the interviewer.  Either way it is a summation or abstract of your work history, not your whole life  or even your whole work history, on two pieces of paper.  Even a biography is edited.  If you have ever tried to document a whole day of your life with pictures and posts, you know that a résumé must be edited.  It only needs to go back 10 years, but it must address the problem(s) that the particular interviewer is trying to solve by hiring someone.

It is only one piece of your marketing collateral.

The others could be:

A number of separate hard-copy marketing pieces: If you are in sales or business development, your sales record or your deal sheet. If you are in early research, your publications list or patents.  What are you proud of in your job?

Your CV

– curriculum vitae or the story of your education and work, publications, speeches, articles, books and book chapters.

Your LinkedIn profile

– don’t waste this space by simply posting your generic resume, use it to highlight those things that you like to do and are good at doing.

Get your free LinkedIn Profile Checklist here

Google+/Google Profiles

– This is one of the hot new things, especially for the tech world at the moment

Your Facebook profile

– more casual but do edit your life on this; it is public and there may well be things that you don’t want the entire world to see.

Your Twitter page

– choose a nice background and do some editing of the things you have posted.

Your personal website or blog

– show what you are good at, write about the issues in your field, take a stand or ask a question.

Your video resume

(posted somewhere or sent as a free-standing document).  The point of this is really to answer the question of your personal presentation: Do you dress appropriately for the job?  Is your speech clear and understandable to the hiring manager?  Do you have any quirks or tics that might become annoying over time.  Do you seem self-confident and capable?

Your YouTube postings or channel

– can you do a presentation about your skills? Or is this your video resume?

An Infographic (, and

— best used for graphic design jobs, this is the latest on the scene.  Some are excellent, but none can be read by Applicant Tracking Systems.  Consider this as an extra that you take with you to an interview or something that you post on Facebook or Twitter or Pinterest.  It should not be your only marketing piece.

Remember that each of these must be targeted to your audience.  A hiring manager may well want to see your CV, but has no time for a video (free standing or on YouTube).  A recruiter or HR person wants something that fits into her workflow and if you make her download your LinkedIn profile she may simply pass on your candidacy.

We have entered the age of marketing, brand marketing and personal marketing, employment marketing and candidate marketing.  There is information galore on the internet to help you learn, but remember that no marketing piece gets you a job.  Only you in an interview can do that.

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What is a Keyword?


Job and key concept

Job and key concept




  1. A word that serves as a key, as to the meaning of another word, a sentence, passage, or the like.
  2. A word used to encipher or decipher a cryptogram, as a pattern for a transposition procedure or the basis for a complex substitution.
  3. Also called catchwordLibrary Science. A significant or memorable word or term in the title, abstract, or text of a document or other item being indexed, used as the index entry.
  4. Digital Technology. a word used to classify or organize digital content, or to facilitate an online search for information: Search the database for the keyword “Ireland.”.


The internet, search engines and Applicant Tracking Systems (where the resumes and applications go when you apply for a job online) all use keywords to sort all that data. 


Your keywords are the words in your online profiles, your resume, your background and future that serve as a key to the meaning of the work you have done and will do.  They are also the words that will help a hiring manager, or recruiter, decipher what you can actually do and how you would fit into the company.  AND, if they are the correct ones, they are the words that the computer will use to allow you to pass through the “Black Hole” of the ATS.


Remember that lingo in one company may not match the lingo in another so remember to look for synonyms.  If you have a cross-industry job (accounting, HR, etc.) remember that different industries may also have different lingo.


You will use “your” keywords whenever you look for a new job or enroll in a new online networking group.  The people in your “tribe” (as Seth Grodin says) will use the same keywords.  People who don’t will not understand you as well. 


Your keywords will describe your skills, expertise, and tasks.  You will use them to describe the software and equipment you use.  If you are an expert in one kind of equipment, you will be a better fit at companies that use that equipment than you would be at companies that use the competitor’s equipment but a better fit than someone who doesn’t know how to use either. 


You should have your keywords somewhere on your computer or in a notebook so that you don’t have to recreate the wheel every time.  You will need to add to it, reorder the list (by what you want to do next or never again), take some things off that you haven’t done for so long that they are outdated.  But you won’t have to try to think it up fresh every time. 


You will use these words over and over in Summaries of what you do, in “dragon-slaying stories” of your accomplishments, in conversations with networking partners, in interviews.  These are “your” words.  The people who share them with you are “your tribe”.  And many will become your friends – the people who “get” you.