I recently came across a new trend for job seekers; it’s called a one page proposal and purports that the traditional resume is dead and this is the way to land your next job. As a professional resume writer I am always on the lookout for the latest development in job search strategies so I was curious and wanted to learn more about the idea behind the one page job proposal and how it differed from a resume.
Essentially what this idea is saying is that a resume only promotes where you’ve been and what you’ve done; it’s a dated history of your career and not an indication of what you can bring to a company. On the other hand, a one page proposal captures what you can do for them now in the present and the future. The promoters of the one page resume believe that this is what employers really want and that the traditional resume is clogging up the inboxes of hiring managers making it difficult to find the right people – sort of a needle in the haystack situation.
The concept of a one page proposal is a document that captures the specific strategies you would apply to improve and enhance the success of a particular organization. Like a resume, a one page proposal has distinct sections; in this case they are target, financial, status, and action. The most content is found in the target section and identifies what your goal is (sort of like an objective statement) and then goes on to detail your knowledge of the organization and what you’ve done in your career that supports your ability to reach the target goal.
A one page proposal cannot be done without a thorough understanding of the company you wish to apply to. This will require researching and learning about the objectives of the organization so that you can develop a proposal that identifies and addresses their particular needs. This is a document that needs to be recreated for each position that you apply for. I always advise clients that they must customize their resume for each position they apply for. Once you have your resume content it’s easy to go in and make the changes necessary, with a proposal it would be more of a time investment to customize it for every position.
I can get behind the idea that it is essential for a candidate to endorse their value to prospective employers. My concern is that this non-traditional document may confuse employers; if they are expecting a resume and get this instead they may not know what to do with it. Also, the proposal, while only one page, is very text dense and may turn off the reader if they have to read through everything to find what they are looking for. On the proposal samples I looked at, nothing stood out. I had to read through the entire document to get a sense of the candidate, something that many hiring managers are not willing to do.
I’m all for trying something new, especially if it gives a job seeker the advantage, but I’m not entirely sold on this one. If you’ve been sending out your resume and haven’t gotten the response you wanted then maybe give the one page proposal a try. My advice, however, would be instead of trying something completely new you might want to work with what you have and revise your resume. What do you think? Is this something you would try?
by Megan Koehler