Resumes and Cover Letters

Is it Time for a Career Marketing Remodel?

man working on career marketing materials

Just like your home needs continuous updating, so do your career marketing materials. It’s pretty easy to see what needs remodeling around your house – a shower door that no longer slides properly, a deck with rotting wood or a kitchen with original cabinetry from 1979 – but how do you know when it’s time to remodel your career marketing materials?

Summer is the perfect time to remodel your career marketing materials so you can be ready to roll when hiring season is in full force in the fall.

Here are some ways to recognize when your career marketing materials may need some updating:


  • You still have an objective – job search is not about you, it’s about what you can do for the company.
  • Times New Roman is your font – technically nothing wrong with this, but many recruiters view resumes on their phones and a sans serif font is simply easier to read. Try Arial, Century Gothic, or Calibri for a more modern look.
  • You have the words “Responsible for…” – no one cares what you are responsible for. Lead with an action verb instead.
  • You have dense paragraphs of type – people’s attention spans are less than a goldfish these days. Think Twitter and edit every line down to a tweet to make it more readable.
  • You haven’t updated your resume since 2008 (and that’s being generous) – you should always have a resume ready to go for when those unforeseen opportunities pop up.

Also read: What Stays and What Goes in an Executive Resume


  • Your headline is your most recent job title – take advantage of all 120 characters (more if you update it on your phone) and load your headline with keywords. Not sure what keywords to use? Look at job postings you want to apply for or put on your recruiter hat. What words would you search to find someone like you?
  • Your content is a copy and paste of your resume – when LinkedIn first launched people didn’t know what to do so plunking their resume into their profile was easy and fast. Today your LinkedIn profile will probably be seen before your resume. Tell your career story in first person instead.
  • Your headshot is from 2007 – if people can’t recognize you from your headshot, it’s time to update it.
  • Your background photo is the default blue dots – use the background image to reflect your personal brand or interest. It can be a conversation piece in interviews or client meetings.

Also watch: Developing Relationships Through LinkedIn: A Strategic Approach


  • You open with “I am writing in response to your ad on LinkedIn for the position of…” – open your letter with a statement that resonates with your potential employer. You need to hook ’em.
  • You restate your accomplishments from your resume – speak to why your knowledge and skills are relevant to the open position and share some of your personality.
  • Your letter is longer than a page – these days a modern cover letter is called an e-note and it typically has only 100-200 words.
  • You close with “I hope you consider my candidacy” – end with a strong call to action and ask for the interview.

Once you have your career marketing materials updated you can assess if it’s time to update your job search strategies. Here are some clues you need to modernize your job search, too:

  • Your main way of finding jobs is through job boards – you should follow the 80/20 rule (I even like to go down to 90/10) when thinking about how much time to devote to applying to jobs online. Spend only 10-20% of your time applying through job boards and the other 80-90% of your time researching companies and networking.
  • The first thing you did to start your search was update your resume – your resume is no longer the star player of your job search. Get more strategic and outline your ideal job first so you know your end goal and can map a way to get there.
  • You’re casting a wide net to get more opportunities – just because you can do many things doesn’t mean you should target many different roles. Structure your job search like a marketing plan so you can zero in on your ideal role.

When modernized career marketing materials are paired with a modern job search strategy you will surely land that new gig in no time.

What did you find out about your career marketing materials or job search strategies that needed updating?

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About the Author

Self-proclaimed job search geek, Michelle Robin takes the often frustrating and miserable task of job search and makes it more enjoyable, perhaps even fun, for her clients. An award-winning dual-certified resume writer (NCRW, CPRW) and founder of Brand Your Career, Michelle helps sales and marketing executives transform their career marketing materials into a package that wows their target employer. Click HERE to register for Michelle’s free training, The 5-Step Game Plan to Land 6-Figure Marketing Roles Without Resumes or Attending Networking Events.