20 Career Trends That Every Practitioner Should Know


The Career Thought Leaders’ 2013 Global Career Brainstorming Day included more than 150 career professionals from Canada, United States, and overseas. During live and virtual sessions, practitioners discussed existing and upcoming trends facing the career industry. The resulting report is a rich source of “insider” industry intelligence for practitioners.

These are some of the findings from the report reproduced, with permission, from the Career Thought Leaders:

  1. Job seekers need and welcome guidance in today’s evolving career scenarios. From creating branded resumes and ATS-optimized documents to knowing how to use different versions of documents (Word, PDF, text) and how to manage both traditional and online search activities, career practitioners can help.
  2. Branding, clarity of direction, and succinct writing characterize today’s best resumes. Unfortunately, all too many job seekers struggle to communicate an authentic and distinct brand in their resumes, which is why it’s so critical to seek professional assistance.
  3. ATS are considered a “necessary evil,” a less-than-perfect method for employers to rapidly sort large numbers of resumes. Some career professionals develop resumes separately for ATS and for humans, while others create one document designed to meet both the needs of both technology and the human eye.
  4. Today’s resume must exist on multiple platforms: as a document that can be emailed, a mobile document easily viewed on smartphones, a profile on social media sites, and, still, a static document on paper that can be used in networking and at interviews.
  5. Candidates are developing multiple types of communications, both traditional documents (different resume versions, bios, leadership profiles) and a variety of other approaches (Twitter resumes and cover letters, video clips, infographics and other visuals) as they seek new ways to stand out from the competition.
  6. Savvy job seekers are incorporating different online tools to connect with and integrate their networks. For example, following the Twitter hashtag at a conference, downloading the presentation from SlideShare, and reaching out to the presenters.
  7. Career professionals are creating portfolios of branded documents including bios for About.Me, LinkedIn profiles, branded tweets, and targeted job proposals. Personal branding becomes an even more consistent process throughout every element of career marketing.
  8. Individuals will increasingly create and post videos to sell themselves and specific services, to demonstrate achievements and performance, to sell their candidacy for a job, and for other personal/promotional reasons.
  9. While resumes are still “must-have” documents, other career communications have become primary – in some instances. A LinkedIn profile or executive bio may serve as the door‐opener, while the resume then transitions into a follow-up tool.
  10. LinkedIn is almost universally endorsed. It is a useful tool for maintaining control of online identity and is important because the more passive candidates are being found that way. Many believe that candidates who are not on social media are not getting hired. That said, LinkedIn is still not widely popular in certain fields (educators, factory workers, machinists).
  11. All ages must leverage LinkedIn and other social media for networking. Generations X and Y are not necessarily good at online networking even though they are tech-­savvy. For older job seekers, participation in social media is imperative.
  12. Career professionals see increased demand for LinkedIn-related services. Clients need help in crafting not only branded profiles that can be communicated across multiple media, but in leveraging LinkedIn and other tools to reach others, request introductions, and join and actively engage in appropriate groups.
  13. Career professionals project a new economic model where people have multiple revenue streams instead of one job. By 2020, the prediction is that 50% of employees will work project to project; many will be self‐ employed.
  14. Confirmations and acknowledgments are rare. Candidates don’t know what to do or how to follow up when their applications go into the electronic abyss. It creates an emotional component that career professionals should address with their clients.
  15. Cultural intelligence will be a critical skill for successfully navigating the emerging world of work. There will soon be five generations in the workplace, requiring new skills for organization leaders and all employees.
  16. Emotional Intelligence is becoming a necessary skill set for coaches, counsellors, and clients alike. Brain-based coaching and counselling is in its infancy. More research and development work will need to be accomplished to establish common standards.
  17. Photos are important. Recruiters evaluate the quality and professionalism of a photo when looking at a profile. Some universities are offering professional headshots for student LinkedIn pages.
  18. The cost of education encourages careful scrutiny of ROI. Some discouraged job seekers pursue a master’s degree because they think it will help them get a job. Career professionals can help job seekers determine the true return on investment of any post-graduate program.
  19. We will see increased hiring of employees with autism and Asperger’s Syndrome for positions as programmers, coders, testers, and many other positions. In 2013, SAP hired hundreds of employees with these disabilities to program and test products.
  20. Technology apps are becoming a part of the career development practitioner’s toolkit. Technology is being used as a conduit between career coaches/career departments to help people manage their careers continuously.
  21. Bonus Trend: Career professionals have the same anxieties as our clients regarding technology. We need to be constantly scanning to be conversant. We should be early adopters of information on social media even if we don’t use it ourselves.

As a career practitioner, you need to keep up with changes in our field. You will find the complete whitepaper and all Global Career Brainstorming Day findings on the The Career Thought Leaders’ website.


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Great article, very interesting. What does ATS stand for? I could not find the meaning of it on your article. Thanks.

ATS stands for Applicant Tracking System, the software that employers and recruiters use to scan, sort, and select resumes.

Applicant Tracking Systems (ATS) are the technology recruiters and employers use to receive, store, and keep track resumes. Here is a links that might be helpful:


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Last edited 3 years ago by Sharon Graham