Getting hired is tough. What’s even tougher is getting hired into a job that you actually want. Between resumes, applications, and cover letters, many job seekers fear that their documents aren’t making the right impression.

Introducing the one-page proposal. Based on Patrick G. Riley’s book, The Resume is Dead!, the one-page proposal is lauded as the solution to the common resume. As CEO of The One-Page Company, I clearly agree.

However, how will people turn to one-page proposals if they don’t know what they are? Better yet, how will they change if they don’t know the difference between that and the resume?

Here is a side-by-side comparison of the resume and the one-page proposal:

1. What are they?

Resumes are traditional. Since the dawn of time, job seekers have used resumes to court prospective employers. They’re commonplace and generally expected in hiring situations.

One-page proposals are new. The one-page job proposal is a relatively new concept and it’s not especially common in hiring situations. Hiring managers don’t explicitly ask for one-page proposals.

2. Focus

Resumes focus on the job-seeker. It’s all about the job seeker. My experience, my skills, me, me, me. The employer oftentimes needs to connect the dots between the resume and the actual job.

One-page proposals focus on the employer. Attention shifts to the employer, company, and position in question. The proposal discusses the company and how the job seeker will fit into the overall picture.

3. Content

Resumes record the past. It’s all about past experience, schooling, and skills developed. It is important for employers to learn about what an applicant has taken away from the past, but are left without an idea of what is to come.

One-page proposals look to the future. Proposals include past experience, but are chiefly centered on what will happen. Applicants tell employers what they will do and how that will happen.

4. Goal

Resumes are broad. It’s not uncommon for a job seeker to use the same resume time and time again for dozens of different companies. The goal is to get a job in an industry, not taking the company or position into account.

One-page proposals are targeted. One-page proposals are meant for one company, position, and reader. They are unique to other applications and get down to the specifics of the position and company.

There you have it. The next time someone asks you about resumes or one-page proposals, you now know what makes each similar and unique.

While I have a fairly obvious opinion about resumes, I feel that job seekers are entitled to a choice in the hiring process, selecting the document that best suits their needs and expectations.

When applying to a job, would you choose a one-page proposal over a resume?

Related: CV vs. Resume: What’s the Difference?

Joanna Riley Weidenmiller is the CEO of and is responsible for executing the company’s strategic development plan. Prior to launching One-Page, Joanna was the CEO of Performance Advertising. Joanna earned her B.A. in foreign affairs from the University of Virginia and lives between Beijing, China, and San Francisco.

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