You may find the following definitions and explanations helpful.

ATS (Applicant Tracking System)

ATS is a computer software program that simplifies and speeds up the recruiting and hiring process. Businesses of all sizes and across industries use ATS to collect candidates’ information, organize prospects based on experience and skill sets and filter applicants. The latest available statistics report that more than 98.8% of Fortune 500 companies, 66.% of large companies, and 35% of small organizations use ATS as the first tool for screening applicants.

Board of Directors Résumé

This résumé is tailored to a specific audience and allows you to demonstrate your experience, industry knowledge, and accomplishments in a way that benefits the current Board of Directors. It showcases your relevant experience for the role, states your value proposition and discusses your individual approach to leadership. A BOD résumé should display your ability to set goals, plan strategies, and work with multidisciplinary teams. It should address your volunteer background, your ability to speak multiple languages and your cross-cultural experience. It should also demonstrate your ability to work with and make decisions among groups, and your skills as a communicator.

Career Coach

Sometimes referred to as a job search strategist, employment specialist, employment consultant, personal representative, and job search trainer, this is a certified and/or licensed professional who views your background and goals from an outside perspective and helps you create a plan of action. Your career coach will help you set goals, prepare for interviews, recommend effective job-search techniques and assist you with every other aspect of achieving your career goals.

Cover Letter

Sometimes referred to as a covering letter, motivation letter or letter of introduction, it is attached to or accompanies another document such as your résumé or curriculum vitae. It highlights your skills, experience, and achievements relevant to the specific position you are seeking. It provides details about why you are a good fit for the job, promotes you to a potential employer, and communicates your ambition and enthusiasm for a new role and company. The three main sections of a cover letter are the introduction, sales pitch, and conclusion. Even in 2023, a cover letter is read by many employers and should be an essential component of your job-search package.

Curriculum Vitae (CV)

This is a written summary of a person’s full professional history, qualifications, education, publications, and other experience, knowledge, and accomplishments. It is more detailed than a résumé and is typically two to four pages long for a new professional and a maximum of 10 pages for a more seasoned professional. While a résumé and a CV are two different documents in the U.S., in some countries, the terms résumé and CV are interchangeable.

Executive Bio (Biography)

This is a succinct, stand-alone version of your professional story. It is a one-page narrative document (280-340 words in five to seven short paragraphs) that outlines your unique value proposition. It highlights your work experience, key results, board contributions and educational background. The executive bio is written in third person and can be used to complement your résumé and LinkedIn profile.

Federal Résumé

This résumé is constructed specifically to apply for Federal government jobs. It includes several details not appropriate for inclusion in a typical résumé such as full contact information, citizenship, GS grade, veteran’s status, availability, and salary. It is longer than a typical résumé (usually four to five pages) and job information (experience and achievements) is reported as it relates to KSAs (Knowledge, Skills, and Abilities) that are often listed as part of the Federal job posting.

LinkedIn Profile

This is a professional landing page for you to manage your personal brand. It is a great way to let people know who you are, what you stand for and what you’re interested in. It extends your network of contacts and makes you more visible to employers. It is more casual and conversational than your résumé and focuses more on your specialties than job titles. However, like your résumé, your LinkedIn profile should contain an abundance of keywords.


This is a formal document that displays an individual’s professional background and relevant skills, emphasizes their strengths, and itemizes qualifications for a position; it is typically one to three pages long.

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