Question of the day: Who more urgently needs an up-to-date resume ready to send out at a moment’s notice – professionals who are employed or those who are out of a job? Up-to-date meaning from the perspective of both the information contained within the document as well as the resume’s aesthetic presentation.
Answer: My expert opinion is every professional will benefit greatly from having a top-notch resume available for immediate submission. This includes professionals who are happily employed, working full time or part-time on a temp job or as an independent contractor on a long or short term assignment, and every professional who’s out of work or seeking to change careers.
I can’t tell you how many employed people (and even some who are unemployed) reach out to me to tell me that a wonderful opportunity just presented itself but they must submit their resume within the next 24 to 48 hours; the number is way more then you can imagine.
Sadly most of these people were totally unaware of the complexity of the information gathering and resume writing process, or they were unwilling to push themselves to meet their deadline. Thus the majority forfeited or passed on what could have been the opportunity of a lifetime.
In a number of instances, if they could find the right person, people ended up paying a professional a well deserved premium for a ‘Rush Job’ and prayed it was only a rush job in time and not in the quality of the final product.
So here are some thoughts to consider for professionals who would rue being overlooked and/or missing out on an outstanding opportunity if it comes knocking and they are ill prepared to answer the call.
1: If you have not been an active job seeker or prepared a new resume over the past 3 years you should prepare one ASAP instead of dusting off the one you used the last time you looked for a job. There are numerous changes in how resumes are written, submitted, screened, read and perceived, so I for one believe it is in your best interest to start over from scratch.
2: If you have a newly prepared resume you are pleased with, written for or by you within the past 6-12 months, it is now time to update it. In my opinion a resume is a living document, so it must be reviewed at regular intervals and updated at the very least once every 12 months, or within 30 days after any change in your current job status. If opportunity knocks you want to be 100% prepared to answer the call.
3: If you have not yet done so, take a written inventory of your skill sets in terms of technology, management skills, interpersonal skills, core, primary and tertiary business skills, and the special skills that pertain to your field and industry. Next cross reference this inventory with your resume and see if all the key points are referenced and/or expounded upon in the document. If they are not it is time to rewrite or update your resume. I suggest repeating this exercise at least once every 3-4 months.
4: If you have not yet done so I suggest you perform a S-C-A-R exercise analysis on your career dating back up to 20 years. For those who are unfamiliar with this exercise you write down all of the Situations/Challenges you faced in each job or new position you held, the Actions you were a part of individually or as part of a project or group, and the Results you can concretely claim and validate as an achievement on a resume, and make it a point to quantify and/or qualify all points as accurately as possible. Here too I suggest repeating this exercise every 3-4 months.
In addition, I suggest you immediately begin keeping copious notes as you undertake new projects and encounter and overcome new challenges on the job. Write them down and update them daily, weekly or monthly as you see fit. Be especially careful to quantify positive changes in dollars, percents, and effects on the bottom line.
5: If you have not had your LinkedIn page professionally critiqued or recently updated I suggest you do so ASAP. You never know who might be looking for someone just like you and how many plum job opportunities you missed out on, or how much new business and how many valuable contacts you lost out on as a result of a poor LinkedIn page.
I would be happy to review your current resume and LinkedIn page at no cost and offer constructive criticism and feedback to you. Email me at firstname.lastname@example.org.