When was the last time you updated your résumé?
I’ve worked with some extraordinary professionals who admitted they don’t know the whereabouts of their résumé because they’ve been on their current job for so long. Wow! So much has changed over the years. For instance, LinkedIn, applicant tracking systems (ATS), and networking have popped up on the scene. Staying abreast of trends in job hunting can be daunting for the average person. To alleviate your stress, it is always a good idea to partner with a professional résumé writer to maintain updated knowledge and an updated résumé that is “ready-to-go”.
A well-written résumé tells the “story” of your career — demonstrating consistent themes and supporting information, and highlighting your qualifications and value for your targeted job. The most obvious reason why you need an updated and “ready-to-go” résumé is because you may unexpectedly find yourself looking for a new job for one reason or another. Don’t wait for the unexpected to occur. Consider having a résumé that is always updated and “ready-to-go” for a few reasons that we’ll discuss here.
Ready-to-Go After a Promotion or Transfer
If you want to apply for an internal promotion or transfer, you may not think a résumé would be required, but often it is. An internal hiring manager in a different part of the company may not be familiar with all the aspects of what you do and what you’ve accomplished. Even if they have access to the job description for your position, that won’t tell them about the specific contributions you’ve made in your current role. It’s your job to quantify and document your achievements and demonstrate why you’re qualified for the promotion or transfer — and a résumé is a good way to tackle this.
Ready-to-Go After a New Contract
Your employer may request your résumé to include in a proposal the company is creating for a new contract, client, or grant. It’s not uncommon for bios of highly skilled and key personnel to be included in a response to a Request for Proposal (RFP), marketing materials, or grant applications. A résumé showcasing why you are a good choice to provide the services in question can be an important part of your company’s strategy to win new contracts, clients, and grants.
Entrepreneurs may also find themselves going after a new contract or business opportunity to improve their portfolio, revenue, or brand awareness. Your executive biography, portfolio, or résumé illustrating clients, projects, and impacts would be extremely beneficial to sell yourself to potential clients.
Ready-to-Go Get Your Performance Evaluation
A good time to update your résumé is when you are preparing for your annual performance evaluation. Documenting your accomplishments can help you show your manager how you’ve added value to your position, the department, and company – since your last performance evaluation. The résumé development process is also a good time for self-reflection to determine additional skills you should obtain and performance areas to improve.
Ready-to-Go When Uncertainty Knocks
Despite the notion of [perceived] “job security”, your employment situation can change in a heartbeat, as the landscape of companies swiftly change – causing them to go out of business. The company may be acquired or sold – causing uncertainty about your job as management assesses operational and staffing redundancies between the merged companies.
Your great boss may leave for a new position and maybe she wants you to come with her. Maybe her replacement wants to bring in his own people, which means you’re out! Or maybe her replacement’s leadership style just doesn’t feel right to you. It is in your best interest to have a well-organized, neatly formatted, and targeted résumé to immediately launch your new job search.
Ready-to-Go to a Networking Event
Someone you just met is interested in learning more about you and may ask for your résumé. This contact may lead you to unadvertised job openings and your next big career move. In the same way, getting your résumé in the hands of someone who knows you well can also lead to new opportunities. They can use the résumé to pass along to other people who might be in a position to hire you, or as a “door opener” to introduce you to other people who might be useful in your job search.
Ready-to-Go For a Job Interview
The time invested in compiling information on your qualifications, skills, and accomplishments can also help prepare you for the job interview itself. The résumé can serve as “talking points” to guide the conversation during an interview. It is always a good idea to have a well-organized, neatly formatted résumé to hand to the hiring manager at the beginning of an interview.
Remember, even if it’s “ready-to-go”, a résumé should always be customized to target the specific position you want to pursue – requiring some editing before distributing. Always consult with your professional résumé writer to ensure your résumé is “ready-to-go” before applying for that next exciting career opportunity.