My friend Chris Fields is on a resume writing crusade and has been sharing some interesting insights as he does his part to help get good people back to work. One observation that he recently shared is that there may not be the large skill gap in this country’s workforce that many recruiters and pundits suggest; the problem is that too many people’s resumes suck. Poorly written resumes fail to articulate an applicant’s skills, and do nothing to tell his/her story.
While I understand that most people update their resumes when they’re in job search mode, I am surprised by how few bother to keep their resumes fresh and updated when they are still fat, dumb and happy in their existing roles.
You Are Not That Great
If you haven’t seen Dr. Daniel Crosby’s TEDx Huntsville presentation by this same title, I highly recommend that you check it out here. While the concept may be hard to swallow, it is the truth. Unless you are self-employed, and in a sole-proprietorship, you can most likely be replaced by someone younger, better looking, more educated, and less expensive. It comes down to a matter of value. Value is ultimately an economic measure.
Job Searches Are Time Consuming
Writing a great resume (one that demonstrates your economic value) takes a lot of time, effort, feedback, and knowledge about the recruiting game. If you find yourself unexpectedly searching for a new job without a great resume in hand, get some help. Your job search efforts should be focused on networking, not writing. I strongly suggest investing in the services of a qualified resume writer, or job search coach. Chris Fields and Sabrina Baker are two professionals I know who have solid HR experience, and who provide this service to job seekers.
You Never Know When Opportunity Will Appear
Imagine that you go to a local networking event and meet a highly successful entrepreneur. You have a long conversation, and she indicates that she is very interested in your skill set and your vision. She describes an opportunity to you that is your dream job on steroids. She says, “Why don’t you email me your resume, and I’ll give you a call to talk about the opportunity further.”
Are you ready to pounce? If you aren’t ready now, then you should be when the real conversation takes place.
Is your resume up to date?
What reasons would you add to the list for maintaining an updated resume?