Here is a multiple choice question. Which activity requires the most time to help ensure a positive outcome?
a) Planning a vacation
b) Reviewing and making changes to your retirement accounts
c) Setting your DVR for the fall television schedule
d) Updating your resume
e) All of the above
Here is a follow up question. Go ahead, answer honestly. Which activity of those listed above ACTUALLY receives your highest level of attention?
Is your 2nd answer different from your first? It shouldn’t be. It is often said we spend more time planning our vacations then we do planning for retirement. Well, if that is true, the poor, tired, little resume gets lost in all the confusion. If it is true that you can’t get to B before first passing A, then wouldn’t it seem logical to spend as much time on your resume (which will help you get the job you want, thereby making retirement attainable) then trying to decide between Universal Studios and Epcot on your next family excursion?
I hear some of you. “I am not looking for a job right now.” Great! What better time to update your resume to highlight the skills and solutions you are bringing to your current employer, then while you are still there! Achievements are fresher in the mind, victories are still tasting sweet, so put them on your resume now. When you need them, your mind will be flooded and important details tend to get lost or overlooked. Most people wait until they HAVE to get their resume together. There’s an old proverb that said…Noah didn’t wait for it to rain before building the ark.
I hear others. “I have a resume and it’s fine.” Fine? “Fine” is how I feel about my kitchen chairs. They operate “fine.” Your resume is a living breathing thing and needs to be fed…often! A future post will talk about a strategy I employed (no pun intended) while running a Career Services office at a vocational school in Downtown Detroit. The results surprised even me. This strategy is about what to actually DO with your resume, but I digress. Update that document please!
That last disgusted group who are just about done reading this…I hear you. “I have no idea what to put on that stupid resume.” Calm down. All is well. The most common thing I see on resumes are glorified copies of people’s job descriptions. Please avoid this trap at all costs. Potential employers know what a Production Supervisor, or Chief Cook and Bottle Washer, or Electrical Engineer do. What they want to see is what you did in that role. Let me repeat that. They know what your role is. They want to see what you did in that role. Make sense? List achievements, not responsibilities. List results you had a direct hand in. Use numbers. Use percentages. The more precise you can be, the more activity your resume will yield. Then you won’t have to decide between Universal Studios and Epcot. You can visit both!
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