In a perfect world your résumé and LinkedIn profile let the reader know who you are and what to expect from you. Imagine for a moment how easy it would be for a manager to hire the perfect candidate if this were always the case. Unfortunately, just as job descriptions are often difficult for candidates to decipher, résumés often provide few clues about what a hiring manager can expect from the applicant.
Regardless of whether you are actively looking for your next opportunity, creating an accurate picture or your career (on paper and online) should be an annual activity. Doing so ensures that you are prepared should the perfect job unexpectedly open up; a promotion present itself, or the current business environment suddenly shift.
There are three approaches to preparing for your future: do nothing and wait until something happens, then panic; tweak your current marketing tools, making little changes here and there on those rare occasions when inspiration strikes; and annually making a conscious effort to take a fresh look at who you are, what you want and what you are willing to deliver.
You can probably guess what I am going to recommend.
While I am sure that last year, or at some point in the past you created the perfect résumé, I am equally sure that when January 2019 rolled around you were not the same person who wrote that brilliant marketing document. I recently suggested to a client that rather than add a few details to her “perfect” four-year-old résumé, we throw all the pieces up in the air and create a fresh version of who she is and what she has to offer. After an initial moment of terror, she agreed that yes, it makes sense to create another “perfect” marketing tool that accurately reflects the promise she offers today.
Here are some suggestions to help you maximize the time and energy you put into creating your résumé 2.0.
Reflect on and write about your most important achievements since you last updated your résumé. Consult that weekly list you’ve been keeping and pull out the highlights. If you haven’t been tracking your accomplishments, now is an excellent time to start.
Determine what, if anything, you enjoy about your current work. Figure what drives you nuts and what or who inspires you to deliver your best work.
Describe your best work. What does it look like? How often does the opportunity to do your best work present itself? What can you do to attract more of those high-interest, high-impact projects?
Identify the value you are prepared to deliver to your current or future employer. In a dozen words or so, what are you ready, willing and able to deliver? What do you want in return? What are your goals and aspiration? Are appreciation and recognition for a job well done important? If so, what do they look like to you?
Acknowledging your work successes, understanding what you like about your work and what drives you to perform will help you design a résumé that sells you to the right audience. Regardless of whether you are looking for a new opportunity, creating the next version of your résumé will increase your confidence and help you convey your value for opportunities that are just around the corner.