Does it make sense to have a resume prepared for your next career opportunity before you’re ready to make the move? Yes it does. Career planning and preparation is one of the hallmarks of top performers in the market today. Professionals who excel in their career are the most prepared when forced into a move and are also prepared to take advantage of unique opportunities that come their way.
How good is your memory?
Let’s play pretend for a moment. You have just found out your company is going to go through reorganization and it may affect your position. You know you have added value over the past five years in your two positions with your company but how detailed can you remember your specific contributions. Wouldn’t it be great if you had a list of accomplishments to refer to or maybe even a resume that you brushed up last year?
So the challenge here it is to get into a habit of reflecting on your accomplishments as they happen and then taking the time to write them down. This is not natural for most people to do. You may even need to put it on your calendar as a recurring appointment every month or at least every quarter. I am personally a big fan of the program Evernote. This is one of those syncing programs that I have on my desktop and my phone. You can even add notes to this with talk to text.
Opportunity may come knocking
The other common scenario is being prepared to respond to a unique opportunity. You hear through your network about an amazing opportunity but the first thought that goes through your head is that they will most likely need a resume. And since writing resumes is such a fun and exciting task that is the first thing you want to do when hearing about this great opportunity. (Ok, I hope you get the sarcasm) However, if you have your go to file of accomplishments available, this task does not seem so daunting.
Don’t fear the resume, embrace it as an opportunity
If this strikes a chord with you and you realize it is time to put the resume together, don’t fear it, embrace it. It is a great exercise to review how you have added value to your company or organization. Maybe even a way for you to have a little ammunition for your next review. If you need a little help there is no shortage of resume examples on the internet. Some of the examples are a bit misguided but I believe you will find that a common theme out there to keep you on track. Quality resume construction will have an overview of duties and responsibilities but the emphasis must be on specific accomplishments on how you have added to your company. The more detailed and quantifiable the examples can be the better. I can’t tell you how many resumes I’ve reviewed and all I see is a litany of duties and responsibilities. This in no way will separate you from the competition when it is time to make a move.
Having a resume prepared is not disloyalty to your company. You must be realistic about what employment “security” means today. Pardon the cliché – but hope for the best and plan for the worst. We all know people who have been surprised by corporate moves they have no control over. What I have noticed is that top professionals seem not to be rattled by these events and are very prepared with a resume ready to go.
- Block 30 minutes on your calendar and write a list of your top 7 to 10 key accomplishments.
- Quantify how these accomplishments have added value to your organization.
- Put it away for that day you are ready to make a move or day you need to make a move.