There are more than 500 resumes submitted for every new job opening. That number only reflects external candidates. Regardless of industry type, competition is fierce. One of the worst mistakes we often make is that we don’t bother to actually create a resume until we are notified we no longer have a job.
Before you are notified of a surplus, layoff or termination, go ahead and take the steps necessary to prepare a well written resume. Whether you are looking to merely transfer within your existing organization or look externally, you will find the task much easier and less frustrating if you compose the resume while still employed.
With multi-tasking, and responsibility overlapping it is easy to forget what you actually accomplish in days time. To aid yourself in composing your resume, search for and retrieve the following:
- Old resumes from the past 5 to 10 years
- Old and current job descriptions
- Job announcements that align within your organization
- Job announcements for opportunities you currently qualify for
- Letters of commendation
- Awards/certificates of achievement
- Current list of all classes taken/completed
- Performance appraisals
- Address book
- List of certifications
Internal candidates need to document accomplishments within their organization and demonstrate how those efforts and achievements resulted in assisting the company reach their bottom line objectives. You need to show how you are aware of the big-picture. Merely repeating what is obvious in the job description will get your resumed removed from further consideration.
Never assume that just because you work for the same corporation that the HR professional reviewing your resume will be familiar with industry jargon. Be very clear about your skills, training, and contributions.
Job descriptions and job announcements assist you in phrasing your resume so that trigger words will be caught during the HR scanning process. As annoying as it is, semantics often play a major role in determining if your resume gets any further than the email box. With the high volume of resumes coming in, electronic scanning is the preferred method of pre-screening applicants. Failure to use the correct terminology and catch-phrases can cause your resume to be overlooked.
If you wait to work on your resume only when necessary, you will probably be hurried and overlook critical duties, responsibilities, and accomplishments that you (and others) take for granted that you perform every day. Over extended periods of time, tasks can become so routine and second nature you don’t even realize they are valuable and marketable skills or attributes that are noteworthy.
Often you will find that taking the time to research current openings forces you to admit that you may need to go back to school or take additional training. Many of us with high seniority often fail to correctly measure ourselves with the current skill sets required to remain employable. Just because you have done something the same way for 30+ years does not mean the company is even interested in that skill set today.
This is the perfect time of year to reflect on your career. It’s the perfect time to set goals for your future. It’s the perfect time to exhale and write out what you accomplished and achieved over the past 11 months. While you are updating your wardrobe and look for next year, think about updating your electronic brand. Your resume is your brand that tells the world what you are about before they meet you. Your resume is your electronic calling card and career business plan all wrapped up in one.
Before a new year rolls in and while your company is considering ways to reduce headcount and expenses, make sure you are resume ready.