Don’t Panic, BUT Update Your Resume Now

Recent political events make all of us think about our values, goals, careers and personal future. The businesses, institutions, and social structures we thought we could depend on will probably go through changes. Expect changes in your work life.

There is no status quo. You can no longer rarely think about keeping your job or getting the next promotion. Managing your career must be a top priority, and you need a Plan B.

The truth is everyone should be aware and prepared for change. Companies will be scrambling to get into position for maximum profitability and efficiencies given the likelihood of new legislation impacting the economy, marketplace, and advantageous corporate taxation.

Consider “Frank,” who had climbed the company career ladder to attain the revered position of Senior Financial Analyst after eight years with a large corporation. His office was next to the CFO, who regularly sought his input on critical financial situations. Even though there was a noticeable increase in closed-door meetings on Executive Row, he thought nothing of it. Imagine his shock when he overheard the CFO mention the pending merger with a major competitor. His mind was spinning, knowing his future was possibly in jeopardy because the other company had a full complement of analysts in their finance department. His resume was eight years old, and he had a newly minted mortgage on his family’s dream house. Where to start putting a safety net in place was perplexing. It was a struggle not to panic.

One reason you want to update your resume before there is a crisis is a resume written in haste is a scenario for a disaster. Inevitably, you will miss something important or fail to position your value appropriately. Visit this issue now because the practice of hiring and resumes have drastically changed in recent years.

Your resume must tell a concise and compelling story of your accomplishments and value. Today, resumes are written in formats for humans and computers. The Applicant Tracking System (ATS) computer now scans and sorts nearly all uploaded resumes. The process of interviewing is also different. Telephone or video screening interviews often precede face-to-face meetings.

Modern resumes reflect the influence of the Internet. Hiring managers and recruiters scan rather than read thoroughly, partly due to the volume of applicants. Your resume must be your “ambassador” when you are not physically present. Of course, matching your capabilities to the job posting using keywords is a must. Few people diligently track their accomplishments quantifiably because most are busy performing their assignments. A resume should show a progression of knowledge and scope of responsibilities with the emphasis on the value you offer a company or opportunity.

The key is to take a deep breath and tackle this challenge with a clarity of purpose. Take an inventory of how you contribute to the company fulfilling its mission. Note your personal growth, strengths, and attributes garnered during your tenure.

You should expect changes in your work life, no matter your industry, title or function. Update your resume now and create a Plan B, but most of all expect, embrace and manage change. Get prepared, don’t panic.

I’d be happy to chat with you. Contact me if you need help clarifying and presenting your value to “market your brilliance.”

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Brenda Goburn Smith