As published in Forbes Magazine:
Should you take the time to keep your resume and LinkedIn profile updated? If you don’t, you’re taking a reactive approach to life. If you do, you’ll be proactively ready to set goals, become an expert and to pursue side consulting gigs and full-time opportunities.
Below are some of the main reasons to keep your personal marketing documents updated:
1. You’ll understand where you’re at — and how far you’ve come.
Have you ever gone to a mall or amusement park and seen a large map with a red “You are here” dot that outlines where you are in relation to the rest of the area? A resume is kind of like that: It shows where you are concerning your surroundings and digs a stake into the ground for the present.
Having a stellar resume and LinkedIn profile will help you to maintain confidence. They can remind you of your brand (your strengths and competitive differentiators), your skills and your achievements. You can track your career progress and see how far you’ve come, which can be encouraging.
2. You’ll understand where you want to go.
Beyond having a clear sense of where you are now, an updated resume can help you determine your strategic plan, outlining where you want to head next and how to get there.
For example, if you’re now a director and want to become a vice president, you’ll be able to pinpoint achievements, skills and maybe degrees you’ll need in order to jump to the next level.
3. You’ll be able to sell yourself.
Are you an expert, or would you like to become known as one? If so, there’s a good chance you’ll be speaking at conferences, writing articles and supplying quotes for the media. You’ll also potentially be nominated for awards as you build your brand as an expert.
When you pitch yourself to be able to do these things — and win awards — you’ll need an updated, branded resume and LinkedIn profile to help you sell yourself. You need to showcase the amazing person you are so that you’re selected for these opportunities.
4. You’ll be ready to pick up side gigs.
Are you looking to make a few extra bucks? Do you want to be prepared if a consulting gig or side work comes your way? Side work can present itself out of the blue or it might be something you actively seek out. You’ll need to provide the employer with a resume that showcases your skill set.
5. You’ll be ready for new opportunities.
Sometimes when you least expect it, a new opportunity is on the horizon. Internally, a promotion might become available for your dream job if the person currently performing the role decides to leave or is asked to leave, if your company is growing and a great new position is created, or if a merger or acquisition opens up potential new jobs. Externally, you might hear about a great new job from a friend or a recruiter.
In each case, you never know when the new situation will spring up. However, it happens much more often than you'd think. In addition, if you dislike your job and want to find a new one, it might be advisable to hunker down and stay put while you search. A recent study found that those with jobs have a better chance of being hired than unemployed job seekers.
6. You’ll be one step ahead if the worst happens.
This really needs no explanation. You might be blindsided by a job loss or you might see the writing on the wall and sense that you might face a job loss in the near future. You might be laid off or let go. During the stressful transition period following, wouldn’t it be great to be prepared with a stellar resume so you’re not scrambling?
Be sure to capture your brand, your strengths and your unique competitive advantage on your updated resume. You have nothing to lose — and everything to gain — by being proactive.
POST WRITTEN BY
Rebecca Bosl is an executive resume writer, job search strategist and career coach at www.dreamlifeteam.com.