5 Reasons Your Resume Should Always Be Ready

5 Reasons Your Resume Should Always Be Ready

According to Merriam Webster, the word prepare means to make ready beforehand for some purpose, use, or activity. We prepare ahead and get ready for a lot of events in life, such as the birth of a baby, our children’s college tuition, unexpected emergencies, and retirement. However, many professionals do not even think about their resume until they decide to look for a job. 

The reality is people change jobs often, with most spending five years or less in every job. You might be content in your current position and maybe even love the company that you work for, but you never know when an enticing career opportunity may present itself. 

Why Your Resume Should Always be Ready

Here are 5 reasons your resume should always be ready:

1. You’re an at-will employee

Most employees in the US are considered at-will employees and can be terminated for any reason or no reason at all, without explanation or warning. Employees can also leave an organization for any reason or no reason at all, without notice. However, it is best practice to provide two weeks’ notice. 

Many loyal employees have been caught off guard by the proverbial pink slip and a brown box to pack up their belongings, because they missed the warning signs. Now they are forced to update their resume while also dealing with the emotions and financial stress that comes along with losing a job. If you stay ready, you don’t have to be forced to get ready.

2. An unexpected opportunity may knock

According to LinkedIn Talent Solutions, the #1 reason people change jobs is career opportunity. Oftentimes, an opportunity is presented when least expected. You might be scrolling through your LinkedIn feed and see a job recommendation based on your profile. One of your Linked connections may post that their company is hiring for a position that aligns perfectly with your long-term career goal. 

A position may open at your current company that you did not anticipate. Companies occasionally reorganize their structure and create new positions. In some instances, internal applicants are preferred, and in others, it’s fair game for anyone who applies. If your resume is ready, you should only have to customize your resume, rather than completely rewrite it.

3. Someone in your network may want to refer you for a position

Not all jobs are posted. Many employers save money and reduce the time it takes to fill a position by using the hidden job market. In addition to using a recruiting firm or headhunters, they rely on referrals from current employees. If someone in your network asks for your resume so they can get it into the hands of a decision maker, you want your resume to be ready.

Remember, one of the reasons employers use the hidden job market is because they want to fill positions quickly. If you don’t get your resume in front of the decision maker quickly, you might miss out on the opportunity because your competition beat you to it. 

4. Your accomplishments will be fresh in your mind

One of the biggest challenges people have when updating their resume is capturing their accomplishments. Typically, they don’t struggle because of a lack of noteworthy accomplishments. Instead, they struggle because they don’t remember what they accomplished or they don’t know how to include their accomplishments on their resume

Depending on how success is measured for a particular job, it may be hard to identify accomplishments. Some accomplishments can be easily cited in quantifiable results in terms of dollars and/or percentages. Others, can be better articulated in qualitative terms using action words such as enhanced, resolved, and upgraded, to name a few. 

If too much time passes between when the accomplishment was achieved and when you update your resume, you may forget about the great work that you did.

5. Passive job seekers may be more attractive to recruiters

Perhaps you have heard the anecdotal saying, “it’s easier to find a job when you already have one.” In part, that may be true because passive job seekers are often considered to be more attractive than active job seekers. Why? Passive job seekers are not typically courting other companies, meaning less competition for the hiring company. Passive job seekers are believed to be happy in their current role, hence the reason they are not actively looking. It is also believed that passive job seekers are less likely to be a flight risk and will stay at the company longer than an active job seeker might.

Though you may not be actively looking for a job, as a passive job seeker you might be curious to learn more about a potential opportunity that piques your interest. That is why it is a good idea to keep your resume ready, even for informational interviews.

Proactive career management is a major key to achieving professional success. By planning ahead and being prepared with an updated resume, you will be ready for a career opportunity that may come your way, even when you least expect it.

Ready to get started? Resume Basics: Writing and Formatting Your Resume

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  • February 25, 2021