Be proactive with a working resume

The market now can be a pretty volatile place. Every day, I hear about a merger, acquisition, reorganizing, right-sizing, down-sizing, or some other event that leaves a person out of work. It doesn’t matter if you’re the best at what you do, if the company needs to let you go, you could end up sitting at your laptop, facing a blank screen, wondering how you’re supposed to move forward. Let’s be honest — it’s hard to get excited about writing a resume when you feel like your professional life has been upended. And, we all know, it can happen very quickly.

So, what’s a proactive professional to do? You love what you’re doing; you love your job; you have zero intention of leaving your position in the near future. I have a very simple suggestion for you. Pull together a simple document — a “working resume.” This is a document that you update continuously. If you work on a new project, you’re going to have metrics and details available. Add those to your working resume now, and you won’t be searching through your folders for details.

Maybe you update it monthly, quarterly, whenever you have a great new project. That is the beauty of this type of resume. You work on it on your own time, when you’re thinking clearly — when you’re not pressured. This means you’ll be putting better information in there. It also means that you won’t leave important projects off your resume anymore!

A working resume can be very long — several pages. It should be. This is about collecting information. When you are looking to send that resume out, you can tailor it so that it contains your experience that is most relevant. Since your working resume is your main bank of information about your career path, you can play with formats, and always have your impressive career details at your fingertips!

Next time a well-meaning friend or contact asks you for a copy of your resume, you won’t be stressed, you’ll be excited to share with them all of the amazing things you’ve done professionally.

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