So you got a new job… congratulations!
What’s the first thing you did as soon as you signed the dotted line? Go out to celebrate with the family?
But unless you resort to cheap tricks such as photos of cute baby animals (thanks Cat Burton for the incredibly distracting CC cover image!), something that should follow right after your new placement is to immediately update your résumé.
WHAT?!! Too soon?
Nope–you need to undergo a résumé reboot: you can’t just turn that document into a dusty memory.
And that’s where most people make a tragic mistake in their career.
As soon as they pick up the new job, they drop managing their own résumé like a hot potato. Out of sight, out of mind.
A résumé reboot means keeping your document current, whether you are actively looking or not. Résumés are vibrant, active documents that keep you on track to your career destination.
Here are some immediate things you can do to keep your document up to date and forward-facing:
- Focus your career into a job title headline at the top of the document. Clearly articulate your direction and goals while summarizing your current job focus.
- Create a branding statement. Define what it is that you do best, what you like to do, and how you help companies. This works great for your current work or how companies benefit from your expertise.
- Carefully curate some key quotes from outside people into your résumé. Got a great kudos letter or LinkedIn recommendation? Great. Ask the giver if they would be OK with you quoting them in your résumé. Remember: Keep it short–like one sentence. Then create a small text box and include the quote and person’s name/title/company. External validation does wonders for adding to your credibility.
- Use charts and graphs. The one caveat with providing detailed information is that it might be proprietary or confidential to your employer, so your best bet? Use percentages to be safe. But visual representations can help create a rapid sense of your cumulative accomplishments/contributions.
- Add a splash of color. Note: This should only be used for a résumé that you are personally handing to people. Don’t try to cram this into an online submission portal because the system usually has trouble reading it (that and graphics/charts).
- Keep track of your professional development. Create a sub-header under education and use this section to maintain a continuous log of your professional knowledge acquisition
Keeping these tips in mind can ensure that you are right on track to be ready for any promotion opportunities that come up, a chance to discuss a salary boost, or when the unexpected call from a recruiter arrives.
Being ready to go with an up-to-date résumé is the best investment and insurance policy you can buy for managing your career.