I believe success is preparation, because opportunity is going to knock on your door sooner or later but are you prepared to answer that? – Omar Epps
Preparation as a precursor to success has been a consistent theme throughout history and will continue to lay the foundation of accomplishment and triumph. Without preparation you stand little chance of achieving success and most likely will face the disappointment of failure, a failure that could very well have been avoided with a little preparation.
Getting Your Resume Ready
Don’t let a lack of preparedness be your downfall when it comes to your career; more specifically when it comes to your resume. Chances are, if you are not actively looking for a job you have an outdated resume gathering dust in some file on your computer. You may have even thought about updating it to reflect the latest details of your career but somehow you keep putting it off and never get around to it.
You know that you’ll remember the accolades, training, and responsibilities; after all, who could forget that record breaking sale that you brought into the company? You were a rock star with the way you secured that new account that increased the total revenue by 15%. Wait, was it 20%? Or was 20% the increase on production? Now that you think about it, you’re pretty sure that 15% is how much you were over your sales target. Right?
See what I mean? While you might think you’ll remember all those key details, chances are over time they will run together and become a little fuzzy. That is why I can’t stress enough how important it is to maintain a resume that accurately reflects your career to date. If you are just not up to keeping your resume current at the very least keep a file with the essential details so that you have a record to refer back to when you need to create a resume.
Just in Case
You may be perfectly comfortable in your current position and have no immediate plans for pursuing something new but then the phone rings and it’s a friend/colleague/headhunter telling you about a position that you’d be perfect for. Maybe it’s more in line with your career goals, has a higher salary, or great benefits. Whatever the reason, this is why I recommend keeping an up-to-date resume because as they say, “Opportunity knocks when you least expect it”.
It’s a difficult task to write your resume in the first place, having to write it on a deadline is even harder. Now throw in trying to recall the specifics of the last 10 years in order to quantify your accomplishments and showcase your skills in a way that presents you as the ideal candidate. It would be so much easier to refer to a document that has been consistently updated over the years and simply tweak it to align with the position you want to apply for.
You probably only need to update your resume or records a few times a year. Ideally, whenever you receive an accolade or recognition, realize a particularly impressive accomplishment or expand your education or professional development take a few minutes to note the details. Include as much quantifiable information as you can for accomplishments – hiring managers respond to numbers. Write down the names of training courses or seminars that you attended. If you were a contributor to anything – a written document, conference, project etc. make some notes about the scope of your involvement. Keep track of dates for everything.
I am concluding with a few quotes that I hope will inspire you to take some time to update your resume. Enjoy!
Before anything else, preparation is the key to success.
– Alexander Graham Bell
So prepare for a chance of a lifetime
Be prepared for sensational news
A shining new era
Is tiptoeing nearer
– Disney’s The Lion King
– Boy Scout Motto
Let your hook always be cast. In the stream where you least expect it, there will be a fish.
A man who misses his opportunity, and monkey who misses his branch, cannot be saved.
– Hindu Proverb
by Megan Koehler