Four Reasons for Deliberate Resume Development

“One of my back brakes is out,” my husband announced one day last week as he walked into the house. Upon taking off the tire, he discovered that a part was broken. Much to his disappointment, the part he needed wouldn’t be available until the next day.

My husband definitely needed to drive since his place of work is in a different town than where we live. But our children’s school was only 1.5 miles away. This was possible.

“Kids,” I announced, “we’re walking to school tomorrow.”

The way they looked at me, you would have thought that I had sprouted horns and turned purple.

Amid protests, I assured them that they would live through it and then reminded them that I would be walking twice as far since I would have to walk back home and return later in the day to get them. That last part seemed to quiet them — if their old mommy could make the trip four times, they could do it twice.

As we started the trek to school, there were groans of “I’m tired” and “My legs are cold.” It was such a beautiful morning, however, that it didn’t last long. As walking helped us warm up and cleared the cobwebs from our brains, we noticed the sunlight dappling the sidewalk as it streamed through the trees. The lovely fragrance of lilac. The chattering of squirrels as they scampered up and away.

“Look at all the things we don’t notice when we are driving to school,” I pointed out, and my children agreed that driving to school led to missing many of the beautiful details of their route. This realization led them to start a game of “I Spy” that lasted the rest of the walk. The entire experience that morning was as idyllic as it sounds.

What about the development of your résumé? Are you:

  • moving at a frenzied pace every time you want to look for a new job, slapping together the basic details of your career timeline haphazardly so that you can spray your résumé out as quickly as possible, or
  • using a slower, more deliberate approach to identify significant accomplishments from your experiences  and update your résumé every six months to a year?

Which method is going to lead to the best results? I would argue that the latter will benefit you in the short and long term.

1. There is more opportunity for an employer to really know you. Because making wrong hiring decisions can be costly mistakes for employers, they want to avoid it as much as possible. You should really want to avoid that, as well, because taking a job that is a bad fit could be costly for you in terms of time (and potentially finances if a company expects you to relocate on your own dime). Using your résumé to richly convey your value from the onset will go a long way in helping a hiring manager determine why you would be a good fit with the organization.

2. You cultivate a richer career story. Slowing down allows you to more clearly see the path of your career and articulate that journey in your résumé. Linking different chapters of your career together (even if you have gone from one field into another) gives a more deliberate feel to everything you have done, even when some of the changes happened because of circumstances out of your control.

3. The process doesn’t exhaust you. It’s simply easier to update your résumé once or twice a year with your new experiences and developing skills set because the memories of what you have done are fresher.

4. You are more aware of where you should be going. Change is a constant in everyone’s career. Regularly revisiting your résumé brings a meta-cognition to understand what it means for you. You gain insights into what is important as developments occur in your field and also identify how you may want to niche yourself as changes occur.

What approach do you take to résumé development? Which do you think will help you?

Looking to update your résumé but don’t know where to start? Let’s work together for you and your success!

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