You get a phone call or an email from someone who urgently needs your resume to submit for a great but time-limited job opportunity. Fantastic! Except for one problem–you haven’t updated your resume in at least 10 years. So you quickly throw together an “updated resume” that you figure will do for the time being and send it off.
First, you tried to take the easy way out and just dash something off without checking to make sure it was done right. You might have made mistakes (typos, etc.) or incorrect statements because you didn’t take time to check. Or maybe you left out potentially valuable information that could have advanced your candidacy for the position.
Second, you didn’t stop to think about whether you knew enough about the job possibility to really want it and see it as a potentially good fit for you. That might have influenced how you put together the revised resume and even whether you sent it at all.
What you’ve successfully done, in all probability, is to “shoot yourself in the foot”!
Speaking as a longtime professional resume writer, I assure you that people like me can only do a certain amount to help you if you procrastinate about revamping your resume until the last minute. Even if we’re not already overloaded with projects when you contact us (and sometimes we are), we’re not magicians.
For one thing, we don’t like to do less than our best work for our clients. Trying to help a job seeker who needs a resume within a crazy-short time-frame (for example, less than one full business day) puts insane pressure on us as well as on you. It starts as a potential recipe for disaster and goes downhill from there!
Every good career management activity starts with a plan. If you have that in place, periodically updating and freshening your resume is a key element. Look at it at least once a year–every six months would be even better.
Keep an ongoing but brief log of your professional activities and achievements. It will help you remember good points you might otherwise forget–and it will make your resume writer’s job a lot easier! (Or your job, if you’re a DIY-er!)
Ongoing career success doesn’t happen by accident. Last-minute resumes, last-minute interview preparation, etc.–indulging in these unprepared behaviors will probably end up costing you dearly. Don’t let it happen to you–you can prevent it!