Young Money: Making paper (copies of your resume)
blog by Caitlin Campbell McNulty • May 09, 2012 @ 10:20am
The Boy Scout motto is “Be Prepared.” I was never a Boy Scout—probably something to do with not being a boy—but the lesson is well-taken. We should always be prepared in the professional world.
I was emailing with (insert shameless cross-promotional plug here) Buffalo.com’s Ben T. the other day and he told me that he had committed Business Sin Number One by not having an updated resume. I was chagrined to write back that, even working for a business organization, it had been way too long since I had updated my own resume.
This got me thinking. Why do we only update a resume when we’re looking for a new position? A resume is today’s equivalent of a calling card or brag book. As young professionals, updating our resumes regularly should be a habit, not a pain. Each month, as I prepare participants for the Food for Thought program I run at work, I ask individuals to send me a copy of their resume to pass along to our guest host. I can’t begin to tell you the amount of people who have to update it before they can send it, tell me to use their LinkedIn profile, or who flat-out don’t even have a resume.
With the prevalence of LinkedIn in the professional world, it can be easy to forget about your paper resume and only ensure your online profile is kept up-to-date. But it can be just as easy to update them both at the same time. When you start hammering away at your LinkedIn profile, you’re already in the zone to write descriptive words. Kill two birds with one stone! Ensuring that both your LinkedIn profile and your resume are compatible also ensures that you’re never caught off guard. When a recruiter checks out your LinkedIn profile and sees all of your most recent accomplishments, then receives a hard copy resume that has nothing on it they’ve seen before, they may toss you out of the competition immediately.
Having an up-to-date, organized and professional resume shouldn’t be something you hide from your current employer, either. If you get a promotion at work, the staff member that sends out the announcement will certainly appreciate having an easy-to-reference piece of paper that talks all about you. For the rising young professional rock stars out there, you never know when your boss will recommend you to serve on an advisory board or council within the community. Most groups request a resume before formally appointing someone new. Don’t you want to make sure you’re putting your best foot forward and properly telling the board the great skills you can bring to the table?
Hmmm. It turns out that the Girl Scout motto is “Be Prepared,” as well. I guess there’s really no excuse for any of us to not be prepared for the professional world with an updated, high-impact resume each day.
Photo from Flickr / Exalted.