As a writer for Evil Office Politics, I have need to examine my co-workers, in all aspects of their failing careers, in order to learn from their mistakes, and pass this knowledge on to you (nice of me isn’t it?). And, without much prodding, yet another fatal flaw was exposed: people fail to have an updated resume at the ready at all times!
Most of you, if not all of you, have become a little too cozy in your comfy position, especially when you’ve put in some time, gained a few friends, and cranked out some half decent work. Admit it, how many of you reading this have an updated resume within reach? Yeah, that’s what I thought. Big mistake people!
A resume should be treated like a handgun. Yes, I said it, a handgun. It should be attached at your hip, fully loaded, ready to rock and roll at the first sign of trouble. Now, I’m not saying that you should go and point your resume in the face of anyone who looks threatening. That would be disturbing and definitely lead to a date with someone in human resources. No Buck-A-Roo, you need to keep it holstered until the time is right, and that, my dear readers, is the key to your success.
Your resume is a reflection of your past work, and unless its updated regularly, your work will be left in the past. You must make the effort to keep it fresh, trend word friendly, (which means full of the current business buzzwords) and visually appealing. A tired looking resume is like walking into a job interview wearing a two dollar necktie (for the ladies, it’s like wearing your grandmother’s dress). Either way, it’s a no no.
Alright, now that you have a clean, current, and cool looking resume, what does timing have to do with anything? Why should I keep my resume strapped to my leg every minute of the day? Why? For the same reason a Police Officer carries their gun so close: to keep themselves alive. In your case, it’s to keep your career alive.
When an opportunity arises, you have to draw that resume out with all the skill of a gunfighter in the old west. BAM! (I hope Emeril doesn’t have a copyright on that..) Strike while the iron is hot! It’s a surefire way to get yourself into a better position with a better company. Want an example? Here:
A dear friend of mine had created quite a name for himself at an upstart internet company. So much so that he started to receive calls from his company’s competitors, as well as a few calls from some of the biggest players on the block. He was floored. His stock was at an all time high, and he had no idea what to do with all of this potential. So what did he do? He went and made a HUGE MISTAKE! He sat in his comfy chair, in his comfy cubicle, with his comfy new little bonus. A few weeks later, BAM, the company went out of business.
My friend scrambled to get his resume together. He quickly added all of the successful projects he had initiated, and all of the cutting edge technology he had mastered, but it was too little too late. You see, in the weeks that he was comfy, other workers became the new darlings and his stock went into decline. He finally busted went the company went belly up. Now his stock was worthless.
The lesson? Have a resume ready and get the most value to can for your stock before you find yourself completely out of ammunition.