Wednesday, November 6, 2013

Build Your Resume While You Search

Build your resume while you search!  It makes good Sen$e.

After searching for a while, most job seekers come to understand that the more you tailor your resume for a position, the higher the chance that you will be seen as a possible candidate and contacted for an interview. 
  • This DOES NOT MEAN fudging experience or embellishing accomplishments.  We never do that! 
  • It DOES MEAN selecting and highlighting content in your resume (from your Master Resume) that reflects your experiences that match the employer's key requirements.
But did you know . . . . .
But did you know that you can and should continue to build your resume during your job search?

An active job search can yield some real benefits: You meet new and interesting people, develop network contacts that can become colleagues and even friends for life, see some interesting places, and learn a lot about yourself and your profession.  An added benefit  is that you can actually build or strengthen your resume while you search. 

As you apply for positions, network, target companies and study the work they do, interview, read ads for jobs, most job seekers learn a couple things:
  1. Fill the gaps:  They learn that they possess gaps in their ability to satisfy some requirements of the types of jobs they are seeking.  It could become apparent that they lack a key certification, are not current in a technology, are unfamiliar with a computer language, don’t have enough project management experience, could use another example of leadership experience, etc.  You get the point!
  2. Strengthen strengths:  Conversely, they come across opportunities to amplify a strength or capability.  For example, a network contact who chairs a professional association tells you he could use a volunteer with leadership and team building experience (that would be you) to pull together a project team and conduct a study of the competencies of the membership.  Or, you join a job search work team that focuses on the latest technology used in marketing analysis - your field.  Or, a friend at a consulting firm asks if you would take on a short-term contract for work she needs done.  You get the point here too!
Building your resume by gaining new experiences and adding new information about your professional growth during your search enhances your ability to be seen as a viable and desirable candidate and potential employee.

As you network, apply for positions, talk with employers, attend job fairs, participate in your professional association, interview, and attend conferences, you will learn the state-of-the art of your profession, i.e., what is current and trending in your profession?  As your learn about what makes you more marketable, and acquire new skills, experience, and competencies that relate to your profession, add these to the front page of your resume.  It illustrates to prospective employers that you are:
        1.    Keeping current in your field
        2.    Keeping your skills honed
        3.    Gaining new useful knowledge
        4.    Developing new skills and knowledge, that will benefit your employer

Here are some examples of activities that can be added to your resume as you progress through your job search. 
        ●    In addition to the obvious -- taking courses and classes  --   you can:
        ●    Write a white paper
        ●    Perform consulting services
        ●    Do short-term contracting
        ●    Volunteer using your skill set
        ●    Assist in a professional conference
        ●    Chair a committee in your professional association
        ●    Make a speech or presentation
        ●    Write an article
        ●    Offer a workshop

The list goes on as far as your creativity extends.

The key to building your resume while you search is to look for opportunities where you can gain skills,
information, and knowledge to fill a gap or strengthen a strength, and then turn these opportunities into services you can deliver or activities in which you can contribute to your profession and to your professional growth.

In other words . . . . .   Build your resume while you search!  It makes good $en$e!

For additional information on marketing yourself and your capabilities, please refer to the many articles found the Articles tabs of the AJC--Career Strategy website, including:
Guidelines for Preparing an Effective Resume . . . A Step by Step Tutorial, Oct 4, 2012 
What is a Resume, August 28, 2012
-  Refer to A Resume Template in the Tools You Can Use section  of the AJC--Career Strategy website. ____________________________________________________________________________                 AJC - for Your Career Path

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