Wednesday, 23 November 2011

What Can A Resume Do?

A great resume can help you accomplish two important objectives: It enables you to make a great first impression, and it presents your work credentials in such a way that you
  1. Can compete successfully for great jobs right now
  2. Are well positioned for career-enhancing positions in the future
Making a positive first impression In today's fast-changing workplace, a great resume is one of the key components of success. It acts as your agent, a tireless advocate for your career interests and goals. If you're job hunting, your resume is the means by which you introduce yourself to employers and networking contacts. It is the document you use to establish your credentials when you apply for a position and to describe your background and goals when you prospect for job leads.

In most cases, your resume gives employers their first look at you. The document's content, clarity, and persuasiveness - all part of your care in presenting these recorded credentials - determines whether that first impression is positive and helpful or not. And making a positive first impression has never been more important in the job market. Research shows that employers typically spend just 15-45 seconds reviewing each resume they receive. That's all the time your resume has to convey your qualifications for an open position. The quality and impact of that initial impression determines whether you are considered for the position.

First impressions can also have a significant impact on your networking abilities. Connecting with others to uncover job leads is an important part of any successful job search campaign. In many cases, you're meeting people for the first time, and your resume helps shape their impression of you. A great resume that creates a positive initial impression can expand the range of people who are willing to meet with you and point you toward interesting employment opportunities.

Promoting your credentials
Even if you're not actively job hunting, a great resume can help you achieve career success. It's an effective tool for measuring your progress in acquiring new skills and experience.

Today, employment security largely depends on how deep and how current your occupational skills and knowledge are. Half of that expertise grows obsolete every 3-5 years, however, due to technological and other changes. As a consequence, you now must continuously replenish and improve your credentials to keep your career healthy and moving forward.

Despite its value, this requirement for lifelong learning sometimes slips in its position among your priorities. The demands of today's job can mask the importance of continuous self- improvement and preparation for the future. That's where your resume can help. It's a record of your personal development, both in the past and in the present. In other words, if you don't have to update your resume every six months or so - to document newly acquired skills or experience - odds are good that your capabilities are falling behind - a fitting reminder that you need to invest some time and energy in their development.

Schedule a personal performance appraisal with yourself every six months. Use your resume to evaluate your progress in the previous six-month period and to set clear, achievable goals for the next six months.
A great resume can also help you promote your credentials to others. Traditionally, cultivating that kind of connection was something you did only in an active job search. In today's ever-changing workplace, however, marketing your credentials should be a continuous activity. It is the only way to protect yourself from unexpected disruptions in employment and to manage your career advancement pro-actively.

A well-written resume enhances both the reach and stature of your credentials. In the past, networking was limited to who you knew; today, it's based on who you know and who knows you. The key to advancing your career is increasing the number of people who are aware of what you can do and how well you can do it.

Your resume enables you to provide an accurate, up-to-date, and upbeat introduction to your track record on the job, and circulating it can help you extend your circle of contacts. That ever-expanding network of people who know about your capabilities in the workplace helps ensure that you are considered for as many opportunities as possible and thus have a range of options with which to work as you manage your career. 

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