Seven Reasons You May Need a New Resumé

Let’s be honest. Career complacency is a curse that can keep you unemployed, under-employed and, almost certainly, underpaid. If you give it some thought, you can probably come up with seven reason why you should have a new resume on hand. Here are some ideas to jog your thinking.

Underpaid

Despite the Great Recession, the market value of your talent keeps going up. The fact that you have accomplished some amazing feats at work during the difficult economy may not be fully valued by your current employer, but other companies are looking for you. And they are willing to pay for the skills you bring. If you do not have a current resume in circulation, opportunities are passing you by.

Under-appreciated 

An effective boss thanks you for your contribution to the team. An effective boss recognizes you publicly for your strengths. And I’m not referring to “attaboy” or “attagirl” remarks. You want to hear well reasoned, appreciative statements of the specific ways in which you are enriching your department or company. The problem is, you may not be articulating the specific ways you are making a difference during your daily interactions with your boss. So your boss has no grist for the mill. And your hard work is going unnoticed. By keeping a current resume of your most recent accomplishments, you will have fodder for those random conversational opportunities. How often should you update? At least quarterly.

Joyless

If you hate your job, for whatever reason, you are harming yourself. Joyless drudgery produces heartburn and ulcers, at best. I’m not a doctor, but try to find one who doesn’t agree that stress can cause far more serious health problems. You won’t find one. Most hospitals run some sort of wellness program designed to treat root causes of disease before the disease has a chance to occur. Having a job you like is a huge part of achieving balance and wellness. Joylessness is a flashing read light showing you why you need to be proactive in making a change before you find yourself in the hospital, where the change will be forced upon you. Sounds overly dramatic, I know. But the story has been lived out by so many people that it is difficult to refute.

Unemployed

This should go without saying. Yet, an unemployed person is at risk for looking for a job with a resume that was updated by adding one job to the chronology. That is a poor strategy. Laid off or fired? You are not likely to have an objective view of your accomplishments and potential for contribution. If you have been without a job more than a month, your resume needs to be refreshed. A new resume should keep your accomplishments current and increase your marketability.

Promotion

Do you think you deserve a promotion? You must put an updated resume in your HR file. When your company is looking to fill a spot, your competition from outside will be presenting freshly written resumes. Your competition from inside probably will not do that. Put yourself ahead of both groups by being sure everyone knows what you have done for the company, lately. Position yourself as the only logical choice.

Stagnation

If a coworker says, “what’s new?” and all you can think of is “same shit, different day,” you may need a new resume. If your raises the past couple of years have been minimal, you may be being perceived of as having stagnated in your job. While your boss is willing to keep you on, there is a concern that you may not be delivering full value. It is your responsibly to be sure you provide all of the ammunition to justify more than a minimal raise. Your responsibility.

Review

The dreaded self-appraisal is part of the annual review. Many companies will provide a form for you fill out. Use it. Toot your horn, and loudly. And when you turn it in, attach your newly written resume. If it is written well, when your boss sees it, your perceived market value will rise. When you ask for the raise, it will be completely justified with plenty of proof that you are a talent they need to keep around, and pay for.

The economy has shown improvement over the last couple of quarters. Are you positioning yourself to improve your situation? A professionally written resume is a small investment with potentially big dividends.

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