By Robert P. Poindexter
Feast or famine. Steak today, cheeseburgers tomorrow. Here today, gone tomorrow. Sometimes the hammer, sometimes the nail. We have all used one of these phrases at some time or another and they remind us of just how temporal success can be. That being said, why do so many job seekers wait until they are forced to eat mac-n-cheese before reaching out for help?
Almost on a weekly basis here at CareerTrend world headquarters, a desperate call comes in. Breathlessly, the caller explains an opportunity for which they are well qualified has just opened up and they need a resume that highlights those qualifications by 4:30. Of course, the time now is 3:30, and they have a 25-plus year career history and a 10-year-old resume “that just needs a quick update.”
Because this is how we pay our bills, and because we genuinely care about our clients, we absolutely hate telling anyone that we can’t help them, unfortunately.
Conversely, we field several calls and email inquiries a week from those who are doing some research for some time in the future when they may need to have their resume updated. We welcome these inquiries and are happy to provide quotes based on the needs of each client. The frustration comes when these clients call us two months later. Breathlessly!
The point is, if you are a career professional, you know very well if your current resume properly represents you. Even if you’ve been in the same position for years, there are events and milestones, commendations and awards, that you will definitely want added to your career documents portfolio should a certain opportunity present itself.
I had a great client just the other day that wondered if we could just “squeeze in” a few recent accomplishments on his 5-year-old resume. The problem with this, of course, is the same problem one might face if he were to paint only one fender on a car that needed a complete restoration. That one fender may look great, however, the rest of the car will look worse than it did before.
Any professional who has been in the workforce more than a few months is well aware of just how quickly things can change. Policies, procedures, personnel and a host of other things in our work lives all conspire to upset an applecart we (sometimes) naively feel is on solid ground. Being caught off-guard with the realization that it’s not, can do more than just ruin your day, it can put your career into a nosedive that may be hard to pull out of.
Don’t wait for this to happen to you. Plan for the best, but be prepared for the worst.
Doing so could very well mean the difference between smooth sailing and being lost at sea.