September 12, 2011
The Importance of Being Prepared
September is National Preparedness Month -- all this month, the Federal Emergency Management Agency's (FEMA) Ready Campaign, in partnership with Citizen Corps and the Ad Council, is raising awareness and encouraging all Americans to take the necessary steps to ensure that their homes, workplaces, and communities are prepared for emergencies of all kinds.
The Ready Campaign's website lists three key parts of being prepared: "1. Get a Kit. 2. Make a Plan. 3. Be Informed." That's some good advice, and the Ready website has a great many more details.
September is also Update Your Resume month -- and having a well-crafted and up-to-date resume is a crucial part of career-emergency preparedness. So after you've made sure you have a three-day supply of water (for you and your pets!), a well-stocked first-aid kit, and a supply of batteries for your radio, take a moment to think about how you can prepare for a job-related disaster. A first step is making sure your resume is updated.
Of course, updating your resume should happen more than once a year. So consider creating a recurring monthly appointment with yourself to update your resume and other job-search materials.
Throughout the month, stay alert and keep track of things you can add to your "career emergency kit," which can be a file on your hard drive or a folder in your filing cabinet -- whatever makes sense as a place for you to store your resume builders and career-emergency supplies.
1. Note major achievements and successes at your current job, especially those that are quantifiable (numbers on a resume are very persuasive).
2. Record praise from managers, colleagues, and clients (save commendations and letters of praise in a file for future references).
3. List conferences, seminars, and classes (and so on) that you've attended.
4. Keep track of industry-related books and periodicals you've read (jot down some quick impressions of each -- these can be great conversation starters when you're in a job interview or at an industry networking event).
5. Add new contacts you've met to your professional network (and look for ways to stay connected).
Of course, not all of these things will make it onto the standard version of your resume, but they should be available for when you need to tailor your resume to a specific job you're applying for. And don't forget -- nowadays, updating your resume may mean updating your profiles on your blog, career-networking sites (such as Monster's BeKnown), and other online spaces.
Consider these tips:
1. Make sure your resume instantly communicates your career target with a descriptive headline and adequately reflects your depth and breadth of experience in a brief, hard-hitting opening summary. (For more, read "Refresh Your Resume.")
2. Not sure where to begin? Well, you don't have to begin at the beginning. Consider taking a fresh eye to the bottom of your resume first. (For more, read "Five Steps for Updating Your Resume.")
3. Updating isn't just about adding new things to your resume -- it's also very important to remove old information or information that doesn't support your goals. This resume clutter can distract hiring managers from your relevant skills. (For more, read "Declutter Your Resume.")
4. If your resume is like those of most people, it contains a lot of deadwood words and phrases -- empty cliches, annoying jargon, and recycled buzzwords that you should cut away. (For more, read "10 Words and Terms That Ruin a Resume.")
5. Of course, before you can put something on your resume, you have to actually do it -- if you don't have a job that's providing you with new things you can put on your resume, consider volunteer work, an adult-education class, or another resume booster. (For more, read "Fun Ways to Beef Up Your Resume.")
How do you stay prepared for a career emergency? Share your thoughts in the Comments section -- and don't forget to follow @monstercareers on Twitter for the latest career and job-search advice.
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really informative points!
Posted by: cutegal | Sep 13, 2011 2:53:47 AM
Happy International Update Your Resume Month! It's not always easy to cram all your accomplishments and potential in a single page. Find out how your resume scores--for free--at RezScore!
Posted by: RezScore | Sep 13, 2011 4:52:33 AM
Nowadays, updating your resume may mean updating your profiles on your blog.
Posted by: geotargeted search engine optimization | Sep 14, 2011 3:28:18 PM
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