Is Your Resume Current?

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For decades resumes were updated only in preparation for a job-search.  Now competitive players have learned to keep their resumes current as a record of accomplishments and ready for opportunities.  When people gain the confidence that comes from presenting themselves well, they usually explore all their options with more clarity – including what they bring to and gain from their current circumstance.  Exploring resume-realities as a team initiative has significant benefits, but insecure leaders may see it as a risk of losing good people.

Benefits

  • Employees gain a better understanding of each other’s experiences; framing this benefit as a team-building expectation to enrich team communication, collaboration and peer-coaching can enhance your results.
  • Employees realize you are not threatened by their career goals. You are better equipped to coach transferable skills they need now and to motivate further development of skills for their specific future.  They are not going to walk away quickly from an opportunity like that!
  • Employees often begin to see their work as accomplishments to strengthen their resume instead of tasks for a paycheck. This can make a huge difference in ownership, engagement – and performance.

Implementation

  • Propose this initiative as an opportunity to strengthen their professional foundation and their confidence in making recurring adjustments to their resumes.
  • Break the initiative into segments and facilitate them monthly, over several staff meetings, or throughout a planned offsite…. Limit the time for each activity so no one develops a political platform or pontificates.
  • Activity objectives should give opportunities to share positive nuggets about individual experiences or goals to be considered in resume plans.  Examples:
    • “What job would you most like to submit your resume for in 2 to 4 years?” could help them identify skills or experiences to start strengthening.
    • Discussion of how to frame transferable skills or work ethic in a resume could follow answers to, “How did your very first job contribute to the way you work today?”
  • Engage a talent-recruiting colleague to share current resume priorities and faux pas. Be sure they speak directly to the level of resume complexity used by your team; e.g., recruiter should not include executive-level examples for your front-line team.
  • Engage respected, mature managers to speak to what they assume about a person from reading their resume. Ensure qualities that create perception – like tone, format, accomplishment, accuracy, etc. – are discussed and prioritized.  Ask if there are resume features that disqualify their applicants.

Considerations

  • You don’t need to give time to write resumes at work; this is their career, and they should use their time; don’t make their completed resume required homework – that may be illegal!
  • Craft activities that are specific and narrow, so no one is tempted to strive for stardom by exaggerating realities or taking extra time. (Specific: “How did one of your resume accomplishments benefit the business you worked for?” Narrow:  “Jot down you answer… Now quickly read yours aloud if you’d like to share.”
  • Engage a qualified person to give feedback on individual resumes if an employee asks for it.

Customizing activities and coaching leaders to facilitate them is what we love!  If you need ideas for effective team events or initiatives with specific outcomes, connect with us!

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