New job? Career advancement? Position change? These are all opportunities we encounter as college graduates. And while some career advancements are secured through professional networks, others are fiercely pursued through traditional recruiting strategies.
Nevertheless, a well-written, up-to-date résumé comes in handy whether you are actively seeking a career opportunity or documenting accomplishments in your current role.
Here are a few tips to keep your professional documents (and you) ready when opportunity knocks.
Create a master “living” résumé. Your résumé doesn’t end when you land a job — it begins. Adding your current role to your résumé is something that we tend to forget about until we are seeking the next opportunity. Take the time now to update your résumé with your most recent employment. Be sure to keep an electronic copy of the posted job description to aid you in the process of building your résumé.
Maintain your résumé. What did you accomplish this quarter, this year, two years ago? Time zooms by and can leave you struggling to remember important information when trying to update your résumé. Challenge yourself to update your professional documents at least once a year. Note accomplishments, new responsibilities, awards, challenging projects, quantifiable successes and anything else you think is noteworthy
Build your résumé. Imagine the career or job opportunity you most desire and work backward to find your starting point. My mentor’s voice echoes in my mind with “begin with the end in mind” and “finish strong” each time I feel lost in my career journey. While these are wise words for anyone to follow, I encourage you to look forward. Where do you want to be? Where are you now? What do you need to do, experience or accomplish to get where you desire? Don’t be shy. Put yourself in situations that provide an opportunity to meet the people who can help you. Work hard to build your professional brand. I challenge you to take control of your career by strategically building your résumé with experiences that market your transferable skills and prepare you for your next adventure.