Every September reminds me of how much the résumé has changed throughout the years and remains an essential tool for career success. September and October represent the peak of hiring. Career Directors International first founded International Update Your Résumé Month in September to honour the importance of having your résumé customized.
Over the years, the résumé has been transformed from a job application document to a versatile brand marketing tool reshaped by the job market, changing social and media trends, and innovative technology.
Jobseekers now have a myriad of options available for presenting their value and approaching their next career move. Social media also plays an important part in career development and networking efforts.
Yet, so many professionals wait until the last minute to have their résumé customized — and as a result — miss out on opportunities! It’s about getting into practising good habits and being ultimately prepared to plan for your next career milestone, which could be just right around the corner....
Investing in a résumé package this September makes perfect sense...
✔️ Even if you just landed a role and you think you don’t need a résumé.
✔️ Even if you don’t resign or get fired, your company may be acquired, sold, or go out of business.
✔️ Because your role or responsibilities are set to change at some point.
✔️ A promotion could catch your eye….and you need to be ready with a results-driven résumé to present to the key decision-maker.
✔️ Change is always on the horizon. You need to stay abreast of new opportunities in this competitive labour market! Recently, we have seen some industry and company shifts globally that continue to change. So it is important to remain proactive when it comes to your career growth.
✔️ A customized résumé serves as your personal brand marketing tool and a resource for forecasting and strategic career planning.
What Your Résumé Can Tell Employers About You
Did you know that your résumé can tell an employer a lot about YOU, your personality and brand, work traits, and unique value?
For example, are you able to produce a high-quality product or service? This will be reflected by how you incorporate neatness, completeness, and accuracy into your résumé. Spelling errors in your résumé may be interpreted as a lack of attention to detail. As a result, your résumé could get screened out with a lost opportunity to interview for the targeted role.
Are you strong in change leadership? A forward-thinking résumé that incorporates a refreshing design can convey your creativity.
Are you results-driven? Your accomplishments evidenced by solid results can portray you as a change leader, a critical thinker, or strategic planner.
The Résumé: Created for the future, not the past
The most compelling résumés are created for the future — not the past. I see many résumés heavily focusing on the past rather than current experience, marketable skills, and recent accomplishments.
And you’re never too young — or too old — to have your résumé professionally written. It’s a great tool to help land your first or last job and to visualize your career milestones so you can plan ahead. If you have concerns about ageism, this can be addressed in the résumé with a thoughtful Master-level strategy. Remember, the goal is to accentuate your best selling points towards your career focus.
Today's résumé needs to be professional, easy to read, consistent in format, highlighting the candidate’s value to the employer or recruiter.
The résumé must be free of error and implement the right action verbs to describe skills and accomplishments.
A résumé is a valued forecasting tool that fuels continuous improvement, helping you plan for your next career milestone.
✅ A professionally written résumé not only generates interviews, but can guide the interview by providing “talking points” to discuss.
✅ A stand-out résumé can help you prepare for the job interview as you reflect upon your credentials, skills, and accomplishments. Look at last year’s goals and accomplishments in order to identify what changes need to be made to the résumé.
✅ If you’re applying for an internal transfer or promotion, your résumé can document the contributions you made in your current role.
✅ The process of having your résumé professionally written can help you quantify and document your accomplishments, while defining what sets you apart. It can help you see what you have actually accomplished during your career and what skills or initiatives you need to work on to advance.
✅ Thinking of pursuing a board or community leadership role? A résumé targeted towards board roles can position you for a rewarding, high-paying board role. Yet, it is different than a regular résumé and needs to highlight your board expertise and board leadership accomplishments.
Your résumé is a goal-setting tool offering you a quick snapshot of your career journey and new ideas for growth.
✅ Prepare for an annual review by updating your résumé. Document your accomplishments to help justify a raise by showing how you add value. Elaborate on your contributions with solid metrics.
✅ Your résumé can also help you plan the next step in your career. Often, evaluating your past experience and career progression can help you see the way forward and identify what is it that you really want out of your career and how you can make it happen!
--> Do you want to tackle a higher-level role or different industry?
--> Are you planning to transition to Canada and want to position yourself for the Canadian job market?
--> How can you position yourself for this next move with certain skills, strengths, experience, and/or networks?
✅ You will be able to identify your career goals, both short- and long-term and the marketable skills that you need to develop.
✅ Your résumé is a career story telling tool, conveying your career narrative in a compelling and concise manner. Your résumé can create a narrative theme to tie together your experiences and accomplishments. For instance, you can highlight a steady track record of consistently being entrusted to adopt new, innovative projects or fostering change leadership.
Your résumé serves as a confidence booster that can help you target your next career goal.
✅ A professionally written résumé can boost your confidence by providing validation of your skills, experience, and accomplishments.
✅ A résumé customized towards your targeted role generates results. Generic résumés will not pass the test! A résumé that leads with results using the CAR Method (Challenge-Action-Results) quickly draws the attention of the employer or recruiter.
✅ Quantify ($ #s or %) your accomplishments when you can include revenue increases over time, profit margin, expense reduction, quality or efficiency improvements measured in a tangible way to offer your accomplishments scale and scope.
✅ When formulating accomplishments, consider what your responsibilities and activities were/are, but also HOW they impacted or are set to impact the company.
--> What happens when you do what you do at work?
--> What are the results that you helped set in motion?
Example of Formulating Results-Driven Accomplishment:
This accomplishment statement leads with results and is supported by the strategies/actions taken as well as the challenge/situation.
► Improved internal systems 25% and sustained zero reportable incidents while fulfilling ISO audit objectives in the midst of a company transition. Reengaged staff to address gaps and achieve health/safety compliance through chairing Joint Health/Safety Committee meetings and executing high-risk activity assessments.
Let's partner together to enhance your career success! Don't wait to have your résumé customized -- opportunities abound and the time is now to take your career further to new heights.
Contact Lori at Creative Horizons Communications.
Creative Horizons Communications is a one-stop, award-winning firm in Halton, Ontario, serving jobseekers of all fields and levels across the globe, specializing in helping people navigate challenging career transitions.