The most obvious reason why you might need a resume is when you’re looking for a job. But there are many other reasons why you might want to put together a resume now, even if you’re not actively seeking new employment.

Internal Promotion or Transfer: You may not think a resume would be required, but often, it is. An internal recruiter or a hiring manager in a different part of a big company isn’t going to be familiar with all the aspects of what you do — and even if they have access to the job description for your position, that won’t tell them about the specific contributions that you’ve made in your current role. It’s your job to quantify and document your achievements — and a resume is a good way to do that, even for an internal position.

Annual Performance Review: A good time to create — or update — your resume is when you are preparing for an annual performance review. Documenting your accomplishments can help you prepare to show your manager how you’ve added value to your position — and department — since your last review. The resume development process is also a good time for self-assessment. A well-written resume tells the “story” of your career — demonstrating consistent themes and supporting information that highlights your qualifications for the job target you’re seeking, while omitting irrelevant information and positions.

Networking: Resumes are also a tool for networking. Someone you just met who is interested in learning more about you may ask for your resume. This contact may help lead you to unadvertised job openings. In the same way, getting your resume in the hands of someone who knows you well can also lead to new opportunities. They can use the resume to pass along to other people who might be in a position to hire you, or to use as a “door opener” to introduce you to other people who might be useful in your job search.

Review Tool: Putting together your resume can help you determine where you want to go next in your career. Sometimes, looking at your work history can help you identify a pattern in your employment history that will help you determine where you want to go next in your career. An effective resume communicates both your current skills and qualifications and your future potential. Identifying a common thread in your experience and accomplishments can help you decide the next step in your career.

LinkedIn Starter: A well-written resume can actually help you populate your LinkedIn profile, making it easy to complete the “Work Experience” and “Education” sections. It’s also important to note that a LinkedIn profile is not a substitute for a resume. Because a LinkedIn profile is public (even if you have your privacy settings locked down on LinkedIn, someone can still take a screenshot of your profile or create a PDF of it), there may be information that you do not want to include on your LinkedIn profile that can help demonstrate your accomplishments to a prospective employer. In addition, a resume can be customized to target a specific position, while you can only have one LinkedIn profile.

Proactive Approach Saves Time: The main reason to create — and maintain an — updated resume is that it takes time to put a good resume together — whether you’re writing it yourself, or having a professional prepare it for you. A resume is not just an “obituary” of your work history — it’s not a summary of everything you’ve done — it’s a strategic marketing document that showcases your value to a prospective employer.

If you don’t have a resume, it’s time to get one; and if you have one, but it hasn’t been updated in a while, now is the time to bring it up to date. You never know when you might need your resume, and you want it ready when you do.

If you are struggling with developing a strategy and writing your own resume, let’s talk!

Tammy Shoup,
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