Is Your Resume Ready If Someone Asked For it?
Send me your resume.
If you are unable to send one without needing to update it, you are doing yourself a disservice.
I was recently at PaleyFest in Hollywood, Calif., attending the Westworld panel (if you are not familiar with Westworld, it is a sci-fi western thriller series on HBO). I wanted to scream “NERD!” at everyone in line to attend and then realized—to my amusement—we were there as well.
Toward the end of the session, the audience was invited to ask questions of the Westworld panel, which included actors, creators, and writers of the show.
A young man introduced himself as a film student and asked a question of co-writer/director Jonathan Nolan. Appropriate. The young man was holding a piece of paper and asked if he may give Nolan a copy of his resume. What do you think? Appropriate or inappropriate?
Nolan said, “Sure,” and invited the young man to the stage, shook his hand, took his resume, and placed it in his suit jacket pocket. Something tells me that Nolan will follow up with this young man.
Here’s why. The young man made a positive impression on Nolan—not just for his courage, but with his preparation. Here is this film student, in front of an Academy Award® nominee, he had his resume ready to go, and he went for it.
Is your resume ready to go? If someone asked you, “Send me your resume,” could you do it? Or would you need to go back and update it, then send it? Or worse, would you need to create one from scratch?
If you are unable to send a resume without needing to update it first, you are missing potential opportunities and hurting yourself by limiting your possibilities.
It is an unfortunate fact that most people don’t have an updated resume ready to go. If you are lucky enough to be asked for yours, the questioner may well have something in mind for you.
Let’s pretend this person meets two awesome people one day and asks each for their resume, knowing a great opportunity is coming available soon.
Awesome Person 1 sends the resume immediately—within an hour of meeting.
Awesome Person 2 needs to update theirs, takes a few days, and then sends it.
What do you think happens when both people are awesome?
Think about the young man at the Westworld panel. He could have said to Nolan, “I am a film student. Can I send you my resume?” If he did that, he would be forgotten. Instead, he was prepared to take advantage of an incredible opportunity and delivered it immediately. Who do you think Nolan is going to remember? A resume arriving in a crowded email box a few days later or one that was handed to him immediately after being asked if he would accept it, and having it right there in his coat pocket?
I am not suggesting you carry around copies of your resume all the time JIC (just in case).
What I do suggest is ensuring your resume is updated within the first two weeks of beginning a new job.
You might be thinking, “But I have a new job! Why would I need an updated resume? I am not looking for a new job; I just got this one.”
It is about being open to your next opportunity whenever it comes. If you aren’t prepared and ready, you may very well miss out on something great.
ACTION: Get your resume up to date NOW. You knew that was coming, didn’t you?
Updating your resume can be difficult. I created a tip sheet of the Top Five Resume Pet Peeves from some awesome recruiters and hiring leaders to help you. Click the image below to get it.
And if you haven’t seen Westworld on HBO, check it out! It is pretty amazing.
But update your resume first.
We will be doing a deeper dive into resumes in the upcoming Choose Awesome Presents 48 Days To The Work You Love Online Workshop where I will be helping a small group find or create work they love in just 48 Days. I would love to have you join! Click for more details on the upcoming workshop.