Prepare: The End Is Nigh

July 21, 2015

The impetus for this posting is nothing but sad.  Microsoft has chosen to lay off nearly 7,000 people in its mobile-phone division, apparently decimating one city in Finland and continuing a pattern of layoffs since the hiring of the new CEO.


 Mr. Nadella, we no likey you.


Perhaps the decision wasn't a light one taken by Microsoft, though I suspect none of the executives lost any sleep over it.  There is a positive side to this, though.  This can be a learning opportunity for all of us:  Make sure to keep your resume and online profiles up-to-date just for situations like this.


Here's the reality:  Companies just aren't loyal to employees any longer.  You can lose your job in a moment's notice, and the employer won't even bat an eye.  If profit maximization is threatened, you're out the door.  It's for this reason why keeping the resume in a good space at all times is paramount.  So let's take the time to go over some specific points on resume updates.


New Job. New Update


When you take on a new job, as soon as you get a grasp on the details of your responsibilities, which are inevitably different from the job-specification sheet you were sold on during the interview, take the time to update your resume with the new-position details.  You end up having to set up and conduct meetings on a weekly basis?  That needs to be on the resume.  You find out that you really have to do the majority of the strategizing for your supervisor?  Resume bound it is.


The Ever-Changing Document


Everything encapsulated in the resume is fluid, meaning that it moves around as necessary.  Even within your current role, you may take on ancillary positions that are out of the scope of your original job.  You'll want to go back to the resume and put that in there.  You probably choose to continue your education through college or continuing-education classes, which means the education section of the document really needs to get updated.  If there is a skills section, you want to update it with new keywords.


Be Honest


Although this should be self-explanatory, a lot of people don't get this.  When making updates, they need to be reflective of the scope of what you actually did.  Using terms creatively to convey what may be a boring part of your job is one thing; self-adulation is another.


Update References


You'll likely expand your network when you take on a new position or grow in your current one, which means you'll want to keep an updated copy of your go-to people who can vouch for you.  Also, make sure you continue to add new references.  A notable way to do this is to delve into your online social profiles and start communicating in threads.  You'll have good ideas that you'll share, and you'll develop influence with others.  Or you may be influenced by others' expertise.  Why not make contact with them to develop a relationship?  This is also a good way to be in contact with others at other companies in similar industries. 


Be Prepared


You really should be keeping up with trends in your industry.  Perhaps there are signals that your company isn't doing well and that there may layoffs.  Maybe there isn't turmoil in your current position, but you find out about another opportunity that may be better-aligned with your goals.  If your resume is up-to-date and you're always galvanized, you won't miss out because you took too long to show interest because you spent time upating a resume that hasn't been touched since the last time Mariah Carey had a hit.  (Hint: seven years.)


So don't be at the whims of your employers.  While you may be dedicated to your position, it's necessary to realize that your employer may not show the same amount of dedication to your employment.  KEEP YOUR RESUME UPDATED!

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