Opportunity Ready - A Great Resume Is Only The Beginning In Packaging
An updated resume is the first step in landing your dream job.
But it’s not the only one.
You must become “opportunity ready” if you want to find success.
Forget about relying on luck or tactics to get ahead - you have to take an active role in the process. Which includes leveraging even the smallest of details to your advantage.
A big mistake many applicants make is failing to follow simple directions. And they’re not alone. Some of the best candidates in the world get passed over for ignoring protocol.
If the job posting says to include a resume, cover letter and/or CV - then that’s what you need to submit. Don’t think that because you’re “overqualified” you can ignore the rules.
This kind of mindset is what leads to missed connections and lost opportunities.
Show Some Initiative
Just because you have a great interview that doesn’t mean the job is in the bag. Typically, there are dozens of other qualified candidates rated just as highly as you. So how can you differentiate yourself from others?
By conveying your enthusiasm throughout the process.
Reach out after every interaction to let employers know how much you appreciate the opportunity. Thank them for their time and ask if there are any other concerns you can address.
After all, with the speed and ease of communication these days, there’s no excuse for not following up.
But consider taking it a step further. Send handwritten thank you notes and check-in periodically to see where you stand. Offer to help in any way possible.
Because when it comes to besting the competition, staying “top of mind” is exactly where you want to be.
Be Resume “Ready”
How many times have you had a fantastic opportunity come up, but failed to take advantage of it because you weren’t ready? Maybe your resume was out of date, your cover letter needed freshening up, or you were scrambling for references (because you lost contact with your network).
But it doesn't have to be this way.
The best time to update your resume is when you have no intention of using it.
No doubt, updating your resume can be a big commitment. You need time to collect the information, a plan to organize it, and the motivation to see it through. Needless to say, doing all this when you’re “under the gun” can lead to poor results.
Update as You Go
A better way to handle the process is to continually update your resume throughout the year. Think of it as a personalized “system” for maintaining your hireability. There are no set rules for when or how, but here’s a few ideas to consider.
- Major Projects - take notes of what you did, how you did it, and the value created afterward. Keep in mind that prospective employers are more concerned about results than assignments.
- Promotions - hiring managers often scout talent by searching for specific keywords or job titles. If your resume isn’t up-to-date, your name might never come up.
- Performance Reviews - an ideal checkpoint for documenting your accomplishments and highlighting your performance.
And don’t forget to update your LinkedIn profile at the same time. Should employers perform an online search beforehand, they’ll still find an accurate representation of what you’re all about.
Ask for Help
For most of us, talking about ourselves and our accomplishments doesn’t come naturally. This makes hiring a professional resume writer an option to consider.
These seasoned pros can help with word selection, formatting, and overall readability. They know the types of keywords and phrases that employers are looking for.
And contrary to what you might think, resume editing isn’t that expensive. For just a few hundred bucks, you can have an eye-catching resume that gets you noticed.
Walk the Walk
While a good resume is a must, there’s more to being a well-rounded candidate. After all, everything you do is taken into consideration.
That means you should always put your best foot forward - whether it be on paper, online, or in person.
Don’t be a Paper Tiger
Applicants usually focus on hard skills and experiences. But soft skills are just as important (if not more so) when it comes to creating a lasting impression.
Strive to be well-spoken and always convey your value with confidence and enthusiasm.
If your soft skills need work, consider joining a group like Toastmasters or hiring a private coach to help with your presentation skills. Both of which can pay huge dividends throughout your career.
In the end, being opportunity ready isn’t all that difficult. You just need to put in some effort ahead of time to be prepared when the time comes. This includes having an updated resume, solid presentation skills, and the confidence to back it up.
Bottom line - don’t give prospective employers any reason NOT to hire you.
By making sure you're fully invested in the process, you’ll remove any doubt and position yourself as the logical choice.
The only question now is, how opportunity ready are you?
Together- We Succeed!
Chase & Associates
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