Your assignment should you choose to accept it ...

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Life presents us with many choices. Some are huge decisions - to marry or not, to have kids or not, to move to warmer climes or not, for example. Many, however, are small choices that require not a lifetime of change or sacrifice, but a few hours of time.

Such is today's suggested assignment. 

Amidst your other new year resolutions, how about updating your resume? Oh I can hear the groans! Don't worry - I'll help you out with a few questions to ask yourself to source good material to add. Why should you bother? Because a great resume can land interviews, and interviews with good companies, your dream company even. An influential resume can land a better initial offer at the top of the range rather than in the middle. And a competition-busting resume can contribute to your ability to negotiate a better salary, quicker review and bonus, or more attractive benefits, like an extra week's holiday. 

Consider the following:

1. Did your job grow since you took it on? If so, what accountability has been added, did it require you learning new skills or knowledge base, or did it include supervisory duties perhaps? With the information, create a bullet along the lines of the following:


  • Assigned responsibility for (xx) in recognition of my transferable skills, which included (and list).
  • Selected to serve as Interim CAO, a 3-month term that was twice extended to 9-month term; cited by Board of Directors for capably handing the day-to-day as well as a potential public relations issue.


2. If you took on new duties, did these require you learning new skills or adding a new-to-you knowledge base, or did it include supervisory duties perhaps? Again, use the info to compose a bullet:


  • Acquired knowledge of pertinent by-laws - with urgency - and became productive within first week of assuming partial by-law customer service duties.
  • Gained confidence in supervisory duties by concurrently undertaking leadership and people management studies, in formal and self-study formats; skill was recognized in annual performance review as "outstanding."


3. Every set of proactive personal career management  strategies should include an effort to join a committee or team. If you didn't do so in 2017, do make it a priority for 2018. For those who did volunteer or who were asked to join, here's an idea of what to add to the resume:


  • Volunteered for the IT/Business Collaboration Team to fulfil corporate mandate to identify time-saving tech-based solutions to common, recurring business issues; in first six months, team delivered four ideas to executive management, and gained approval to immediately develop two.
  • Hand-picked by Director of Corporate Communications to co-chair corporate public relations committee as recognized communications expert in diffusing potentially reputation-damaging PR issues.

 And there are just a few ideas that will get you started. 

If your resume has nothing like this kind of bullet in its content, consider this: a resume is no longer a historic document of the "what" of your work; that is a job description. Today's resume must be customized to your experience, laudatory of your contributions, and relevant to your next employer. 

Only two rules, in my opinion, must be stuck to: every detail must be truthful to your experience and authentic to your personality, working style, values, etc.