Car Maintenance and Your Career

If I were a betting man, and I’m clearly not, I would guess that you change the oil in your car far more frequently than you update your résumé.

Why is it that we pay more attention to keeping our cars in good shape but we tend to neglect the very thing that not only paid for the car but gets us to work every day?

As I have coached clients, especially professionals over 50, I am always surprised at how caught off guard they are when they lose their jobs and have to scramble to get their résumés up to date.

Not only do they have to deal with the stress and emotions of being suddenly unemployed but they also have to get back on the market as quickly as possible to land their encore careers.

The good news is, there is a way to stay ahead of the curve and lessen the impact if a pink slip is going to land on your desk. The key is to be proactive and keep your résumé current.

Here are some tips to help you do that:

  • Use the oil change sticker on your car window as a reminder that it’s time to check your résumé. Just like we use daylight saving time to check the battery in our smoke detectors, which are completely unrelated, you can use what your mechanic slaps on your window as a nudge to update your résumé.
  • Make sure your LinkedIn profile matches your résumé. Don’t make prospective employers guess what your real title is or wonder if you started that last job in 2001 or 2002. Your résumé and LinkedIn profile should be a reflection of each other. If you don’t have a LinkedIn profile, that’s another post you can read here.
  • Update your address and phone on your résumé. Your address should not have the street number and street, only the City, State, and Zipcode.
  • Add any pertinent information that has accumulated over time that is not represented on your résumé. New certification? New role or responsibilities? New title? Give credit where credit is due…and that’s to you!
  • Rewrite your Personal Brand. If you still have “Goals, Objectives, or Summary” listed at the top of your résumé, replace it with your title, supporting statement, and summary paragraph to showcase your genius.

The best time to update your résumé is before you need to. Why not invest 30 minutes every 3 months with a little maintenance work on your résumé or CV to keep it in good working order? Maybe, just maybe, you could actually work on it while you are getting your oil changed.

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