Do you know where your résumé is?
Nobody’s trying to be pessimistic here, just prepared. Given the recent economic unpleasantness, it’s not a bad idea to give the old CV a once-over, just in case it becomes necessary. But updating its content is only half the battle — how you wield it determines how effective it can be. Below are some ways to make sure you’re well positioned in case the bell tolls for thee.
Keep your résumé at the ready: Ideally, you should keep an electronic version of your CV fully updated and accessible from any computer, ready to be sent out at a moment’s notice. E-mailing a version to yourself is a simple way to do this (saving it to a dedicated inbox folder ensures you can find it when needed) and minimizes the risk of missed opportunities that can occur if people are kept waiting while you’re stuck finding, revising or — worst of all — piecing together a new version from memory.
Don’t waste your formatting: Your up-to-date and available résumé should also be saved as a PDF document. This way, your format remains intact regardless of whether someone uses an older version of Microsoft Word, or a different document software altogether. And since PDF documents are read-only, you also eliminate the possibility of accidental changes that can happen when a file is opened and forwarded by multiple people. You also come across as having more technical expertise, which is nice.
Make an initial public offering: If you’re not content to wait for a request, you can make your work experience public via professional networking sites like LinkedIn, Plaxo and Xing. While you can’t upload your résumé directly, the benefit to using these sites’ online formats — which require you to create an individual listing for each job — is that they find and suggest as contacts other members whose education, work or even club and organization affiliations overlap your own. Once you’re connected to former colleagues or others, you share their address book and they yours, exponentially increasing your exposure (in theory, at least).
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