To land a good job we need a good resume; no one can argue about this fact. As a result many applicants spend a great deal of time and money confectioning and then massaging that resume until it can no longer be improved upon. In the end, the time, the effort, and the money really pays off, since we all eventually manage to get a
But is that the whole object of a resume?
For 99 percent of workers it is. Once employed, we get into a ghastly routine: collect a paycheck every week or every 2 weeks, put food on the table, pay the rent, pay all the other bills, maybe save a little for a laptop.
While Jacob (Genesis) saw, in his dream, a traffic ladder reaching up to the heavens, the go getter and self-starter should see the initial resume as the bottom step of the ladder with which to climb upward to better things—financial heaven.
Whenever you take a workshop, a seminar, an online or classroom-attendance course, update your resume. Did you get married or divorced? Did you have a child? Update your resume. Did you travel overseas? Are you volunteering for something? Have you published a book or article? Then list the event. Sometimes what may seem an insignificant event, in the end it can be the attention grabber that can bring the promotion.
Once I updated my resume by adding a remark: “Earned 3 credits at NYU: Proust and Memory Enhancement.” When a new boss came into the department, she interviewed me for an opening as district manager that she had just created. She simply said to me, “I love Proust; my minor was French Literature.”
One of my favorite novels is Stendhal’s The Red and the Black. The hero, Julien Sorel, uses a ladder not only to ford a river and to negotiate terraces, but also to climb up and into Mme. De Renal’s boudoir. The point is that like Julien one must constantly carry the image of the ladder of success.
On another occasion, when my second child was born, I updated my resume. And as an afterthought, I included my wife and the children’s names and dates of birth—all in one line. Again, this proved to be fruitful during a promotion interview. My boss said, “My daughter’s name is Kay also—same age. Maybe they should get together.”
Keeping a resume evergreen, with a copy of the update to the Human Resources, and your boss, will get you ahead of peers and competitors.
When you are up for annual evaluation, bring up an updated resume. Use it to highlight what you have been doing to enhance your skills and how they will help you to be a better producer.
Convert the traditional resume into an evergreen resume. Consider the updates the steps with which you are building the ladder of success.
In war, the Maccabees, constructed huge ladders to climb walls and conquer their enemies. In business, trust the ladder that you yourself have built.
Wittgenstein –discussing language and meaning—said, “he must so to speak throw away the ladder, after he has climbed up on it." My recommendation is keep the ladder, for there’s always higher heights to reach in the financial heavens.
The writing techniques I employ in this article are all explained in Mary Duffy's writing manual: