We’ve all been there. The perfect job finally comes up and you scramble to quickly update your resume and get everything in order to apply. You rack your brain to remember what you’ve done all year and all the results you’ve achieved, only to remember important details after you’ve hit ‘send’ and your application is complete.
Being reactive isn’t conducive to your career success. It limits your ability to truly demonstrate why you’re the best person for the job and give yourself a fighting chance to get the call for an interview.
Your resume, biography, LinkedIn profile and cover letter is your brand. It's your opportunity to position yourself as a strong contestant in an ever-growing competitive market.
Your professional brand gives you an opportunity to show your experience, leadership and future career goals to potential employers and colleagues. And, that’s why it’s crucial to keep it up-to-date.
Here are some more reasons to build and update your professional brand today.
1. You’ll be ready for new opportunities
New and exciting opportunities are always on the horizon. A promotion might become available for your dream job internally if the current person leaves or the company you work for grows and opens up a new position for you, or you might hear of a great new job from a close source that’s exactly where you want to be. In every case, you never know when the opportunity will spring up and it happens more and more if you’re open to it and ready to strike when the iron is hot. Get yourself organised with an up-to-date professional brand so you don’t miss any opportunity that comes knocking on your door.
2. You'll be prepared if things take a turn
You could be blindsided by a job loss or the company could change hands and head in a direction that’s not what you want. During any stressful transition period, wouldn’t it be great to be prepared with a stellar resume so you’re not scrambling?
3. You’ll get a sense of where you are and how far you’ve come
An up-to-date resume gives you a sense of where you are in relation to the industry, competition and job market. It allows you to track your career progress, new skills you've acquired and see how far you've progressed since starting your role. Having a standout resume and LinkedIn profile also helps you maintain confidence and remind you of what sets you apart from the rest of the competition (your brand), your skills and achievements.
4. You'll gain clarity on where you want to go
Once you have a clear sense of where you are now, it’s much easier to develop a strategic plan of where you want to go and how to get there. For example, if you’re currently a director of a company and want to become a vice president, you’ll be able to pinpoint the skills, achievements and any additional elements that will help you make the jump to the next level.
5. Sell yourself as an expert
If you’re an expert or want to become one, there is a good chance you’ll be speaking at conferences & events, writing guest articles or supplying quotes to the media. You’ll also be nominated for awards or submitting applications to build your brand as an expert in your field.
When you pitch yourself to do these things, you’ll need to showcase why you are the best person for the job. A stellar resume & LinkedIn profile is one of the best ways you can showcase your talent so you can sell yourself confidently.
6. Take on additional gigs
Side work can present itself out of the blue or can be something you actively seek out. Side projects are a great way to build your brand in the direction you want to take your career. Whether it’s a small consulting gig or a project you’re passionate about, being prepared with an updated professional profile will be required to showcase your skillset.
No matter where you are in your career, proactively building your professional brand that captures your strengths, talent, and unique skill set will set you up for success. You have nothing to lose and everything to gain by being one step ahead of the game.