Why and When You Need a Resume

In an age where everyone seems to be online all the time, you might think you no longer need a resume to find a new job in Alaska.

Nowadays, you fill out an online application at a local job board or company career site, or you send a recruiter your LinkedIn profile, right?

Resume? Bah. Waste of time.

Not so fast.

A resume is still a valuable document, and one of your most important career tools. Here’s why.

Responding to a potential employer

The No. 1 source of hire is employee referral, according to CareerXroads, a staffing and recruiting consulting firm that has conducted annual hiring surveys for 14 years.

In other words, the way most employers hire is through word of mouth. The process basically involves a company asking a good employee if she or he knows another good worker who might be right for a job opening.

Employee referral is not a new concept; it’s as old as work itself. What’s more, the question can be asked of employees in any job for any open position, from retail clerk to CEO, which is why employee referrals are so effective.

But what happens after a friend tells you about a job opening or a hiring manager sends you an email to ask if you’re interested in a position at XYZ Company? What’s the next step?

Yep. “Send me your resume.”

About those online applications

When you’re actively looking for a job, and find a posting on a job board or at a company career site, yes, you may have to complete and submit an online application.

Yet, even when this is the case, your resume will come in handy.

Because you’ve taken the time to craft your resume, the word choices used are the right ones and your position descriptions accurately and succinctly convey your responsibilities. As important, you have proofread your resume and know your grammar and spelling are correct.

Why toss all that hard work aside? When completing an online job application, use the information from your resume to fill in the blanks.

Ready for opportunity

Having an up-to-date resume will allow you to take advantage of unexpected career opportunities, as well as easily apply for any jobs you might find while actively searching for a new position.

Scrambling to create a resume in response to an opportunity is not recommended. Your resume serves as an introduction, and you want to make the best possible first impression. Customize your resume as needed, but have a standard document ready.

Finally, there is an added benefit to having a resume and updating it regularly: It allows you to objectively look at your career and appreciate your accomplishments, while planning your next move.

Who’s that rock star? Why, it’s you, of course. Rock on.

Paula Santonocito, a business journalist specializing in employment issues, holds a Workforce Career Coach Facilitator (WCCF) certificate and has been awarded the Global Career Development Facilitator (GCDF) designation.





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