You know one thing that is really scary? Being suddenly out of a high-paying job with the expensive lifestyle that goes with it and having no great resume to use in a job search. I thought anew about resumes when I heard the NPR coverage of the planned Greenwich Village Halloween Parade. Costumes were all about the impact on individuals of the sudden drop in the stock market and the failure of banking and investment institutions.
Someone was going as Mrs. Lehman. Others were going as the suddenly unemployed. In past years the costumes included the ubiquitous Wall Street Journal tucked under the arm. But now - you guessed it - they held their resumes in their fists!
What are resumes? The symbol of the unemployed looking for work? Yes, but increasingly they are the embodiment of the person's personal brand and salient career highlights and are continually updated, whether the person is actively job seeking or not. They manage to do in ~2 pages what it would take hours to convey in conversation. They represent the individual, for good or for ill.
Do they use a boring stock format? Contain errors? Come across as a tedious listing of jobs and responsibilities (an "obituary resume")? Or are they truly a reflection of a dynamic person and a vital career?
The resume still makes a difference as the front of the wedge that opens the way for real face-to-face meetings with employers and recruiters. So to all the trick-or-treaters dressed to reflect this current economic picture, may some of your tricks be a strong resume and cover letter and some of your treats be job interviews! Happy Halloween to all!