I know it sounds strange to think of your resume as a living being or better yet an actual product, but that is exactly how we need to begin to think about it. Resumes are not something to be refreshed only when we need a job, want to apply for a scholarship or need to spruce-up our LinkedIn page. A resume is a map, a blueprint and a tool that should outline your entire professional, educational and social career.
Can you remember what you were doing during your college years? The clubs you joined? The awards or honors you received? The projects that you developed? How about graduate school? What was your thesis about? Did you receive a scholarship? What initiatives did you help to change or start at your school? I know I can’t remember them all, but I am sure with my energetic spirit that I could have had many to share on my “living resume”.
By maintaining a living blueprint of your professional, educational and social activities and accomplishments, you arm yourself with an invaluable tool. So, now I am sure some people are about to say “Wait…wait… wait Harlem! I have been told the rule for my resume is one page per every ten years of experience.” My thoughts on that rule calls for an entirely different article. But yes, that rule does exist! However, I am not suggesting that you share your living resume with the world. A living resume is just for you! It is a tool that you can use to build many customized resumes, bios, blogs, career pages (ex. LinkedIn), applications and more.
However, most people have never taken the time to create one or they have made one once when they needed a job and then stopped feeding their resume with the nourishments of their growth, changes and notable moments. The good news is that I share with you the steps I took in creating my own living resume.
As a final note for my readers with children, you can also, as parents, begin to build your child’s resume from as early as a few months (if you plan on getting your child into modeling or acting, for instance). I don’t have any children, but I built a living resume for my niece after I realized, I could not remember most of her accomplishments. She was only 9 at the time, but had already been accepted to Julliard (one of the top performance dance schools in the world, located in New York City), won several cheerleading and dance competitions, was modeling for a kids talent agency, and had received countless academic awards.
Her mother laughed, but now every few months I get an email asking me to send her my niece’s resume, so she can apply for a new activity or award. So, as your child’s biggest and first support system, it can make sense for you to take the step of making their own living resume early on!
Harlem Williams, a native New Yorker living in France, has been in HR Management for 15 years. Having earned a BA in International Political Science, a MsEd., a Ms. in World History, a MBA and working on MS. in HR and Organizational Design. She is able to spearhead organizational change and innovation to create a renewed corporate culture and innovation. Having traveled to 85 countries; she also tries to feed her other passions by exploring diverse macro and micro cultures.
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