While most people don't think about their resumes until they are need to look for a job, having an up-to-date resume — or several types — on hand is a smart business move. Here are some reasons why:
• You're suddenly out of a job. You may be perfectly happy, but things happen. Sudden buyouts, mergers, bankruptcies, downsizings, new managers or a host of other situations may put you on the unemployed list in a New York minute.
• You're up for a promotion, but you're not the only one being considered. Want to show why you're the best person for the upgrade? An updated resume can help decisionmakers choose you over your competition.
• You're part of a team that is applying for a grant or special recognition. Everyone must submit a resume and the team's experience, credentials and education will be part of the decision as to which organization gets the grant.
• You've been tapped to join a board of directors or to head a civic group. Chances are that organization will send out publicity highlighting you and your background, experience and credentials. Use your current resume to supply them with a standout bio.
• A prestigious organization is asking you to make a presentation. You need to supply up-to-date information so they can publicize the presentation and introduce you properly.
Updating your resume
. Begin at the beginning. Give your current address and contact information.
. Make sure your resume fits the online formats companies and organizations use. Follow their criteria when submitting your resume.
. Add to all your resumes new degrees, certifications or skills that will help "sell" you.
. Include pertinent experience that will help decisionmakers as they compare you with other candidates.
. If appropriate, include your involvement in community, civic and charitable organizations. This is especially positive when being introduced as a new board member or speaker.
. Have more than one type of resume at your fingertips. The resume designed to help you find a new job should include your contact information and highlight your experience, education and credentials. A resume that can be used as a bio for publicity purposes may just list your current job title, education and focus more on your special credentials and community and civic experience.
Marie R. Stempinski is president and founder of Strategic Communication in St. Petersburg. She specializes in public relations, marketing and business development. She can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.