Vol. 23 • Issue 6 • Page 22
If you're not looking for a job now, you might be next year. Gaining the right kind of experience can make your curriculum vitae shine.
If the recent economic downturn has taught us anything, it's you never know when you might be looking for a job.
Changing careers or disciplines isn't unusual today. In fact, it's becoming more common, according to Eric Chen, MSM, MSAT, MBA, JD, assistant professor, Saint Joseph College, West Hartford, CT. "This is clearly not our fathers' nor our grandfathers' employment situation," Chen noted. The significant erosion in trust and loyalty between employer and employee, and the growing trend of using temporary contractors, has resulted in a fluid employment sector.
Photograph by Jeffrey Leeser
Whether by choice or necessity, if you find yourself looking for a new position, you'll be primed and ready to go if you keep your résumé shined up.
Ever found yourself sitting in a recruiter's waiting room, facing an employment application and trying to recall employment dates, or better yet, scrolling through your cell phone to find a reference's contact information?
Like anyone, job seekers face short- and long-term memory loss, Teena Rose, a professional speaker, career coach, author, résumé writer and job strategist, told ADVANCE.
Keeping abreast of changing job responsibilities, like handling special projects, can be difficult-never mind trying to recall financial details of a budgetary reconfiguration, or the dates you started a job or got promoted. "Committing to the most basic upkeep of your résumé can make the overall task of updating your résumé much easier," Rose said.
How often you update your résumé is up to you, as career progression and other factors vary among individuals. The key is to follow a regular maintenance schedule.
Résumé-refreshing only makes sense if you are steadily refreshing your career. You must be "résumé-ready" and "career-ready," Lisa Boesen, MAOM, PHR, advised.
Gone are the days when you can maintain the status quo and expect to be promoted or receive an "exceeds expectations" performance appraisal, said Boesen, a healthcare professional with expertise in direct patient care, clinical management, human resources, organizational development and performance improvement.
"I have heard healthcare providers state 'If the organization is not paying, then I'm not going to do it,'" she said. "But if you are interested in your career, even if it is maintaining an independent, contributing healthcare provider role, you need to be prepared and have an annual plan apart from the annual performance appraisal process."
Take advantage of every opportunity to learn, stressed Boesen, who learned new skills while working in respiratory care and leveraged that effort into a career in human resources.
"Reaching to extend your skills and competencies through stretch assignments, mentoring, precepting, a charge position or continuing education not only builds leadership capabilities but also indicates initiative and personal commitment to professional growth," she said.
Kerri Hatt (firstname.lastname@example.org) is managing editor of ADVANCE.