Why are you waiting to update your resume? Are you thinking you are stable at your job? That can only update your resume right before you send it out? Are you waiting to practice interviewing until you have an interview time on your calendar?

If so, you are too late!

Let me explain...

If you wait until you are laid off or actively seeking a job, you are selling yourself short in a variety of ways. First, you are not adding valuable information to your resume in real time, thereby forgetting important details, such as the topic you presented, the old and new software you worked with, and the training you completed. You are missing portions of valuable work experience which set you apart from other employees. A company knows what your general job description looks like. Yet, they have no idea how you have made the position yours, by adding the personal touches only you provide to personalize your role. Secondly, you are not tapping into the hidden job market, networking, thereby passing up what could be your dream job. Everyone is always in the market, unless you own your own company. Even then, there could be enough of an offer to potentially interest you. You cannot explore opportunities if you are not refreshing on paper, thereby reinforcing, your strengths to yourself. Think about it.

Like anything else, interview practice takes time. It takes a lot of effort, rehearsal, and practice. You won't get the luxury of time, if you are scrambling to meet with a job coach the day before your interview. You are already going to be nervous, and are not going to be focused enough to absorb all the information about the company, the position, and how to most effectively answer questions.

I have seen people from entry level to C-level make the same mistake, time and time again.

The last minute is too late! If you wait until the car is empty to fill up with gas, you're going to be pushing it to the nearest gas station. And where I'm sitting, in South Florida in July, that just doesn't seem pleasant. Refuel. Give yourself a little bit of time. Stop scrambling. You will make a better impression!

Yes, my friends, this is a "Master of the Obvious" post that too many people are missing. I hope it can help, and as always, I'm going to be a little blunt. If you are a CFO and applying to an Accounts Payable position, I am not going to call you for my next CFO position. Why? Because you are not proving to me that you are able to read.

You are not what I am looking for in this role. Recruiter translation: thanks for wasting my time, but I would like to find someone pretty close to the job I posted. If you are interested in contacting your recruiter, call, send an email, text, even smoke signal. But look at what the job description is! Being overqualified is just as inappropriate as under qualified. You are going to be bored. You won't be challenged. And short of a nonexistent candidate pool, you are not going to be hired for the position for which you applied.

What can you do? Take the time to apply to jobs appropriate for your skill set. Network! (Yes, I am sure you heard that from me once or twice.) And most importantly, read, really read the job description!

Due to a number of personal choices, including stay-at-home parenting, caring for an elderly relative, and layoffs in the marketplace, many candidates are faced with a very uncomfortable dilemma: how to best represent yourself to compete with candidates who have been working consistently for the last few years.

To start, outline what transferable skills you have, whether from a stay at home parent or caretaker. Some of these may include: budgeting, negotiation, multitasking, organization, and scheduling. Apply how the skill would work with the job to which you are interested.

A second idea is to take a refresher course on industry specific software. There are many inexpensive community courses (like at your local middle or high school through Continuing Education) that will assist you in brushing up on your technical expertise.

Additionally, consider the volunteer experience which you have obtained, such as PTA work or school volunteer. Many of those roles offer the same transferrable skills as paid employment. If you have not volunteered, perhaps now is a good time to start, while easing yourself back into the professional world.

Lastly, a great way to get your foot in the door is to temp. There are agencies specializing in a variety of clerical, industrial, and professional roles. That is a great way to showcase your talents to hiring managers! In fact, when I ran a highly profitable temp desk as a recruiter, I converted over 80% of my employees through temp-to-hire! Many of them made more than they did while temping. And even if your first temp employer does not provide you with an offer, being exposed to a variety of organizations and software will assist you in becoming more marketable! Happy hunting!!!

There is a strong need to provide excellent career advice to job seekers, especially in an economy that is questionable and unstable. Rest assured that the advice that I provide has been proven to work and that I have hired many professionals throughout my career. I have seen a great deal of suggestions on the web on how to draft a resume and how to get hired, and much of the information is very generic. Some of it terrifies me! I will provide you with tried and true information, with guest bloggers in the hiring profession, assisting you in maximizing your brand, enabling you to get a great career moving in the right direction, and working with you on the best ways to get promoted.

Please feel free to send me any questions and comments on my articles, and I will be happy to provide my expert opinion. I appreciate any feedback you are able to provide. Also, please share this blog on Facebook and LinkedIn freely, as I hope many people will be able to benefit from the information I am sharing with you.
View my profile on LinkedIn