Tuesday, February 8, 2011


When Opportunity Knocks, Will You Be Ready?



My husband, Nate, wasn’t looking for a new job.  He loved his job and the company that he worked for.  One day, a representative from one of his company’s vendors came in to service some lab equipment.  Nate and the rep chatted for awhile and the rep mentioned that his company had an open position for a Field Engineer and thought my husband would be great for the position.  He asked if Nate was interested and told him to email his resume to him ASAP so he could pass it along to his supervisor, who was the hiring manager for the position.  Nate went home that night and discovered that:
1) He didn’t know where his resume was.
2) Once he found it, he realized that it had not been updated with his most recent position (which he had been in for 5 years).
3) The rest of the resume would need to be drastically reworked. 

We spent two days reworking my husband’s resume.  Fortunately, the hiring manager was still accepting resumes when Nate finally sent his in.  Nate was contacted a few days later for an interview and after 3 rounds of interviews, he got the job.

A few weeks ago, I decided that I wanted to move up within my company but discovered that the current team that I was working on was not going to provide the opportunity for that to happen.  I made an appointment to meet with my Human Resources Manager, Chuck, to discuss career options.  During our discussion, Chuck mentioned an open position that was exactly what I was looking for.  Chuck asked me to go back to my cube and immediately apply for the position.  I told him that I didn’t have my current resume with me but I could do it when I got home that evening.  Chuck told me that he needed to get my application in that very day since they were at the very end of the hiring process for the position.  He ended up using the resume that I had used when I applied for my current role. The following day, I interviewed for the position and the day after that, I was offered the job.

My husband, Nate, hadn’t been looking for a new position but was presented with an opportunity that he couldn’t ignore.  He wasn’t prepared and lost valuable time trying to get his resume in order so that he could pursue the golden opportunity before him.  He knew that he should keep his resume updated but hadn’t made it a priority since he hadn’t been actively searching for a new job.  On the contrary, I was actively seeking a new opportunity and had an updated resume ready to go.  However, I did not have it easily accessible at the moment it was requested of me so an older, outdated version had to be used.  In both our situations, the hiring process moved extremely fast.  For my husband, the elapsed time from learning about the job to receiving an offer was 10 days.  For me, it was 2 days.  Whether or not you are looking for a new and exciting job opportunity, make sure you are prepared so that when opportunity knocks, you are ready.

·       Is your resume ready to go?  Are you sure?
·       Do you keep an updated electronic version of your resume at work that you could access if you were asked to do so immediately? 
·       Do you keep paper versions of your resume on hand? If so, do you ever distribute them? 
·       Have you ever been presented with an unexpected opportunity where you needed to send out a resume within a short period of time?  If so, were you prepared?
·       What tips or advice do you have regarding this issue?

Barrie Berquist is a Category Development Manager at Acosta Sales and Marketing.  She has been a member of the MN AMA since 2007 and is a member of the MarCom Committee where she serves as the Career Insider Blog Project Manager.  She can be reached at barrieberquist@yahoo.com.  You can follow Barrie on Twitter @BEBERQUIST. 
Bookmark and Share

3 comments:

nicolembryant said...

Great blog post Barrie. I've experienced the same need for having a resume on hand for instant distribution. During an internship last summer, a contact passed along an interview opportunity that required my resume right away. Luckily I not only had a copy on my work computer but also was able to access it through my DropBox account (great way to connect work and home). Having that resume on hand made life and preparing for the interview a lot easier.

~Nicole Bryant

Dan.Eliot said...

If you’ve been unemployed for a while, you probably know how mind-numbing unemployment can be. Instead of just waiting around for the “perfect” job opportunity, you should just take a job that will get you by. A flexible part-time job means that you have the opportunity to check out new full-time jobs as they come up, but it also means you have something to stay busy and pay the bills. Delivering pizzas, mowing lawns, or walking dogs – none of these is beneath you. As long as you’re working to put food on the table and a roof overhead, you can be proud of your accomplishments.

Learn more:


employment tips

Donna said...

First, congratulations to you and Nate! Second, because I tend to continuously seek ways to advance my skills, knowledge and experience, whether it's volunteering or training, I make it a priority to set an hour or two a month to review my resume and / or update it. Monthly works for me and I have realized that small changes can and do matter like rephrasing a sentence. However, I would recommend picking and setting time out that works for someone and their situation to review or edit their resume to get into the habit of keeping their resume current. In situations where some people are at their jobs for several years, this can make them feel that revising their resume or having it accesible is less important, but we pick up additional skills at our workplace too which we might overlook if not recorded timely. Taking the time out to continuously record new skills and knowledge is a great way to capture all your talent, which you might need to refer back to in the future, plus recording them helps you choose or filter out what is relevant for an open position when this comes up. For example, I do have a couple resumes tailored to different positions I qualify for, but each resume highlights certain skills and experiences that best matches the positions because I can pull them from one main source that includes my various experiences, projects, training, etc.

Third, I have a folder in my personal email where I save copies of my resumes. With internet, most of us have personal emails we can access from work, library, school, anywhere. This is a convenient way for me to pull my resume out and work on it when I have time no matter where I am. This is also great because if I do need to apply for a position or send a copy to someone, I can easily access my resume from my folder in my personal email.

Post a Comment