Build Your Living Resume

Everyone in the workplace has a resume. Traditionally, resumes are a snapshot of what you have accomplished in your career, a look into what your skills are, and an example of what a company can expect you to achieve. And for the most part, they are only important during the select time you are trying to get a job.

Traditional resumes do a fine job sharing what you have done, but they only tell part of the story; your living resume shares the rest by explaining how you have done it. Your living resume shows how you perform your role, live your life, and act outside of the workplace. It represents how you treat people, honor your commitments, and fulfill your responsibilities. It is at its very essence, a true reflection of yourself and the values you hold dear in your life. And different than your traditional resume, which is only seen at certain times during your career, your living resume is on display all the time.

This is especially true today because of how much smaller the world has gotten. The opportunity to connect with others, from both near and far, has never been easier. This means your reputation has an easier time following you around, for better or worse. So, if you are out partying every night, involved in illicit relationships that do not serve you or others well, or are constantly involved in unnecessary drama, it will stick with you.

While it is not always acknowledged (or necessarily legal), employers factor in personal lives when hiring and promoting employees. What you put on your traditional resume is important. However, the actions you take every day are keystrokes into your living resume and often tell a more compelling story.3 This makes it important to always put forth your best self.

Digging deeper, beyond just examples that occur out in the real world are the digital stories that we all tell. Access to information is at every person’s fingertips, with employers, recruiters, and colleagues having the opportunity to learn about you, often without your knowledge. The ability to “Google someone” to learn about them is a practice that has become increasingly popular. Typically, results from these searches are benign, but there is the potential for unscrupulous behavior to result in negative consequences.

We have all seen morally bankrupt posts on social media, illicit videos on YouTube, and stories of inappropriate behavior on news sites. These actions immediately shape the perspective of how we view people and have the potential to destroy otherwise promising careers. Though one action shouldn’t necessarily be an indictment on the person, it almost always follows them around wherever they go. To minimize this risk, you must place importance on maintaining a quality reputation both in and out of the workplace.

Traditional resumes will continue to be a primary source of truth. However, living resumes are growing more formidable. As everyone continues to grow more intertwined and the internet continues to become more involved in our lives, everything you do in every facet of your life will become more pertinent, documented, and analyzed. Make certain your living resume tells a compelling story that you will be proud to share.

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