“I’m creative, I haven’t had to use a resume since 1996!” Well that’s great for you but let us all in on your little secret to success! Just because you’ve never had to formally interview for a job or have had your next gig lined up just by making a few calls, then it’s time to look around because your luck may be about to run out. You may have had a great run at finding your next job without much help from least of all, a resume, but it may be time to take a trip on the wild side and do something good for yourself and for the person who does not yet know all the wonderful things about you!
A resume does not need to be a painful process and it certainly doesn’t mean that just because you’ve gotten away with not having one for so long that you eventually won’t need one. Even if you are a creative executive with an impressive portfolio that drags on forever, it certainly does not mean you don’t need a resume. Keep in mind, not everyone may have seen that film or watched that television show you were working on. It’s okay to have a long credit list but acting like everyone who reads it should instantly recognize any obscure title or independent production company you worked for is well, clueless.
It’s nice to know you don’t have to work to hard to get your next gig but what if something unexpected came along, something that you were not even looking for but sounds like something you’ve always wanted to do. Why not be prepared and have your professional resume ready to go? What if that job didn’t come through your normal channels and you were tapped through LinkedIn or it was an industry referral that passed your name along because they thought you’d be “perfect” for the job. Or, you get a call from a recruiter or agent or maybe directly from the company and they ask you for a resume or a bio and you say, “I haven’t needed one since 1996!” Click. That’s what most people would do or want to do when you make that kind of an announcement.
Don’t think for a minute the person on the other end of the phone or email thinks this is cute, clever or even professional. You need to write your professional history down, it doesn’t need to be long or full of bravado it just needs to simply tell the story of who you are, what you’ve done and where you’ve worked. Keep it simple and to the point and be ready to hand it over to someone who offers to help. Don’t make the hiring manager, recruiter or person interested in interviewing you do all the work. You might be the perfect person for the job but if you are not prepared, no one is going to wait for you to get ready. You may think you are a household name because you have an impressive list of credentials don’t assume everyone knows who you are.
The next time you are lucky enough to get a call or email out of the blue asking you to come in for an interview don’t embarrass yourself or someone else by stating that you are too good to put your professional life on paper. Because if you don’t want to waste the time and effort for the job someone else surely will and will likely get the job you were not ready or able to accept.
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