For those in the “infopreneurial” line of work, the concept of passive income should be familiar. It’s the income that arrives in your bank account from something you create once, and then sell over and over. A book is a great example. Or a pre-recorded course.
Naturally, the better you market it over the long term, the better your chances of generating more passive income. The point is, you don’t have to keep doing that same thing over and over, such as producing a product that people consume. If it’s relevant and in-demand, information can sell itself.
The same principles can apply to your résumé. A well-written narrative of your career path, what you’ve accomplished, what skills you’ve acquired and put to good use, what value you’ve added to the companies where you’ve worked… If it’s done right, your résumé generates its own sort of passive income, in that it can attract and inform the very people who can connect you with the kinds of opportunities you’re looking for.
When it comes to job-hunting, my résumé does most of the work for me. I’ve spent 25+ years refining my approach, so clearly it wasn’t that fantastic, when I started out. But I learned as I went, and I applied the lessons I learned right away. So, it worked in my favor. In fact, if anything, finding out how my résumé sucked, was the best lesson of all. It got my act in gear and motivated me to get things cleaned up and sorted out.
You learn these things as you go, and each time your résumé doesn’t perform (i.e., attract the kinds of job opportunities you’re looking for), you get real-world feedback that shows you what will actually work. It’s even quicker and more immediate than floating some market research & placing some Google ads to see if your info product has an audience. If nobody “bites” or you it’s all crickets after you re-post your résumé, it’s pretty clear that you’ve got to rework things up a bit.
I know there are a lot of résumé writers/designers out there, and some of them make a pretty penny. But I have to say that your own personal experience with your presentation can be the best teacher of all. I’ve also seen résumés “fixed” by professionals, and I’m not sure that their edits actually translated into improved chances for the applicants. In fact, I know that in at least several cases I witnessed, they did not. If anything, they did the opposite.
The thing is – your résumé is a reflection of you. It tells the story of your past, your present, and your hopes, dreams, and plans for the future. And nobody knows that better than you. You really need to tell your own story, as far as I’m concerned. It’s great to get tips from others, but you really need to manage your own presentation — and your résumé is central to that. It’s the first thing people usually see of you — if they haven’t see your LinkedIn profile yet. And when you show up to interview, you’d better be consistent with what you’ve said in that printout the hiring manager is holding.
If you’re not, it’s not the end of the world. But it certainly doesn’t help you present a cohesive, coherent image, which is what you’ll be judged by.
So, yeah. Sinking a lot of thought and effort into prepping your résumé is important. It’s not a waste of time — it’s not even an expense. It’s an investment. And if you do it properly, the time and energy and attention invested will come ’round to benefit you for years to come.
It can open doors you didn’t even know existed. It can pave the way to bigger and better things, saving you tons of time and anxiety by setting the stage for who you really are, and what you can really do. So, while you’re thinking about what else is possible in your life, spend some time updating your résumé, post it to some job boards, and see what happens.
You might be pleasantly surprised… as I have often been.