When NOT to Give Your Resume

One of my clients told me he was planning on meeting a former coworker for lunch. This could be a good chance to network into a new company, complete with a recommendation from a current employee.

“Should I give him my resume? I don’t feel it’s ready yet.”

The answer: NO! Where is it written that people can demand a resume, even if you feel you’re not yet ready? What if you are seeking a career change, but don’t yet know how to frame your experience? What if you have NO IDEA what to apply for? It’s better in these circumstances to hold back, focus on your research, refine the resume, and send it along a week or two later, when YOU are ready. Of course, you might miss out on a great job opportunity. Then again, you might have missed out because your resume wasn’t up to par, anyway.

Here are some other circumstances when you might want to wait instead of pushing forward:

  • If you have a big family event, such as a wedding, and you know your time will be taken up completely with the preparations.
  • If you have a dear one in a medical crisis, and you might be doing hospital duty for the foreseeable future.
  • If you are planning to leave the country on a major pleasure trip.
  • If you are planning some surgery or other medical treatments.
  • If your spouse is very close to getting a job offer, which could force a move to a new city.

Your resume is a marketing tool. Use it when you are able to follow-up and really pursue appropriate job opportunities. Chances are, when your head is fully in the game, and you know that your resume really “sells” you, it will work more effectively. Your success is a combination of great marketing tools—such as your resume, business card, cover letter and networking—plus a focused, consistent effort on your part.

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