image: Jim VandeHei and Mike Allen

Have you ever noticed that you suddenly find a great person to date only after you give up trying to find her or him?  I know several people that have had that happen.  Often a fantastic opportunity presents itself when you least expect it.

The same can be true for your career.  Even if you are perfectly happy, loving your job and have no plans to go anywhere else, don’t ignore a potential opportunity that suddenly pops up.  There’s no risk in exploring the opportunity — and a ton of upside if it works out.

But What Should You Do For a Resume?

If you aren’t on the job hunt though, I’m sure you don’t have an up-to-date and mind-blowing resume ready to go.  So what do you do?

1.  Throw a quick & dirty resume together and wing it.  Or just send a link to your LinkedIn profile.  However, unless you know the team already, this is not really going to help your chances of landing the role.
2.  Spend the time and effort to build a great resume:  but the opportunity might slip away before you can finish that work.  Plus, you might distract yourself from your current job and inadvertently hurt your prospects there.
3.  Pass on the opportunity.  

Most people I’ve talked to tend to just choose #3, the easiest option and don’t take the chance they should to improve their career.

Well, there’s potentially a fourth and better option for those folks who keep their LinkedIn profile up to snuff.  (Which, by the way, you should even if you are happy at your job.  Nearly every candidate you are recruiting will use it to judge you and your company at some level.)  It’s almost the same effort as option #1, but with, I believe, an improved chance of success.

LinkedIn Resume Builder from LinkedIn Labs

Option #4 would be to use the LinkedIn Labs feature, LinkedIn Resume Builder.  It uses all the information on your LinkedIn profile to automatically generate a resume just for you.

In my initial try-outs, it worked fairly well.  However, I recommend you stick with the basic templates like Executive or Business. Here’s how the Business template looked for my resume:

Bryan Selner LinkedIn Resume Builder-cropped

As much as I liked some of the other templates stylistically, I had layout issues using them.  To fix those issues manually is too much work for a “quick & easy” resume option.   (“Labs” features are expected to have a few rough edges that get polished before it ever becomes an “official” feature.  Resume Builder has been around for quite a while though; don’t hold your breath for fixes!)

If you need an option for generating a resume ASAP and your LinkedIn profile is polished like it should be, the LinkedIn Resume Builder is a totally viable option for you.  If it doesn’t meet your needs, there are several other similar products you could try, such as Resunate and ResumeGenius.  I’d love to hear what you thought of any of the other products if you do try them out.


About the Author -

Hi, I'm Bryan. Thanks for dropping in my little corner of the Internet. I am currently Head of Consumer Products at PayScale, responsible for the design of the company's consumer-facing web and mobile experiences. Before that, I was Redfin's first (and only) Vice President of Products, responsible for the design of Redfin's website, mobile applications, agent tools and information technology systems. Prior to joining Redfin, I worked for nearly ten years at Microsoft as both an engineering manager and a lead program manager. He was responsible for integrating major partners' services with Microsoft's mobile technologies and, prior to that, building I graduated from the University of Wisconsin-Madison (go Badgers!) with a degree in computer science and communication arts (tv, radio & film.)