Friday COACHWORX Business Tip: Keep your bio/CV up to date

As an owner/operator you’re probably not applying for a lot of jobs on the side, but all the same it’s a good idea to keep your bio/CV up-to-date. Because it’s going to come up in ways that you don’t expect.

For example, the recent example for 12-volt retailers are the annual  MEA’s Industry Awards, where successful nominees are asked to provide photos and short bios.

Maybe you’ll win an award or be invited to speak somewhere, and the host needs an up-to-date bio. Maybe you’re going to get into politics or join an organization like your local Chamber of Commerce. Maybe there’s a non-profit who could use your expertise, or a student/grant program that you could be involved with that could help you train more installers.

There are lots of reasons why your bio should be kept relatively current and updated every year.

  • Have you been nominated for any awards or industry recognition? If so, have you shared that information with your customers and your business network (e.g. posted on LinkedIn)?
  • Have you changed your title in any way, or expanded your business to provide any additional products or services? Have you opened any additional stores or invested in other businesses?
  • Have you joined any boards (e.g. Rotary, Chamber of Commerce, Knights of Columbus, etc.) for any reason?
  • Do you have any newly recognized status amongst your vendors?
  • Do you do any non-profit work – even if it’s just coaching a kids’ football team?
  • Have you attained any new personal certifications for work or any other reason?
  • Have you hit any personal milestones in business or life (e.g. 20 years in business, 10 years coaching)?

A lot of people aren’t really in it for recognition, but recognition always comes to people that are successful, involved and give back to their communities.

Creating and updating your bio/CV is simple. This WikiHow article will guide you through the key points of writing your first bio if you don’t already have one.

The basic points are to say who you are (John Smith is the owner/operator of Audio World), providing a summary of all the other things you do (Member of the Chamber of Commerce), fill in some key points of how you got there (education and experience), and then listing your qualifications and accomplishments in a chronological order. That way new additions can just be added to the end of the list.

Pretend you’re running from office – what are the positive things that you would like people to know about you?

Remember to write in the third person, which will seem weird at first, and to keep things tight – anybody introducing you should be able to summarize your history in a minute or less.

You’ll also need to maintain a new-ish headshot for when that’s required. A professional headshot can be expensive, but chances are you have some talented customers who can do a quid pro quo for the work.

While it’s practical to have a bio handy, there are other reasons why this is an important exercise – including the fact that it’s an incredibly positive and motivating experience to list your life’s accomplishments, and can help you to decide what you might like to do next. Stepping back and looking and everything you have achieved so far is the best way to keep the acheivements coming.

While you’re at it, it’s also not a bad idea to keep up a portfolio of your work as well – photos and videos of installs, or anything you’ve created over the years.

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