We are saying goodbye to CPOL, the Department of the Army’s Civilian hiring system.
The Army Civilian Personnel Online application is the last Resumix keyword automated system available to federal jobseekers. The Navy and US Marine Corps have already moved from Resumix to USA Staffing, which is a combination of USAJOBS for resume submission and ApplicationManager.gov for questionnaire submission.
OFFICIAL NOTICE from the Army Civilian Resume Builder & ANSWER website:
ATTENTION APPLICANTS: The Army will complete its transition to the DoD Enterprise Recruitment Tool (USA Staffing) effective, 1 May 2012. USA Staffing will be the single hiring process and tool used by all DoD components. Effective, 31 May 2012, the Army Resume Builder will no longer be available. Resumes cannot be electronically transferred to USAJOBS/Application Manager. Applicants must manually extract their resume data prior to the system going off-line. Applicants are encouraged to pre-position their resume into USAJOBS to apply for Army positions. Applicants will be able to view the status of self-nominations from the old system via USAJOBS – My Account – Application Status.
Below is a summary of the major differences between CPOL and USAJOBS for your consideration when revising your resume and applying for civilian Army jobs through USAJOBS.
The Differences Between CPOL and USA Staffing
CPOL: Resume Only + Self-Nomination + Documents. The CPOL Resume Builder was liked by many federal jobseekers. It is and has been the easiest and fastest way to apply for a federal job, requiring only a resume, documents, and self-nomination form.
USA Staffing: USAJOBS Resume Builder + Application Manager Questionnaire + Documents (including optional cover letter). The self-assessment questionnaire was originally designed and developed by Bryan Hochstein, Founder of QuickHire, and is now the “valid, reliable assessment tool” that President Obama wrote about in his Hiring Reform Executive Order. The questionnaire questions will be all new for civilian Army applicants. Allow extra time to get used to the questionnaire; there could be between 15 and 60 questions per application. In addition, submitting resumes in USAJOBS will take longer than in CPOL, because one size does not fit all in USAJOBS. Applicants must be careful to ensure that resumes meet the requirements specified in EACH vacancy announcement and tailor the resume to demonstrate the necessary expertise to perform the specific duties of that job.
CPOL: CPOL is a Resumix system in which the HR specialist and hiring supervisor would agree on 5 to 7 keywords, and resumes are electronically searched for these keywords to identify the candidates meeting the minimum qualifications for referral. Therefore, the first cut is done with an automatic keyword search.
USA Staffing: The biggest myth in federal job search is that people think that the resumes in USAJOBS are read by an automated system for keywords. USAJOBS is NOT a Resumix or automated keyword resume review system. This is a human system, where the keywords are important for the resume for the human HR specialists and the supervisors to read, but there will not be automated keyword searches. In USA Staffing, the first cut is made by questionnaire scores. Give yourself all the credit that you can on the questionnaire. Your questionnaire score is added to your resume score (as determined by an HR specialist), and the combined total score will determine if you are Minimally Qualified, Qualified, or Best Qualified.
Getting Set Up
CPOL: Only one username, password, and profile are required.
USA Staffing: Both USAJOBS and Application Manager require a user name, password, and profile to be set up separately for each system. Once they are set up, you will need to remember/record your user names, passwords, and secret questions.
CPOL: Vacancy announcements are similar in structure to the new USAJOBS vacancy announcements, but shorter in length and in general with fewer requirements detailed for applications.
USA Staffing: Vacancy announcements are specific for a particular position or positions. The announcements include longer descriptions of duties; Knowledge, Skills and Abilities; specialized experience; and questionnaires.
CPOL: You are limited to 12,000 characters for all of your Work Experiences combined. The preferred resume length is 3 pages.
USA Staffing: In USAJOBS, you can write up to 5,000 characters in length (including spaces) for EACH of your Work Experience job blocks. The USAJOBS resume can be longer, and the preferred resume length is 4-5 pages.
CPOL: Big Block format is the typical format in order to fit all of the necessary content into the 12,000 character allowance.
USA Staffing: Now you can write 5,000 characters for each position, and there is ample space to improve your resume’s readability for the HR specialists, which is very important. We recommend small paragraphs focusing on specific skills with accomplishments included. The KSAs in the announcement should also be covered in the resume. Keywords are still critical for the human resources specialist readers.
Good luck with adjusting to the new format, and be sure to move your resume from the CPOL Resume Builder to USAJOBS.gov Resume Builder before May 31st!