Who We Are

About Us

Meet our incredible staff! Bios are included below. You can also check out some of our accomplishments written in the CCAR (Context, Challenge, Action, Results) format to help YOU write your accomplishments. Read the accomplishments

kathryn-troutmanKathryn Troutman


Customer Services Team

lisa-banksLisa Banks

Billing Specialist & Training Logistics

paulina-chenPaulina Chen

Design, Marketing, Web, and Writing

Sarah GreenbergSarah Greenberg

Project Review, Writer

Bobbi Rossiter

Services Coordinator, Training

Kathryn Troutman

Kathryn Troutman is the President and founder of the Resume Place, Inc. and the Federal Career Training Institute.

In 1997, Kathryn wrote the groundbreaking book, The Federal Resume Guidebook, which has now become the industry standard in federal employment.

Since then, she has written seven other popular books about federal employment, including the popular Jobseeker guide, which is used for Ten Step training programs around the world.

As a career coach and consultant, Kathryn has helped thousands of people find work in the government.

In 2001, she took her popular 10 Steps to a Federal Job curriculum to career transition counselors at military bases universities, veterans’ organizations and private industry.

Every spring and fall, counselors from around the world attend her three day program and become Certified Federal Job Search Trainers.

Specialties: Federal Career Consulting, Federal Job Search Training, Career Consulting, Entrepreneurial Consulting, Publishing Consultant, Keynote Speaker, Government Contractor / Trainer, Publisher, Author, GSA Schedule Holder, Founder, www.resume-place.com for more than 30 years.

Lisa Banks

Stay tuned…

Paulina Chen

Sometimes, timing is everything.  Paulina met Kathryn at the Environmental Protection Agency while working as an Environmental Engineer when Kathryn came to the EPA to conduct a federal resume writing workshop. During her coaching session, Paulina expressed her desire to eventually become a freelance graphic designer. Meanwhile, Kathryn was about to start working on the first edition of the Ten Steps to a Federal Job.  Kathryn noticed Paulina’s ability to communicate complex information in a straightforward, easy-to-understand way, and she offered Paulina her first freelance design project.

More than ten years and ten books later, this team is still successfully collaborating on publications, websites, training materials, and marketing.  And so, Paulina has put to good use her degree in Product Design  / Mechanical Engineering from Stanford University and Desktop Publishing certification from the USDA Graduate School.

Paulina has expanded her horizons and joined The Resume Place’s highly skilled team of federal resume writers and coaches.  Her ten years of federal government experience, her love of writing, her knowledge about the subject of federal resume writing, and her passion to help make complex topics easy to understand all come with her into this new role.  She has started posting a new blog series, Common Sense Tips for Your Federal Resume.



Sarah Greenberg

Sarah Greenberg joined The Resume Place team as a Writer-Editor and Customer Service Representative after receiving her Master’s degree in Rhetoric from North Carolina State University. Sarah applies her formal training in using the context, purpose, and persuasive language of texts to analyze keywords in job vacancy announcements and write and edit resumes. Her background in Rhetoric has also prepared Sarah to conduct research relevant to clients’ needs and communicate with people from different backgrounds, skills that also help her coordinate client projects and respond to client inquiries.

In September 2014, Sarah completed Kathryn Troutman’s certification program and is now a certified Federal Job Search Trainer and Federal Career Coach.

Bobbi Rossiter

Bobbi Rossiter joined The Resume Place team after completing a four-year tour in Okinawa, Japan, with her active duty husband. For three of those years she served as a trained United States Marine Corps Family Readiness Officer, working directly with Marines, Sailors, and their families in order to provide information and resource referral services. Along with providing these services, she served as an advocate for the families, providing them with a voice in the command and advising unit leaders on how to best develop and implement opportunities for improving unit readiness in a dynamic training environment.

As the Customer Services Representative and Free Estimate Coordinator, she has been able to use her drive for connecting people to the resources that will help them succeed. In September 2014, Bobbi completed Kathryn Troutman’s certification program and is now a Certified Federal Job Search Trainer and Federal Career Coach.

Writing and Coaching Team

Our team of certified federal resume writers and consultants have extensive professional experience and exceptional writing know-how.

Vicki Bachman

Vicki Bachman is a fresh face at the Resume Place and joins us after 37 years of Federal civilian service in the areas of Human Resources, Training and Development, Organization Development and Equal Employment. Vicki believes that the work she does in concert with clients is life changing.

Her last position was that of Supervisor over the Workforce Development and Career Services Center at VA Pittsburgh Healthcare System, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. Her vision to establish an employee career center came to fruition in May of 2011, when the center opened for business to 3,000+ Pittsburgh employees. Services offered included career counseling, USAjobs navigation, resume writing, and interview preparation. A recent survey revealed that 47 percent of employee visitors had a change in grade or position after utilizing the services of the career center. The most requested services were resume writing and interview prep.

Vicki is quite adept at bringing candidates’ resumes to life with skilled writing and keen insight. She drills deep to identify competencies and then uses active voice to tell the “story,” leaving readers wanting more. After a brief conversation with her, you will discover how passionate she is about her work.

Her many years of experience working in the Human Resources arena at the US Office of Personnel Management and Department of Veterans Affairs has amply equipped her with the background and knowledge to assist clients with their job search needs. Vicki currently resides in Pennsylvania with her husband of 35 years. In her spare time you’ll find her following several DIY blogs, tole painting and repurposing thrift finds.

Sharon Banks

Sharon Jenkins Banks is a proven consultant and writer with more than 37 years of federal government experience. A former senior executive, she served as the Deputy Chief People Officer and Director of Human Capital Management at the General Services Administration, where she also worked as the Acting Regional Administrator of the National Capital Region. Sharon’s accomplishments as a member of the Senior Executive Service (SES) include overseeing the implementation of American Recovery & Reinvestment Act funded construction projects throughout the National Capital Region and leading the agency through the Presidential transition and inauguration of President Barack Obama in 2008.

Since retiring from federal service, Sharon has offered executive leadership consulting to both individuals and organizations. Her work with the Resume Place, Inc., encompasses coaching clients on SES applications and executive core qualifications, accomplishment development, and executive resume writing. As a former senior executive and adept consultant, Sharon’s expertise and insights are invaluable to the Resume Place’s SES clients.

Originally from North Carolina, Sharon Jenkins Banks holds a B.S. in Organizational Management from Columbia Union College and is a Harvard University SES Fellow.

Sarah Blazucki

Sarah is an experienced Federal Resume and KSA Writer and Federal Job Project Analyst. Sarah has over 13+ years of writing experience and is an expert in federal resumes (paper and electronic), KSAs, ECQs, cover letters and private industry resumes. Sarah has strong skills in research, interviewing and analysis, and is experienced in developing content for competitive, successful applications at all levels, including Senior Executive Service. She works very well under deadline.

Sarah spent three years as the Resume Place’s client coordinator, analyzing federal resumes and applications and devising targeted plans for job search materials. She advises clients on federal job search strategies, application processes, federal job announcements and qualifications and the best fit and match for an applicant’s background to a particular job announcement. Her skills cover a wide range of occupational fields.

Sarah served as a development editor and contributor for the Ten Steps to a Federal Job, Second Edition; editor and proofreader for The Student’s Federal Career Guide, The Federal Resume Guidebook, Third Edition, and Ten Steps to a Federal Job; and resume sample developer and editor for The Military to Federal Career Guide and the Resumes for Dummies, Fifth Edition. She coordinated the production of 2,000 electronic resumes for Corpus Christi Army Depot staff and prepared the Federal Job Analysis Training module for the Certified Federal Job Search Trainer program. Sarah is a trained Teleleader with experience teaching The Resume Place’s monthly Teleclasses.

Sarah received her B.A. from Towson University in Mass Communications, with a concentration in Journalism. She is currently a writer-editor at a federal agency in Washington, D.C., and prior to that spent six years as the editor of a weekly newspaper in Philadelphia.

Client Testimonials:

“Thanks to Sarah and everyone at The Resume Place for their time and effort! I would, and have recommended anyone looking for a position with the Government, to look into their services and see if it works for them.

“My next step in the process was to engage Sarah Blazucki to work with me and compose a federal resume. I emphasize ‘work with’ because the approach Sarah provided was both engaging and thoughtful. Sarah took the time to garner a thorough understanding of my work experiences, identify technical and behavioral strengths, and support each point with practical examples that could be presented effectively on a federal resume. Sarah also demonstrated a strong sense of empathy and commitment to the effort. She followed up often and made sure she got the facts right, by seeking clarification and acknowledgment in a collaborative and constructive manner. Sarah is top notch!”

“Hi Sarah. I recently accepted a new position in Sales Training with a very large company as their Global Talent and Development Director for the U.S. I am very excited about the opportunity and it is exactly the type of job I wanted. I wanted to thank you for your help with my resume, since that was a great help to get my foot in the door with the more than 5,000 resumes they received. It was tough interview process but in the end it all worked out and I got the job. I thought you would like to hear the good news, and to let you know that I was extremely happy with the resume you created for me.

Diane Bryant

Diane Bryant has over thirty years experience in Federal human resources, primarily in the areas of staffing and classification. As a Federal human resources staffing specialist, she has been on the other side of the resume process, having written and posted vacancy announcements to include developing the specialized experience requirements and the Knowledge, Skills, and Abilities (KSAs) found in announcements. She has analyzed hundreds of Federal resumes submitted by applicants, making determinations as to whether applicants meet qualification requirements and then rating and ranking candidates based on KSAs. Because of this experience, Diane knows how to look for key words in vacancy announcements and how to translate applicants’ experience in their resumes to reflect the key words and KSAs.

In addition to her Federal staffing experience, Diane has extensive experience as a Federal human resources classification specialist, analyzing job requirements and duties, writing position descriptions to include KSAs and/or competencies required in jobs, and determining the title, occupational series, and the grade level of jobs. Her indepth knowledge of classification standards allows her to understand the core requirements of positions and how they relate to qualification requirements and KSAs in announcements. In both her roles as a staffing and classification specialist, Diane has had extensive experience with professional, administrative, clerical, and trades occupations, and with both supervisory and nonsupervisory positions.

Diane’s experience has been with various Federal agencies, including the Department of Defense (Minot Air Force Base, North Dakota; Forbes Air Force Base, Kansas; National Guard Central Classification Activity, Missouri; the Army Reserve Personnel Center, Missouri; the Defense Threat Reduction Agency, Virginia); the Department of Agriculture, Missouri; and the National Archives and Records Center, Missouri and Maryland. Her 25+years working in military environments has provided her the background to interpret and “civilianize” military resumes, translating military jargon and acronyms into understandable civilian skills and accomplishments. She has worked with both active and reserve officers and enlisted personnel, with veterans, and with active duty military transitioning out of the service.

Diane received her B.A.in English from the University of South Dakota and an M.A. in adult education from the University of Missouri-St. Louis. As a Federal resume writer, Diane’s goal is to help clients put their best foot forward and succeed in their Federal job search.

Client Testimonials:

[Within six weeks of the announcement closing date, client was hired without an interview.] “It was entirely based on the contents of the resume, with no interview. Thank you . . . . is not enough to praise the marvelous work you both put into the finished resume.”


“. . . thanks for the wonderful job you did on my resume. Good News!!! I got the job!!!!! YEAH….I just want to say THANKS to you for a JOB WELL DONE. I don’t think I would have done it without you all.”


[Within two months, the client was rated best qualified and interviewed for two different positions and hired into her first Federal position.] “Thanks for all your help in making this possible for me!!”

– T.S.

Barbara Chism

Barbara Chism comes to Resume Place with extensive Federal service with over 35 years of Human Resources (HR) Services. Her career history includes employment with cabinet-level departments to include the Department of Defense. Her HR background is very diverse and includes the following areas of specialty: Classification, Staffing, Position Management, Performance Management, Employee Relations, Strategic Planning, and the Senior Executive Service (SES). She is a proven leader, an expert writer, and a seasoned career coach. Through this extensive experience, Barbara gained a thorough understanding of the hiring process and what prospective Federal employers are seeking.

Highlights of her HR experience include: serving as Career counselor for a broad mix of applicants in multiple fields, occupations, and at various grade levels; serving as subject matter expert in the ranking of applicants and chaired rating and ranking panels to narrow the applicant pool; Transforming military resumes into understandable civilian skills and competencies. Her experience in the area of SES includes conducting job analyses in identifying both technical and leadership competencies; chairing rating and ranking panels; writing Executive Core Qualifications packages to ensure approvals and certifications by the OPM Qualifications Review Board; and coaching SES candidates in presenting competitive application packages.

Amy B. Connelly

Amy Connelly is a seasoned professional with expertise in providing resume writing services since 1996, and has progressive experience working in the Federal Government, private sector contracting, pharmaceutical educational association, higher education, and healthcare environments. Amy has exceptional Human Resources, Career Expertise, and Outplacement experience.

For the Resume Place, Amy has worked with all facets of professionals and specifically has experience writing military to federal resumes, translating military terminology into easily understandable skills and accomplishments. Additionally, Amy collaborated on the Bahrain Soldier US Navy project working with over 25 military personnel, offering career guidance, coaching, and crafting resumes. Her specialty lies in translating military qualifications into OPM Qualifications, and in using evaluations to write accomplishments. Amy writes federal resumes for both enlisted personnel and officers and has written several corporate resumes for Veterans as well.

Amy has worked with IRS, DOI, and BPD employees, providing career development and outplacement services, such as determining best-suited career choices and instructing employees on job application details and submission. As head of Human Resources for an association, Amy directed all facets of HR including interviewing, selecting, and placing the best qualified staff.

As a seasoned writer-editor, Amy has performed technical editing and detailed writing in each position of her career. As a Director of Development, she managed academic leadership, student and faculty research grant, and staff development programs. Amy wrote development and grant research proposals; promoted programs; wrote press releases and news articles; and served as liaison for students and faculty. Amy is adept in performing substantive research and analysis.

In addition to providing writing expertise for The Resume Place, Amy is also a consultant for the Health & Healing Network, a web-based platform which focuses on integrative medicine and healthy lifestyles.

Amy obtained her BS in Psychology from George Mason University and her MAIS degree, combining Business Management, Industrial/Organizational Psychology, and Employee Assistance Counseling from GMU as well.

Client Testimonials:

“My resume looks great and I never could have written it in this format by myself. Amy was wonderful to work with and reworked the resume until it was just right. She is truly a great wordsmith! I don’t think I would have gotten into the government without her help.”

“My resume looks awesome! I have received numerous considerations – opportunities in Washington DC, Valdosta, GA, Orlando, FL, Germany, and Tallahassee, FL, to name a few. I have chosen to take an offer in Orlando, FL with the Dept. of Veterans Affairs on 1/3/11 – The Land of MICKEY MOUSE! Thank you for all of your efforts, expertise, and guidance.”

“Amy was a prompt, courteous and experienced writer who not only dealt with my incessant questions but provided me with the best looking resume I could have expected. Your books and services are PRICELESS. I did struggle with the price at first but I came to the realization that the costs are an investment in my future and are a small amount compared to my government earning potential. I will HIGHLY recommend your services to any of my colleagues that ask about my resume.”


John Gagnon

John Gagnon is an experienced writer, trainer, and consultant with a multidisciplinary background.  His federal experience encompassed content management, antitrust issues, immigration, and victim protection. While a federal employee, John received a “Plain Language Award” for his focus on clear, concise writing and delivered expertise in program management, quality assurance, and professional training for federal employees throughout the United States.

Since joining The Resume Place, John has worked with a wide range of clients including candidates for Senior Executive Service, military veterans, federal employees across all occupational series, private sector job applicants, and students. John has also served as an instructor for the Federal Career Training Institute, delivering expert federal career and professional development guidance to academic counselors, wounded warrior programs, and private sector clients. John emphasizes a three-pronged approach – planning, preparation, and plain language – that consistently delivers quality results for clients.

In addition to his professional background, John is an accomplished academic. His research has been published in peer-reviewed academic publications. He is a former member of the Eberhard P. Deutsch International Law Society, the Tulane Human Rights Law Society, and the Baltimore Council on Foreign Affairs. He is a current member of the National Council of Teachers of English, the Rhetoric Society of America, College Composition and Communication, and the Modern Language Association. John is a current Ph.D. student and Writing Instructor at Michigan State University, holds J.D. and M.S. degrees from Tulane University, and received his B.A. in English from Andrews University with honors. He has also studied international legal and cultural issues at the University of Amsterdam and the International Center for Ethnic Studies in Sri Lanka.


Amber Griffith

Amber Griffith is a proposal writer, federal resume writing and accomplishment CCAR Coach for The Resume Place Inc. Amber has perfected her interviewing and coaching of RP clients so that the best accomplishments stand out in the federal resume, improving the Best Qualified chances for the applicant.

Amber’s skill in analyzing complex contracts, documents, statements of work and solicitation processes has given her the skills to analyze complex USAJOBS vacancy announcements, military and government documents. Her success with writing narratives provides the skills necessary to write individual resumes, which are shorter but very similar to proposal documents.

Aside from working with individual federal job applicants, Amber also writes and submits government proposals every month for an array of industry topics and has landed more than $1 billion in contracts. For the past five years she has written and submitted nearly 100 proposals to various Federal, State and Local Government entities.

Debbie Hahn

Debbie Hahn joined The Resume Place in September 2014. She is a retired Federal employee with over 37 years dedicated to public service at the Social Security Administration (SSA). Her primary focus during her tenure at SSA was acquisition and acquisition workforce initiatives where she performed as a contract specialist, contracting officer, procurement analyst, Executive Officer, and prior to her retirement, Senior Technical Advisor (Contract Specialist) to the Associate Commissioner for Acquisition and Grants. She has served in various leadership capacities throughout her Federal career and received numerous awards for her outstanding accomplishments.

She has a strong and diverse background in acquisition, human resources, and organizational performance. Ms. Hahn developed, and effectively led the effort to implement, the Agency’s first Acquisition Workforce Development Strategic Plan mandated by the Office of Federal Procurement Policy. The plan provided a structured approach to improve both the capacity and capability of the acquisition workforce. For example, as the agency’s ACM, she successfully spearheaded a pilot for streamlining vacancy announcements in order accelerate the hiring process to fill mission critical acquisition vacancies in less than 30 days.

In addition to her acquisition experience, Debbie has extensive Federal staffing experience. Her in depth knowledge of the Federal classification, recruitment, and selection process provides her with a comprehensive understanding of specialized experience and KSA requirements in Federal vacancy announcements. She enjoys counseling and consulting with clients and is very detail-oriented when it comes to addressing the core requirements of each individual vacancy announcement. She has worked with entry- to senior-level applicants and is particularly interested in helping each person write an application that accurately depicts their knowledge, skills, and abilities for their particular field of interest.

Ms. Hahn holds a Bachelor of Science Degree in Management of Human Resources and a Masters Degree in Organizational Performance from Bellevue University.

Dottie Hendricks

Dottie Hendricks, trained and certified in Federal Human Resources recruitment and selection, has written professionally for more than 30 years.  She joined the Resume Place as a full time writer and career consultant in early 2008 and has trained numerous job seekers in writing strategies.  She also serves as a professional mentor and has written hundreds of federal and private resumes.

She has a unique ability to translate military skills and knowledge to civilian positions – both government and private industry. She is skilled in working with Veterans and military now transitioning out of the service. A proactive Army client recently engaged us to write his resumes. He received 4 Federal job offers using the resume Dottie wrote. He selected one (at a higher grade than he expected) and was ready to start work in his new job as soon as he separated.

Because of her years in Private Industry, Dottie’s resume writing expertise lies in analyzing the top skills of target positions and matching the applicant’s accomplishments to demonstrate the qualifications. Information is presented in an easy-to-read outline style, weaving key words and phrases with the client’s experience, providing a polished final document that can easily be inserted into numerous Federal online resume formats.

Dottie’s clients have a high rate of success; applicants who have been referred for interviews and offers include those making the very difficult transition from private industry to federal sector jobs.  Her clients consistently praise her writing, her dedication and accommodating style.  Her ability to ask relevant questions assists candidates in developing examples for writing KSA narratives in the OPM-recommended Context-Challenge-Actions-Results (CCAR) format.

Her real-world executive experience as a Director of Special Events in large hotels included a wide array of industries, associations, and government agencies and has given Dottie a broad base of knowledge across many fields.  Applying her 30 years’ experience in high level customer service, training, sales, and marketing in private industry allows her to utilize her keen skill in providing persuasive, and easy to understand writing.  Her private industry experience included business plans, budget and forecast justifications, operational and training manuals, customer and industry communications and more.

Dottie is a contributor to Kathryn Troutman’s Ten Steps to a Federal Job, 2nd edition, providing case studies of successful applicants.

Ellen Lazarus

Ellen retired as a senior level manager with the U.S. Government where she served as an Assistant Director of the Congressional Research Service, overseeing the operations of the American Law Division and the work of over 50 attorneys. She was a selecting official on countless occasions and participated in the Agency’s transition to the AVUE Central federal resume builder. Her involvement included job analysis, drafting vacancy announcement, screening applications, interviewing, and selecting candidates. Ellen served as a formal mentor in various leadership development programs and provided guidance to help her staff prepare for future opportunities.

Ellen was a National President of the Federal Bar Association, a National Delegate to the American Bar Association (ABA), and a Board Member of the ABA’s Government and Public Sector Lawyer’s Division. Although she no longer actively practices law, Ellen is an associate (inactive) member of the Virginia Bar and a member of the U.S. Supreme Court Bar. She has published numerous articles on government attorney legal ethics and has written guides on federal human relations for HR personnel.

Ellen’s experience as a senior manger equips her with the expertise to assist clients with an interest in Senior Executive Service (SES), legal and analytical positions. She assists veterans with their transition from military to civilian positions, including providing career counseling to military officers and veterans interested in program management, information technology, and logistics positions. Ellen also specializes in preparing federal resumes based on strict technical criteria for military spouses interested in the Department of Defense’s Priority Placement Program. She has written a number of articles on how to effective utilizing LinkedIn® and prepares Profiles for her clients.

Client Testimonials:

“I have not forgotten about you and the exceptional service you provided. … I was hired by the Federal government last week; the entire process took less than 3 weeks! which I hear is unbelievably quick … Using your advice, resume and guidance from NAVAIR, my objective was accomplished! … Will never forget!! In today’s market, your commitment and service flat out incredible.” -P.H. (Military-Federal)

“I was referred to the Resume Place…. After sending in my resume for review and being assigned to Ellen the real work and progress began. Within a few short months the job offers started coming in resulting in several interviews and offers.”
W.W. (private industry and local government–Federal)

“It has been a joy working with you…. You keep on asking those questions and seeking the necessary information from your customers to ensure that they get the best resume ever. I will be referring folks to your site and tell them to ask for “you” specifically. I feel as though I received a great product for the money that I spent.”
-M.C. (Federal–Federal)

“I was offered and accepted the job this morning. I am very grateful for your support and encouragement.”
-A.S. (Federal–Federal)

“Good news! … thanks to your help, I made the cert and then got hired for the job. Again, thank you for all your help. (Your) company is wonderful and I (will) never hesitate to tell all the military families so.”
-J.B. (Federal–Federal)

“First and foremost, thank you for helping me and my fellow service members particularly the wounded warriors…. Your services have certainly prepared me to be able to apply for federal jobs…and get hired!”
-A.B. (Military–Federal)



Patrick McCarthy

Patrick is a Federal Resume and KSA Writer and Researcher. Patrick has over 12 years of military specific writing and 14 years of experience developing professional correspondence (paper and electronic), cover letters and private sector resumes. His skills cover a vast range of Federal Occupational Series stemming from experience in Title 10, Title 32, and career- conditional positions.

Patrick joined Resume-Place to analyze resumes and support the creation of Federal and Private application packages for active duty military personnel and veterans. He advises clients on federal job search basics, application procedures, federal job announcements and qualifications and the best fit and match for an applicant’s background to a particular job announcement.

Patrick has strong skills in research and analysis, and is experienced at converting military duties and responsibilities into private sector terminology. He currently supports candidates by researching OPM standards and DOD requirements to match the best job with individuals applying to federal and private sector enouncements. He has secured multiple “Best Qualified” and “Referred” on numerous occasions.

Patrick is a sole proprietor and trained consultant who is contracted with The Resume-Place. He received his M.S. from Northeastern University in Project Management, with a concentration in Leadership. He is currently a Management Analyst at a federal agency and a Reservist in the U.S. Air Force.

Melonie San Pietro

Melonie comes to The Resume Place with ten years of professional experience running the gamut of active duty Air Force, the Air Force reserves, and a successful civilian career. She specializes in Federal Resume Writing for military personnel who are transitioning to new careers. She is familiar with military language and has a knack for translating military terms and jargon into information that anyone can understand. She has successfully transitioned from the military to the civilian world and can pull from that experience to help others who are facing the same challenge.

Melonie’s experience juggling the Air Force reserves and a civilian career gives her an edge in conveying how two careers can complement one another and she can write a resume that will blend both worlds. Melonie is currently a Public Affairs Officer in the Air Force Reserves at Alaskan Command in Anchorage, Alaska. In that role, she has extensive knowledge of and supports all U.S. Armed Service branches in the state. She monitors and provides analysis of civilian news media coverage, develops key messages and coordinated answers to media inquiries and answers public information requests. Basically, she translates military-speak so that the surrounding community can understand. She is also contractor at the Department of Veteran Affairs, where she specializes in strategic communication.

Melonie graduated from the United States Air Force Academy received her master’s degree in journalism from Georgetown University.


Nicole Schultheis

Nicole is a licensed attorney (Maryland), as well as an experienced HR and executive writer, journalist, and scientific and technical writer. Co-author of the The ALJ Writing Guide, with Kathryn Troutman, Nicole is The Resume Place team lead for Administrative Law Judge applications, and has helped many attorneys, judges, JAG officers and others prepare compelling applications for leadership and adjudicative positions since 2010. She also provides expert-level assistance to candidates for high level scientific, technology, and policy positions, across government.

As a writer, editor and/or SES coach, Nicole has served DHS Human Resources, DHS Science & Technology Directorate, U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission Professional Development Center, HUD Office of the Inspector General Human Capital Management Division, and NIH Center for Scientific Review. She has also helped SES leadership development candidates develop ECQ narratives at trainings held at the Environmental Protection Agency, the Naval Ship Yard in Washington, D.C. and at the Air Force ECQ Writing Course held in Southbridge, Massachusetts, with Kathryn Troutman and Diane Burns. She has held workshops or served as a co-trainer in federal resume writing for the U. S. Marine Corps at Quantico, Virginia, the NIH Office of Intramural Training and Education, the American Medical Writers’ Association, and Civil Justice Works. Her articles have been published in The Maryland Daily Record, Maryland Bar Journal, Maryland Journal of Contemporary Legal Issues, and other professional and lay publications. She has edited numerous publications for federal clients and readied manuscripts for submission (or resubmission) to scientific journals.

Nicole has represented clients in federal EEO matters and has negotiated employment contracts and termination agreements for professionals in a variety of fields. Her years of experience have given Nicole a thorough understanding of the hiring process and what employers are seeking. She is a sought after speaker on federal employment strategies for lawyers, medical and public health writers, and other professionals.

Nicole holds a B.S. in biology from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and a J.D. from Boston University School of Law. Nicole is AV-Preeminent rated (5.0 out of 5) by Martindale, which includes the judiciary as well as the bar in its evaluation (Only 5% of all women attorneys attain this rating, which reflects skill level as well as ethics.) She is also the Immediate Past President of the Maryland Writers’ Association.

Testimonials from Nicole’s clients:

“Just a short note to let you know I’ve been scheduled for an interview next week. I certainly wouldn’t have made it to this stage of the process without your assistance. Thank you again for all of your hard work!”
–Ray, SES candidate

“Thank You so much Nicole! I am sure you hear this all the time, but there is NO WAY I could have done this without you. I am sure you must feel good knowing that you literally help people out every day. I don’t know that I will get the job, but because of your help, I think I have a decent shot.”
–Joe, Military to Federal, GS-14 (April 2013)

“I appreciate your professionalism and responsiveness. Since I was on the road during the time we were speaking, I hope my requests were not too disconcerting. Your research skills are outstanding; you probably found more references, news stories and the like about me than I have seen. I must admit, over the years, a number of people have mentioned seeing my name or photo when I had not. In any event, you did a fine job and I appreciate your recommendations to make this document as airtight and presentable as possible.”
–Former US Ambassador, regarding new resume and presentation bio

“You certainly have done your job and I am very proud of you and all that you do. You are valued and appreciated.”
–Steve, upon notification that his (non-veteran) multi-grade application had scored 100 points

“Soooo are you going to be at the NOSSCR Conference at any point??? If so, I’d love to thank you in person for all your encouragement and guidance!”
–Administrative Law Judge Candidate (and private sector Social Security law attorney), upon completion of the online component of the exam

Pam Sikora

Pam is a writer and editor with more than 10 years of professional experience and proficiency in technical and non-technical fields, including government, finance, education, and online information systems. Her work has appeared in several publications, and she has copyedited Kathryn Troutman’s books, The New SES Application and Ten Steps to a Federal Job, 3rd edition. She also serves as the Client Assignments Coordinator at The Resume Place, matching clients with the best writer for their individual projects.

As Program Manager for the Sailors’ Federal Resume Writing Service, Pam coordinates The Resume Place’s contract resume writing services for separating Navy military personnel in Europe and Southwest Asia. Her team of writers transforms participants’ raw materials–TAP resumes, NCOERs, VMETs, and other documents–into federal resumes that can help springboard their transition to federal careers. More than 100 Sailors, Marines, Coast Guard personnel, spouses, retirees, and base staff have benefited from this program.

Pam also presents the Veteran’s edition of The Resume Place’s popular “7 Tips to a Federal Job” webinars. During this free 30-minute webinar, attendees learn how to prepare their resumes and questionnaire responses to make their federal applications more effective. Real-life examples of veteran clients illustrate each tip.

For military and veteran resumes, the biggest challenge is adapting job descriptions full of jargon and acronyms that do not provide a clear picture of the applicant’s knowledge, skills, and abilities. Pam is adept at reframing military experience in terms that show federal HR specialists what her clients can offer.

Pam’s greatest asset is her ability to grasp the big picture without compromising attention to detail. She views resume writing as solving a puzzle: gathering “pieces” from the client and from additional research, then assembling them meticulously into a persuasive document that presents a clear picture and delivers results.

Pam received a B.A. in English, with a concentration in Business and Technical Writing, from the University of Delaware. In addition to her work with The Resume Place, Pam provides consulting and training as a Community Coach for MOPS International.

Kathryn Troutman

Kathryn Troutman is the President and founder of the Resume Place, Inc. and the Federal Career Training Institute.

In 1997, Kathryn wrote the groundbreaking book, The Federal Resume Guidebook, which has now become the industry standard in federal employment.

Since then, she has written seven other popular books about federal employment, including the popular Jobseeker guide, which is used for Ten Step training programs around the world.

As a career coach and consultant, Kathryn has helped thousands of people find work in the government.

In 2001, she took her popular 10 Steps to a Federal Job curriculum to career transition counselors at military bases universities, veterans’ organizations and private industry.

Every spring and fall, counselors from around the world attend her three day program and become Certified Federal Job Search Trainers.

Specialties: Federal Career Consulting, Federal Job Search Training, Career Consulting, Entrepreneurial Consulting, Publishing Consultant, Keynote Speaker, Government Contractor / Trainer, Publisher, Author, GSA Schedule Holder, Founder, www.resume-place.com for more than 30 years.

Amber Venanzi

Amber Venanzi is a military spouse, attorney, former Assistant State’s Attorney, and former mentee of Justice Scalia in Rome. Now Amber Venanzi coaches and writes federal resumes for military personnel, military spouses, federal employees and attorneys who want to land federal positions. Amber is experienced in analyzing complex data, documents and personal coaching. She joined The Resume Place in August 2014.

She graduated Magna Cum Laude from Stevenson University with a Bachelors Degree in Para-Legal Studies in three and a half years. She then entered the University of Baltimore Law School where she graduated Cum Laude in two in a half years. While in law school, she studied in Rome under Supreme Court Justice Scalia and in North Carolina at The Norman Adrian Wiggins School of Law. She is bared in the State of Maryland.

She has over eight years of writing experience in the private and public sector. She has worked for Stevenson University, private corporate law firms, county counsel legislative aide and as an Assistant State’s Attorney. She has extensive experience writing and researching briefs, interviewing clients, litigating, document preparation and conducting research.

As a military spouse Amber is uniquely aware of the policies and procedures of military service and transitioning those skills into a civilian sector position. Amber’s extensive educational background along with her vast experience gives her specific skills in analyzing and interpreting complex USAOBS announcements, qualifications, and KSA’s. She has the unique ability to analyze complex descriptions of positions and then translate a person’s background to support a specific application.

Carla Waskiewicz

An experienced Resume Place writer, Carla Waskiewicz has created Federal application packages for Federal and private sector employees with a wide variety of occupational backgrounds and career interests. She specializes, however, in writing and designing standout resumes, KSAs, and cover letters for entry- to mid-level, administrative, financial, and technical positions. She also writes private sector resumes.

One of Carla’s strengths is translating military terminology into terms familiar to federal HR specialists. She excels in distilling lengthy Fitness Reports into concise resume content and coaching service members and veterans to showcase their leadership roles and accomplishments. If you are a veteran client seeking to transition to the private sector, she will work with you to select and review private industry recruitment ads to ensure the positions are a good fit for your military experience.

Carla has been a Contributing Writer for a number of Resume Place publications. She wrote the chapter on administrative positions for the Federal Resume Guidebook. Her administrative resumes are among the examples on the CD-ROM for that book. Her presentation format for administrative resumes is very popular, and it is used all over the country. Her resumes appear in two of Ms. Troutman’s latest books, Ten Steps to a Federal Job, 2nd Edition, and Creating Your High School Resume, 2nd Edition, published by Jist, Inc., Indianapolis, IN. A number of her private sector resumes were selected for inclusion in the 2006 edition of Resumes for Dummies by Joyce Lain Kennedy.

Carla has over 20 years’ professional writing experience in corporate communications, employee recruitment communications, public relations, and advertising. Before joining the Resume Place she served as Director of Corporate Communications for a recruitment advertising agency where she researched, wrote, and supervised production of a human resources newsletter with a circulation of over 6,000.

Carla is recognized by the Professional Association of Resume Writers and Career Coaches as a Certified Professional Resume Writer (CPRW), and has also earned the professional designation as a Certified Federal Resume Writer and Coach (CFRWC). She earned her B.A. degree in Communications from Penn State University, and she has completed post-graduate work in business management at the University of Baltimore. Active in the community, she assists non-profit organizations with fundraising, public relations, and promotional campaigns.

Client Testimonials:

“I want to first start by saying THANK YOU for assigning me to Carla Waskiewicz. She is the best. I started working with her in October of 2008. She worked with me to transition my resume from private to federal. She is GREAT. She worked with me daily and helped me compose the best resume ever! She helped me with KSA editing and even job searching. She was always prompt in her responses and she was very patient with me. I applied to only 2-3 positions before being selected for an interview for a position as GS-12 Procurement Analyst with the Dept of Health & Human Services DHHS. I was offered the job AND a salary increase of $10K over my private sector salary. I will strongly recommend your company and especially Carla to family and friends.” –L.B.

“Prior to Carla’s assistance, I got absolutely nowhere! I applied for at least 12 positions without being referred and I could not understand why. I was really frustrated! As a banking professional with 15 years experience but NO government experience, I felt lost in the process. I searched the web and found The Resume Place. I realize now how different the federal application process is from private sector. Resumes must be in a proper format, you must write answers to KSAs, provide additional documentation, and target the right jobs. Carla guided me through the process of preparing my new resume. She asked questions and was very detailed and thorough. Then, she worked her magic. Since receiving my new resume I have targeted jobs with the proper fit for my skills with immediate results — highly qualified on five occasions. Without the professional assistance, guidance and advice Carla provided, I would have never realized these results. The investment I made with The Resume Place has paid off… All I need now is the invite to the interview!” -–Doug

“Carla, your resume preparation helped me a lot! You did an excellent job! Thank you!” –J.B.


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