Federal Job Search Archive

LinkedIn®: More Tips for Building Your Profile

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In our February 4, 2014 blog (http://www.resume-place.com/2014/02/are-you-linkedin-or-lockedout/), we reviewed strategies to construct an effective LinkedIn® Profile, including how to optimize your Professional Headline, Professional Summary, and Skills/Expertise.  This month, we offer additional guidance to help you improve your profile and increase the likelihood that prospective employers will find YOU online.

At The Resume Place, we emphasize the importance of “keywords” in building successful FEDERAL RESUMES.  Not surprising, constructing an effective LinkedIn® Profile requires a similar attention to “keywords.”  We also emphasize the important of formal networks – in addition to person-to-person networking, social media sites (such as LinkedIn®, Facebook®, and Twitter®) provide another opportunity to connect with other professionals and boost your career online.  Recruiting and hiring has changed dramatically over the years.  We know that recruiters “comb” social media sites to learn who is looking for jobs.  Take the steps to optimize your profile so that potential employers can find you when they are seeking qualified candidates.  Consider these additional tips in conjunction with those in our previous blog.


Complete profiles show up higher in search results than incomplete ones.  LinkedIn® reports that those with complete profiles are 40 times more likely to receive LinkedIn® opportunities!  What do you need to be considered 100% profile complete?

  • Your profile picture
  • Your industry and location
  • Your current position and description
  • 2 past positions
  • Your education information
  • At least 3 skills
  • At least 50 connections


LinkedIn® members who accept your invitations to connect are known as 1st degree connections.  These folks have access to your primary email address listed on your account, so choose them carefully.  The best advise is to only connect to those you know and trust.  Keep in mind that a complete profile requires at least 50 connections.


Ask for recommendations from at least 3 people.  Although not required to “complete” your profile, they are important and we suggest you use them.  You won’t be able to do this right away, since only people you are “linked to” can provide recommendations.  Consider seeking them from people at all levels – peers, co-workers, supervisors, instructors; this will give an employer a good idea of how well you work with people in all levels of an organization.

TIP: Once you have recommendations, consider updating your SUMMARY to refer to those testimonials.  For example, if prior supervisors provided you with LinkedIn® recommendations that address your excellent skills and match your current professional goals, you might update your summary to state: “Acknowledged by management for my program management expertise, implementation of IT solutions, and strategic focus.”


You can edit your profile by adding certain additional sections. Consider adding relevant professional certifications, organizations, projects, publications, honors and awards, volunteering and causes, languages, etc.  These are a great way to enhance and showcase your professional achievements.

EXAMPLE: You might have a significant professional CERTIFICATION or LICENSE  - e.g., Project Management Professional (PMP) Certification conferred by the Project Management Institute; mandatory state bar membership or certified legal specialty; or a social work or nursing license.  You can add these or other certifications by clicking on “Edit Profile.” A right-hand bar will appear entitled “Recommended for you.”  You’ll see a list of potential enhancements, including certifications – just click on the one(s) that interest you and add the information.


Consider affiliating with groups such as your college, industry-specific, or trade organizations related to your field – they may also have substantive discussions of topics of interest to you.  You can search groups by keyword, interests, or group name.  The Group’s manager may review your request to join in order to make sure you meet membership criteria prior to approval.  You can join up to 50 groups.


It is possible to recorder the profile sections via “drag-and-drop.”  This gives you another opportunity to highlight the knowledge, skills, and abilities (KSAs) that make you unique.

TIP:  You might consider this if you are a student with little if any relevant experience by listing your education section prior to your experience section.  When you add your EDUCATION information, especially if you are a current or recent student, consider adding information about accomplishments (e.g., thesis, papers for which you received accolades, high GPA, relevant coursework, honors and awards).


If you are “quietly looking” for new job opportunities, and don’t want your current employer to know, you can turn off your “activity broadcasts” in your privacy control lettings.  When activity broadcasts are “on,” your “Connections” are notified when you change your profile, follow a company, etc.


Now that you’ve created your profile, how to you promote your public profile (the streamlined version of your profile)?  In our earlier LinkedIn® blog, we showed you one way you can do so – create a personal URL. There are 2 additional ways to make your public profile visible to people who aren’t signed into LinkedIn®. Instructions for creating these options are available via the LinkedIn® Help Center.

  • Add a LinkedIn® “View My Profile” button (called a “badge”) to your online resume, blog, or website.
  • Create an email signature that contains your public profile URL.  It displays your contact information and a link to your profile that you can integrate into email programs that support HTML email signatures.

Remember, the goal is for the right entities to find you and recognize the great skill set that you will bring to their organizations.

ellenlazarus_bwEllen Lazarus is a Resume Place Certified Federal Job Search Trainer, Federal Resume Writer, and Career Coach. As a former Legislative Branch senior executive and bar association leader, Ellen has a keen understanding of the networking process. She often assists clients in utilizing social media sites to further their careers. If you need help creating or updating your LinkedIn® profile, contact us for an absolutely free estimate. The Resume Place may offer special rates when you combine LinkedIn® profile writing with the purchase of other services.
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New FAA Postings for Air Traffic Controllers Are a Top Federal Job Opportunity for Young People with Limited Qualifications

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The FAA plans to hire more than 1,000 Air Traffic Controller Specialist trainees per year for the next 9 years, according to a Resume Place analysis. A Bachelor’s degree or three years of work experience will qualify millions of 20-somethings to apply.

The Federal Aviation Administration announced the opening on Feb. 10 of a number of Air Traffic Controller Specialist trainee positions, creating some of the best federal job opportunities for young people, according to The Resume Place.

Air traffic control can be an excellent career choice for young people, says Kathryn Troutman, president of The Resume Place, a resume writing and federal job-search coaching firm. Trainees must begin the training program before their 31st birthday; at age 56, controllers are subject to mandatory retirement with full federal benefits. Newly hired air traffic controllers must be willing to relocate to any of the 50 states, Guam, Puerto Rico or the U.S. Virgin Islands.

Trainees receive a wide variety of instruction in controlling air traffic over several weeks at the FAA Academy in Oklahoma City. During their studies at the academy, Air Traffic Control Specialist trainees earn a salary of between $20,527 and $27,942, plus a per diem payment to help with living expenses. Upon successful completion of the academy training, candidates will be offered permanent employment with standard pay of $37,441. Air Traffic Control specialists eventually earn very good pay, typically between $57,982 and $82,534, according to USAJOBS.

“To maximize the likelihood of being hired as an Air Traffic Control Specialist trainee, applicants should read and follow the job announcement instructions carefully,” says Troutman. “Each of the job announcements is different in terms of qualifications and experience.”

Troutman makes the following suggestions for applicants to the ATC trainee program.

“The civil-service application process is very demanding, and it requires applicants to be clear and specific in describing their experience and education,” says Troutman. The average length of a successful federal resume is 3 to 5 pages. “Applicants should write their federal resumes with the USAJOBS resume builder and include details that evidence education, demonstrate work experience with progressive responsibility, and show an understanding of the FAA’s mission and the role of the Air Traffic Controller. Successful candidates delve into detail when discussing their work responsibilities, projects and accomplishments.”

Troutman says that the resume builder asks applicants to fill in lots of specific information about themselves, including the following for each position in the work history: job title, detailed duties, employer’s name and address, supervisor’s name and phone number, start and end dates, salary, and full- or part-time status including hours worked per week.

The online application includes a biographical assessment, a narrative of the candidate’s personal information, education, experience and other qualifications. “Applicants should be sure to describe their years of full-time work experience in a way that shows how they’ve been able to work with teams, that they have knowledge of their job and their organization, and that they’ve demonstrated responsibility,” says Troutman. “Lack of experience in aviation, air traffic or transportation apparently does not disqualify a candidate, but any work history in these fields is likely to help.”


“Applicants should be sure to describe their years of full-time work experience in a way that shows how they’ve been able to work with teams, that they have knowledge of their job and their organization, and that they’ve demonstrated responsibility.”

- Kathryn Troutman, President, The Resume Place


There are five ways to qualify for the ATC Specialist trainee program:

1. Three years of progressively responsible work experience. Full-time (40 hours per week) employment must be documented and show progressively responsible experience. Most types of employment include the required experience if the worker has learned about the organization, gained knowledge of the occupation and demonstrated responsibility.


2. A Bachelor’s degree earned with a four-year course of study. The degree must be earned at a higher education institution accredited by an organization recognized by the U.S. Department of Education. To qualify based on education, applicants must submit transcripts that state the institution, credit hours earned and graduation date.


3. A combination of education and work experience. The applicant’s total qualifying work experience is converted to a percentage of the three-year experience requirement; the applicant’s education is converted to a percentage of the four-year education requirement. The combination must be at least 100 percent. For study at a business or technical school, 36 weeks of study is comparable to one academic year of college.


4. Previous experience as an Air Traffic Control Specialist. Applicants must provide supporting documentation such as an FAA certificate, military certificate or training record.


5. An alternative qualification for Air Traffic Control Specialist. Any one of the following can suffice:

  • An appropriate facility rating with experience actively controlling air traffic in civilian or military air traffic control terminals or centers
  • Current or past FAA certificate as a dispatcher for an air carrier
  • Current or past instrument flight rating
  • Current or past FAA certificate as a navigator or full qualification as a navigator/bombardier in the Armed Forces
  • 350 hours of flight time as a copilot or higher and current or past private certificate or equivalent Armed Forces rating
  • Experience as a rated aerospace defense command intercept director

Regardless of the means of qualifying, the candidate must be a U.S. citizen who passes a medical screening and security check. Successful candidates must also speak English clearly enough to be understood over radios and other communications equipment.

Even if candidates don’t currently meet the requirement for a combined three years of progressive work experience and college education, they can work toward that qualification with confidence that new vacancies will continue to be posted. The FAA plans to hire more than 1,000 ATCs on average each year through at least 2022.