In Part I, you learned that the odds are good for getting a job offer or interviews, when you invest in one of our professional federal resume writers / coaches. We covered a Resume Place, Inc. study that showed a 68% success rate for getting a federal job or interviews among our Post 9/11 veteran federal-resume clients. You saw how this beats the top gamblers’ target risk rate of between 57 to 58%. In Part II, we’ll look at 5 reasons behind this note-worthy level of success.
When conducting their federal job search after military life, many Post 9/11 veterans are searching for civilian work for the first time. Others have limited experience with it. It’s hard to come up with a competitive resume under those circumstances, let alone deal with the complex federal hiring system. Here at The Resume Place Inc., we are very experienced with writing top-notch federal resumes, as well as advising military-veteran job applicants on navigating the often confusing government hiring process. Let’s look at 5 ways we can utilize our expertise to dramatically improve your chances in the federal job market.
#1 Keywords, Keywords, Keywords
We know how to scan the USAJOBS vacancy announcements for the keywords that should go in your resume. These announcements are very long. They’re up to 5 to 7 pages – and filled with keywords. The challenge is figuring out which words are the most important to feature in your resume to get best qualified for a job.
#2 Helping You Show Off
We’re very good at coaching vets regarding their accomplishments. A lot of military people think of service before self. Then when they’re getting ready for their next career, they need to write about themselves and their own achievements. You may not feel that your stories are that big of a deal, but when they’re written in a certain way you’ll recognize why this is important. Accomplishments are about the problems you solved, the challenges you worked on during your last two positions in the military. For instance, an HVAC technician stationed in Naples in the Navy wrote about singlehandedly keeping the generator going at his base during an important incident. This enabled the whole mission to keep going. He hadn’t recognized this as a notable accomplishment before he was coached. Everyone has two or three of these stories that they can include in their resumes.
#3 Making Sure You Apply Correctly
We’re detailed-oriented and know what’s required for a federal application with USAJOBS. There are a lot details that you need to include in a federal resume – a breakdown of your different assignments, specific months and years, locations of jobs and training, hours per week, supervisors’ names, etc. The devil is in the details for a federal resume, and we grill the vets to get this important information to help them be considered best qualified. If you don’t get the resume details and the required documents right, the resume can be kicked out for non-compliance in a minute. For instance, a lot of vets will combine all their years of military service and not break the assignments out. This will definitely not be successful in the federal application process.
#4 We Can Help You Translate
We’re excellent at determining core competencies that are transferable to a civilian position. It’s challenging to compare the work a service member did while in Afghanistan to a civilian position here. The way to do it is the transference of skills, interpreting what they did so that it’s meaningful to the new position. For example, let’s look at a Crew Chief for the Marine Corps who doesn’t want to fly helicopters anymore. This year, we worked with a Crew Chief who went back to school and received a degree in political science. He was successful at landing a new job as an Intelligence Analyst at the Department of Homeland Security. In his resume, we featured “critical thinking,” “team leader,” “planning and coordination,” and “problem-solving.” Transferable skills are critical for a successful resume for a veteran.
#5 We Have the Best Federal Resume Format
Our federal resume format — the outline format — incorporates a lot of winning features. We use just five to six small paragraphs, and each one features a keyword or phrase in all caps related to the veteran’s skills bucket. For the Rifleman, these paragraphs might feature skill keywords such as “strategic thinking,” “team leader,” “instructor,” “safety” and “community relations.” The Human Resources reader can see those transferable skills and competencies very, very quickly in our resumes. The outline format also uses a reverse chronological format, with the latest assignment listed first. After those five to six small paragraphs, there are usually a couple of accomplishments — little stories written with the personal pronoun “I.” (Example: I managed the generators for Naval Headquarters.) The accomplishments are kind of like icing on the cake. These personal stories of something that the vet is proud of stand out, and they will make the resume more interesting and more personal. Our outline format is highly successful, even in private sector arenas. It’s been very good at getting fed applicants best qualified and referred to a supervisor.
A Worthwhile Investment
To get an interview today, it’s very critical that your resume be outstanding. And while our federal resumes are not inexpensive (average price – $660), paying for expert writing can result in getting a federal job faster, a higher salary, and a higher grade. This is because the writer knows how to demonstrate a higher level of experience in the resume.
When you’re beginning a whole new career, it’s important to recognize how crucial your resume is in your job campaign. Even if you’re networking and getting help, your helpers will need something to show that demonstrates your skills. Hiring a professional resume writer is well worth the investment. To explore getting help with your resume, sign up for a free project review!
Kathryn Troutman is known as the Federal Resume Guru and is the developer of the Ten Steps to a Federal Job®. She teaches hundreds of career counselors each year about her highly acclaimed methods of federal job search and has published dozens of titles, including the recent award-winning Student’s Federal Career Guide 3rd Edition.