First, Happy New Federal Career Year! When there is a new president, it’s always very interesting for federal employees. New initiatives, programs and legislation will make changes in some agencies. We don’t know specifics yet, but some agencies and missions will be more affected than others.
Believe it or not, here at The Resume Place, we often receive federal resume review requests from current feds who have not updated their resumes in 8 years. They send us their out-of-date resume to review, along with the new announcement (which can close in 5 days), and they want a newly targeted, up-to-date resume, with accomplishments, that matches keywords, qualifications and KSAs to the announcement. Sometimes these announcements for promotions are in their very same agency and office!!! Which means the application is VERY important! We have to ask them to find their PD and last evaluations and think of accomplishments – FAST! This is very stressful…and SAD. Don’t do this in 2017! Start now with your federal resume update, targeting your next grade level and position.
- Get ready for anything. DHS will be busy – we know that. All of the agencies have new Secretaries who need to be confirmed, but they will have an agenda that will be played out. Pay attention to the agency mission throughout the first half of 2017 and see what could be affected. Your job and program COULD be affected.
- Find your last resume and update it. Find your current position description and your last few years of evaluations. Read the evaluations to see if they include significant accomplishments. Make a list of these accomplishments to add to your resume.
- Add your resume into the USAJOBS Builder. Many agencies will only accept a Builder resume version. Update your training, references, software skills and accomplishments.
- Set up some SAVED SEARCHES, just for fun, for your next target grade and job title. Set it up so that the search results come to your email regularly – just to see what is out there.
- Update your Documents in USAJOBS. Add your last evaluation and your last SF-50, in case you need to use your account to apply for a new position.
- Check out USAJOBS – it has a whole new look since Aug. 20, 2016. It’s blue and red now! And you can view your recent applications right on your “applicant tracking” homepage. It’s really cool.
- Consider taking a training course that could help you, if you did need to look for a new position. Useful courses could include: budget management, project management, interview skills, Plain Language writing, acquisitions, cultural diversity, supervision, teamwork, customer services, and/or SharePoint.
- Go to a career conference. Absorb knowledge from experts in your field and follow current trends so that you are up-to-date with your industry.
- Update your LinkedIn profile. Stay out there (unless you are in the intelligence field). The HR specialists and managers do look up resumes and background in LinkedIn for new hiring.
- Don’t be too comfortable in your job. Look around. What if your agency did downsize? What job or agency would you consider? This is a realistic thought.
- Stay healthy. Go to the gym and cut back on sugar. Be thankful you have a great career now! Just get ready for a new regime and ideas that could affect you and your federal career.
Kathryn Kraemer Troutman is the founder and president of The Resume Place, Inc., a service business located in Baltimore, MD, specializing in writing and designing professional federal and private-sector resumes, as well as coaching and education in the federal hiring process. For the past 30 years, Troutman has managed her Professional Writing and Consulting Practice, Publishing and Federal Career Training business, and with her team of 20 Certified Federal Resume Writers, The Resume Place advises and writes more than 300 federal resumes per month for military, private industry and federal clients world-wide.