December 19, 2009 at 8:41 pm #87538
I am new to contract management and acquisition and having a tough time getting my foot in the door with any entry level or internship positions practicing contracting. I do have a BS in management and finishing a masters cert. in contract management both government and commercial. I have also become a member of the NCMA, there is no local chapter in my state (Oregon). What else can I do to make my resume and credentials look more attractive to an HR manager??? Please help. I am committed to entering this career field.
December 19, 2009 at 10:54 pm #87544
Brett, you're the 2nd person a few days that I've seen ask this question. I'm gonna be doing a blog post in a few days about this very thing, but I can give you a few pointers right now.
1) Consider starting your own NCMA chapter in your area. That speaks initiative.
2) Ignore Monster, Craigslist and HotJobs. Too much competition, especially with people will to take paycuts.
3) Get a web presence. Start a blog on contracting and connect with bloggers to promote your content. This will pay big dividends. I started mine just a few months ago and I've met some influential people.
I hope this helps. Let me know if there is anything else I can do to help you.
December 20, 2009 at 9:14 pm #87542
Brett - Go to usajobs.gov and CPOL - there are many contracting jobs on there. At this point, with so many contracting positions open, you should have no trouble finding something. Are you stuck in Oregon? Huntsville is busting with positions! Have you called the Army Corps of Engineers, or the VA personally? How about GSA? The contracting positions are everywhere. Are you near a major military post or the National Guard HQ for your state? Both will have Contracting positions. Look for Air Guard bases also. They have positions also. Look for any Federal building and ask who buys their stuff. I say it like that because you may ask someone where is the contracting office and they may not know what you are talking about, but you ask them where they have to go to order their office supplies, computers, or who handles construction contracts, and they will know exactly who you are talking about. If they have no jobs open, ask them about any Federal Offices they may know about in the area... don't ask them about if any jobs are open in the other agencies, they will not know. ALSO... You may want to look into your state DOT! They have contracting people also, but you will be at state level. But, that is still a foot in the door. If all else fails, start as a buyer for a civilian company, they do the exact same thing, but on the other side of the table. ALL retail stores have buyers - including big box stores, and clothes stores. And one last item... don't forget your local hospital. Almost every hospital has a person doing all the medical purchases. That would be a sweet gig if you could get it.
December 21, 2009 at 3:25 pm #87540
Robert E. SelphParticipant
Hi Brett. An excellent place to begin your career in contracts is to go to the website http://www.dau.mil. This is the site for DoD contracts courses that you can take free of charge to build up your knowledge. You as an industry contractor can take 90% of the same courses that government contracts personnel take for their levels of certification (I, II, and III). As you reach each level you can say that you have the equiv. training. These courses are not a pushover though.
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