Government Resume Makeover: Jacob Hoots Edition

Earlier this year, GovLoop and Young Government Leaders (YGL) launched the “Rock Your Resume” Project. It started out as a group on GovLoop back in January, which has quickly grown to over 550 members. What started out as peer reviews has evolved to leverage the experience of two top-notch expert reviewers – Camille Roberts & Paul Binkley – who are reviewing 10 resumes each month on a first come, first serve basis. To date, almost 100 people have received resume reviews. This is a free service we’re offering exclusively to GovLoop members…a service that would otherwise cost you hundreds of dollars! So if you’re not already a member of the “Rock Your Resume” Group on GovLoop, come check it out and submit your resume:

As part of the Rock Your Resume project, we’re highlighting one resume each month as an example of how a resume can be transformed. So here’s the resume with suggested edits and below is a summary of the feedback offered by Paul:

Jacob, nice resume. You have a ton of great experience and I do think you will go far.

One thing I want you to think about when you apply for future positions is what it would be like to read through your resume as an HR professional. You have a TON of information in here that, while impressive, does not relate to the position you sent.

Also, the way you describe all your experiences and accomplishments is good, but it doesn’t directly relate to the position at hand (the one you gave as an example)…I want to emphasize how crucially important it is to write the descriptions of your experience to match exactly what the employer wants and to do it in such a way as to be brutally obvious.

Jacob responded:

Wow! Thank you for your thorough review and thoughtful advice.

You hit the nail on the head when you said I should customize my resume to each vacancy. It is a general resume, and I need to revise it on the fly to address the desired skills and experiences in the vacancy announcements. I haven’t, and it might explain why I make it onto the certificate of eligibles, but don’t get calls. (Although, I did recently land a phone interview!)

You gave me some great ideas for how to customize the resume for the vacancy announcement I included in my post. I really appreciate that help since my interest is transitioning into a position that has more direct involvement in programs, and I have been struggling with how to rework my resume for that purpose. Capturing the key words in announcements and reusing those as headings for relevant bullets in my resume will improve my success rate.

In addition, Jacob reported that he landed a second interview for a different vacancy!

Here’s his resume with all the suggested edits if you want to take a look:


View Jacob’s Updated Resume Here


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Carol Davison

If I weren’t working four projects at work, I would rock resumes too. This former recruiters thoughts: 1. Keep in mind that Fed recruiters are getting 300 resumes for each application. Put the best information first 2. Listing your competencies or what you were responsible for doesn’t impress them. Did you accomplish anything? Did it have impact? Write it down. Instead of merely saying you conducted Safety Training briefings at New Employee Orientation say that since you implemented the Safety Training Project October 2010 falls have dropped by 7%. Even GS-15 applying for SES programs make this error.

Greg Mt.Joy

Great advice Carol. After reading your comment I realized I probably don’t provide enough measurement in my resume. I would also suggest that six pages is way too long. Nobody has time to go through that, especially if they are reviewing dozens (hundreds?) of resumes.

It’s great that you guys are providing this service!

Andrew Krzmarzick

Carol – Agree…not just getting stuff done, but show precisely the kind of impact you’ve had on an organization

Sherri – Thanks!

Greg – Submit yours if you’re interested!

Carol Davison

Can you please supply the links where we send in our resumes and the job for which we are applying? Thank you for your consideration.

Sheryl Hoag

Is it necessary to have a 5 page resume? Do employers want to read that long of a document? Is there a rule of thumb involving length of resume, or is it just personal preference?