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December 14, 2009 at 4:17 pm #87117
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 15, 2009 at 3:32 am #87137
I would recommend posting your discussion on the Jobs portion of GovLoop, as you definitely came to the right place. Many hiring managers can provide guidance on the type of credentials they are looking for, as you sound like you have the tools needed to be successful.
The unfortunate issue is that the contracting community, IMHO, is in a state of turmoil and crisis centered on the workforce. I do not believe the current workforce has the competency or the toolkit to be a successful, 21st century workforce. We need more people like you that have the leadership and technical skills going in, whereas the current model tries to train these skills in the current entry-level workforce. My argument is that if you can not get into the acquisition workforce until you have 3-5 years of procurement experience, how are you expected to build entry-level candidates? I am not advocating allowing entry-level workers the opportunity to negotiate $1B contracts, but there has to be a level of trust and accountability for entry-level workers to give them the opportunity to learn, and fail if need be. Risk-aversion can not be the foundation for a successful acquisition community.
Further, look at the Careers Job Board on the NCMA website for the jobs that are currently available, in addition to the training and professional development for contract professionals NCMA offers.
Continue to reach out via social media, network, and learn about what it takes to be successful. These are good steps to continue building your competencies, so you can be a leader in the acquisition community in short order. You are desperately needed, so hang in there.
December 19, 2009 at 8:36 pm #87135
Thank you, very insightful and uplifting to know that I am on the right track. I am going to the Idaho NCMA chapter meeting next time they have one, even thought its in another state for me it is something that I truly want to do. But thank you so much for the insight and I will be sure to follow your advice.
March 8, 2010 at 8:48 pm #87133
Are there any updates on your job hunt Brett?
March 15, 2010 at 2:32 am #87131
yes I do have an offer for the keystone program with the DCMA, so I am currently waiting for my security clearance to go through.. I hope all goes well with that.
March 17, 2010 at 3:18 pm #87129
Let us know when you have updates.
March 17, 2010 at 3:34 pm #87127
I will be sure to do that. Thanks
March 24, 2010 at 3:24 am #87125
I wish I had a valid answer. I have heard a lot of chatter about the need for "fresh talent" in contracting over the next several years.
Everyone that I have met in contract administration has simply gotten lucky. There seems to be no logical explanation for "getting your foot in the door".
My advice...know someone. Spend time networking with anyone who may have a direct contact at a company you are planning on applying to. Also...contract admin is a broad field. Narrow in on a particular industry and know everything there is to know about it...
I believe the key here is simply, the law of large numbers. Just keep at it!
March 24, 2010 at 3:34 am #87123
I agree with your comment, "if you can not get into the acquisition workforce until you have 3-5 years of procurement experience, how are you expected to build entry-level candidates[?]".
What are your suggestions for getting a resume noticed? I am currently trying to transition from law and finance into procurement/ contract admin. I've attempted applying for internships, entry level positions, and networking with current employees.
It seems as though some companies are pulling PR stunts with local hires, or simply playing ping pong with current employees (at least in the energy sector).
I hate to sound so negative, but I have been trying to get into this field for the last year. I began to pursue my M.A. International Trade & Commerce about nine months ago, in the hopes that it would make me a more attractive candidate.
I also keep track of the various companies that I would like to work for. This includes reviewing new job postings, reaching out to HR via phone, and staying up to date on the industry specifics (including global projects).
What else can I do to prove that I am capable and get noticed?
July 21, 2010 at 9:42 pm #87121
I'm in the same position as Brett...and I'm networking like crazy. I think it is finally paying off, but it's taken a little longer than I thought. I'm new to GovLopp as I've been using LinkedIn and my local NCMA chapter for most of my networking. I have my JD and 6 years of transactional legal work (mostly contracts in the sports industry), and I can't get in the door because I have no government contract experience. But, I strongly believe in networking, so I'm going to keep at it!!! Best of luck Brett and thank you everyone for your comments. Very helpful!
October 27, 2010 at 1:34 am #87119
The Acquisition Institute Inc.Participant
First, Brett, don't focus on HR....focus on Acquisition. The very first thing you should be going is getting your resume posted at USAJobs.gov and then emailing every available member of the Federal Acquisition Council
(Google CAOC for Chief Acquisition Officer Council) tell them your background, what you are looking for and for God's sake....be willing to MOVE. You will get a job in contracting. DC is your best bet. If you need some names of CAOC members or where you'll have your greatest luck. Send me an email.
Robert Knauer, CEO, The Acquisition Institute, Inc. http://WWW.AcquisitionInstitute.com
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