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Rock My Resume: Alexandra Ritchie
August 4, 2011 at 10:18 pm #137496
I would like to have my resume reviewed by a combination of career services professionals and peers to help me determine whether or not my resume is suitable for most Federal job applications. It's been many years since I have been able to receive feedback on my resume and I am particularly challenged by my extensive list of mini-assignments within the Presidential Management Fellows program.
I am currently employed as a full-time Federal employee. I have been in this position for three years and in Federal service for five years and I feel ready to seek new challenging opportunities outside my current organization or at least outside of office.
In the past six months I have applied for three jobs; two within the Federal government and one outside in a nonprofit. Although I was encouraged to apply for all three, and was well-qualified, I have not been able to make it to the interview process. I suspect there is something about my resume, but it could also be the way I answer application questions, as well. There is another position that I have been encouraged to apply for, called Service First Coordinator, at the BLM and I would REALLY appreciate the timely feedback from this community so that I can get to the interview stage for this position.
I have not yet had time to modify my resume to insert key words about my relevant experience concerning Service First, but I will list it briefly here so that you can help me understand where to insert that information into the resume. All of these experiences are within the last three years.
Analyzed Service First agency partner survey data and worked with Service First Coordinator to develop reports and presentations with key findings and recommendations. The survey report is also available on the Service First website: http://http://www.fs.fed.us/servicefirst/docs/natl-sf-projects-2010-survey-summary.pdf
Modified and distributed Service First Logo Selection (electronic) Survey to key stakeholders and shared results with Service First Coordinator.
- Project manager for analysis of using Service First Authority, among other strategies, to keep pace with BLM's space leasing workload and reduce costs through collocation with Forest Service and other partner agencies.
- Visited Service First offices in Oregon and Idaho during evaluation of BLM's Forest Product Disposal program.
I am not sure if you can view this announcement, so I will also copy and paste it into Word and attach it to this message.
Thank you in advance for your kind assistance.
August 5, 2011 at 3:57 pm #137504
I am going to review your resume, but it would be helpful to be able to see the job announcement in its entirety, including the questionnaire. I did a search for it using many combinations on USAJobs.gov, but couldn't find it. Could you please go to the announcement, click on SHARE JOB on the right side of the screen, and key in my email address: [email protected] and send it to me. That will send me the live link and updates, if any, to the job announcement and I will be able to view the questionnaire as well.
I am also not able to open the link to the report. Can you send that link to me directly as well. You can just copy and paste the link into the email.
August 6, 2011 at 5:32 pm #137500
Overall, I think your resume is good and I’m a bit surprised you haven’t been called in for any interviews yet. The structure and layout is good and you have a lot of great experience, even if you did go to LBJ ... ; )
I've found that if someone hasn't been getting interviews it usually means they are not presenting their information clearly, they don't give the employer what they want to know, or both. You may be in the second camp, which is fixable.
I’ll start with some broader comments and then more to the position at hand.
First, I think it would be a very good idea for you to use the USAJobs resume builder for your resume. I get the impression that most federal HR people are used to the format that is generate through that building, even though they may not like it. Also, you will be required to include information with your resume that I don’t see on this document, like supervisor name, salary range, etc. (You may have removed that information for privacy sake though).
One thing I do not like about your resume is the way you present your PMF experience. Although I realize you worked in several different offices and capacities, the bullet/sub-bullet layout is distracting from what you accomplished at those positions. This is another area that the USAJobs resume builder can help with.
Instead of keeping your position descriptions focused on the titles, let’s focus it more on skills sets. As you can see from the track changes, I did a little work on the first two experiences you have listed.
My suggestion is to use a “modified chronological” format for your resume. This means focusing your bullet points on the skills sets they are looking for. For example, Leadership appears to be an important part of this position. Therefore, you can write your bullet points in a couple different ways so that they focus on Leadership. Below is one and I reformatted the first couple of entries on your resume the other way.
- Leadership – Coordinate and train managers, other management analysts, and program experts to complete risk assessments, evaluations, and corrective action plans to address the Bureau’s highest priority concerns. Engage with fellow evaluation practitioners in discussions (American Evaluation Association, The Evaluators Institute, and Environmental Evaluators Network) about various evaluation techniques to determine most appropriate applications for government program evaluations.
- Project Development & Implementation – Develop and issue organizational change policy to facilitate improvements to organizational structure and function while maintaining the basic integrity of the organization. Review and analyze organizational change proposals for consistency with Bureau/DOI policy and impacts to the organization and make recommendations to managers about whether the proposals should be approved. Collaborated with GIS experts and other program experts on issuance of Bureau data standard related to BLM administrative boundaries (which is a layer in the national geodatabase).
That kind of bullet point pulls together the skill sets you used (developing, implementing, creating), what/who/how/why you did these things, and your accomplishments. And it focuses the employer's attention on Leadership, one of their key needs. All your bullet points then are focused on whatever it is they say they want.
I highlighted a few key points in the job description you sent to help with that process too. Those things underlined in blue are the skill verbs that you should use, while the phrases in red are the things that you need to show you have worked with, worked on, or have excelled at that using the skill verbs.
You don’t need to use every skill set for every position description, but you should focus on the most important ones, as defined by the organization.
You mentioned that you haven’t tailored your resume yet for the BLM position, which is good to know. (Normally I have to tell people to do that.)
However, I think the hardest part of the resume process for you for this position will be translating your resume into the language of this position. Unfortunately, I wasn’t able to access the questionnaire—the site was down—so all I have to go on is the job description itself.
I didn’t read your resume thoroughly, but it appeared that a lot of what is in the job description does not appear in your resume. That is not a problem though, because you can translate your words into their language. That is the hardest part of resume writing, but you have a ton of great experience that will fit almost everything they need.
Hope this information helps.
P.S. Forgot to mention that TEI is affiliated with the school I work at. In fact, you may have met our director, Kathy Newcomer. She is terrific. Hope the courses are good.
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