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Rock My Resume: Alison Hunt
June 27, 2011 at 6:30 pm #133984
- Why do you want your resume reviewed?
I want a job with the federal government and I want to be as competitive as possible.
- What is your current situation (employed, seeking, etc.)?
I am currently employed, but seeking employment with the federal government.
- Where are you in the process (submitted resumes, applied for jobs, etc.)?
I have applied for several federal jobs and I have interviewed for one (I had two interviews for that position).
- What’s the main issue you’re encountering?
I have had an interview with a job that I wanted, but they ended up not hiring anyone and going through the application process all over again to get a different pool of candidates.
- Can you share 1 link to a job you’re interested in applying for?
This is a job for a Health Communications Specialist with the FDA. http://jobview.usajobs.gov/getjob.aspx?JobID=100008718&TabNum=6
August 6, 2011 at 7:27 pm #133987
Thank you for the opportunity to review your resume and offer suggestions. You have excellent experience and education! I believe you are well qualified for the Health Communications Specialist position. Your resume is very good. Hopefully, my suggestions will help to kick it up a notch. I wrote the following information within your resume as well so you could have the information in both places.
The headline, profile summary, and first two “sections” on the traditional résumé are the most critical in terms of capturing and keeping the attention of the reader. Does your résumé pass the 5-second skim test? When creating a traditional résumé using a Word document, it is important to address the needs of the employer—quickly!
Think of those first few seconds like reading the title to a book. Will the “title” to your book compel the reader to open the book and read your story? If your headline (brand) and the first one-third of the page (before the first fold) are visually appealing, compelling, and addresses the needs of the employer, it should capture his/her attention. Then, if it flows with qualifications and telling your story, it will be easy to keep his/her attention because you have attracted their interest. Now they will want to know more about you and what you can do to solve their problems and address their needs. If you combine your branding elements with qualifications and tell a story, this approach will get you much further…faster…in the hiring process.
Begin with your headline, then a brief 3 to 4-line profile summary, incorporating keywords. Create the Qualifications Summary to demonstrate your knowledge, skills, and abilities—your qualifications that are relevant to the position. Then craft the Core Competencies section using keywords from the announcement along with your expertise and skills.
With that said, there are no official fields in the Résumé Builder on USAJobs.gov titled “Professional Summary” or “Qualifications Summary” or even “Core Competencies.” For many years, I have recommended those sections be pasted into the “Additional Information” field, in the same order they appear on page 1 of the résumé. By doing this, the online applicant tracking system will pick up the keywords and qualifications, and hopefully sort your résumé to the next stage, rather than the black hole, or the round file.
There are three purposes for the Qualifications Summary and Core Competencies sections on the résumé (and you can use different titles if necessary):
1. Aligning you/your résumé with the job announcement—branding and outlining qualifications.
2. Optimizing your résumé using keywords—copying these sections into the Additional Information field in the Résumé Builder on USAJobs.gov.
3. When you interview for the position—you and the hiring official will have great talking points! (Most important!)
As you know, résumés are very subjective. Ask 5 people to review your résumé and you will get 10 opinions. However, I am sharing what has been working for me and my clients for 23 years.
I “data mine” the announcement to obtain keywords and qualifications, then relate your experience to them, along with your knowledge, and skills to create your brand and story. You can use http://www.Wordle.net to help data mine if you are not familiar with “manually” identifying keywords and qualifications. It is a great tool. Just copy and paste the duties and qualifications sections, or even the whole announcement, into Wordle.net and it will do some of the work for you. It will help to identify the keywords used throughout the announcement. Use those often and relate your experiences to those keywords in your résumé.
I like to develop a “job search toolkit.” One of the elements to the toolkit is creating the résumé in three formats. I create a .doc, .txt, and pdf. Each has their strategic purpose. I recommend formatting the .doc file using enhancements such as some color, bold, small caps, centering, bullets, perhaps a drop cap, text box, and possibly a table or graph, depending on the situation, to name a few.
After I complete the final version of the résumé in Word, I create the other two versions—a .txt and a .pdf. Bullets and symbols do not transfer well to the Résumé Builder so when I create the text file, I replace the “?” and any other symbols with a keyboard symbol such as an asterisk (*) and do other formatting enhancements that can be done in a text file. I clean up the file then it is ready to be copied into the Résumé Builder, section by section. You can use the .pdf for uploading into the Saved Documents area in the résumé section on USAJobs.gov.
In May 2010, President Obama issued an Executive Order asking Federal agencies to improve the Federal recruitment and hiring process. Some agencies are allowing candidates to use their résumé in a .doc or .pdf as the initial application.
Another use for the .pdf version, and most important, take several prints with you to give to the interviewer(s). This is one way you can set yourself/résumé apart from all the résumés that look alike—the USAJobs format. Tip: be sure to leave the nicely formatted prints with the interviewers and human resources personnel. It will make a big impact when they are choosing who to hire as well.
The changes to your résumé on the new attachment are suggestions on how I would initially recommend enhancing your résumé based on the job announcement you submitted. NOTE: If I were writing your résumé, I would ensure that I knew your skill level with regard to “exceptional, outstanding, expertise, articulate, etc.” to be sure they were not overstated, or understated, then write accordingly. I would also analyze (or create) your brand and communicate it electronically and on paper. Be sure they fit your personal skill level to where you are most comfortable.
Ensure that all the “federal” detail is available on the résumé. It is the details that separate the Best Qualified from the Well-Qualified and Qualified.
Best of luck to you, Alison! I look forward to reviewing your résumé after you have incorporated these changes!
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