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Rock My Resume: Anita Arile
September 23, 2011 at 10:58 pm #142324
1. Why do you want your resume reviewed?
I completed Graduate Studies for my Master of Public Administration at the University of Guam and am currently seeking full-time positions in the U.S. Federal Government. I have also completed the Executive Leadership Development Program funded by DOI and facilitated by The Graduate School, Honolulu, HI in September 2009.
2. What is your current situation (employed, seeking, etc.)?
I am a Management Analyst I of the Government of Guam.
3. Where are you in the process (submitted resumes, applied for jobs, etc.)?
I have submitted several applications on various U.S. Federal Government websites; such as, USAJobs.com, CHART, FederalGovernmentJobs.com, Air Force Personnel Center, TSA, etc. When I do get a response, I feel “under-rated” with comments such as: EL / NR (EL – Eligible, NR – Not referred).
4. What’s the main issue you’re encountering?
Like many others here, my MPA appears to make me overqualified for many entry- or mid-level policy and public admin-related positions. I need to make myself more marketable.
5. Can you share 1 link to a job you’re interested in applying for?
I am seeking a Management Analyst position, particularly in the Accounting field (of which I have over 17 years of Governmental Accounting experience). There are variations to this; such as Program/Management Analyst, Budget Analyst, Budget/Accounting Analyst, or Financial Management Analyst. I have
October 6, 2011 at 12:04 am #142345
Today’s resumes do not typically have objectives. Instead they have Professional Summaries such as the one on mine (developed by certified professional resume writer Bill Kinzer, Oakton, VA):
Federal sector analyst with experience in individual, organizational, and program development.
Adept at facilitating cross-organizational partnering to achieve efficient and cost effective results.
Experienced in coordinating and overseeing career management and mentoring programs.
Skilled at employing creative training solutions to implement adult learning methodologies.
Certified to administer various career counseling programs and instruments.
Key participant in developing and implementing a Federal E-learning initiative.
Active speaker, writer, and instructor involved in a variety of professional associations.
There is required federal information that MUST be included on each 3-5 page federal resume. Here is an outline to use for your hard copy federal resume:
Street Address, City, State, Zip
Mobile Phone: Work Phone: Email:
Social Security No:
Country of citizenship:
Position Applied For:
SUMMARY OF QUALIFICATIONS
Use this section to “Taylor” the resume to the position.
Organization, Address, City, State, Zip
Hours per week:
Supervisor: Name, Telephone # or email (may be contacted – do not say this for current supervisor)
Give overall view of your responsibilities and accomplishments
- Qualification or achievement
- Qualification or achievement
- Qualification or achievement
- Qualification or achievement
College Name, City, State (zip code if known) Degree, Date Major
GPA of 3.0+/4.0; semester or quarter hours?
Relevant courses: List actual course name, not English 101. Share job related skills learned there.
High School Name, City, State (zip code if known) Date of diploma or GED
Course Name, place taken, Date, # of hours (up to 5 classes)
AWARDS AND RECOGNITION
List any awards or letters of commendation along with dates
Federal resumes indicate complexity of skill/accomplishment. Yes, unlike corporate resumes, they want both your skills and accomplishments.,
October 6, 2011 at 12:13 am #142343
Thank you Karol.. so very much! I knew I really needed to update my resume! I will start working on it and re-submit it for review in a couple of days!
October 6, 2011 at 12:16 am #142341
As you can see from the site, I am not an official reviewer. It appears that resumes are reviewed at random. Every now and again I pop on and review one — what the heck.
October 6, 2011 at 12:22 am #142339
Just wanted to remind you that my feedback is based on the information contained in a federal resume, not a coprorate one. You will need to go to your career center for that information. Many colleges serve alumni these days,
October 6, 2011 at 12:27 am #142337
It’s all good, any tip is a great tip! Great advice you’re giving too! 🙂
October 13, 2011 at 12:04 pm #142333
I am hoping to get a review of my updated resume… i am attaching a recent job announcement with it… hope I get help on it.. ! It is the Management Analyst III announcement I am interested in.
October 22, 2011 at 7:26 pm #142331
Thanks for posting your resume Anita. Karol made a number of good comments, and I am echo some of them here.
Before I get into the meat of what I think you can do to make your resume effective, I have a couple quick thoughts I want to share:
- Although 10pt text is OK, it’s harder to read than 11pt, and 12pt is too big.
- NEVER use an Objective with a non-federal resume. Your objective should be obvious—getting the job. For federal resumes, the objective plays a different role: it gives information on the position at hand and some of your info. Instead, I suggest having a Summary section that is a way for you to control how the employer will see your information. However, some contracting/consulting firms don’t find a Summary section of use. In those cases, don’t use it.
- Move your education to after you professional experience. You are no longer in school, and most private and public organizations are more interested in your experiences. Also, I would not list the range of dates that you attended school, only the date on which you graduated. At the moment, it appears it took you almost 9 years to complete your BS even though you are counting your time doing the MPA.
- In your education section, too, the order of the experiences is not in reverse chronological order and your MPA is buried under your BS.
- Finally, I don’t understand what the purpose of the summaries are. Are they answers for KSAs? I don’t understand why you would submit these with your application if they are not required. My sense is no one will read them. Also, many of the things you write in them should appear in your bullet points.
I really believe it is in your best interest to use the USAJobs resume builder to structure your resume in a clear, obvious way. As it is now, you spend so little time on your professional experiences in relation to all the other sections.
The other thing that will help your presentation is to use a “modified chronological” format. This is a hybrid version of the functional and chronological that is organized in reverse chronological order, but has subsections focused on the skills sets the employer has said they need.
Each description, then, has longer bullet points that are focused on specific skill sets determined by the job announcement. For example, a recent client of mine was applying to a position at a university that had a number of distinctive requirements. He had a number of shorter bullet points that weren’t cohesive or understandable, so I suggested something like this:
- Recruitment and Marketing ‑ Develop employer outreach strategy and marketing plan, requiring relationship and network building in all sectors and publication of the first brochure sent to over 5,000 contacts around the world. The number of employers holding on-campus recruiting events almost doubled in this timeframe and the number of employers participating in the annual Employer Site Visit program increased 50%.
- Communications – Customize and administer, in conjunction with director, the web-based career management system, which gives student and alumni 24-hour access to job and internship announcements, an event calendar, employer contacts, and career-related documents.
- Project Evaluation ‑ Create and administer electronic surveys and evaluations for students and alumni in order to organize relevant and timely workshops, seminars, and career fairs. Attendance at events increased over the past four years including twice as many employers participating in the Elliott School career fair from 35 (2001) to 74 (2005).
- Training ‑ Advise students and alumni on career plans, job search strategy, organizational research, professional development opportunities, resume writing, informational interviewing, salary negotiation, and networking techniques. Review 200-250 resumes and cover letters per year.
(When using the USAJobs resume building, you won’t be able to bold anything. So for all the bolded words above, you can use all caps. In fact, any key words you use should be in all caps, even if it is in the middle of a bullet point.)
That kind of bullet point pulls together the skill sets he used (developing, implementing, creating), what/who/how/why he did these things, and his accomplishments. And it focuses the employer’s attention on those skills sets the employ said it needed. It also gives much more context to the employer and the sense that my student’s work had a much broader impact.
You don’t want to have massive bullet points for every skill set, just those that highlight the things that mean the most to the employer.
Another way of laying this out is to have several bullet points under one sub heading like:
Strategic Planning and Policy Development
- Develop strategic plan for new one-person career development office, monitor program budget, and serve on Executive Committee for school that has grown by 80% in 3 years.
- Identify career development needs of 450 MPA, MPP, and PhD students, implement appropriate programs and services, and offer support to 3200 alumni. Approximately 95% of all alumni are employed six months after graduation.
- Establish systems to ensure seamless coordination with Student Disability Services, Counseling Services, and International Services Office to help clients with special physical, mental, emotional, and legal needs.
- Evaluate financial aid process for graduate students and collaborate with upper management to review and develop process to decrease waiting time to receive confirmation with purpose of increasing student recruitment and retention.
- Assess personnel needs of school according to mission and present reclassifications and proposals for new staff members to director and faculty.
Along with this structure, I find it useful to write these using a “project management” mindset. In other words, your bullet points should not be brief descriptions of individual activities, but they should show that you were involved in a much larger project.
Also, you need to look at your descriptions from the perspective of the person reading your resume and ask yourself these questions: “So what? Is this what I need?” Most of what you have written now would not give them what they need.
Avoid using verbs like conduct, perform, administer, support, assist, maintain, or the really old and tired phrase “responsibilities included.” Those are really passive verbs and don’t give you nearly as much credit as you deserve. Try to start each bullet point with an action verb that is the exact same word as you found in the job description.
Whenever you find it hard to avoid starting your bullet points with “Assisted” or “Helped,” break down what you did into manageable parts that you can describe. Everything you do relates to a skill set that an employer will find useful as long as you present it as such.
Finally, it is important that the last sub-section of every position description be a “Key Accomplishments” section. Federal HR professionals like to see a section that highlights you key accomplishments for every position. These accomplishments can be awards, recognitions, commendations, and even a retelling of those things your mentioned in the sub-sections above the Key Accomplishments. It is a good idea to flesh-out those key accomplishments from your bullet points, because they may have been buried in the project management style of writing.
For example, the second bullet point above, under Strategic Planning and Policy Development mentions an accomplishment, but it is slightly buried. Therefore, one of the bullet points under Key Accomplishments could be “95% of recent graduates successfully found professional positions six months after graduation, the highest historical success rate.”
Of course, this means that every organization you describe will take up a lot of space. I am not an advocate for writing long federal resumes just to get as much information onto the page as possible. I do believe, however, it is very important to give the employer all the information you can that directly relates to their needs. The more you can do that, the more likely it is you will be moved forward in the process, even if your federal resume is 5+ pages.
Accomplishments and Achievements: SO WHAT!!
There is no data on your resume more important than your accomplishments. Think of it this way: you’re a hiring manager with one position to fill and 10 qualified candidates clamoring for the position. Each candidate has the same basic educational and professional background. The candidate who clearly shows how their work added value at past positions will appear most attractive. Accomplishments are all that separate you from other equally qualified candidates.
If you don’t share how your work affected an organization or how your output was used, they won’t get the full picture. They could be left asking ―So What!‖ After you write each bullet point, ask yourself that question—―So What? What’s the end of the story?‖ And whenever possible, quantify your accomplishments.
Sometimes it’s very hard to come up with an achievement for a bullet point, or you may not have specific percentages of growth or effectiveness. In place of measurable accomplishments, give as much detail as you can. If you used a specific software or theory mention it. Did you consult with secondary AND primary resources for your research? What was the title and purpose of the conference you organized? Were your foreign language abilities necessary to complete the task?
A good tool for writing quality position descriptions is the CCAR method:
C = Context
C = Challenge
A = Action
R = Result
If you are having a hard time finding the ―end‖ of your story, try using a Skills Matrix:
Action (How did you do it?)
(accomplishment, value-added, how your work was used)
Negotiated t-shirt price
Compared competitor prices, communicated price difference to company of choice
Save organization money or
35% savings totaling $2,800.
Research & Analysis
October 25, 2011 at 11:22 pm #142329
AWESOME advise Paul! I can tell you were looking at my “initial” resume.. After Karol’s advise, I revamped my resume (second upload) and I’m hoping that THAT version get’s reviewed to ensure I am on the “right track” regarding “for-government” formatted resumes.
Regarding the length it took to finish my Bachelor’s degree, I was a part-time student and attending classes was not a benefit for me because I was “self-paying”.. in our government, the perks for being a student kicks in when we become selected for a government scholarship (which was mostly political than “opportune”).
I will now update my “updated resume” to keep the CCAR or Skill Matrix in mind.
Again, thank you for the advise! 🙂
October 31, 2011 at 9:25 pm #142327
Hey Anita – If you can get your updated, updated resume posted by end of the week, you’ll be in the running for “Total Resume Makeover” or the month of October. Thanks! – Andy (GovLoop Community Manager)
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