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Rock My Resume: Charles Barrett, MBA
March 6, 2012 at 5:48 pm #155007
Why do you want your resume reviewed? My main objective is to gain a wider exposure of my resume to hiring manager, directors and Department Heads looking for the best candidates. Having the resume read by “human eyes”, rather than the USAJOBS automated search engine which looks for key ‘buzz-words’ is most important to me in my search efforts.
What is your current situation? I have been a consultant in the private sector for over 10 years, mostly in the capacity of a Senior Financial Analyst, Business Analyst, and IT Compliance Specialist. My experience is not isolated just to private sector professional experience but also in the Public Sector; namely the Department of Defense (DFAS) as a full-time government employee for 4.5 years before returning to the private sector.
Where are you in the process (submitted resumes, applied for jobs, etc.)? I am actively looking to return to the ranks of Federal Employment because I believe that I can provide more value to a government agency than I did early in my career after graduating from Ohio State University. Since that time, I have earned an MBA, a significant amount of current and relevant professional work experience in different industries including banking, manufacturing, IT service delivery and compliance, mining, and corporations tied to defense contracts involving analysis in a wide variety of progressively-increasing roles of responsibilities and scope of duties–all of which equate to real value for a Federal Agency in need of experienced personnel.
My search has concentrated on titles and job series such as Sr. Financial Analyst, Management, Supervision, Business Analyst roles, and IT Specialist roles all in the GS Job Grade Series in virtually any and all federal agencies nationwide.
What are the main issues you’re encountering? The most frustrating part of the search using USAJOBS porthole for the application process is the initial notification that I have been identified as “Qualified” for the position through the automated system filters only later to receive a notification that I will not be referred to the hiring manager. It is difficult to convey the value I can provide to an agency in need of a qualified candidate only to be rejected by the automated process USAJOBS uses to reduce the number of candidates sent on for evaluation by a set of human eyes.
March 6, 2012 at 7:13 pm #155015
We’re excited you got the process started to rock your resume! You’re almost ready for a review, but first, we’d just ask for two things. First, could you please include a link to a specific position you’re considering? This will help our reviewers help you tailor your resume to the positions you are looking for. Second, could you take a pass at your resume using our reviewers’ most common advice tip sheet (see #6-7: https://www.govloop.com/group/rockyourresume/page/instructions) and include it in a reply to this discussion? Once you respond with the position link and your “Edit1”, we’ll get you in the queue for a professional review!
May 1, 2012 at 10:45 pm #155013
Andrea Boulanger LoweParticipant
Thanks for submitting your resume! It looks like you’re making great progress. To make it even more effective as a federal resume here are some tips.
FYI – I looked at the first position you listed (Financial Systems Analyst with DOD).
1) You’ll want to make sure you take care of the federal compliance information which includes the following:
– Soc sec #, veteran’s preference, country of citizenship, availability, desired locations, and objective (the position name, agency, vacancy number)
– Within each work experience, make sure to include the location, hours per week that you worked, salary, supervisor’s name and phone number, and whether or not they can contact that supervisor
2) I would suggest tailoring your career summary to the specific position rather then having a long list of skills, expertise, etc. If you read the section under QUALIFICATIONS REQUIRED in the section that says “Specialized experience is defined as…” in the vacancy announcement, this is THE section that you want to make sure you tailor your resume to. You must speak in the language of the employer. The Summary section of your resume is your opportunity to create a lens through which employers will read your resume. Give them something direct and to the point that will focus their attention on what it is they are about to read. You might want to cut it down to 3-4 lines.
Here’s an example: “Program analyst with three years of project experience working on teams implementing community development programs, grant writing, and data analysis. Business and organizational development expert with first-hand experience of the Congressional appropriations process and knowledge of effective strategic management practices.”
As you are writing your summary, ask yourself “is this relevant?” For example, it’s great that you specialized in German Business Relations, but is it relevant enough to put in that section. If you want to keep it on your resume, maybe it’s better located in your education section.
3) You’ll want to write in bullets rather than mini paragraphs. Bullets make it easier to read by giving the eye a rest and bolding (or using all caps) with a keyword gives the bullet focus. Here is an example:
– REPORTING: Developed and prepared weekly, monthly, quarterly, semi-annual and annual reports using financial, census and performance data for management and executive review
I would recommend keeping it to about 3-7 bullets for each position. These should highlight skills that are relevant to the job you are applying to.
In the case of the position you are looking at, a bullet keyword could be
– FINANCIAL SYSTEMS ANALYSIS: [this is where you would insert an example of something you have done in an accomplishment statement]
4) Have another section for your related positions called Key Accomplishments where you have a bulleted list of 1-3 statements. 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.
You do have a good example of an accomplishment statement: Credited with an overall Team Performance Improvement from 95% to 99% in just 10 months. That’s a great example!
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 mention it. Were your foreign language abilities necessary to complete the task?
A good tool for writing quality position descriptions is the CAR method:
C = Context
A = Action
R = Result
5) Take a highlighter to the vacancy announcement and identify the most important skills and abilities listed and use those words in your resume as often as possible. By using what the employer identified as the most important aspects of the position, you are giving them exactly what they want. Your resume should convey how your experiences and education are well-suited to the position by using their language. Think of the position announcement as a way to translate your resume into the employer’s language. If you have experience managing events and the position requires someone to ―organize events—you use ―organize events on your resume.
6) You use a lot of acronyms. Are they going to know what they mean?
7) In your education section you have a few extra items that I would consider training. The education section is typically reserved for degrees. Your education section should just have a listing for Baldwin Wallace and Ohio State. Everything else should go in a separate training section. The only exception is that your NASA internship should be listed with the rest of your employment.
Best of luck with your job search!
May 3, 2012 at 1:53 pm #155011
We hope you found this service helpful! Since we offer this service for free, we just ask that participants post their newly made-over resumes for all to see and learn from (step 10! https://www.govloop.com/group/rockyourresume/page/instructions). It’s a really valuable resource for others trying to update their own resumes to have a couple great samples to use. We’d really appreciate it if you could update your resume based on Andrea’s feedback and post to this discussion!
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