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Rock My Resume: Christine Stevenson
April 15, 2011 at 4:02 am #128026
I am a former fed looking to get back into the government. I currently live in Dallas but I am planning to relocate back to the DC area in June as soon as I can find a job. I’m currently working as a marketing manager for an education association but I also have 12+ years experience in marketing, communications, and publications in the federal government. I am applying for positions such as public affairs specialist, marketing specialist, communications specialist, and other similar positions (that catch-all 0301 series!). My USAjobs resume is much longer than the one attached, but any advice or feedback you guys can give me on this resume will certainly help me improve my “fed” resume as well.
Thanks in advance!
June 21, 2011 at 2:44 am #128052
- Why do you want your resume reviewed? I haven’t had my resume professionally reviewed and I need advice on how to show a promotion in my job but essentially doing the same duties.
- What is your current situation (employed, seeking, etc.)? I am employed full-time but looking to return to federal government.
- Where are you in the process (have you submitted resume? What’s the main issue you’re encountering?) I have applied for jobs and will make the referral list, but not get called for an interview.
- Share 1 main job that you are (possibly) interested in applying for – This job closes June 28 – Marketing Specialist – http://jobview.usajobs.gov/getjob.aspx?JobID=100199528&aid=97777185-16611&WT.mc_n=125
July 12, 2011 at 1:24 am #128047
Hi Christine. I apologize for not getting this information to you sooner. I had reviewed your resume, but forgot to tell you about it. Sorry!
Below are the notes I took on your resume and some suggestions.
First of all, your resume is laid out very well and if you are being added to the referral list, you are doing something right. However, as you noted, you aren’t being asked to interview for positions, which means to me that we can do more with what you have.
Because this is not your USAJobs resume, I assume that your USAJobs resume includes things like your current address, social security number, job number you are applying to, etc.
The most important thing that can be done to make your resume that much more effective is to follow the golden rule of resume writing: KEY WORDS, KEY WORDS, KEY WORDS. There is more to this than just inserting key words in to your resume of course. They must be easy to find by those who initially screen your resume.
After reviewing the job you posted, I came up with the following key words and phrases:
- Market research
- Developing and distributing public information and education materials
- Planning and conducting media events
- Serve as EXPERT in social marketing, outreach and public information initiatives
- Changing societal attitudes/behaviors regarding unsafe driving behaviors
- Plans and develops marketing communications priorities, campaigns, strategies, practices, and metrics
- Analyzing consumer research studies, papers, conference proceedings, surveys…
- Recommends improvements
- Writes and edits
- Drop in articles, model press releases, brochure copy, online content
- Negotiation for the national placement of media materials with top-level advertising
- Develops, maintains, and enhances working relationships with other Agency representatives
- Planning, developing, and evaluating effective marketing campaigns
- Educate or promote various programs, products, or services
And from a quick look at the Vacancy Questions Preview I found:
- Developing Marketing plans (situational analysis, marketing strategy, financial objectives, market research, contingency plans)
- Serving as marketing staff resource
- Press releases, news articles, brochures, long-lead articles, public/private partnerships, emergent issues/events, factoids, technical advisories
- Other communication media
- Project management
- Collaborative, social media, and other innovative tools to streamline workflows or processes in digital projects cycle
- Full life-cycle environmental related projects
All of the terms above represent important needs of the employer, which means you have to show them that you have these skills, abilities, and knowledge.
Unfortunately, I don’t see these terms in your current resume, or at least I didn’t see them in the first 10 seconds I spent looking at your resume. Employers spend only 6-9 seconds on every resume, which means you have to make an impression FAST.
A good thing to do is come up with categories of skill sets that most if not all of these key words and phrases fall under. It appears these could be good candidates:
Planning, Implementation, Evaluation
Collaborative and Social Marketing
There are probably other categories to use, but this is a good start.
These category titles should be used in your summary and as sub-headers for your bullet points. I started inserting some of these sub-headers into your resume. When you do this, it is VERY important that the text in each bullet point relate to that sub-header and, most importantly, that you show the employer what you accomplished. I like candidates to include a “Key Accomplishments” bullet point at the end of every position as well.
A good model to use when writing your bullet points is the CCAR method:
C – Context
C – Challenge
A – Action
R – Result
Give the employer the context (or challenge) or what you do related to their needs. That means starting with a skill verb that is taking directly from their job announcement. In this case some good words could be: developing, enhancing, managing, negotiating, planning, implementing, evaluating, assessing, analyzing, or the appropriately conjugated version of these verbs.
Action is the what, where, when, who (with), and the how of your description.
Result is the most important part: what was your accomplishment? Often it is hard to show a numerical accomplishment though. In that case it is good to discuss how your work was use or what value it brought to the organization.
I prefer to use a serif font like Times because the “feet” and “hats” on the letters create a nature flow from one word to the next and the letters are not as difficult to read. Of course, when posting resumes to the internet, fonts don’t really matter much.
July 13, 2011 at 12:19 am #128045
Thanks so much for your time and feedback on my resume. I will take your advice and work on a new resume!
August 8, 2011 at 7:15 am #128042
The GovLoop team asked me to review your resume as well. I also reviewed it a while back and did not post my comments here. MY bad! (I’m new to the GovLoop and am now getting in the “loop.”) I reviewed it again and am posting the resume here.
In addition to each of Paul ‘s excellent suggestions, I made just a few other comments. They should appear in a different color when you open the file, and you should be able to hover over the comments labeled [Comment D__]. Those will show my comments.
Best of luck to you! I look forward to seeing your new resume. If you have any questions, feel free to let me know!
November 19, 2011 at 5:20 pm #128039
I FINALLY got the time to update my resume. Here is my new and improved resume! I greatly appreciate the help from Paul and Camille. Their suggestions were great. BTW, I did actually get an interview for the marketing specialist job I had posted about below, but didn’t get selected. I’m still remaining optimistic and hopefully with this new resume more doors will open!
November 19, 2011 at 7:57 pm #128037
Fabulous, Christine! If you got an interview, you did something right with your resume! The resume helps you get the interview and the interview lands you the job!
Evaluate your interview and learn from it. Ask yourself what you would do different. Were you a good fit? Did you ask relevant questions that demonstrate your value? Did you ask questions that proved you could solve their problems/needs? Did you write a thank you/job proposal letter? (Just some ideas to help you next time.)
Be sure to review the announcement thoroughly and modify each resume to target the announcement. Don’t give up. Keep trying! Best of luck to you! =)
February 1, 2012 at 5:15 pm #128035
Any updates, Christine? Any more interviews…or jobs? 🙂
February 2, 2012 at 1:52 am #128033
Since revamping my resume, I got interviews for 8 different jobs in the private sector and nonprofit industries. I also made the referral list for four federal positions, although I have yet to be contacted for interviews for them. I actually just started a new job today =)
February 2, 2012 at 4:01 pm #128031
Thanks for responding! So the new job isn’t in government, eh? Where are you now?
March 13, 2012 at 2:57 am #128029
So sorry for the late reply — I just now realized I never responded! I’m currently working for an association in the DC area. Someday I hope to back in the feds!
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