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Rock My Resume: Gmerice J Welch
July 11, 2011 at 4:02 am #134912
I am currently employed in the private sector and I am seeking employment in the public sector. I have previously submitted resumes via USAJOBS.gov, for positions that are closely related to positions I've held (Correspondence Representative) and for positions that I may be over-qualified for based on experience and education but I haven't had any luck getting past the "Eligible- Application Not Referred to Selecting Official" phase. I recently learned that Federal resumes are slightly different than resumes for the private sector, so I'm working on making the appropriate changes in hopes that I'll get to the next phase of the Federal application process.
I have attached a file with the description of two positions, one I previously applied for (Accounts Receivable Technician) and a position I am interested in applying for (Health Insurance Specialist). I'm unable to include a direct link because these jobs aren't currently posted.
August 15, 2011 at 10:29 am #134918
Gmerice, thanks for participating in the Rock Your Resume program. I hope you find my comment useful.
I think you are right that you are applying to positions that are well below your experience and capabilities. The position you sent is a GS 05/06 which is typically for those with a bachelor’s or those with 2-3 years of work experience. You have a Bachelors AND 8+ years work experience. My suggestion is that you look at positions in the GS 07/09 range because they will be at the level your experience.
I understand why you would want to apply for those 05/06 positions, but as you know, employers may look at you as someone who would become very board, very quickly with that work. My guess is that you would become very board very quickly.
This means, of course, that competition for GS9 positions will be much stiffer, but I think you have a good shot at them if we can improve upon how you present your experiences on your resume.
You need to translate your resume into their language using these exact words to describe what you have done and, most importantly, what you have accomplished.
I made a few changes to the resume you uploaded using track changes. However, I think it would be a good idea for you to build your federal resume using the USAJobs resume builder because it will help you organize information in such a way that most HR specialists and hiring managers are accustomed to.
Organizing your experiences according to the skill sets will help a lot too. This is sometimes referred to as a modified chronological format or “outline” format. Each description 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 that required a lot of partnerships and collaboration. After looking through his resume, I suggested that instead of this bullet point:
- Developed sustainable networks of members and volunteers
Then he combined it with one or two other short bullet points into something like this:
- Partnership Building – Developed and implemented sustainable networks of members and volunteers to facilitate greater effectiveness of XXX’s programs addressing key areas of health, education and housing that increased the amount of day-to-day contact with stakeholders in the Midlands and North of England by 500%. Created community champions through one-to-one support and training, resulting in community led advocacy efforts which created positive change.
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 Partnership Building, one of their key needs. It also gives much more context to the employer and the sense that his work had a much broader impact.
You don’t want to have massive bullet points for every skill set, just those that highlight those things that mean the most to the employer. And you can still keep the accomplishments section too.
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.
Finally, avoid using verbs like conduct, perform, administer, support, assist, or maintain. 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.
A good thing to do for recognition is have every last subsection of your position descriptions be “Key Accomplishments.” That way you can focus on the skills and value-addeds in your bullet points and highlight your key accomplishments at the end. This is where you can put things like your perfect attendance awards.
The most important thing is that you always focus on what the employer wants. That means, again, using the words and phrases they use to describe your experiences. When you do that, they will find it very easy to understand how you fit with their needs.
August 18, 2011 at 12:03 am #134916
Thanks so much for your in depth review of my resume! I would also like to thank you and all of the other resume reviewers for taking the time to provide what can be a very expensive service to all of us, for free!
I've been working on my resume for quite some time; it's been reviewed and rewritten numerous times. I have also used the USAJobs resume builder to create resumes. I do feel like I'm beginning to see the light at the end of the tunnel with your review though. So, I'm going to take my resume and your review and get back to work using the USAJobs resume builder. I'll post my revised resume when I'm finished.
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