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Rock My Resume: Kathleen Poles
September 16, 2011 at 2:03 am #141462
Why do you want your resume review? I need help with my resume in order to out shine other people when applying for a job.
What is your current situation? I am employed but looking for another job.
Where are you in the process ? I have applied for several jobs, submitted alot of resumes and had a couple of interviews but unable to land a new job.
What is the main issue you are encountering? The main issue I am having is I am trying to switch careers and with no experience in my new career and not having a degree it is very hard. I am currently attending school online and will have my AA in December 2011 in Acquisition and Contract
Management. I am trying to get a government job in contracts or purchasing or a position that can take me to my goal.
Can you share 1 link to a job you’re interested in applying for:https://careers.peopleclick.com/careerscp/client_siemens/external/gateway.do?functionName=viewFromLink&jobPostId=352686&localeCode=en-us&source=Indeed&sourceType=PREMIUM_POST_SITE
October 31, 2011 at 8:44 pm #141467
Hi Kathleen – Are you seeking a job in government? If so, could you share an example of an announcement from USAJOBS or similar government website? Thanks – Andy (GovLoop Community Manager)
November 20, 2011 at 7:35 pm #141465
Obviously this note is coming too late for your application to the Dept. of States internship program, but there will be many other similar student programs to which you will want to apply.
Typically, internships like this are not posted to USAJobs and usually require a non-federal resume. What that means is you would submit a resume that is, in your case, one page long, as you have it now.
This requires, of course, that you tailor your resume to fit the position exactly and that you use the language they use to describe your accomplishments. Your resume must obviously show an employer what they are looking for by using their language to describe your skills and accomplishments.
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
Also, I would suggest not separating your Relevant Activities from your Experience (and retitle that Professional Experiences). In fact, it appears that some of you “activities” are just as, if not more, impressive than some of your work experiences.
A couple other important points:
- 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. Even though you are in school, most private and public organizations are more interested in your experiences. Also, if you are in school while looking for full-time jobs, employers may immediately discount you if they think you can’t work and go to school at the same time. Seeing your accomplishments first may mitigate this reaction.
- Your margins are a bit too small. I suggest that you not go below 7/10 of an inch or bigger than 1 inch.
- Try using a serif font like Times New Roman. Those fonts are easier to read than the san serif fonts, like the one you use.
- You name doesn’t need to be that much bigger than the rest of the text on the page. It is still readable at 12 pt and it doesn’t take up as much space.
The hardest part now is actually writing your resume. I suggest that you not worry about the length of your resume at this point, but instead that you focus on the content. Don’t worry about fitting it onto one page now; that will only hinder your ability to write out everything you can on the page. When you do that, you might be amazed at how much more important information appears on your resume. When you worry too much about length, you won’t allow yourself to get everyone out of your head onto the page. Just get everything out and then go back to clean it up.
In fact, that is good advice for writing in general. Writing, thinking, and researching should happen at the same time. Get everything your think about onto the page and then go back—do not edit as you write.
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