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Rock My Resume: S. Anderson
February 3, 2012 at 5:03 am #151795
- Why do you want your resume reviewed? I would like to have my resume reviewed because I want another federal job, but have had no luck with my current resume. The response I always receive is “eligible – not referred.” I have a feeling I am not conveying my strengths adequately.
- What is your current situation (employed, seeking, etc.)? Employed, seeking a new job.
- Where are you in the process (submitted resumes, applied for jobs, etc.)? I have applied for several jobs.
- What’s the main issue you’re encountering? Applying for jobs, but not receiving any calls for interviews. Difficulty demonstrating my accomplishments. Trying to make my resume appealing within the USAjobs required format.
- Can you share 1 link to a job you’re interested in applying for? Program Analyst position https://my.usajobs.gov/GetJob/ViewDetails/307660100
February 9, 2012 at 9:09 pm #151807
We’re glad you got the process started! Once you’ve completed steps 1-7 in the instructions (https://www.govloop.com/group/rockyourresume/page/instructions – looks like only 2 more to go for you!), we’ll get you in the queue for review.
February 14, 2012 at 9:30 pm #151804
Hi S., Thanks for submitting your “Edit 1” version. I’ve condensed all of your activity into this one stream to keep it all organized. You’re now in the queue and should have a review some time next month (there’s been a huge demand following the webinar!).
Attached is Edit 1. Thanks for the review!
February 20, 2012 at 7:20 pm #151802
Overall, this is a great resume that has incorporated much of the suggestions from the instructions. There are a few things that can be done to make it even more effective.
First of all, stop using tables to align you test in your resume. You may have down loaded this from USAJobs, which is fine, but if you are sending this to employers, the tables make your document look unfinished. It is possible to arrange your resume without using tables to make it look clean.
You have a ton of great experience, and you have do a wonderful job of organizing everything in great subsections focused on skills and functions. But there’s so MUCH of it! My concern is that all this text may be scaring off potential readers because there is so much.
What about using a layout like this:
U.S. Election Assistance Commission, Washington, DC 1/2008-Present
Research Program Analyst/Deputy Research Director
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.
Notice that the bullet points break up the page, make your resume easier on the eyes, and these descriptions do more than simply say “Review elections literature” or “follow election trends and statistics.”
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.
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.”
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 CAR method:
C = Context
A = Action
R = Result
If you are having a hard time finding the ―end‖ of your story, try using a Skills Matrix:
Context (the task)
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
Finally, regarding your summary section: 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. Here is a good 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.”
March 1, 2012 at 6:34 pm #151800
We hope you found this service helpful! If so, we’d really appreciate it if you could update your resume based on Paul’s feedback and post to this discussion. It would be a great resource for others trying to update their own resumes that have a couple great samples to use. If you re-post by March 9, you’ll also be in the running for our monthly spotlight for the best resume rocked this month! In addition to getting some great exposure, the winner will also get a $10 Starbucks gift card, to help power through the job application process!
March 5, 2012 at 2:34 pm #151798
Thank you so much for the helpful advice! I appreciate it and will continue to work on improving my resume.
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