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Rock My Resume: Terri Reitz
September 14, 2011 at 1:32 pm #141291
I have applied for several federal jobs with no luck of landing an interview. I get back that I am qualified for a GS 14 or 15 but am not a top candidate or no response and then I see the job advertised again. This is perplexing as I am a Certified Records Manager (think CPA – formal certification process with 6 exams passed) with 20 plus years of experience. I took my current position (even though I was and am over qualified for it) so I would already be in the federal system in order to find the next step in my career ladder. My observations have been that it is easier to find the next job if one was already in the system. So logically, if no one is biting using the current version of the resume, then it must need more tweaking.
I applied for the Dept of Agriculture FAS position Supervisory Management Analyst with no response. It is advertised again as Job Announcement No UK534353RMO.
October 20, 2011 at 8:19 pm #141301
Hey Terri – With the USAJOBS revamp, do you happen to have a link to a new job that you could share here?
Thanks – Andy (GovLoop Community Manager and RYR Coordinator)
October 31, 2011 at 6:23 pm #141298
Thank you for participating in the Rock Your Résumé program! I’m honored to review your résumé and hope my suggestions will help you improve your résumé so you can land your dream job! I didn’t get an updated link to a job announcement so I used an example from another announcement. I think my comments will help you understand the concept of targeting your résumé to the job announcement and will be a good start on improving your résumé.
You do have excellent experience. I believe the reason you are not making it past the initial screening is because you are not targeting your résumé to the job announcement. The headline, profile summary, and first two “sections” on the traditional résumé are the most critical in terms of capturing and keeping the attention of the reader. Does your résumé pass the 5-second skim test? When creating a traditional résumé using a Word document, it is important to address the needs of the employer—quickly! Leave off the old fashioned, generic “objective” and replace it with KEYwords specific to the job that will QUICKLY capture the reader’s (employer’s) attention.
Think of those first few seconds like reading the title to a book. Will the “title” to your book compel the reader to open the book and read your story? If your headline (brand) and the first one-third of the page (before the first fold) are visually appealing, compelling, and addresses the needs of the employer, it should capture his/her attention. Then, if it flows with qualifications and telling your story, it will be easy to keep his/her attention because you have attracted their interest. Now they will want to know more about you and what you can do to solve their problems and address their needs. If you combine your branding elements with qualifications and tell a story, this approach will get you much further…faster…in the hiring process.
Begin with your headline, then a brief 3 to 4-line profile summary, incorporating keywords. Create the Qualifications Summary to demonstrate your knowledge, skills, and abilities—qualifications. Then craft the Core Competencies section using keywords from the announcement along with your expertise and skills.
There are three purposes for the Qualifications Summary and Core Competencies sections on the résumé (and you can use different titles if necessary):
- Aligning you/your résumé with the job announcement—branding and outlining qualifications.
- Keyword optimizing—copying these sections into the online résumé builders.
- Most important, when you interview for the position—you and the hiring official will have great talking points that are specific to the job announcement!
As you know, résumés are very subjective. Ask 5 people to review your résumé and you will get 10 opinions. However, I am sharing what has been working for me and my clients for 23 years. I “data mine” the announcement to obtain keywords and qualifications, then relate your experience, knowledge, and skills to create your brand and story. You can use http://www.Wordle.net to help data mine if you are not familiar with identifying keywords and qualifications. It is a great tool. Just copy and paste the duties and qualifications sections, or even the whole announcement, into Wordle.net and it will do some of the work for you. It will help to identify the keywords used throughout the announcement. Use those often and relate your experiences to those keywords in your résumé.
To continue sharing what has been working for me and my clients, I create a “job search toolkit.” One of the elements to the toolkit is creating the résumé in three formats. I create a .doc, .txt, and pdf. Each has their strategic purpose. I recommend formatting the .doc file using enhancements such as some color, bold, small caps, centering, bullets, perhaps a drop cap, text box, and possibly a table or graph, depending on the situation, to name a few.
After I complete the final version of the résumé in Word, I create the other two versions—a .txt and a .pdf. Bullets and symbols do not transfer well to online résumé builders so when I create the text file, I replace the “?” and any other symbols with a keyboard symbol such as an asterisk (*) and do other formatting enhancements that can be done in a text file. I clean up the file then it is ready to be copied into the résumé builder, section by section. You can use the .pdf for uploading as well if the organization allows it.
Another use for the .pdf version, and most important, take several prints with you to give to the interviewer(s). This is one way you can set yourself/résumé apart from all the résumés that look alike—possibly word processor-based templates. Be sure to leave the nicely formatted prints with the interviewers and human resources personnel. It will make a big impact when they are choosing who to hire as well.
I look forward to seeing your résumé after you incorporate the suggestions and target it to the job announcement. I wish you the best of luck in your career search!
Certified Social Media Career Strategist
Certified Federal Résumé Writer/Coach
Certified Professional Résumé Writer
Certified Employment Interview Professional
Certified Advanced Résumé Writer
Certified Internet Job Search Expert
Behavioral Consultant and Authorized DISC Administrator
October 31, 2011 at 7:13 pm #141296
Andy – as soon as USAJOBS settles down, I’ll find another job posting. I have tried the site a couple of times with little success. “Records Manager” as a keyword brings up the strangest results.
Thanks for looking at my resume.
October 31, 2011 at 9:03 pm #141294
I understand, Terri! Hey – it looks like Camille gave it a review anyway. If you can make those suggested changes and re-post, you’d be in the running for “Total Resume Makeover” of the month for October…if you can do so by Friday – that’s when I am making my choice! 🙂 – Andy
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