Looking to Transition from Your Military Career?

Transitioning from the military is doable but it takes a strategic approach. Follow these tips for a successful transition:

  • Give yourself enough time. Getting a federal job takes time under the best of circumstances. Most federal job postings receive as many as 400 to 1,000 or more applications—and many of those are from former military members. I was working with an agency that posted a grade 6 position; they received 1,200 applications and 900 of them were from 30% or more compensably rated vets. Give yourself at least 6 months (and more realistically, 12-18) to get a federal job; you should start applying at least 120 days before you leave the military.

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Mistakes Jobseekers Make in the Job Search

Are you making these mistakes in your job search? Chances are, you’re making at least one or
two — if not more! Go through this checklist and mark which mistakes you’re currently making
— and then follow the suggestions to learn how to stop making that mistake! [Read more…]

Job Search after 50

According to the Partnership for Public Service, only 7 percent of federal workers are millennials, compared to 23 percent of private sector workers. Nonetheless, many people looking for a second career in the federal government after age 50, are concerned about whether their age will be seen as a hindrance. [Read more…]

Federal Benefits Update

If you haven’t yet heard of the threats to federal benefits contained in President Trump’s 2018 budget proposal, you haven’t been paying attention.  However, if you’re receiving the Solutions for the Workplace monthly newsletter, the odds are good that you’re aware of the danger on the horizon.

Most of the proposals are a re-hash of those that have been presented in the past and have gotten nowhere.  The Congressional Budget Office, the Simpson-Bowles Commission and budget proposals coming from the House of Representatives have made the same or similar proposals over the last several years.  The difference is that now the same party controls both houses of Congress and the Presidency, making the changes somewhat more likely to be enacted.  Note that I used the modifier “somewhat” in the previous sentence; it’s no slam dunk to enact such major changes to long-time benefits. [Read more…]

Development is About More than Training

Most agencies offer both formal and informal development opportunities. The formal type of development encompasses traditional training programs, while informal development occurs during every day work. Do not neglect the multiple informal opportunities most of us have to improve ourselves at work. And, in these times of increasing budget pressures, it may be easier to take advantage of informal, rather than formal opportunities. [Read more…]

Creating a Job Search Plan

I often hear comments along the lines of, “I’ve never had to look for a job, they have always just fallen into my lap!” While that may have been true in the past, for most of us, a successful job search requires organization and effort. You will need to develop a routine to be successful in your job search. It is important to do something to move your job search forward every day.   You will need to create a new set of priorities and schedules—and write it down so you can hold yourself accountable. [Read more…]

The Top 10 Reasons You Were Not Picked for an Interview

Over and over I hear, “if I could only get an interview, I could get the job…” Yet, far too many times, you’re not called for an interview. What could have happened…you thought you were the perfect fit…and you may have even received an email saying that you were referred to the hiring manager.

Of course, truly knowing the precise reason for not getting interviewed for a specific position is difficult to figure out but here are some of the more common reasons why you were not called for an interview: [Read more…]

I know I could do the job…if only they’d give me a chance!

I wish I had a dollar for every time a client made the above comment. While I have no doubt that the comment is true, we are currently in a buyer’s market—where hiring managers have lots of choices to make among candidates. While it is certainly possible for a hiring manager to pick someone based on their potential (especially for jobs above the entry level), in my view, it is unrealistic to expect hiring managers to do this. Let’s think about this for a moment…

Most job postings specify the criteria the hiring organization is looking for—whether through specialized experience and the occupational questionnaires in the federal government, or in a section in a private section posting that says something along the lines of, “The ideal candidate will have…” All applicants should carefully review the qualifications required. If the posting asks for 10 years of experience and you have 6, you are not likely well qualified. Or, if your experience is in a different area all together, while again, you may the basic qualifications (like a degree), you are not likely to have the specialized experience required. [Read more…]

Validating Your Experience—Third Party Endorsements

We have talked about the importance of documenting your experience on your resume and through your cover letter. In addition to documenting your experience through achievements and metrics, another way to demonstrate your expertise and effectiveness is through third party endorsements. There are several ways to approach this:

  • Consider featuring a quotation from a recent performance evaluation or award recommendation on your resume. On a USAJOBS resume, you could call it a Supervisory Endorsement and put it in the Additional Information Section of USAJOBS. Be sure to identify where the quote came from (e.g., Recent Performance Evaluation) and identify the source, either by name or title. Here’s an example:

“Branch Chief Smith is keenly versed on all laws, regulations and policies relevant to the program. He is working diligently to transform the operational paradigm from solely security to a frontline/investigative methodology…and to retool training…He is an expert on the science that distinguishes DHS’s program from all others, particularly in the area of guarding against cross contamination.” 2016 Performance Review. [Read more…]

Conduct a Social Media Audit, Part 1

Nancy Segal is now the weekly career columnist for FEDWeek. This article was originally posted in the FEDWeek Career Forum.

Your online social media profile can positively or negatively impact your job search. While social media is currently more important in private sector employment than federal, do not let the sloppy management of your social media affect your career! This audit will help you evaluate whether your online accounts are helping or hurting your chances of employment.

More than half of employers say they have rejected an applicant because of what they have found on the jobseeker’s social media profiles. [Read more…]