10 Mistakes You’re Making on LinkedIn

Mistake 1: You’re not on LinkedIn. If you’re not, you need to be—even if you’re working for the government! While LinkedIn is used more in the private sector than in the government, the US Army has the largest number of “employees” of any company in the world. And in some agencies I work with, if you’re not on LinkedIn, you won’t get an interview. [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…]

10 Things that Will Improve Your USAJOBS Resume

I am often asked what the DIY person can do to their resume to make it better. Here are 10 easy-to-implement suggestions: 

  1. Create a Skills Summary or Professional Profile. This is great way to include keywords and summarize who you are and what you bring to the table in a couple of sentences.
  1. Add awards. Give yourself credit.
  1. Get rid of experience that is irrelevant and/or more than 10 years old. Hiring Managers [and Human Resources (HR) people] want to know what you have done lately. And, most likely your experience from 10+ years ago was not at the same level as you are targeting now—so it may not count as qualifying experience. Finally, if you haven’t done something in more than 10 years, even if you are considered qualified, you may not be best If you were the hiring manager, would YOU want to select someone who hasn’t done something in 10 years or someone who is doing it now?

[Read more…]

Creating Powerful Accomplishments

Many resumes are nothing but a recitation of duties and/or responsibilities. When you think about it, just because you are responsible for doing something, doesn’t mean that you actually do it—let alone do it well. Including powerful accomplishments in your resume is a strong differentiator; it says, not only do I do “x,” I do it well. And that’s what future employers want to know. Your current supervisor also likely wants to know what you have achieved for inclusion in your annual performance evaluation.

So how do you create powerful accomplishments? The first thing to do is track and document your achievements. You can document your achievements online (don’t forget to back-up your system!) or save a hard copy in a file folder or notebook. When you receive a “kudos” email, forward a copy to your personal email account. If you receive notes of appreciation from customers, coworkers, or your organization, compile those. Finally, consider printing out and/or taking a screenshot of any LinkedIn Recommendations you have on your profile. These are an important part of your accomplishments record as well. You need to make collecting your accomplishments part of your routine—whether it be daily, weekly, or monthly. [Read more…]