5 Tips For Veterans On How To Write A Federal Resume


okay I wanna welcome everyone to the

federal resume workshop I take it to

everyone in this room today you do want

a federal job now by the show of hands

how many you guys have II have an

account on usajobs.gov okay that's the

ball okay one to everyone in this room

if you're really serious about getting a

federal law trust me it's just like

going to Walmart you know you won't

either Walmart federal USAJOBS is a

one-stop shop

but you go to USAJOBS you can do

everything all federal agencies are

there you can upload your resume you can

search for jobs you'll need to go to

another website to actually look and see

what they have unless you are you are

selected to give it interview then you

can go to that particular agency's work

with our website and learn more about

the company so we don't get moving

forward here I normally have an

icebreaker once you guys introduce

yourselves etc etc but the third piece

here it says career going plan even

though is on an icebreaker I asked that

question because when you write your

resume your resume not just talking

about your past it's a spring forward to

your future so in other words many of

innocent has room have two or three

different things we can do so you want

your plan is your career plan is that is

what's going to help you get the job

that you desire to order the job but

you're qualified to get so just keep

that in mind as we go forward in the

presentation here now man deduction is

bro simple just gonna provide you some

tips on how to how the process piece

works in USAJOBS

go over a few other nuances and USAJOBS

and then also I'll close out with some

do's and don'ts on writing your federal

resume amen

where I go federal when I go further why

do you want to work for the federal

government now one of my points here is

that it fulfills a personal mission you

know some of us serve our country for X

amount of years and you feel like okay

I'm out of the military now that my six

to eight years now I want to go ahead

and work for civil service you earn your

stripes you

want to continue to help the boys and

girls on the ground the guys floating on

the ships etc helping the the warfighter

or you just civilian you did not ever

serve your country in the military

however you want to do it as a civil

servant you want to serve the people so

yeah that's a great idea reason for to

go federal

another good opportunity that I've

noticed is that the opportunity to

advance in the federal government talk

about job announcements what you're

looking at when you read a job

announcement some job announcements post

on USAJOBS are only for one position

only but then there's some that you see

a career ladder maybe a gs5 through a


that's what you called a career ladder

job announcement in a position so yeah

you won't plot to that one and then long

as you do your job right you'll continue

to grow get promoted each and every year

excellent excellent training that that's

offered to you in the federal government

in our Civil Service and opportunities

you can get some great training that

comes from outside the federal

government they hired on hard in the

committee and give us quality training a

lot of some of it is technical training

focus on our jobs and then there's some

soft skills training communication etc

except to help you develop into a flying

a leader in your arm in your

organization then also the federal

government has strong worker rights most

of us seek they work in the federal

ground because we you know it takes a

lot to to lay off we're not looking at

get rid of people but the thing I want

you to remember is that you still have

to perform while you're working in civil

service we you know we have a strong

work ethic we want you to perform like

you would if you was working at Target

you've been working at Walmart you're

working at one of the five top 500

companies in the nation so why go

federal great opportunities ever less in

career fields and provides great great

in retirement pieces now this next slide

is one of my top my top five my top five

tips to help you write your resume these

are very key it's going to help you get

to the next level and getting interview

and also probably getting selected for

position many veterans I talked to they


maybe they have a law gonna write the

resume the way they should they don't

really be a Pacific enough and then also

they me applying to the wrong job

announcement so and they expect to get

veteran preference and civilians with no

preference are applying to opposite

another type of realm announcement and

they'll never get looked at so I'm here

to help you and my first tip is is to

determine your strongest skill set what

it is that you really can do and that's

what you should look at now let me say

this though sometimes like you spent

maybe 15 20 years in the service or

doing a certain occupation you you out

now you're tired of it you want to do

something completely different like last

week you gave a workshop one late young

lady sailor 20 years logistics


she got out she's out announced you

don't want to do that anymore she won't

do something completely different but

one thing you look at like I shared with

her is that she has to look at what's

going to give her food on the table

what's gonna pay her bills her passion

about doing the work may not give her a

job now she wanted to change occupations

and work in a help field commend her

truly commend her for wanting to help

out veterans but she don't have a lot of

experience all this experience she has

has been a veteran herself any company

not you know private sector and also

federal they want to look at their

return on investment if I hire you will

you be able to bring in me save dollars

increase my funding develop my people

reduce waste those other things

management look at so I was like I told

her like I'm telling you today is that

you know look at your strongest skillset

get a job in logistics and then while

you working in logistics begin to look

at or get yourself ready for the job

that you want to do in her case you want

to work with veterans

maybe she she I recommend to her that

she will volunteer at a veteran's home

volunteer maybe get some classes

you know whatever to help her be more

qualified for when she applied to the

job so my number two is this guy's is

look at what are you passionate about

doing many times people try to find a

job that they they chasing a dollar you

know they want to get rich quick you

know they they know what that the top

five job opportunities are and they try

to find them get the resume work it

towards that and where they don't really

have enough experience for example I was

helping the Wounded Warrior several

years back and he wanted to get into IT

and I'm looking at his resume I'm

talking with him on the phone and I

didn't see a lot of IT experience so I

talked to him and and that is leather

asked him a question I say sir what are

you passionate about doing and he told

me you know what you said didn't I'm

really passionate about being a dog

trainer I say really kind of Chuck a

little bit and ask some well my next

question was do you have any experience

being a dog trainer he said yes I have

eight to ten years of military

experience at the dog trainer so right

there I just told him say you're

stronger skill set is a dog trainer you

have a passion and do that and you don't

want to chase the dollar because I

eighty as we all know is is every

business now having a network set up

even churches today have a network set

up so we worked on his resume for a dog

trainer and posted him and market him on

the Wounded Warrior Program and makes

you know a month later his resume was

requested and so everything was good he

got selected got hired there was a good

success story now for me I don't know

what's out there and it felt like I

wanted to guide him and help him

determine his real true path instead of

just trying to fight finding a dollar

because he probably wouldn't they never

got hired as an IT tech so that was a

good success though I tell you today to

look at your patch and look at what you

want to do because you want to get up in

the morning and be happy to go to work

you don't want to be dry all my goodness

I do not want to go to work that I'm not

like what I'm doing on with the people

with you know so there'll be a lot of

things kind of hold you

my number three is that this is key

especially for those that are severely

just disabled and it is if you have a

severe disability get it scheduled a

letter because you may have been doing

as a jet mechanic or heavy truck

operator for a number of years five or

six years and that's great but when you

if you get injured and you can no longer

do that work like one of my buddies that

in Afghanistan he really ran over ie D

lost his right arm so when he came back

to the states and he got out of the

military he couldn't do that type work

anymore so I recommend that he get it

scheduler and what that does is help you

determine another career okay then when

you post your resume and thus get a

letter on USAJOBS they'll write they'll

see that okay here's a schedule a more

likely severe disability so he don't he

or she won't have to meet the actual

skill level that's required that's in

the job announcement so it's a lot of

more stuff that goes on with that so if

a person that you thought you are

severely disabled your resume needs to

be written towards your new skill your

new job experience memo for is once you

figure out all that you're doing and you

can do now and your skill level your

passion etc now you begin to tell your

resume to a job announcement now this

here is nothing new turn your resume to

a job announcement because in a private

sector they do it or no job with your

resume and also in the federal so

tending your resume it takes a little

bit of skill in the federal resume

USAJOBS they have several sections on

there that you need to pull keywords and

put into your resume but with your own

experience and my last piece here number

five is to translate I want to see it

again translate translate yeah your

military jargon that you that you may be

a custom of using and also civilian

language too or jargon so you turn that


basic civilian language that anybody can

understand that you're what I'm gonna do

is tell people once you write your

resume have maybe your spouse your

girlfriend boyfriend whatever whoever

look over your resume and when it come

across things that they can't understand

then you can look at it and see if you

need a you know downplayed it works okay

so those are my top five tips that I

tell everyone when I help them write to

the resume things to look at so they can

you can be the resume could be stronger

now my next slide here I want to talk to

you about some some myths about applying

for federal government there's a lot of

talk out there things that we used to do

we don't do anymore

a lot of people a lot of job seekers

think that we still do some of these

things for example resumes are scanned

for keywords in USAJOBS that's a strong

myth but that doesn't happen we don't

your resume is not scanned for keywords

it used to be in the old system back in

2011 earlier under the old program but

now today is not scan for keywords now

our keywords important like I said them

price lot yes

keywords are vital to have in your

resume when you turn your resume that's

how we can identify it you have to

specialize the necessary specialized

experience for the job

so definitely keywords are important but

just know I put this in it so you know

that USAJOBS there not scandal and that

scan your resume another myth some you

may have heard this one here is on

people say when you take the because you

know when you apply to a US a job job

announcement you have to take any

assessment so when you take the

assessment people know you won't get

forward to management unless you mark

expert on all the assessment questions

that's so true now the thing about it is

once your resume or your application

gets passed the first way a real person

has to look

got it and what we're looking at is that

your expert your assessment score expert

and your resume

wherever you marked expert we need to

see that expert experience in your

resume now when we say when you say when

we say expert we're saying that you can

do the job by yourself not that you're

the annoying person on this one

occupation it just as you so many guys

who apply to the job they just talked


the one question that you're looking at

to answer okay that's just a myth I want

to clear that up so you know and your

assessment is how you so certified that

you have experience to actually get the

job that you qualify for the position

alright nice my third myth that I've you

know learned from talking to a lot of

job seekers that and now some people

hear that some other people you may

think that's okay to do because you may

be struggling and right into resume

some people say this just cut copy and

paste the duties from the job

announcement to your resume that's not

the way to do it that's not how you

write your resume all right and the

reason why is job announcements are

written in a task format your resume

needs to be written in a accomplishment

piece so your resume should not be a

task type resume should be focused on

what you accomplished because what you

accomplished is what sort of let the

hiring manager see that you have the

necessary experience and skills to do

the job okay

at whatever level that you apply to now

there's my fourth myth people tend to to

really think that this is true when they

say federal HR already know who they

want to hire before they release a job

announcement that would be pretty messed

up because for the HR folks that do all

that work and they already know who they

want to hire it's not necessarily true

okay there are other ways that HR folks

in the federal government can hire

somebody who they know without posting a

job announcement on USAJOBS

so yeah so that's not a true statement

so so don't get this discouraged to see

your job announced but I want to

encourage you to go ahead and apply to

every job announced that you

that you are qualified for okay

the now before applying to a job there

are two things you really need to look

at okay before you apply I noticed a lot

of information the federal site really

look at if you're eligible for a job

then are you qualified for the job those

two things are completely separate

okay so eligible eligibility is based

off of timing great like you were when

you're in the military you have to be at

least be far for you know so many years

before you'll take the e6m does she ring

a bell to you so before you can't take

the e6 exam six months before you're

eligible to take the e7 exam there's a

pier you have to wait I think it's three

years if it hadn't changed so and what

we're looking at is that the time are

great when you read a job announcement

arrow say let's say for example you're

applying to a gs-7 position the job

announcement under the qualifications

piece it'll say you must have one-year

specialized experience for the one grade

below the job you'll love what you're

applying to

so basically what the sand is so you

have to have one-year specialized

experience at the gs6 so 52 weeks at the

gs6 before you be able to apply to the


or gs5 if there's a two-level graded job

announcement so it may sound a lot but

don't get frazzled behind the actual

definition of timing great so just make

sure that you do have the time in great

well she will not go beyond this level

in the grading process for this position

you will be determined

not qualified not eligible for this

position now there are disarray that we

do look at it let's say that you

applying to a position and I want to I

want to go back and say this when we

look at that one year especially as

experience it also say equivalent

experience so other words you in the


you have a hiring Authority of veoa okay

the equivalent experience or your it

means basically that your military

experience your resume has to be written

at this my example at the G of 6 or the

gs5 depends on if it's a 2 level

position so your resume need to be

written at that level grade below the

job you applied to your equivalent

experience so and that's where somebody

like myself can help you fine-tune your

resume so that way you could be you know

go to the next level get an interview at

least you get an interview that's good

as that's what I always say you want to

get your resume through so that you get

an interview you're good now guarantee

you'll get hired but if you get an

interview that's a positive mark there

and the next piece on the eligibility is

we look at a combination of Education

and experience so you may not have the

Force one year it's best out thus

parents but you have education you may

have maybe nine credits towards a

associate degree I'm not sure the math

on that but nine credits could convert

into six months so if you work a

part-time job 20 hours a week we convert

that that's six months so if you were to

do that this had that one work

experience for one year you will not be

eligible to apply to that go7 job but if

you have education and the part-time

work both equal six six months equals to

one year yes so we'll look at a

combination of your experience in

education now let's say this though to

your education must be from an

accredited college okay to get to be

used to bring you on board I know I said

a lot a mouthful about eligibility but

it's a lot of stuff that you you know

some things that you need to know before

you apply and I don't really want people

wasting their time

okay so the next piece is is qualified

once you determine that you are eligible

for this position now you look at are

you qualified we want management want

someone that's best qualified they want

you to come in and ready to hit the

ground running and knowing what you're

supposed to know at the position you've

got hired at so if the low visits you

got hired that so if you got you apply

to a gs-7 job they'll expect you to know

everything from the GS six and below you

guys get it and then you have that one

year to really get to a gs-7 level okay

now what you have to also look at is

you'll determine your civilian rank now

I coined this phrase here civilian rank

based off of course you know military

folks understand the rank structure

better so basically what I'm saying is

you need to determine your skill level

so when you're looking at a job

announcements the say for example Alette

logistics because they have a lot of job

announcements have a lot of experience

so that's out there because of a pretty

high turnover occupation so your

logistic zero three four six just say

you go to USAJOBS

and you've been doing logistics football

good ten years what happens now I'm not

saying that happens to everybody but

what I've learned and observed is that

you don't really know what your skill

level is and when you see all the job

announcements and what you do what some

of us do is that we look at what we got

paid while we're in the military or are

less vague and job you know especially

in military logistics is a good

occupation in the military that easily

cross over into civilian sector but not

completely so there will be some

certifications you may not even have in

the job and some jobs that you may not

have been able to do under your military

occupation but civilian side they'll

those guys get the opportunity to do it

so you need to do is look at the job

announcement based off of your skill


how I found out my skill level base what

you do is I will recommend to start off

depends on how many years you've done

that one job if you're done a logistics

job for about let's say ten years

yeah then look at probably around the

gs-7 gs-9 and then you miss a gs-9

open the job announcement some of you

guys know this but every job

announcement it has a link to the

assessment questions so you just go

through that and and now because I

shared more this one we have when you're

in the workshop but look at that and

determine if you can do the job at the

best qualified level or expert level

honestly you saying yeah I can already

do the job at this level then you were

exporting if you sent expert on pretty

much all the assessment questions what's

range from about five to about maybe

fifteen twenty questions then you would

be good at that skill level but if

you're saying that you don't have expert

level you have little you need a lot of

supervision to do the job then you may

want to step down from a gs-9 job

description on sment drop down to a gs-7

okay because you've already trying to

find out your skill lower he's not

trying to get rich on your first job

dislike was we came in and military we

all came in a bootcamp those that serve

he ones maybe e2s

it took us a couple years three or four

years after that we were EFA's and ready

to make me sick so the same stepladder

we took going to bootcamp in military

it's the same stepladder that we got to

take working in the civil service civil

services unknown that make people rich

as we all know but it's good to have

good work stability and benefits okay so

back to your civilian rank for your

skill level once you determine that okay

my skill level is a gs-7 because i'm

able to do the work without no

supervision that's what expert really

means you're doing a job with no

supervision and the questions will

actually that too so you can see it in


and they assess meant peace so I do

recommend that everyone take the

assessment prior to actually applying to

the job okay print out the assessment if

you feel this job announcements for you

print out the assessment go through it

be honest with yourself because if you

don't eat is wasting your own time you

can think you know may wanna be a gs-9

and mine looks better for you and you

apply but your resume you don't have the

skill level to do it you would not get

selected you know at the GS 9 so it's

best to find out where you're at and

then start there and then work your way

up once you get selected good night okay

so two things that you're ready to look

at before you imply to a position it's

your first thing is your being eligible

for the position and the second thing is

that you're qualified and you a manager

you know you want somebody that's best

qualified you want to bring on somebody

that really know what they're doing to

come in hit the ground running with

doctor you spending a whole lot of time

yeah we gonna need some training once we

start but you're gonna be able to the

person will be able to you will be able

to do the work that you said in the

resume that you can do but Basin area

peers not up for two years for most

occupations so that means that you gotta

be you know develop some good work

behaviors within the two years and not

necessarily keep the bad habits because

you definitely want to continue work

hard even after you're selected the big

issue is before you get selected doing a

probationary period like any other

organization in California we can let

you go just like that so you want to be

able to work hard in management these

guys are trained a lot more now these

supervisors they're looking for stuff to

make things to make sure that you can

you will be a good fit because they have

to make a hard decision as I get close

to you

you won't coming on full-time permanent

employee so it's just more work for them

once you're a permanent 4yi to

performance manage you out of the

organization so you know two years is

good really he can diverse a role it's a

very positive work habits there's some

stories that have so couple I wouldn't

Warriors I know that actually fell short

you know ten and follow the culture what

they were doing and they end up getting

laid off so I'm definitely working man

and that laid off getting terminated so

definite recommend that you work hard to

stay you know positive

into the best your care now in this next

slide I want to point out some

differences between the subdues Ohio

write your resume and then some don'ts

one of the first do I have here is this

right to resume using you know plain

language the words you normally speak

used on a daily basis and your

occupation don't necessarily you know

get up there sores and Charlie used

thousand lot of words now let you write

the resume this is not the time to try

to impress people on what you can how

you get right we want you to come to the

job and work it in okay the next one is

what I do is to write your resume using

many paragraphs none necessary the

bullet style resumes does those are of

course for private sector and we want

because you allow up to five thousand

characters per employment history and

USAJOBS so we want you to use that up to

not just fill in space but to really be

Pacific enough in your resume that you

can't get in an interview at least so

use both five espada seven sentences to

make up many paragraphs and then keep

those many paragraphs focus on

that one skill whatever you're talking

about so it makes it easier use action

start your resume off use an action

active verbs don't you work don't use

the pronouns then now know when you

describing yourself and the work you're

done again jargon remove the jargon in

your resume very very important to make

it clear and it's like any other English

paper you have an acronym build off the

icon if first and then you can use the

acronym down it into your resume so we

can see it and it's know this to you

guys and gals you know speak to your

accomplishments in your resume that is

what's going to get you hired not what

you're responsible for I remember seeing

one resume again I spoke a lot about

what he responsible for it and it's good

to have a little bit of pride which is

responsible for it but trust me people

too responsible for not going to get you

hire any employer any manager and select

an official want to see what it is that

you did so you want to speak on your

accomplishments talk about what you did

talk about how you save the money how

you develop your team talk about to win

some positives that you did in the

organization you know and of course I

mentioned earlier about adding keywords

keywords are key when writing your

resume so it really helps tailor your

resume to that one job announcement but

just knowing your resume yeah big in a

vague here it says I'm good at what you

know at stuff that's very bad I'm good

at stuff you want to be Pacific now what

helps you get Pacific and write your

resume first of all you don't want to

eat the whole Apple at one time you want

to be able to take bikes at a time and a

half here broken down into how you can

do that first you want you know get

organized you want to go ahead and

gather all your evaluations your awards

any kind of

evolves that you that you receive over

your time and then none let's don't

worry about you know getting it tailored

or just one area right away just go

ahead and just gather everything you

have okay that's gonna be this is a

little project it's not gonna take you a

day or two to really complete this it's

gonna take several days to do it right

so you have a better idea what you're

doing then the next step is to plan what

it is that you want to do okay so if

you've been a maintenance manager you

know in for about maybe ten years of

your military career but you now it's

time for you to get out and you want to

do maybe a chart work you have to go

through your your all your documents to

take out only the HR stuff okay how like

just the HR stuff and put that on a

separate resume so that's your plan if

your plan is to be an HR generalist or

assistant or specialist or even you want

to be in training whatever your goal is

your plan is your career goal is that is

what you're going to go through or your

document even your wars to pick out

specialized areas to put on the resume

once you can gather that now you can

tell your resume to a job announcement

and then look at all the job

announcements that you know falls under

your skillset whatever that may be and

this be clear that every agency will

have something a little different about

what they expect from you so if you're

looking at HR let's say under the

training piece training officer under

Department of Navy may be one way things

they want to do but on the Department of

Treasury there may be a few other things

that they require you of you may be out

some kind of certification may be

looking for you your master training

specialist cert you never know so the

goal that is you must read the job

announcement so your ten your resume and

you get the assessment you get the

resume you have your stuff then you go

ahead and begin to write your first

draft okay you just do the best you can

you know try to take it again

byte at a time it's going to take you a

party a couple weeks I've got month or

so unless you have us do it for you we

can do it much faster and help you get

through the next you know next step so

definitely want to do that here's a

sample resume that we've done here


of course the format may be a little

different on the screen here but we did

it in Word and we capture the first

parts of job announcement in USA

staffing the recommendation is that you

build your resume in there because there

are fields that are mandatory for

federal floors so but we get this and

then the next piece is what I'm talking

about you see the strategic think here

we have a meaty paragraphs employed here

normally those like the work so treats a

thinker in the next mini paragraph

deploys metric based solutions are like

keywords that are in the job

announcement so what management is

looking through your resume because you

send you an expert they can automatic

and see oh it's - you think of managers

and it breaks it down into you're here

on your resume to me this is a strategic

way to write your resume and also get

hits on your resume so this is another

on page 2 of that then copy the entire

resume put down some 5 points from that

resume on to here to the PowerPoint here

and we go to this almost we almost done

here this is our resume service I served

my country for 26 years

that was a jet mechanic believe it not

and after you make great up to chief you

start doing more minute straight of work

and from there I start you know moved on

kept doing more a chart work but as I

became close to retire I look back and

and put all that stuff on paper as a

maintenance officer you're doing a lot

more HR so for me

jumped into the HR work my got lucky and

got a job with target retail I work for

them for a couple years so I missed the

private sector HR generalist stuff and I

worked for the federal government for

that seven years HR conducted numerous

resume workshops helped over 400 veteran

spouses get employed within the federal

government and now as I move forward or

my life of career started up a mom's

resume service and we see here on the

screen we have a few things that we do

to support you and you see the bottom

here we have a success story of one of

the guys that I helped like what he had

said this guy here I did not ask him to

do this but he went to Facebook and he

posted this here and basically said

thank you for my support he landed a

federal career within six months after

attending one of my workshops so it was

a great that's really good to hear they

got many more success stories on how we

helped our help veterans get transition

into the federal government any


thank you for your time