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How Do You Define Professionalism?

What exactly does the word “professional” mean? Regardless of the career, everyone aspires to be a professional. We are to look professional, act professional, have a professional resume, demonstrate a professional image. If you’ve had a military career, professionalism has been drilled into your psyche. Fans of the Bond series know that it is Sean Connery who portrays the professional image of an international spy. Professionals are polished and smooth, right?

If you’re considering a career transition, it is certainly worthwhile to consider whether your convey a professional image, but somehow that’s a difficult characteristic to define. Has the word been tossed about to such an extent that it has lost it’s meaning? No, because while it may be difficult to nail down what professional is, we all recognize unprofessional behavior.

Looking the Part

Let’s dig into that a bit with a story:

My friend Sharon is a fixer. She is kind of like MacGyver for business. With keen wits and the uncanny ability to craft solutions with duct tape, a Swiss Army knife and coat hangers, Sharon is who businesses call when they have difficulties that they can’t unscramble.… Read more »

Are You Ready to Go Solo?

The Changing Workplace


Let’s face it. Things just ain’t the same at work. This week’s article takes a look at some technological, economic, and social factors that are changing the way we work and opening new possibilities for those who would rather opt out of the conventional workforce.

The traditional world of work is becoming less conventional. Workforce changes started with rapid advances in technology during the 1990s. The internet age and improvements in automation increased efficiency and changed the requirements for human labor. Secretaries, travel agents, even machinists lost jobs to new technology. During the Great Recession, the process accelerated. Economic pressures focused businesses on  the need for cost controls, The result was downsizing on a level not seen since the 1920s and a complete rethink of workforce strategies.

Businesses streamlined and phased out positions, then trimmed more employees to cut costs. At the end of it, they were left with problems that needed solving, but no resources to solve them. With hiring restrictions on and strained budgets, they couldn’t develop the talent they needed for key projects in-house.… Read more »

Bail Out! Knowing when it’s time to quit your job.

It had only been four months, but Jim knew his new job wasn’t a fit. He’d been a recruiter in the military, but he thought he wanted to go into sales management.  It took almost no time to find a position with a parts distributor that wanted to build a sales team at their regional office. They needed a sales manager and Jim was just the man!. He was excited to start the job.

The excitement faded fast. The first thing Jim noticed was the revolving door. Two salespeople quit the team while he was at headquarters for training. The company owner, Carl, was friendly, but Jim observed that there wasn’t much dialogue with his people. Another regional sales manager clued him in, “Carl calls all the shots. You can get things done, but you need to know when to ask.”

After four months, Jim dreaded getting out of bed in the morning. The regional office was dysfunctional – there was no team, just tension. He was covering two sales territories and wearing out shoe leather and car tires with cold calls.… Read more »

2015 Predictions: What’s in the Sights for Job Searchers?

‘Tis the season for predictions. There’s never a shortage of prognostication as each New Year rolls around, so CareerProPlus figured it would be a good notion to package up some of the best information we could find to help our clients target their job search activity in the coming year.

It’s neither the best of times nor the worst of times. The job market isn’t great, but prospects are improving. The economy continues to recover. The private sector is growing slowly but steadily. There are some areas of opportunity in the defense industry, and only slight declines are expected in government employment. If you’re planning a career move in 2015, knowing where to set your sights is a good idea.

Let’s take a closer look at what the experts think:

Defense Industry Employment

Part of the good news is that Congress actually passed a spending bill for FY2015 in December. The omnibus package included $585 billion in defense allocations, a figure that exceeded Defense Department requests by $3 billion or so.… Read more »

O Tannenbaum! 3 Reasons You Need an Evergreen Resume

Yeah, O Tannenbaum is a cornball title for a blog article about resumes, but play along just a little. The Holiday Season is upon us with all of its lights and music and family traditions. O Tannenbaum is a favorite carol, and there is actually a connection between the tree’s “lovely branches” and today’s topic.

Evergreens are a ubiquitous symbol for the holiday season. Childhood memories conjure up the smell of Christmas trees and festive wreaths on the doors of houses. Long a symbol of life in the midst of winter, evergreens branches and trees have been used as seasonal decoration from the Roman times.  Even the word has come to take on a meaning of freshness. To say that a subject or idea is evergreen signifies that it is always current, relevant and worth examining.

But should we apply the word evergreen to resumes? Absolutely. In the current employment season, keeping your private-sector resume evergreen is a smart decision and it may also make good sense for some federal resumes.… Read more »

What Did You Really Accomplish?

There’s no shortage of advice for job seekers who want to create a resume that will assure them the perfect position. In this two part series, CareerProPlus looks at resumes from a different angle. The key question is how your resume will be read. How do today’s HR professionals screen and read resumes? What are the challenges that the process presents for even the best candidates?

Photo Attribution: Guinessworldrecords.com

Human beings have accomplished some truly amazing feats. For example, Ashrita Fruman of Jamaica, LI, NY holds the world record for the greatest distance travelled with a pool cue balanced on a chin. The record currently stands at 1,668 meters, just in case you’re up for a challenge.

Kim Jong-Il, the megalomaniacal “Dear Leader” of North Korea, claimed to have achieved some very significant accomplishments early in life. According to his biography, he found time to write 1,500 books during his time in college and also composed six full operas in a mere two years – “all of which are better than any in the history of music.”

How do your achievements stack up?… Read more »

The DHS CDP Vacancy Announcement has finally opened.

The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) Candidate Development Program (CDP) vacancy
announcement has opened and if you are a status candidate (federal employee) at
the GS-15 level you are eligible to apply if qualified.  This DHS CDP
vacancy announcement requires a 5-page resume only.  ECQs are required to
be answered within the five pages of your resume, as well as the one Technical
Qualification (TQ.)  Make sure you read the vacancy announcement closely
because the ECQs are specifically focused.

Here is the link to the USAJOBS vacancy announcement:  https://www.usajobs.gov/GetJob/ViewDetails/385413300

Office Of The Secretary For
Homeland Security

Job Title: DHS Senior Executive Service Candidate Development Program

Department: Department Of Homeland Security

Agency: DHS Headquarters

Job Announcement Number:DHS-SES-CDP-2015-1250665


to $157,100.00 / Per Year


November 10, 2014 to Monday, December 1, 2014




Full Time
– Multiple Appointment Types


vacancies in the following location:

Location Negotiable After Selection, United States


All groups of qualified individuals within
the Federal service.… Read more »

Robots Are Reading Your Resume

There’s no shortage of advice for job seekers who want to create a resume that will assure them the perfect position. In the next couple of articles, CareerProPlus looks at resumes from a different angle. This is Part One of a two part series about how today’s HR professionals screen and read your resume and about the challenges that the process presents for even the best candidates.

If you’re looking for a career change, chances are good that you’re doing some research to help you update your resume. There’s plenty of information available online. In fact, a Google search on the phrase “how to write a resume” yields exactly 105 million results in less than a second. Assuming that you are able to scan each of these articles in a couple of minutes, it will only take you 399 years to learn everything you need to know. There’s a lot of good advice on the interwebs, but you’ll also have to wade through some that isn’t so profound. Here’s a short example of some of the sage wisdom you’ll encounter:

If your resume doesn’t have legs, it can’t stand.… Read more »

Building Your Resume with USAJobs

by Barbara Adams, CPRW, CEIP, MFRW, MMRW, MFCA/T
USAJOBS 3.1 screens applicants’ responses to questionnaires found in most vacancy announcements in support of the level of experience you claim for specified questions. This step and your responses will determine if you qualify for the specific position. The responses to these questions and your experience, skills, education, training and accomplishments must be specified throughout your USAJobs resume. The USAJOBS online Resume Builder has its own limitations and requirements. That means your information must meet the required format, keyword criteria and characters permitted. USAJOBS hosts many thousands of job applications for a variety of federal job openings in the U.S. and around the world. Online formats tend to be restrictive and each has different format requirements. If not written correctly with the required USAJobs resume format, your application may end up being automatically rejected.

Encoding Specific Keywords for USAJOBS Resume Database Searches

Now that USAJobs is searchable throughout all federal agencies looking for qualified candidates, it is important to build your USAJobs resume in the builder instead of uploading your resume.… Read more »

Federal Jobs Continue to Open and Grow in the Last Quarter of 2014

The federal government netted 3,000 new jobs in August, according to the latest numbersfrom the Bureau of Labor Statistics, marking the fifth consecutive month in which the size of its total workforce has slowly ticked upward. 

http://www.govexec.com/management/2014/09/federal-hiring-continues-slow-upward-climb/93308/?oref=govexec_today_nlRead more »

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