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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 »

Five Tips to Make an Everlasting First Impression

It is true that most people judge a book by its cover and make snap judgments, but we also make them incredibility quickly, usually in 100 milliseconds or less, and we find these decisions difficult to change.
First impressions are fast, firm, and very important when being judged for a job. Thankfully, there are plenty of tips and a lot of advice for those looking to improve their first impressions. Below I have listed the top five to consider:
1. The Basics
Your appearance is the foundation for any first good impression. Whether you like it or not, looks matter, and you should care how you present yourself. If you have special issues such as an abundance of tattoos, cover them up. If you feel uncomfortable about competing with younger candidates and want to look younger yourself, dye your hair. If you can’t afford to buy a new suit or outfit, press your current apparel and ensure you have a crisp shirt or blouse to wear. If you wear facial piercings, remove them.… Read more »

Air Force to Down Size by 3,500 Military and Civilian Employees

The Air Force will soon begin offering incentives to reduce its workforce by nearly 3,500 employees; the service announced Monday. The Air Force has 689,000 personnel, about 500,000 of which are military. Employees in the Washington, D.C., area would be the first to receive layoffs, according to an Air Force spokeswoman. A buy-out of $25,000 will be offered to select individuals.

http://www.govexec.com/pay-benefits/2014/07/air-force-to-offer-separation-incentives/88669/#.U8U5s4oqQ3Y.emailRead more »

Five Tips for Navigating an SES Vacancy

Let’s face it—pulling up a Senior Executive Service vacancy on your monitor can be a bit overwhelming. A resume, five Executive Core Qualifications, and how many Technical Qualifications? Gulp.

One of the best things you can do to reduce this overwhelming feeling is to break the application materials down into bite-sized chunks, and then reverse-engineer your time so that you have a plan for getting it all done well before the job closes.
These five tips will also help: … Read more »

Read the entire vacancy from top to bottom. It’s important to take a few minutes and do this, with a keen attention to detail. Write down any questions you might have.
Take a close look at the duties and qualifications section. Think of the information in these areas as questions, and ask yourself, “Will I be able to show in my resume that I possess some, most, or even all of these skills, experiences, and education?” If the answer to all those “questions” is no, that could be a red flag.
Take a look at any Technical Qualifications.

Get Started on LinkedIn with 5 Easy Steps

One of the biggest setbacks for people who are interested in using LinkedIn is that they often have a hard time learning LinkedIn’s “ins and outs.” Then, it seems that as soon as you learn the basics and get accustomed to its usage, LinkedIn rolls out more updates and changes. However, you don’t have to learn everything at once to be able to use LinkedIn.

Below are a few quick tips on how to organize your LinkedIn usage so you don’t feel overwhelmed.

1. Start with the Basics

Sign in and start using the basics for up to 30 minutes per day. At first, things may seem overwhelming, but if you start slowly in simply setting up your profile, the process will be much more manageable. LinkedIn has a user guide to assist you in getting your basic profile up and running. Upload a professional picture of yourself to help your profile elicit more interest. A few “connections” of people whom you already know may pop up; if you wish for them to be part of your professional network, ask them to connect.… Read more »

Candidate Development Program Success

CareerPro Global has received several testimonials regarding acceptance into the Candidate Development Program.  This particular client is one step closer to preparing for a Senior Executive Service position within the federal government.

“Lee, I thought I would share with you that I did make the Candidate Development Program. The resume was a key ingredient in my selection.” Thank you. –A.A.

 … Read more »

How to Stand Out in an Interview

By Barbara Adams, CPRW, CEIP, MFRW, MFCA, MFCA/T

www.careerproplus.com and www.militaryresumewriters.com

Employers are looking for standout candidates in the interview process–candidates who bring new ideas to the table and address problems with both creativity and confidence. Candidates who answer interview questions with clichés essentially fail for originality, and are classified as “status quo,” lowering their chance of landing that sought-after job. If an interviewer asks you about your biggest weakness, don’t cop out and say that you don’t have any weaknesses, or that you always turn any perceived weaknesses into strengths. Avoid the “status quo” by preparing carefully thought-out answers to common interview questions so you can become a standout job candidate!

Below are two examples of interview questions and what you can do to offer a better-than-status-quo, standout response.

1. Why do you think you fit within our company culture?

This question is asked to see how well job interviewees have researched the interworking of a company. A good company culture is the second-highest priority for most job seekers—second only to salary.… Read more »

Best Practices for Writing a Strong USAJobs Resume

As you may well know, many federal positions out there (if not most) require you to use the USAJOBS resume builder. Keep the following best practices in mind to help ensure a targeted and effective resume.

Find a job, and read the entire vacancy announcement from top to bottom.
Pay close attention to the duties, qualifications, specialized experience, KSAs, time-in-grade, and/or education requirements. Ask yourself, “Will I be able to demonstrate that I have what they are looking for in my resume?”
Think of the duties and qualifications as “questions” and consider whether you have done them in a previous or current position. If so, use some of the terminology/keywords and mix them in with your own duties and accomplishments.
If there is an assessment questionnaire, click the link to preview the questions. Keep these in mind when creating your resume.
For each position going back approximately 10 years, include your key duties/scope of responsibility. Next, include your top 5-10 specific achievements for each position. Try to use bullets that are relevant to the position you are applying for, and use the Challenge-Context-Action-Result format whenever possible.… Read more »

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