The “Martial Art” of Resume Writing

martial art of resume writingIt’s called positioning—

And it’s as critical in a resume as it is in martial arts!

Here’s what I mean . . .

A friend of mine is training in the ancient fighting art of Wing Chun kung fu. Following a recent lesson, he shared what he had learned about positioning—he could actually be slower than his opponent and still beat that opponent. The key is to position yourself properly.

As he gained knowledge of the Wing Chun methods and the use of peripheral vision, awareness, and interpretation of his opponents’ movements, he discovered that he can actually know what his opponent is going to do before he does it. And the crazy part is, it actually looks as though he’s moving faster than he really is.

Getting There First

He learned that it’s NOT necessary to be faster, as long as you “get there” first. In other words, reach a target before your opponent does. Positioning gives you the advantage you need against a superior fighter. A good martial artist knows the advantages of positioning—and it has nothing to do with speed.

The same applies to your federal resume. You can quite literally have the exact same experience and qualifications as the rest of the field and your resume will be forwarded to the Hiring Official while others are not. To understand positioning in resume writing for government jobs, let’s briefly review the federal application process.

The Application Process

Your application package (including USAJobs resume and other requested documents) is submitted online to the hiring agency via USAJobs. A Staffing Specialist reviews your submission to confirm that you’ve included all required documentation. In other words, if you forgot anything, you’ll not likely be considered further.

Once they’ve confirmed that documentation requirements have been met, they will review the material (specifically your federal resume) to ensure you meet the basic qualifications for the position as well as any specialized experience. Selective Placement Factors will also be reviewed at this time, such as Veterans’ preference, for example.

Human Resources staff will then review your USAJobs resume, questionnaires, and any narrative statements (such as individual Knowledge, Skills, and Abilities or Executive Core Qualifications) that you’ve prepared and submitted. Once this review is complete, they will rate your submission and place you into one of three categories: Best Qualified, Well Qualified, or Qualified.

The Best Qualified federal resumes are the ones that are forwarded for an interview. Obviously, this is the group you want to be in. But what if all applicants have the same experience and qualifications—what then?

Your Very Own “Kung Fu Master” Federal Resume Writer

This is where your kung fu master (professional Resume Writer) can help you with optimal positioning in resume writing for government jobs. Yes, it is possible to rate higher than someone else with the exact same experience. Once again, it’s all about positioning.

If you understand positioning in the USAJobs resume preparation process, then you can have the same experience as other applicants but score better than they do. You might liken it to the old phrase, “It’s not what you know, but who you know.” And I would say, not so fast. In this case, it’s not completely about experience (don’t get me wrong, you do have to qualify for the job) but more how you position that experience to your advantage.

Ask yourself these questions: How does my experience and education match up with the job I’m targeting? How can I make those connections using key words and phrases? How do I build bridges between what I’ve done and what I can do for an employer using my experience and education?

Your Resume—The Cream of the Crop

Is it really possible to get your resume to rise to the top of the pile, so to speak? The top of the heap . . . belle of the ball . . . the cat’s meow . . . best of the best . . . cream of the crop. Sure it is. But it isn’t done by regurgitating your past job duties in a work history.

You have to connect the dots. You must present your experience in light of what you’ll be doing in the new job and show how you’ve done it in your current or past positions. That’s what our resume writers get paid to do. As I mentioned before, the best-positioned (not necessarily the best-qualified) applicants will be forwarded to the hiring official.

Get Started Today

You really can make it to the best positioned list while an equal applicant does not when resume writing for government jobs. Contact us to get started with your kung fu master Federal Resume Writer™ today and position yourself for a successful job search by “getting there first”.

Go online now or give us a call at 1-800-471-9201.

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