Ten Steps Workshop for Unemployed Veterans: Lessons Learned

Kathryn Troutman, Federal Resume Guru, presented a two-hour program to ten anxious veterans who have been seeking a federal position for a couple of years. Below, Kathryn shares her experience:

We were at a conference table and the veterans all got to share their objectives and past federal job search experiences, since it was a small group.

Everyone in the class received a free copy of the Jobseeker’s Guide 7th Edition so that they could refer to the keyword lessons and Outline Format as they were working on their resumes.

Problems and Myths Keeping Veterans from Landing Federal Jobs

Everyone got their resume out and showed me what they were using in their job search.

Problems I saw with the resumes in the room:

  • Too short (1 page)
  • Too long (I saw a 14-page resume)
  • Every job listed—even those that were short-term and irrelevant
  • Short sentences with bullets
  • All resumes were NOT targeted with keywords
  • All resumes did NOT include accomplishments
  • Most of the resumes went back too far with the dates

Critical resume myths we debunked during the class:

  • It’s okay if resumes are 10 to 14 pages long
  • It’s okay if the resume is 1 page
  • It’s okay to upload the resume
  • It’s okay NOT include accomplishments
  • It’s okay to apply to ANY position in Baltimore just in case

Step 6: The Best Federal Resume Format, the Outline Format

I started the class with Step 6, to show the attendees the longer format with ALL CAP KEYWORDS and short paragraphs. They learned how to write a few more sentences about specific skills that are needed for the position.

We shared accomplishments in the room, so that each veteran could add accomplishments to his or her resume.

Alford: A Future Success Story in the Making

Alford (in the photo above) is ready to go to work now. Alford was the first person in the classroom! He brought his laptop and he pulled out his worn-out copy of the 5th edition of the Federal Resume Guidebook. That was a HUGE surprise since I was teaching—and I am the author of that book! We both feel that this workshop will bring him luck—and maybe help from VRA, Schedule A, 30% or more Disabled hiring programs to help him work again. One of the main success factors for landing a federal job is PERSEVERANCE—and he showed that just by walking in the door!

He has been looking for positions that will use his administrative skills. When he was working, he owned and managed a successful construction business until the real estate downfall in 2008. And after that, he worked in a transportation firm until he needed to get full-time medical care. He is back on his feet and ready for work. His favorite part of the Ten Step class was Step 6: The Outline Format. He will be changing his short bullet format into the Outline Format with small paragraphs and keywords right away.

Posted in Blog, Federal Job Search, Federal Resume Writing, USAJOBS, Veteran Federal Jobs

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About the The Jobseekers Guide 8th Edition

This book is used at more than 150 military bases worldwide to teach Kathryn Troutman's highly acclaimed Ten Steps to a Federal Job to military personnel and family members. This title is recognized as the leading guide on the topic for 100,000 military spouses worldwide
Not sure whether you are doing the right things in your military to federal career transition? These 5 Steps will get you on the right track. more details
Our Certified Federal Resume Writers will translate your skills and experience; target specific occupational series; and write your resume to match a USAJOBS vacancy announcement.

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