A stunning Government Accountability Office report, released January 29th, predicts that more than a third of career fed-workers will be eligible to retire by 2017. “Their retirement could produce mission critical skills gaps if left unaddressed,” the GAO concluded.
“These findings shows that the government will need to hire young people and new grads to move toward the future,” observes leading fed jobs expert Kathryn Troutman. Her revised and updated 3rd edition of The Student’s Federal Career Guide has just been released. “This guide is a must-have if you want to be among the chosen ones who are hired by the feds,” she says. Troutman co-wrote the book with Paul Binkley, EdD, former Director of Career Services at George Washington University’s Trachtenberg School of Public Policy and Public Administration.
The guidebook offers crucial info about the fed’s new Pathways Programs for internships and initial federal employment. In addition, it features eight examples of outstanding federal resumes that enabled real-life college students and recent grads to land positions with Uncle Sam.
“Pathways streamlined the process students and new grads use for applying for their first federal positions and made them more accessible through the USAJOBs website,” Troutman explains. “And there will be other USAJOBS openings that recent grads, including veteran grads, will want to apply for. But in today’s highly competitive environment, you need to be armed with special writing techniques to make a hiring manager want to pull your resume from the growing pile.”
Troutman says the way to make a strong first impression is to supply more of the important details in your resume. And there is room in federal resumes as they typically run four pages. She recommends highlighting the most impressive projects, presentations and papers from your college years, along with relevant courses and academic honors.
“You want to show the skills you developed in college,” Troutman says. “What roles did you play? For instance, though school projects, an engineering student will have worked on a team, performed tests, done design work and given presentations. If someone can do a great job with a project at school, then they can do a great job with a project at work.”
“This guide is a must-have if you want to be among the chosen ones
who are hired by the feds.”
– Kathryn Troutman,
President, The Resume Place
For the first time, Troutman decided to include private industry resumes after each of the eight sample federal resumes in her student guidebook. “This makes it easier to understand the striking differences between these two types of resumes,” she notes.
All sample resumes are in an easy-to-read “outline format” that Troutman developed. It features short paragraphs, which begin with crucial keywords from vacancy announcement in all caps. Paragraphs can be copied and loaded right into www.usajobs.gov. While names and some details were changed on the sample resumes, the scenarios are real. Examples include:
- Ann Crane, a candidate with one year toward a PhD, who went from a $16.50 an hour job to a GS-11/12 position as a Health Insurance Specialist. Using Troutman’s writing techniques and adding more technical skills to her resume, Crane was hired with the first fed job application she ever submitted.
- Philip W. Sang, a recent grad, landed a Mechanical Engineering position with the US Army Corps of Engineers after adding more details about college projects and an internship to his resume.
- Jason Jackson, a college student, was selected for a Navy internship. The book includes three resumes for him, to show how a resume can be slanted towards specific interests or positions sought.
- Jeremy Denton, a veteran from the Marines who recently graduated with a BA in Government and Public Policy, was hired as an GS-9/12 Intelligence Analyst for the Department of Homeland Security.
For their military service, veterans get valuable education benefits. The guidebook provides background on these benefits and offers job-hunting tips for vet students and vet new grads in a section just for them. When vets apply for fed jobs, they often get extra points added to their application score. They also get extra time to apply to Pathways as a recent grad. Regular students get 2 years, vets get 6 years.
Other helpful features in The Student’s Federal Career Guide, 3rd Edition include:
- The 11 College Majors that Are Hottest Now and Their Equivalent Federal Job Titles
- An Updated College Major and Equivalent OPM Occupational Series Chart
- Instructions on How to Read the Federal Vacancy Announcements
- Scientific and Professional Positions Where Veteran’s Preference Does Not Apply
- Background on the Federal Student Loan Repayment Program
- Application Options for Those with Disabilities
The 178-page Student’s Federal Career Guide, 3rd Edition is available through www.resume-place.com in paperback ($11.96) and PDF ($9.95) and from www.amazon.com in paper ($11.96) and Kindle ($9.99). Organizations, such as colleges or military bases, can license the book for $1500.
“This book gives you the tools to clearly show decision-makers that you have what they need,” say co-author Binkley.