Kathryn Troutman

Kathryn Troutman founded the Resume Place, the United States’ first Federal resume writing and coaching business, more than 30 years ago. She is the pioneering designer of the Federal Resume format, created after the Federal government eliminated the SF-171 form in 1995. In January 2002, she created the Ten Steps to a Federal Job® method after 9/11 created massive interest in Federal positions to help protect America.
With her team of 20 Certified Federal Resume Writers, the Resume Place now advises and writes more than 300 Federal resumes per month for military, private industry and Federal clients worldwide. Her Resume Place SES writers have written and consulted on Senior Executive Service ECQs with a 95% success rate over the last five years for the Veterans Administration and Veterans
Executive Review Board.

In addition to her resume writing and coaching business, Troutman has written and published more than 30 successful books (including multiple editions) on Federal Resume Writing over the last 20 years, becoming the No. 1 Author of Federal resume books and gaining the title, Federal Resume Guru. Her books are regularly recognized as the best in Careers and Reference in competitions for publishers. For instance, in 2021, the best-selling Federal Resume Guidebook, 7th Edition, took the top Gold Award for Reference in IPBA’s Ben Franklin Awards. Creating Your First Resume has been honored with four awards over the years. Her books are innovative. Now in its 4th Edition, the multiple award-winning Student’s Federal Career Guide was the earliest book for students seeking Federal careers and internships. For her The Stars Are Lined Up for Military Spouses (now in 2nd Edition), Troutman created a new Federal resume format specifically for military spouses which cleverly highlights their unique experiences and expertise. The New SES Application (also in its 2nd Edition) presents a highly successful method for writing the complex SES application, including the Executive Core Qualifications (ECQs).

Troutman has trained as a Government Woman Small Business Contractor for more than 50 Federal agencies over the last 30 years. She established a worldwide Certification for Federal employment and transition counselors, the Certified Federal Job Search Trainer / Certified Federal Career Coach program, which uses her highly popular Ten Steps to a Federal Job® approach. Since 2002, more than 1000 career counselors and workshop leaders have been licensed to teach the Ten Steps curriculum. Her Ten Steps to a Federal Job® method is taught at more than 250 military bases around the globe.

A lively and informative radio, TV and online guest, Troutman regularly answers questions about Federal resume writing and job searching – making these complex processes clear and understandable as a leading expert. She wants people to know that, yes, the Federal government is indeed hiring and she is here to help you get one of these desirable jobs and establish a rewarding, lifetime Federal career.


Kathryn's Top Five Career Accomplishments

1. Founder, President, Federal Career Coach™, and Manager of The Resume Place, Inc., the first federal job search consulting and federal resume writing service in the world, and the producer of www.resume-place.com, the first website devoted to federal resume writing.

The Resume Place, Inc. was initially established in 1970 in Washington, DC and specialized in law student resumes for the major law schools in DC, New York, and along the east coast. The sample law student resumes that Kathryn developed are now are included in the law school career center resume writing guides. Prior to the rise of the Internet, The Resume Place, Inc. had four offices in DC, Virginia, Baltimore and Bethesda, Maryland. Today, the nearly 40 year old company is a brick and mortar Internet business headquartered in the suburbs of Baltimore, where Troutman still manages the daily operations and large team of expert certified federal resume writers, consultants, trainers, customer service representatives, and publishing staff.

2. Pioneer designer of the federal resume format in 1995 with the publication of the leading resource for federal human resources and jobseekers worldwide — the Federal Resume Guidebook.

Troutman took a risk and published the first edition of the book with a second mortgage on her home — a $50K investment. The “federal resume” format has since been accepted throughout government and is the format used in USAJOBS.gov and other resume builders. Troutman is recognized as the designer of the federal resume by the Office of Personnel Management and human resources managers throughout government.

3. Developer of the Ten Steps to a Federal Job®, a licensed curriculum and turn-key training program taught by more than 350 Certified Federal Job Search Trainers (CFJST) around the world.

Discovering that career counselors throughout the world did not know how to help jobseekers with federal job searches, Troutman developed the first train-the-trainer certification program for career trainers and advisers to instruct, give human resources information, and practice teaching the popular PowerPoint presentation and handout, Ten Steps to a Federal Job™. The CFJST program is recommended by the U.S. Navy Fleet & Family Support Center, U.S. Air Force Airmen & Readiness Program, U.S. Coast Guard Career Services, and U.S. Army ACS programs worldwide. The Ten Step curriculum is being taught at more than 150 military bases worldwide as part of the Transition Assistance Program (TAP).

4. Leading Federal Resume Writing, KSA, Resumix, ECQ and Federal Interview government contracted trainer.

Troutman has been contracted as a sole-source and competitive trainer for more than 200 federal agencies since 1996. She began her training career with the Department of Justice in 1996 with a surprise noon-hour attendance of more than 600 individuals to her first presentation on Federal Resume Writing in the Hall of Justice! Kathryn has also served as a BRAC Trainer of more than 900 DFAS employees in 19 agencies to prepare for BRAC reorganization. Agencies and occupational series included: Human Resources – National Institutes of Health (NIH); Grants Technical Specialists – NIH; Housing – Navy; Billeting/BQ – Navy, Norfolk; Maintenance – BLM; Library Specialists – Navy and NIH; IT – USACE.

5. Author of numerous federal career publications (in addition to the Federal Career Guidebookmentioned above)

The Military to Federal Career Guide is the first book for military personnel and is now being republished in the 2nd edition to feature veteran federal resumes. Troutman recognized the need for returning military personnel from Iraq, Afghanistan and Kosovo to have a resource available to them in their searches for government jobs.

Ten Steps to a Federal Job was published two months after 9/11 and was written for private industry jobseekers who are seeking first-time positions in the federal government, where they could contribute to our nation’s security. Now in its second edition.

The Jobseeker’s Guide started initially as the companion course handout to the Ten Steps book, but captured its own following when it became the handout text used by over 200 military installations throughout the world for transitioning military and family members. Currently in its 4th edition.

The Student’s Federal Career Guide was co-authored with Kathryn’s daughter and MPP graduate, Emily Troutman, and is the first book for students pursuing a federal job. With the looming human capital crisis and baby boomers retiring in government, Kathryn and Emily provide a valuable resource for students.

Resumes for Dummies (5th edition) by Joyce Laine Kennedy is currently in its 5th edition and is renowned as the premier, cutting edge guidebook to resume writing. Kathryn and The Resume Place staff served as designers and producers of all the private industry resume samples.

The Resume Place Story

The Resume Place Story

The idea for The Resume Place, Inc. can be traced back to 1971, to a print shop located one block from George Washington (GW) University in Washington, DC. Kathryn Troutman, then a volunteer for the school directory, approached the print shop manager about buying an ad in the directory, “because this is where all the law students go to get their resumes done.” When the manager declined to purchase an ad, Kathryn asked to see one of the resumes produced by the shop; she had never seen a resume. The resume was printed on ivory paper with 10-point type and had a picture. Kathryn inquired, “How much does it cost to print 50 copies of this resume?” The manager replied, “$7.50.”

Kathryn realized that she could provide a full service resume to students. She was an extremely fast typist and could typeset a resume in about 20 minutes, have it printed at the shop, and charge $29.95 for her services.

Kathryn approached H. David Meyers, a third year law student at GW, about the proposal, and LDI Resumes (Law Directory Inc.) was started that day. LDI’s law student resumes became the best-looking resumes for GW, Georgetown University, Catholic University, and every other law school in DC. The law school directories provided an advertising venue for the company to 20 law schools from New York City down to Duke University.

In 1973, Kathryn took off on her own and opened The Resume Place, Inc. at 1740 N Street, NW with one typesetter contractor. Within in a couple of years, she added several writers and expanded the services offerings to attorneys, the White House, the World Bank, NBC, and SF-171s for federal employees.

1996 brought a sea change at The Resume Place. Vice President Gore created the Reinvention Government movement and declared that “the government should accept a resume like the rest of the world.” The SF-171, the long-standing “life history” application, was to be eliminated to make room for the resume, which would work better with email, Internet, and USAJOBS (also created in 1996).

Hearing about a new resume format, Kathryn endeavored to produce a book about how to write the “federal resume.” After all, 1.7 million federal employees would need to convert their SF-171s into the new federal resume format, and they would need samples and a guide to write the new resume. She met with Dick Whitford, the first director of USAJOBS at the Office of Personnel Management (OPM) and discussed her book and ideas. He declined the idea for OPM to write the guide, so she wrote and published the Federal Resume Guidebook in 1996. This 400-page masterpiece showed samples of a five- to 10- page federal resume that would not present a person’s life-history like the SF-171, but would instead include extensive duties, responsibilities, accomplishments and match the specialized experience in a job announcement.

Kathryn mortgaged her house for $50,000 to publish the first edition of the Federal Resume Guidebook. At that time, she was a single mom of three children with the ages of 12, 9, and 6. She placed all of her equity on the gamble that she might become the leading expert in federal resume writing in the world.

Her dream came true. The Federal Resume Guidebook is the number one book on federal resume writing; on shelves in every bookstore; on shelves in every public library in the US; the most referenced text by federal human resources; and has established Kathryn as the “Federal Resume Guru” in the federal human resources sector. The book is now in its fifth edition and has sold half a million copies. The book also marked the birth of the Outline Format federal resume, which is used today by The Resume Place in producing its highly successful resumes.

The Resume Place is still the leading federal resume writing firm in the US. The Resume Place Writing team crafts an average of 1,500 resumes per year. The company’s website, www.resume-place.com, is visited by 15,000 jobseekers daily. Kathryn and her staff teach federal resume writing in more than 50 federal agencies each year.

Kathryn Troutman was the first-ever FEDERAL CAREER COACH™ and founded the Ten Step Certification program to train others to utilize the federal job search methods that she uses. More than 1,200 military, university, private practitioner, employment readiness and career professionals have been certified in the program since 2002. This Ten Steps curriculum is now taught in more than 100 military bases worldwide, and the Ten Steps certification program is approved, recommended and mandatory job search training for employment readiness staff in all of the military services.

The Resume Place, Inc. is the first-ever federal resume writing service and has established the best practice in federal resume writing for all types of federal jobseekers and career professionals.