Creator of Ten Steps to a Federal Job® Method and Curriculum
Author, Jobseeker’s Guide, 8th Edition, Ten Steps to a Federal Job®
Potomac, MD | January 26, 2021
Kathryn Troutman will teach two 60-min webinars on Ten Steps to a Federal Job®
Feb 5 (SOLD OUT 1/28/2021) and 12, 2021, 12 noon to 1 pm ET.
Only 125 seats available. Free.
With our new President Joe Biden now inaugurated, he can turn to his announced priority for his first 100 days in office—responding to the Coronavirus pandemic. “With all the COVID-19 support, it’s going to be a big year in federal hiring,” notes leading federal jobs coach Kathryn Troutman. And her proven Ten Steps to a Federal Job® formula is ready to aid jobseekers applying for new COVID-19 jobs and others on USAJobs.gov.
Troutman created the 10 Steps to a Federal Job® approach in 2002. After 9-11, her business, The Resume Place was besieged with phone calls. People wanted to work for the government to help protect America. “They wanted to work for Homeland Security, the FBI, and the Secret Service, and most were first-time applicants,” Troutman remembers. “So they knew nothing about the federal job search.” She decided to create a formula to take people step-by-step through the federal application process.
This press release (Part I) presents the first five steps:
Step 1. Review the Federal Job Process. “These are the beginner’s lessons,” says Troutman. What job are you qualified for in the federal government? What grade level and salary should you go for? What agency do you want to work for? Step 1 provides the basic Human Resources (HR) information, so when you go to USAJOBS.GOV you’ll know what you’re doing.
Step 2. Network—Who Do You Know? Networking can work for Direct Hire positions (faster hiring for critical need positions in government) and if you are eligible for a Special Hiring Authority. The Special HIring Authorities are for veterans, military spouses, people with disabilities, recent graduates and students, foreign service family members returning to the US, returning Peace Corps employees. If you can attend a virtual job fair, and they are either offering Direct Hire positions or you are one of the above categories of applicants, you can apply for positions directly with the HR recruiter.
Step 3. Research Vacancy Announcements on USAJOBS. In Step 1, you figure out the job titles you are qualified for. Then, in Step 3, you go to USAJOBs and type in a job title or a keyword matching your qualifications. You can refine your search further by adding a geographical area, and all the jobs will come up that match that criteria. Make your search even better by narrowing it with a salary or grade level. You’ll also want to check who can apply for the position—a public person, federal employee, veteran, military spouse, person with a disability, etc. Does that describe you? If so, start reading. If not, move on.
Step 4. Analyze Vacancy Announcements for Keywords. “Your federal resume must match the keywords in the vacancy announcement,” says Troutman. “Therefore this is a crucial step in the process.” The section with the most important keywords is “Requirements/Qualifications.” It’s usually 5-7 sentences long. Troutman calls it “the Pot of Gold in the Announcement.” You must demonstrate that you have a year of specialized experience in those areas. Another part to match with keywords are any Knowledge, Skills and Abilities (KSAs) mentioned. Your resume must also match the quals in the Self-Assessment Questionnaire. Take a close look at the Questionnaire before going further. If you can’t score yourself highly, there’s no point in pursuing the position. More on the KSAs and the Questionnaire in Step 7 (next release).
Step 5. Analyze Your Core Competencies. Go back to the vacancy announcement and look for a list of the required Core Competencies. Most announcements have them. Some examples are Flexibility, Communication Skills, Problem-Solving, Customer Service and Resilience. Each announcement has 3-10 Core Competences. Using your past experiences, you must cover the Core Competencies in the duties and accomplishments of the resume. “Core Competencies are a little different from keywords, which are technical for a job,” notes Troutman. “Core Competencies are skills that demonstrate that you can do the job. You can problem-solve. You can mentor.”
“I realize that the Ten Steps are a lot of effort,” Troutman acknowledges. “But once you get a federal job, you can be set for life.”
Troutman’s Resume Place offers a consultation to see if the vacancy announcement you picked is right for you, and to make sure you’re covering the needed qualifications in your federal resume.
The Part II release will cover writing the federal-style resume, applying on USAJOBs, interviewing for the job and more. For more info, see Troutman’s best-selling book, the Federal Resume Guidebook, 7th Edition.
Kathryn Troutman is the Founder and President of Resume Place, Inc., a Federal Career Consulting, Publishing and Government Training Business. Her firm specializes in writing and designing professional federal resumes, as well as consulting, coaching and education on the federal hiring process. She is the author of many best-selling federal career books, including the Federal Resume Guidebook, 7th Ed.
The Official Hiring Website of the United States Government: USAJOBS.gov
Resume Place’s Federal Career Consulting and Presidential Appointee Consulting
More info here
For examples of federal resumes, see Troutman’s:
Federal Resume Guidebook, 7th Ed.
More info here