Press Release: Podcast Interview
on How to Scale a Business
By Kathryn Troutman, Author, Instructor
Published August 16, 2023
Kathryn Troutman Shares Success Secrets
on Podcast, “How to Scale a Business”
The Founder of Resume Place addresses both how she built her business, as well as
insider insights for successful Federal resume writing and jobseeking.
Baltimore, MD; Aug. 16, 2023 | This past June, Kathryn Troutman, a best-selling author and leading Federal career coach, gave a lively interview to the “How to Scale a Business” podcast. In an episode titled “How Kathryn Troutman Can Unlock Your Career Potential,” host Hector Santiesteban tapped into Troutman’s business savvy, her extensive knowledge of the Federal job market, and her expertise on the intricacies of writing a winning Federal resume. Her latest resume innovation is called the Outline Format Federal Resume which she created in 2000 and complies with the Plain Language Act of 2010 for readability.
They began with the backstory of her Federal Resume Guidebook, now in its 7th Edition and the best-selling resume book in the USA. It was the first book ever on the Federal resume.
“The US government is America’s Number One employer, number one,” noted Troutman. “Back in 1995, when the government switched the application from a big long form, the 171 – 30 pages – to the resume, I recognized an urgent market. Somebody needed to write a book on how to write a Federal resume.”
Troutman went to the Office of Personnel Management and dropped in to visit Dick Whitford, the man in charge of OPM’s new online application website, USAJOBS.gov. She asked Whitford if OPM was going to write a book on the Federal resume, and he said they just had a flyer on what to include.
“He told me, ‘Kathryn, go write your book,’” she shared. “So I did. I mortgaged my house though I had three kids, wrote the first edition of the Federal Resume Guidebook, designed it, printed it. I did it all. Because no publisher would take it. It was brand new.”
Over time she saw that veterans needed help getting into the Federal government. So she wrote another book for them. And students needed help transitioning from college into government. There was a book there too. And military spouses. An additional book. And executives writing Senior Executive Service application packages. Added another.
“My name became synonymous with Federal employment because of the books,” she said. “That is my brand. And the books became my curriculum.”
Troutman is a Federally contracted trainer, and she noted that the government loves having her program come “off the shelf” in book form. Troutman and her daughter Emily have trained on writing the Federal resume and applying to the US government all around the world. Often at US military bases. And she regularly trains in Federal agencies.
In 2002, Troutman founded the Certified Federal Job Search Trainer® / Certified Federal Career Coach® train-the-trainer program, based on her Ten Steps to a Federal Job® method of finding and applying for Federal jobs. This program is highly successful for employment specialists, career counselors, transition counselors with military services, state employment offices and college career centers to help jobseekers navigate federal job search – with the Ten Steps Method.
The author highlighted two other elements of her success – applying for a Federal job is difficult, and the Federal resume is very different than in the private sector. Private sector resumes are typically one to two pages. The Federal resume is five to seven pages.
“It may be shocking to some people to write a resume that long, but the government requires that you prove you have the specialized experience that they’re asking for,” she explained. “And you have to be sure to add in certain details.” These details include hours per week, plus month and year for start and end dates at every job over the last ten to fifteen years. The Feds add up the time to see if you have the asked for length of experience. And if the required details aren’t there, you’re out.
The available Federal jobs are found on the government’s website, USAJOBS.gov, which Troutman said is very good. You type in the job you’re looking for (and her books explain the right terminology), plus the location and salary you want, and up pops the related job descriptions. Within a description is the Required Experience.
Human HR officials read the Federal resumes (not AI like in the private sector) and another thing they’re looking for is a match of words from the announcement. “Let’s say the announcement has the word ‘humanitarian’ in it twenty times,” Troutman proposed. “Someone will still give me their sample resume without that word in it once. Big mistake.”
A hot tip she covered for Federal resume writing is to include three to five stories of your achievements from the last two jobs. She asks for specific examples of outstanding things you did written in a paragraph format of five lines. A problem you solved. The people you led. The training that you created. Troutman recommends the CCAR format – What was the Context? What was the Challenge? What Action did you take? What were the Results? When you have these examples of achievements, your resume will be more impressive.
“When I look at resumes, a lot of the time people just write about their duties, and that often is not impressive,” she advised. “Basically, you need to brag about your new ideas, problem-solving, innovations, new policies, training, new programs. Using storytelling.”
It’s important for your resume to get referred to a supervisor. The hope is that the supervisor will then become interested enough to want to meet you for the interview.
As he wrapped up, Host Santiesteban asked, “What do you think is the secret to building a business or career?”
Troutman had an answer right away. She answered, “The key is perseverance. If you do something wrong, you change it and keep going. One day the government changed the rules for applications from military spouses, and as a result the information in my book for them was wrong. Just like that in a single day. I had to throw out three thousand books and rewrite the manuscript. You just keep at it.”
To listen to this episode of “How to Scale a Business”: Click Here.
Then click “PLAY” under Kathryn’s picture.
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The Author: Kathryn Troutman is the author of many award-winning career guides including the best-selling Federal Resume Guidebook, 7th Edition (Best Reference Book/Gold in the Independent Press Awards and more) and The Stars are Lined Up for Military Spouses, 2nd Edition. Troutman is the Founder and President of The Resume Place, a groundbreaking Federal resume writing and job coaching service in Baltimore, MD.
Based on the Ten Steps to a Federal Job® method, Kathryn Troutman and Resume Place, Inc., manage and teach a train-the-trainer Certified Federal Job Search Trainer / Certified Federal Career Coach program. The CFJST / CFCC has been taught for 20 years and employment readiness, career counselors and transition counselors teach and coach the Ten Steps method at military bases and job centers.