TEN STEPS TO A FEDERAL JOB®
Top Tips for Military Spouses and Federal Jobs
Military Spouse Preference
May 11, 12 noon to 12:45
April 11, 2018, RAF, Mildenhall, London, England. Author and instructor, Kathryn Troutman presented a two-hour version of Ten Steps to Airmen, Spouses and Military & Family Readiness Specialists from RAF Mildenhall, Lakenheath and Alconbury. The military spouses stayed for the second class to learn more about USAJOBS and the federal resume. The class was enthusiastic and very interested in anything they could learn from Kathryn Troutman, “Federal Resume Guru”.
First question to the audience: How many of you would like to have a federal career? 90% said YES!
HIGHLIGHTS OF THE TEN STEPS CURRICULUM!
TEN STEPS INTRODUCTION. Kathryn started the class out with the popular warm-up activity, “How Many Hats Do You Wear AT Work?” A couple of the Airmen read their hats. An Aircraft Refueler, said that his hats were: supervisor, quality assurance, safety, instructor and planner/scheduler. Then for the 2nd warm-up, the Airmen and attendees were asked to write ONE accomplishment in about 3 sentences. The Airmen who stood up to volunteer their accomplishments were GREAT. We heard that one Airmen did an analysis of a certain program – and advised senior leaders to eliminate the program – saving AF one million per year. They accepted his recommendation! Impressive!
STEP 1: Review the Federal Job Process. Kathryn introduced the OPM Classification Standards and asked everyone to FIND YOUR NEXT JOB. They did it. They found: Transportation Specialist (GS-000) Logistics Management Specialist (GS 348). Then Kathryn asked everyone to look at the list of federal agencies. “Select your Favorite next agency”. They did it: DLA. Broadcasting Board of Engineers, State Department. We were on a roll.
Step 2: Networking. Kathryn asked if anyone in the room knew someone who worked in the government NOW. She said, “Will you talk to them? Ask them what agency they work for? What is their job? Are they hiring? Will you do this? ” 60% of the attendees raised their hands -GREAT. Networking is so important for federal job search.
Step 3: Finding Keywords: Kathryn reminded everyone that the USAJOBS federal resume is read by human “human resources” specialist. BUT that they read for Keywords. The Human Resource Specialist who attended the class, reminded everyone at the end of the class, “The HR specialist DO read for keywords from the announcement”. GREAT!
Step 4: What are your Core Competencies: Kathryn asked everyone to select 3 of the core competencies from the 2 pages. The favorites were: Flexibility, Adaptability, Customer Services, Problem-Solving, and Interpersonal Skills. Kathryn said to everyone: Figure out a way to add these words into your accomplishments and narratives. The managers want these competencies in the new hires.
Step 5: Look for Announcements on USAJOBS: Kathryn reminded everyone, that they have to start early to find their federal positions, learn how to read the announcement qualifications, and practice matching their resume to the positions. This takes practice! Start early and get familiar with the positions.
Step 6: Writing your Federal Resume. This is the BIGGEST STEP OF ALL! The Video showed T-Rex stomping about the correct way to write a federal resume with small paragraphs, ALL CAP KEYWORDS and accomplishments. The video showed the old-style bullet, acronym format being torn down by a crane and ball. And the new sleek outline format being constructed with short paragraphs, ALL CAP KEYWORDS and featuring Accomplishments to stand out. The class reacted nicely to the new format and the T-Rex key words.
Step 7: KSAs, Accomplishments and the Questionnaire. Kathryn warmed everyone in the room, to “give yourself all the credit that you can” with the self-assessment questionnaire. And also asked everyone to PLEASE add 3 to 5 accomplishments to stand out, be confident, get Best Qualified, Referred and hopefully invited to an interview.
Step 8: Apply for Federal Jobs on USAJOBS. The BEST tip Kathryn gave to the class was to “practice applying for federal positions”. Walk it through a couple of times before the perfect position comes up. There’s a lot of screens, documents and questions. Start a day early before the deadline.
Step 9: Track and Follow-up on Your Application. This is one of Kathryn’s favorite steps. You CAN find out what happened with your application. With private sector, you pretty much CANNOT find out the results. But if you have a question about “Who May Apply”, “Veteran’s Preference”, The Eligibilities, you can write to HR and get answers to questions. And sometimes corrections.
Step 10: Interview for a Federal Job. Both Airmen and Spouse know now that the federal “Behavior-Based Interview” is a TEST. Prepare and practice ahead. Prepare five accomplishment stories, memorize them and practice with your cell phone.
BONUS TIP: The veterans can apply for federal position 120 days BEFORE they separate or retire! And SPOUSES can use EO 13473 for the length of their stay at each installation, instead of the previous rule of 2 years.
Last questions from Kathryn to the class:
- How many of you are going to apply for federal position? 90% said YES
- How many of the spouses will register for PPP’S? 90% of the spouses said YES
- How many of you will talk to your friends and family who are federal employees? 50% said they would
The class was great. Everybody received a Jobseeker’s Guide 8th Ed., Ten Steps to a Federal Job. And I believe that they will have more confidence with their federal applications when it’s time. The two classes were highly successful with more than 150 in attendance with a small, quiet base in the middle of England, with a mission specializing in refueling aircraft. They all want a federal career! And this class helped with their goal.
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