Federal Resume Writing and Veterans Preference Training for Employment-Ready USMC Wounded Warriors!
Kathryn Troutman, Nov. 6, 2019
On Aug. 20th, at the Wounded Warrior Education and Hiring Expo in Quantico, VA, the USMC Battalion Wounded Warriors learned Top Tips for beginning a Federal Career. From how to maximize their veteran experience to write great Federal resumes to better understanding the important of Veterans Preference which leads to getting Best Qualified, Referred and Hired!!
The two classes are SO HELPFUL to the employment-ready Marines! Vicki Mullen, Supervisory Transition Manager of the USMC Wounded Warrior Regiment had organized a great day of career training, including Federal Resume Writing and Veteran’s Preference training.
BIG LESSONS LEARNED ON BEGINNING A FEDERAL CAREER:
Kathryn Troutman, Author of Federal Resume Guidebook, 6th and the Jobseeker Guide, 8th Edition was the speaker and presented her top tips for Federal resume writing:
- The Outline Format with ALL CAP KEYWORDS is the best format for a Federal resume today
- The resume should be FIRST build in the USAJOBS builder to capture all of the compliance information for OPM and agency. Then copy the content OUT of the builder and put it into a WORD format for better readability.
- Add their USMC Wounded Warrior “job block” to the resume to account for the time getting well, projects completed while in the WW Battalion. Samples of WW Job Blocks are in the Jobseeker Guide, 8th Ed.
- Target the resume toward keywords in a specific job announcement or occupational series, to try to get Best Qualified. Read the Specialized Experience section to find the keywords to match.
- Keep the resume 5 pages. BIG discussion about the length. Many attendees have heard that “the longer, the better”. NOT TRUE. Federal HR professionals read resumes and 5 pages is enough to read to get Referred!
- If you graduated from college recently – put the education section at the top of the resume!
- Read assessment questions first and ensure you can provide specific work experience examples in your resume that supports the answer you give!
– Veterans Preference Lessons –
How to Apply for a Federal Position
as a person with 30% or more Disability!
Since everyone in the room is still Active Duty with their WW Battalion, they do not have a DD 214 or VA letter (SF 15 yet). To begin applying for Federal positions, they need a Schedule A letter to apply as a Veteran with a Disability.
- Kathryn also explained how Veterans Preference is applied to the PUBLIC job announcements on USAJOBS. The PUBLIC announcements are the positions where Veterans Preference will be applied, however for some specific professional and scientific positions (i.e. statistician, physicians, etc.) Veterans preference is not applied for positions GS-9 or higher. Disabled veterans (10% or more) who meet basic qualifications will be referred to hiring officials for consideration on PUBLIC job announcements! AND… the hiring manager cannot pass over a qualified veteran for a non-veteran on a PUBLIC announcement certificate (list of eligible and qualified applicants from that announcement). This is an important tip for selecting the right job announcements and understanding how Veterans Preference is used to select Veterans for Federal positions.
- Use the Schedule A List — Kathryn Troutman demonstrated the Schedule A Coordinator hiring list from the OPM Website. And how the Marine can write directly to these individuals with their Schedule A letter (or SF 15) and a cover letter and resume to introduce their skills for consideration of positions at their agency.
- Schedule A Hiring Process! Gary Simpson, Schedule A Coordinator – Gary Simpson USMC Ret, Transition Care/Employment Coordinator NDW Certified Federal Job Search Trainer, Certified Federal Career Coach, Navy Wounded Warrior-Safe Harbor, Walter Reed National Military Medical Center Bethesda MD – spoke for a few minutes about his job as a Schedule A Human Resources person representing Wounded Warriors and Federal positions. He explained how he finds out about Federal positions form managers. And then he will match a WW to position – all of this without USAJOBs applications!
- Get your Schedule A letter if you don’t have a VA letter yet. Gary Simpson, who talked about his job as a Schedule A Coordinator for the WW Battalion, can write a Schedule A letter FOR YOU. He matches Schedule A and 30% or more Disabled Vets to JOBS – outside of USAJOBS applications!
Write to Gary here: firstname.lastname@example.org
- Jorge G. Haddock, CFJST / CFCC, NAVSEA Veteran and Wounded Warrior Program Office, Naval Sea Systems Command – talked about… two important topics for Wounded Warriors and Federal Jobs: The Wounded Warriors Federal Leave Act of 2015, H.R. 313, which provides federal employees who are also disabled military veterans with 104 hours of designated “wounded warrior leave” during their first year in the federal workforce. This leave is designated to allow veterans to seek medical treatment for their service-related disabilities, and is counted as separate from traditional sick and annual leave. Currently, first-year government workers accrue only four hours of sick leave each pay period, forcing many veterans with disabilities to take unpaid leave because they have not yet built up enough leave time. Under both bills, newly hired veterans with a disability rating of 30 percent or more would receive 13 days (104 hours) of sick leave for medical treatment associated with their disability. This would also apply to all Postal Service employees.
- 180-day Wait for DOD Jobs for Retiring Veterans. Originally put into law in 1964, the 180-day waiting policy was intended to make sure that there wasn’t a “revolving door” in the hiring process at the DoD. The law was waived after Sept. 11, 2001, when a national emergency was declared, but was reinstated in 2017 – This is a current law, but it is under consideration to be turned-around. “There’s a new push to change the law that requires military retirees to wait 180 days after leaving the military before starting a civilian job with the Defense Department.” Military Times
Jorge Rodriguez, Kathryn Troutman and Gary Simpson, Veterans Preference Presenters
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