Resumes serve one purpose: to get you noticed. You need to be organized, personally and professionally, so you can create a solid resume and cover letter.
You can get yourself organized by knowing your worth, knowing your Veterans’ preference qualification, knowing what you want and knowing what works.
Know Your Worth
As a veteran or military service member you—
Learn quickly. One reason that you are needed in the federal civilian workforce is that you have already proven you can learn new tasks. You underwent rigorous training. Managers know you understand the value of learning and how to apply it.
Understand the value of teamwork. Teamwork was instilled in you from the moment you entered boot camp. You understand its value and work well with others.
Lead by example. You may have been given opportunity and various experiences to be a leader. Federal civilian jobs need people who are highly motivated and lift up those around them.
Respect authority. People in the federal civilian world respect those who understand rank and authority. Everything has its proper place, and order is needed to function smoothly.
Supervisors take comfort in knowing that you know how to support them with their mission.
Understand cultural diversity. You know how to work alongside others of different races and religions. You can work with coworkers who may be a little different or challenging. You can adjust to different environments when the situation calls for it.
Perform under pressure. You were trained to perform well—even when the going gets a little rough. You do not back down from challenges. Your ability to keep going adds stability to a team.
For all of these reasons and more, you are the kind of high performance candidate the Federal Government needs. Weave these words and themes into your professional resume to remind recruiters and supervisors that it’s not just the candidate, but the quality of his or her character that makes a difference in the workplace.
Know Your Veterans’ Preference Qualifications
In recognition of their service and sacrifice to our country, Congress passed the Veterans’ Preference Act of 1944.
Veterans’ preference is a measurement that provides Veterans special consideration when applying for certain federal civilian jobs. It is intended for Veterans who served on active duty in the U.S. Armed Forces and were discharged under honorable conditions. It does not guarantee Veterans a job or give Veterans’ preference in internal agency actions such as promotion, transfer, reassignment and reinstatement. It does, however, give Veterans additional points after their assessment as a qualified candidate for a job in recognition of their status as a service member.
Veterans’ preference scores range from 0 to 10 points. Your Veterans’ preference score is in direct proportion to VA’s assessment of the length and timing of your service and any disability incurred during that time.
To claim Veterans’ preference, you must provide a copy of your DD-214, Certificate of Release or Discharge from Active Duty, or other acceptable documentation as proof of your service. Applicants claiming a 10-point preference will also need to submit Form SF-15, Application for 10-point Veterans’ Preference, located at: http://www.opm.gov/forms/pdf_fill/SF15.pdf.
To investigate your Veterans’ preference qualifications, visit the Department of Labor’s Veterans’ Preference Advisor at: http://www.dol.gov/elaws/vetspref.htm.
Know What Works
Different types of jobs call for different types of resumes. Creating resumes for different jobs allows you to highlight the experience you have in one area over another, tailoring your experience to a desired position. For example, on one resume, you may wish to showcase the times you coordinated teams and managed assignments, but on another, you may want to focus on your technical proficiency. USAJOBS allows you to create and save up to five different types of resumes.
Remember: The more your application matches a position’s requirements, the easier it is for recruiters to assess that you are a suitable candidate.
What makes a resume good or bad can come down to several common indicators, as much as the format you choose.