EFFECTIVE JOB SEARCH STRATEGIES
On the next page you will identify specific jobs you are interested in researching and pursuing. Once you know more about a particular field or you want to explore career options, use the form on the following page to help you explore your options.
Step 1: Identify jobs that interest you and write the titles on the following page.
Step 2: Find out the salary range and necessary skills. Compare these to your financial needs and transferable skills.
Step 3: Identify the training experience you need to qualify for the positions you find interesting.
Step 4: Include your family members in your decisions.
Now that you have done a personal appraisal and some career exploration, you need to make some career decisions to provide direction for your job search. You need to establish realistic goals, then figure out the best way to achieve them. There are three types of goals:
• Short-range (6 months to 1 year)
• Intermediate-range (1 to 5 years)
• Long-range (5 to 10 years)
You may need to make realistic career goals for each time range. What you want to be doing in five years may not be feasible now, but you can work toward that goal. You may need to find a short-term, stopgap job before you can obtain the appropriate, long-term position you really want. You may need to obtain a position or training in the short-term in order to qualify for the
long-term position you would like to pursue. You need to have some consistency between your short-term and long-term goals. Each job along the way should be a step toward your long-term goal. You have already started the process of personal appraisal. This is an important step in goal setting.
You might also want to refer to your individual transition plan from preseparation counseling.
It is difficult to make decisions about which goals to pursue if you do not know what your goals are or how you want your career to progress. Your goals must be SMART:
Specific Measurable Adaptable Realistic Trackable
1. Specific If your goal is not specific you may not have a firm idea of how to get that job. EXAMPLE: I want a good paying, daytime job so I can continue my education. This job goal is not specific enough to suggest where to start looking for this kind of
employment. Your job search will not be focused. You may find a job, but it will probably not be the most appropriate one. EXAMPLE: I want a job in warehousing because I already have military experience doing this type of work. It needs to be part-time and at night so I can use my military education fund to attend school during the day which will enable me to change
my career. The position must pay at least $7.00 per hour and have a minimum of pressure so I can concentrate on my studies. This employment goal is specific enough to suggest where to start looking for this kind of employment.
2. Measurable Make a realistic, daily/weekly time table. This allows you to measure whether or not you are consistent in your employment search efforts. EXAMPLE: I will contact 3 employers per day on Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday. On Monday and Friday, I will answer newspaper ads and send resumes.
Setting up a time table avoids procrastination.
3. Adaptable Setting an employment goal is like using a road map with optional routes. If your search is not getting results, try an alternative route to your destination. EXAMPLE: I have been looking for a $9.00 per hour, part-time, evening warehouse job so I can go to school during the daytime. I have not had any results.
I will begin looking for a $8.00 per hour, daytime warehouse job and will go to school during the evening. Change your search method if it is not working. If your search method is working stick with it. Remember: You can stick with your employment search method but change your employment preference, the wage you want, or the hours you will be available to work.
4. Realistic Make sure your employment goals are realistic for your personal needs, the local economy and the job market. Your goals may be appropriate for your current needs, but not realistic for the current economic situation. You may have to settle for a position with less pay, less benefits and less advancement because the position you need and want is not available in your
local employment market. You may have to consider other work until you can move to an area that has the employment opportunities you want and need.
5. Trackable You need to be able to trace your steps in your search for appropriate employment. Keeping track of where you go, with whom you speak and the results of each contact is extremely important. If your search is not getting results, you need to be able to look specifically at your efforts in order to see if there is some element that is missing or needs to be added. You
cannot improve what you cannot track. Now that we have demonstrated the SMART technique, write your own short-, intermediate- and long-range goals. Make them employment related. It is easiest to start with long-range goals and work backwards to short-range goals.
Schedule Your Time Think of looking for a job as a job. It requires planning and follow-through. At the beginning of each week, prepare a schedule with blocks of time for each type of activity (phone calls, reading ads, writing letters, etc.). Then, as the week progresses, make changes to allow time for interviews. Below
is an example of a weekly schedule.
NOTE: Set time aside to enjoy your family and friends, and relax. The sample schedule below shows Friday afternoon and Saturday as time off. The advantage of a schedule is it allows you to plan and use your time most effectively. It helps you avoid saying things like: “I really wanted to, but…”; I just couldn’t find the time…”; or “I wish I had….” At the beginning of each week, plan
for each type of activity. Then, when an employer gives you a time for an interview, you can rearrange your schedule to use your time efficiently. Looking for a work is a full-time job. Keep good records. Use office software to organize company and interview notes, schedules, resumes, etc. Get a calendar and keep it current. Your time is valuable and there is much to be done in finding the right job for you. Schedule
carefully, balancing your needs. The Company Information Record and Job Search Log further in this section will help you record your job search efforts and your progress in pursuing specific jobs. Be sure to prioritize your time. Some tasks are more important than others. The method you use to keep track of your job search is not important, but keeping track of it is very important! The chart shown is designed for a separatee
doing full-time job searching. You may want to use the sample chart provided, or you may want to develop your own system. However you decide to do it, make sure you do it well!
APPROACH THE JOB SEARCH PROCESS Finding a job is hard work. It is a job in itself. You should treat it just like a job, and use every resource available, including friends, acquaintances, relatives, teachers and professors. When you speak with these contacts, ask them about where they work. Job Search Methods
Answer ads in:
• Local, state, national newspapers • Professional or trade journals Apply directly: • Job fairs • Private Industry Council
• Employers Contact local organizations
Hidden Job Market The hidden job market simply refers to the fact that most jobs are not advertised. Eighty percent of all positions are filled without employer advertising. These positions are filled
by, or created for, candidates who come to an employer’s attention through recommendations from employees, referrals from trusted associates, recruiters, or direct contact with the candidate. Effective networking—using your contacts to connect with the employer’s contacts—is the key to the hidden job market. You need to become skilled at finding the hidden job market in order to have access to as many jobs as possible.
Employers are constantly on the lookout for suitable candidates to replace departing, retiring, or inefficient workers; to work on new projects or to add expertise in a particular area. Employers often have an immediate need to fill a position (someone resigns, a contract is awarded, etc.). Employers review resumes on hand or interview a prospective employee before advertising. Making these connections requires diligence and
• Your transition office
• State Employment Services
• Private employment agencies
• School placement offices
• Civil Service Administration
• Union hiring hall
• Chambers of commerce
Networking Getting people involved in your search is called networking. It means using personal contacts to get information about job leads and contacts. Regardless of the type of job you are looking for, building a network will help you tap into the hidden job market. You never know where the best job lead will come
from. The figure below will help you to consider those people you should involve in your effort to find work. Start building your network by making a list of all the people you know. Do not limit the list to people who know the work you do. The people on this list are your primary contacts. They do not have to be people who know about possible job leads, they just might be people who know other people that have knowledge of
job leads, occupational information, specific employer contacts, etc. Before you begin contacting the people on your list, decide what type of information you want from the contact. You may be looking for:
• information about a particular company, industry or line of work;
• a referral to someone who might be able to help you; or
• advice on conducting your job search.
In many cases, you will want to ask to set up a brief meeting with the person. It is not a job interview. . . but it may bring you a job lead. Always have plenty of resumes available.
If you feel awkward or embarrassed contacting people to ask for something,
• most people like helping other people;
• many people have been in your shoes and remember how hard it was; and
• some people will have a job opening, or know of one, and feel that fate brought you to them!
Begin your networking by calling the people on your list you can talk to most easily and work up to making the calls that are more stressful. You may have to force yourself to make the first few calls, but it does get easier with each call!
friends of friends * fellow military personnel parents of children’s friends close friends/ colleagues relatives teachers acquaintances immediate family military transition office former co-workers former employers spouse supervisor
RESEARCH COMPANIES One of the most critical elements but least used job search “tools” is researching companies. Most applicants think it is difficult to get information, or simply fail to see the value of the effort. Research is a good idea because:
1. You may get to know someone in the organization, and therefore have a personal contact.
2. If you have information about the company, you can do a better job of identifying transferable skills and matching those to the organization and the job.
3. You can ask questions in a job interview that are based on information few other applicants have. Researching a company can make you “look better” when compared to other candidates, because so few applicants do their homework.
The Internet is a critical element of successful job searching. Items you might want to research: company growth, city’s average salaries for field, annual reports, cost of living.
For example, if you wanted to find the ABC Company’s annual report for last year, you’d go to a search engine and do a “key word” search by typing in “ABC Company Annual Report.” The search engine will then generate a list of links to webpages that contain the key words you specified. The list of webpages is usually sorted by relevance, meaning that the ones at the top of the list
are probably most closely related to what you’re looking for. There are plenty of reference materials available in libraries to give you information on a company. You can do the research yourself or ask the librarian for help. A professional librarian is trained to find information from a variety of sources, or to direct you to other resources available in the community. Your local public library may also have a special
Business Reference Section, which collects additional information on businesses in the local area. This information generally tends to be more current than annual publications. In any case, the Reference Desk at any library is a good starting point for your research.
After you have done research, you may then call the company to get additional information. You should call to ask for information for two reasons. First, to request printed material about the organization such as an annual report or brochure.
Second, try to speak with someone about the job you want. “What to Say on the Phone.”
Practice The Company Information Record on the following page has space for information you might be able to find on a given company. Create and prioritize a list of companies that interest you in order to research them. As you research companies, keep a record of important information on the Company Information Record
form. Use one page for each company. Keep this information organized and easily accessible. Copy one worksheet for each company you are researching. .
Things to research before contacting a company:
1. Number of employees;
2. What the company does (service and/or products);
3. Business volume, net worth, profit and loss, company stability, etc.
(see company’s annual report if available);
4. Company competitors;
5. Company history and future plans;
6. Company locations (headquarters, branch offices, international offices, retail outlets, etc.);
7. Salary range or hourly rates paid for various positions;
8. Contact names (department heads, human resource manager, people you know who work there, former employees, etc.);
9. Employment activity (recent hiring, firing, layoffs, etc.); and
10. Titles of positions that interest you.
JOB SEARCH ASSISTANCE One of the first steps in finding a job is to identify where you can get job information and help. Where you go will depend on the type of job you want, where you want to live and work, and the available jobs in your field. Some sources of job information are:
1. Internet There is information available for virtually all interests: graduate or professional schooling, full or part-time employment, internships, company profiles, summer jobs, or relocation assistance. The number of webpages available grows daily. Another advantage of the Internet is that you can access current
information at all hours of the day or night. You can access information about your local area as well as take your search far beyond your regular boundaries. This is especially helpful if you want to relocate to another area. Another advantage is that using the Internet in your search demonstrates your leading-edge skills to potential employers. Not only do you know how to use a computer but you also know how to navigate
online. The Internet can help you explore career alternatives and options that you maybe haven’t considered. You can find some self-assessment tools online, and loads of occupations and disciplines to explore. No one website will meet all of your needs. The transition website has many useful links to a variety of job search related sources.
2. State Workforce Agency (Employment Office) Assistance in finding jobs is offered to veterans at State Workforce Agency (SWA) offices throughout the country. The local SWA offers services both to job-seekers and employers at no charge. Although the SWA provides assistance to everyone looking for a job, veterans
are given priority. The SWA staff will evaluate your interests, skills, aptitudes and abilities and match them with employers’ job requirements. Qualified applicants are referred to employers for job interviews. Qualified veterans are referred to employers ahead of non-veterans. Call the number listed in your telephone book under
3. Disabled Veterans Outreach Program (DVOP) staff and Local Veterans Employment Representatives (LVER)
Primarily located in the offices of the State Workforce Agency employment offices, these staff provide assistance exclusively to veterans. They directly provide or facilitate the provision of labor exchange services, including assessment, counseling, testing, job-search assistance, referral and placement.
4. Vocational Rehabilitation and Employment Vocational Rehabilitation and Employment is and employment-oriented program that assists veterans with service- connected disabilities by offering them services and assistance to help them prepare for, find and keep employment.
5. Bureau of Apprenticeship and Training (BAT), U.S. Department of Labor Apprenticeship is a combination of on-the-job training and related classroom instruction in which workers learn the practical and theoretical aspects of a highly-skilled occupation. Apprenticeship programs are sponsored by joint employer and labor
groups, individual employers, and/or employer associations. The BAT gives priority to veterans to help them gain entry into apprenticeship programs. All programs registered with BAT are recognized by State Apprenticeship Councils and meet VA regulations for training programs, which makes enrolled veterans eligible for VA educational assistance allowances.
For further information; write the Office of Apprenticeship Training, Employer and Labor Services, U.S. Department of Labor, 200 Constitution Ave, NW, Washington, D.C., 20210. You may also contact your nearest BAT
6. Private Employment Services Private employment agencies are not all the same. They are regulated by each state Department of Labor, licensing bureau. States regulate the percentage agencies are allowed to charge. The applicant (you) might have to pay for the agency to market you to local employers. They will counsel
on how to dress, prepare your resume, interviewing assistance; but, will not get the job for you. Most employment agencies do not charge for their services. Employment agencies can also be employer fee paid. This means the employer will pay the hiring fee.
Other possibilities might be the fee would be split between you and the employer, or the employer might make an agreement to reimburse the fee once you have completed a probation period. Carefully read any contract you sign, and understand the terms. Get a copy for your records. Career counselors are not employment agencies. Their function is to assist you in creating or upgrading a
resume, dressing for success and interviewing skills. Career counselors usually charge a flat fee from $500.00 to $3,000.00. They do not arrange interviews for you, they point you in the right direction.
Sometimes there are additional charges for extra services. Be sure anyone you use has good credentials. Ask to see and check their references. Headhunters are people hired by organizations to locate specific types of people. They are paid by the company. Most often headhunters will not work with people who are looking for salaries less than $40,000.00 and this number fluctuates
depending on industry and geographic location. Don’t expect a headhunter to burn up the phone lines trying to find you a job. Temporary services put you on their payroll. As their employee, you are then sent out “on assignment” to other employers. You are paid by the temporary service, not by the company in whose office or plant you are working. Most temporary services do not have any benefits for their employees. Many
temporary services will offer you training free of charge to update or to expand your skills. Many will allow you to come into the office on your own time and learn computer software. It makes you more marketable. There is usually no fee charged at a temporary service.
7. College/School Placement Agencies Most institutions of higher education provide some kind of placement service, but this service is usually only available to students and alumni of the school. Some school/college placement agencies also provide instruction in job-hunting skills.
8. Military and Professional Associations and Organizations Military and professional associations are useful for specialized occupations. They can provide information on areas where the demand for a particular occupation is higher, as well as information on employers hiring individuals in a particular field. Some of the
organizations even provide specific job search and career instruction assistance.
9. Telephone Directory Yellow Pages, Industry Directory These are useful sources of information if you already know the type of job you want. These sources provide lists of companies employing individuals in various types of jobs.
10. Industrial and Craft Unions Industrial and craft unions tend to deal with a limited number of occupations. They are advantageous because they have exclusive hiring authority for some firms. If you have appropriate skills and/or aptitude and interests, this could be of value to you.
11. Job Fairs A useful tool in meeting employers and delivering resumes is attendance at job fairs. Contact either your transition office, local chambers of commerce, and other business organizations which provide services to the community or further information about these events.
12. Transition Offices Transition offices provide individual assessment, classes and workshops, and leadership consultation. Primary transition office programs and transition assistance from military service include relocation, financial management and aid, information and referral, family readiness, and family life
13. Chambers of Commerce Chambers of commerce offer rich resources about the businesses in their area and offer contact information for many of them. Their services are usually free for job-searchers. Publications are available, but only list member companies. Some have meetings that are open to the public.
JOB SEARCH ONLINE Searching for jobs online is becoming increasingly significant in the job search process. There are some occupations that lend themselves to this process more than others. You first must first determine what job search sites would be best for you to find the particular occupations that interest you.
Some sites specialize in certain types of jobs. Use the resources provided by your transition office and the transition website to research these. With thousands of job sites online, advertising millions of jobs, where do you begin? It can get confusing and frustrating if you don’t know where to look. To practice, begin with a large, popular site.
Once you get into the site, it will ask you several questions. First, in which state and locations you are willing to work. Identify these, then look under job families, which are broken down into many different job fields, depending on the site, and then individual job titles under each one. When typing in keywords, it is important to try and keep your search as broad as possible
in the beginning. Once you have identified a variety of job titles, try and narrow it down. For example, if you wanted to be a “camera operator for television,” but do not have the experience to obtain that job right now, type in the word “television.” This will give you a deeper variety of job titles relating to jobs that may help you work up to the position you ultimately want. For example, a “camera utility” worker is a
job title that is more entry level than television camera person. Type in a variety of keywords separated by commas to get an even broader perspective. Understand that how you type in keywords will dictate your results, because “construction, project manager” will give you an entirely different list of jobs than “construction project manager.” As you look at specific titles that interest you, it will narrow your search.
Employers often list jobs in a wide variety of titles for the same occupation. Finding these jobs is part of the challenge. If you stay with just one job title, you may miss out on a variety of jobs in related areas. In AJB, if you are looking for a construction project manager position, you might look in occupation fields such as management and engineer rather than construction.
You need to understand how each site is organized, as each is different. Experimentation is important in locating all of the jobs that interest you. Look at both the big sites and also the specialty sites catering to the specific occupations that interest you. There are job search engines that provide extensive lists of job sites.
When you identify a job opening, try and research the company to find out all you can about the company and the job. You can also go directly to specific company web sites to locate job openings they may have and apply for them online.
Applying for Jobs Online There are several ways to submit your resume online. One of them is posting your resume on a job search career site.
Posting Your Resume on a Job Search Career Site There are countless job search career sites on the web. Each is unique in its own way, but for the most part, similar in many respects of creating a resume on their site. Sites such as America’s Job Bank have a way for you to register on their site and post your resume,
hoping employers will utilize these career sites to recruit you as a potential employee.
• Most of these online resume builders are simple and straightforward. They give you a step-by-step, fill-in-the-blank process that is easy to follow. More than likely they require you to register on their site, which is usually free. Some of these sites are good and some are not so great in terms of resume format, so be selective.
• With each fill-in-the-blank space, you must carefully edit and proofread your documents. Spell check is usually not provided by the site. To spell check the document yourself, save the resume to your computer, spell check the document in your word processing program, then go back to the online document and make corrections.
• The objective is what the employer will usually use to screen applications. If interested, they will open the entire resume to review. Therefore, be sure that your objective is simple and clearly stated. A mistake many job seekers make is trying to sell your skills here by making their objective statement too long.
• Posting your resume on a website may not be the most effective way to get a job. The main reasons why this technique does not work are that individuals do not target their search or that the resume is poorly written. The best resumes are targeted resumes, and posting a resume on a web site does not allow for the most effective targeting.
ANALYZE WANT ADS In addition to using online search techniques, reviewing want ads in the classified section of newspapers and specific industry publications is also helpful. A small percentage of job-seekers find employment by responding to want ads. While want ads are not the only way to find a job, looking through
want ads can give you a good idea of the availability of jobs in certain industries. You may be able to find out what kind of experience, qualifications, salary and skills are needed for certain jobs. If certain jobs do not appear in the want ads, it does not necessarily mean that there are no job openings in that field.
Most new ads are published Wednesdays and Sundays, so pay attention to these days. Read the want ads cover to cover, because jobs that interest you may be listed in unexpected places. For example, want ads for drywallers might be listed under construction, painters, laborers, home builders, carpenters, etc. When reading
and responding to want ads be aware of the following:
• Some ads do not give a company name, you reply to a P.O. box, making it impossible to do any research on the company.
• Ads that promise a big paycheck with little experience required usually indicate sales positions that work on commission.
• If the contact for the ad is an employment agency, find out if they will charge you a fee. Some agencies charge the employer a fee, some charge the job-seeker a fee.
• Multiple position ads usually indicate a new or expanding company. Competition is often fierce for these positions.
• Some ads use the word “preferred” (degree preferred, two years experience preferred, etc.). This usually means you can apply if you do not have that particular skill or ability as long as you have the other qualifications.
• When sending a resume in response to a want ad make sure you meet the minimum requirements. If the ad says certification, license, degree, experience, etc. required, you might be wasting your time if you do not have those qualifications. If it says “no phone calls,” do not call.
COMPLETE APPLICATION FORMS Using the Master Application Worksheet makes filling out application forms much easier. Almost every employer will require you to fill out an application form, even though the
company may already have your resume and cover letter. Applications may be used to make the first “cut” in screening applicants for interviews. The form may be a test to see how well you follow directions. It is always a good idea to take your time and do it well. When possible get two copies of the form. Use one as a draft copy before completing the final form.
Use the following suggestions to complete application forms:
1. Be prepared when you fill out the form.
2. Read and follow all directions before beginning to fill out the form.
3. Make your application neat and easy to read—it will be judged on appearance and content. If possible, type the form. If you can’t type the form, print neatly.
4. Do not write “see resume,” even if the application repeats information.
5. Read each question and decide how you will answer before you begin to write. This will help you fit the answer into the available space, as well as write the best answer.
6. Answer all questions. If a question does not apply or you feel the question invades your privacy, write N/A for “not applicable.” Do not leave blank spaces.
7. Do not scratch out or write over mistakes. If you must correct over a mistake, cross out the error completely with a single line (—).
8. Take your time, but work steadily. If you take too long filling out an application at the company, the employer may think you are not prepared.
9. Answer questions honestly—never lie, and do not use sarcastic answers.
10. Ask questions if you do not understand something about the form.
11. After you complete the form, check it for accuracy, correct grammar, and spelling. Make sure it is neat, and make a copy for your records.
12. Follow up on the application at regular intervals (about every week) until you hear from the employer.
13. Work Experience: Make sure you have all the information you will need with you. Work on describing your duties before you fill out an application, so you can be brief and clear in your descriptions. If you prefer not to give your salary history, write “will discuss in interview” in the space provided. However, keep in mind some employers will screen you out. When giving your
reason for leaving, never give a negative answer. “I completed my military goal,” “moved,” and “seasonal,” are all very acceptable answers. Do not write “fired.” If you were fired, write “will discuss in interview.”
14. Position Desired: Always fill in this space! Never write “any” or “will do anything!” Do some research first so you know what jobs you qualify for and are available in the company.
15. Salary Desired: Before filling out an application, be sure you know the lowest salary you would accept and the wage range for the position you want. Call a few companies in the area and ask the pay range for the type of job for which you are applying. It is okay to write “open” or “negotiable” rather than putting a figure on the application to identify the salary.
16. Availability: Unless you cannot start a job right away, write “immediately” in this space. Otherwise, write the date you will be available to start work. If asked what hours or shifts you will work, write “open” unless you have specific requirements.
17. Special Skills, Abilities and Training: You are often asked to list any special skills, abilities, experiences and/or training you have that relates to the position you want. This is an opportunity for you to highlight anything that may possibly set you apart from other applicants.
Your Right to Privacy According to the Personal Privacy Act it is inappropriate for employers to request certain information on application forms. If you encounter a job application that requests this information, it is your decision whether or not to supply it. If you choose not to answer these types of questions make
sure you write N/A (for Not Applicable) to indicate you have seen the question. Some examples of inappropriate questions include: date of birth, marital status, dependents, health, citizenship, and social or religious affiliations.
OPPORTUNITIES FOR FEDERAL CIVIL SERVICE EMPLOYMENT Veterans Preference and Direct Appointment Authority for Federal Employment Applying for a job with the federal government is different than applying for a private sector position. As a veteran, you may have an advantage applying for work with the federal overnment.
Not only do certain veterans get extra points for veteran status in the selection process, but they also receive credit for their time in the military toward federal years of service for seniority and retirement. Keep in mind that there may be an application/employment waiting period for some veterans. Retirees have different rules which apply to them. Check the Transition website for the most current information.
By law, qualified veterans with a service-connected disability or who served on active duty in the United States Armed Forces during certain specified time periods or in military campaigns may be entitled to preference over non-veterans both in federal civil service hiring and/or in retention during reductions in force.
Federal Application Procedure In the past, the United States Federal Government required job applicants to submit
a standardized application form known as the SF-171. Today you can apply for most federal jobs with a resume or an optional application (OF-612). The Office of Personnel Management (OPM), which is the government’s hiring authority, now accepts resumes. Check the job posting/announcement to see which format and method of delivery they prefer.
Even if you submit a general application form, you may also be required to submit additional information targeted for each position—for example: OF-612, computer scan forms, etc. However, the resume w ill be considered the primary application.
If an applicant simply submits a regular resume they will never be referred and never qualify for any federal position. Resumes must be targeted and be completely tailored to the position. Federal resumes could be several pages in length as opposed to the preferred one page by private sector employers. Be sure to read the job announcement carefully to see all of the
requirements for submitting an application. There is computer software available at most Transition Offices which will enable you to use electronic versions of Federal Employment forms and/or help you with your resume or application.
What A Resume For Federal Employment Must Contain Read the job announcement carefully. You may lose consideration for a job if your resume or application does not provide all the following information and any additional information requested in the job announcement.
Job Information • Announcement number, title and grade(s) of the job for which you are applying
• Full name, mailing address (with zip code) and day and evening phone numbers
(with area code)
• Social Security Number
• Country of citizenship. Most Federal jobs require United States citizenship
• Veterans’ preference
• Reinstatement eligibility (if requested, attach SF 50 proof of your career or career-conditional status)
• Highest Federal civilian grade held. Also give job series and dates held
• High school (name, city, state, zip code)
• Date of diploma or GED
• Colleges and universities (name, city, state, zip code)
• Major subjects studied
• Type and year of any degrees received (if no degree, show total credits earned and indicate whether semester or quarter hours)
• Send a copy of your college transcript only if the job vacancy announcement requests it
• Give the following information for your paid and nonpaid work experience related to the job for which you are applying (do not send job descriptions)
• Job title (include series and grade if Federal job)
• Duties and accomplishments
• Employer’s name and address
• Supervisor’s name and phone number
• Starting and ending dates (month and year)
• Hours per week
• Indicate whether they may contact your current supervisor
• Job-related training courses (title and year)
• Job-related skills, for example: other languages, computer software/hardware, tools, machinery, typing speed
• Job-related certificates and licenses (current only)
• Job-related honors, awards, and special accomplishments, for example: publications, memberships in professional or honor societies, leadership activities, public speaking, and performance awards (give dates but do not send documents unless requested)
Filling Out the Optional Application for Federal Employment — OF-612
Transition offices may offer assistance in completing a federal application and in composing resumes for Federal employment. Here are some tips for filling out the OF-612 and the additional knowledge, skills and abilities narratives required in most case-examining job announcements. An example of the expanded format which may be used in preparing the work experience blocks follows
the tip section.
1. Plan carefully. Your OF-612 is the first thing a prospective employer sees; apply the concept you are preparing “an interview on paper.”
2. Prepare your basic or “master” OF-612 after reviewing the X-118 Handbook and some current announcements in your field. The X-118 is a qualifications information source which is available in most CPOs and transition centers or libraries. For Wage Grade or Blue Collar information, use the X-118 C.
3. The announcement may detail Knowledge, Skills and Abilities (KSAs) which must be documented on plain paper.
4. Prepare a separate narrative on each “selective” or “quality ranking” or KSA factor as stated in the job announcement. This could make the difference in whether or not you are considered for the position. A typed supplemental statement relating your experience to these factors helps avoid having to tailor your OF-612 each time you apply for different positions. Include concrete
examples of work performed. The same information may need to be repeated to address multiple KSAs within the same application. 5. Block 8, “Work Experience,” is the most important part of your OF-612.
Neglecting to provide complete information for jobs similar to the one sought could cause you to be disqualified for the positions. Start each section of Item 8 with duties, which are what you do for your employer; list all key duties, including those not listed in your position description.
6. Follow the brief Duties narrative with a series of “bullet” entries which are concrete examples of WHAT you did, HOW OFTEN, HOW MUCH money or HOW MANY units of activities were produced, WHO you dealt with inside and outside the organization, and WHY the activity was done— i.e., how your product was used by others. Work from most important to least important examples.
7. Next, in each section include accomplishments, which are things you did which were above and beyond what is normally expected of you; describe those accomplishments which represent your highest skills. You may indicate major accomplishments after each work experience block.
8. Start with your most recent job which is similar to the work sought. YOU NO LONGER HAVE TO GO BACK 10 YEARS. Other work experience may either be summarized in one additional block, or you may continue to add new blocks as far back as needed.
9. Work performed as a volunteer may also be used to demonstrate your qualifications for a position. Remember to include volunteer or unpaid work experience that is related to the position for which you are applying.
10. A key item to provide on your OF-612 is evidence that you have progressed in each job, as well as from one job to the next. Clearly describe how you have assumed more responsibilities or more demanding duties with each job.
11. Use separate experience blocks for each employer, promotion, substantial salary change, job reassignment, or detail.
12. In Item 2, fill in the lowest grade level shown on the announcement you will accept. If qualified, you may be considered for grade levels above the level you indicated.
13. In Item 12, list degrees you expect to receive within nine months of the date of your application. Education may be substituted for experience, but experience is the major factor for most evaluations.
14. In Item 13, indicate any special qualifications, skills, and accomplishments: memberships, publications, presentations, letters of commendation, certificates, nominations, honors, awards, etc. Do not attach copies unless instructed to do so.
15. After you complete your OF-612, save the original. You will probably be able to use it for other, similar jobs. Photocopies are acceptable, but each copy must be signed and dated in ink. Fill in the job for which you are applying
(Item 1), and the vacancy announcement number (Item 3), and the signature and date (Item 18) at the time of application.
16. You may be able to claim 5-point veteran preference/direct appointment authorities, if entitled to it, on Item 15 of the OF-612, BEFORE RECEIVING YOUR DD Form 214. This has been established in an OPM directive to federal
agencies. You must provide proof of preference in competitive examining prior to entry. You can not claim 10-point preference without the documentation noted on the Standard Form 15, Application for 10-Point Veteran Preference.
Transition offices offer assistance in completing a federal application and in composing resumes for
CREATE AN EFFECTIVE RESUME
Many people think that a resume is only for white collar jobs. On the contrary, in our changing job market almost everyone will need a resume, including most blue collar workers.
The resume is a selling tool that outlines your skills and experiences so an employer can see, at a glance, how you can contribute to the employer’s workplace. More to the point, what we are actually doing is applying for an interview. Only in the rarest of cases will a resume in and of itself directly secure a job offer. The goal of an effective resume is to highlight and summarize
a person’s qualifications.
The first step in creating your resume is to determine which jobs you are both qualified for and interested in. In today’s job market it is crucial to be as specific as possible. Your experience in the military has probably given you a wide variety of skills that you can apply in several career fields. Make a determination
of what you want to do. To clarify your skills selection refer back to transferable skills, section 1.4. Use the statements you wrote to help you decide.
Once you have identified the types of positions you want to pursue, you need to select the resume format that best introduces you to the job market. This is a marketing decision based on the message you want to send to a potential employer.
Target your skills to fit the job you are applying for. Many people think that a resume is only for white collar jobs. On the contrary, in our changing job market almost everyone will need a resume, including most blue collar workers.
Translate Your Military Experience Into Civilian Terms As you create your resume, avoid military jargon and military terms. Most civilian employers will not understand military jargon, abbreviations and acronyms. Therefore, use the following guidelines to prevent this problem:
• Write out terms and, when necessary, explain what they mean.
• For specialized military training, list the names and number of hours of professional and technical training you have taken. Only include training if it relates to the job.
• Briefly explain any course that may be pertinent to the job. For example, write, “Management and Supervision” as a course title. Then add the course content: equal opportunity law; giving and receiving positive and negative feedback; and giving directions.
• Use civilian equivalent phrases and titles. Civilian recruiters will not take the time to translate your resume into civilian terms, and therefore may not see you as qualified for the position. Below are some military terms with recommended civilian equivalents.
Military Terms Civilian Equivalent
NCOIC ......................................Supervisor, Manager, Coordinator
TDY/TAD..................................Business Related Travel
NCO Academy ..........................Leadership or Management Training
War College................................Executive Military Leadership School
Command and Staff College......Senior Military Leadership School
Basic Officers Course ................Entry Level Officer Leadership Course
Basic Training ............................Introductory Military Training
O7 and above..............................President, Senior Director, Chairman of the Board,
O5 and O6 ..................................Chief Executive Officer, Chief Operating Officer, Program Director
O4................................................Senior Administrator, Department Head, Program Manager
O1 to O3 ....................................Executive, Administrator, Manager, Project Officer
WO1 to WO5 ............................Director, Specialist, Facilitator, Technical Manager, Technical Specialist
E7 to E9......................................Director, Supervisor, Department Manager, Operations Manager, Senior Advisor
E4 to E6......................................Assistant Manager, Line Supervisor, Section Leader, Task Leader, Supervisor, Foreman
E1 to E3......................................Production Worker, Assembler, Technician, Assistant, Apprentice, Team Member
Follow These Resume Guidelines
1. Write your resume to show employers three things:
• The amount and kind of responsibility you have handled.
• The results you have achieved.
• The relevancy of your past responsibilities and accomplishments.
2. List your achievements and how you solve problems, not simply your responsibilities. In other words, explain how you increased operational efficiency, the amount of money you saved or
raised, the number of people who used the service or product, the action that came about as a result of your efforts, etc.
Write these items in phrases that identify the problem, note the solution, and describe the result.
3. Use statistics or numbers when you can, to show the results of what you did (i.e., size of organization, number of people supervised, length of report, time involved, size of budget, amount of money raised, etc.). Identify types of people, services, products, and
programs with which you worked.
4. Write your own resume. Seek all the advice you can, but since you’ll be the one at the interview, you’ll make the best author. If you decide to use a resume writing service, work closely with the writer to make sure that the resume reflects your experience and
5. Keep your resume brief, clean and easy to read with lots of white space on the page. Use the minimum number of words to convey what you
wish to say. Be able to defend every word.
6. Be specific about your job and accomplishments; leave nothing to the imagination.
7. Be selective in the information that you include in your resume. Choose only information that relates to the jobs you seek.
8. Include volunteer experience relevant to the position sought. Also, include data on travel, languages, hobbies, certificates, if relevant to the target job.
9. Match the style of your resume to the style of the company. Avoid the slick look that many resume services offer. Print your resume and cover letter on matching bond paper (white, bone, or ivory). Do not print on the back side of your resume. Use a standard typeface and black ink.
10. Avoid gimmicks. Be creative, but always professional.
11. If possible, keep an electronic copy of your resume so you can easily make changes. Check with your transition office, public library, State Workforce Agency employment office or community college career center to see if they have computers available that you can use. Alternatively, you can write your resume by hand and pay a service to type it and save it electronically.
12. Be impressive in describing your experiences, but always be 100% honest. Never exaggerate or misrepresent yourself.
13. Make several drafts of your resume—boil it down to essential information and have it critiqued before it is copied. Recognize that you may need to write several different resumes in order to customize it for specific jobs.
14. Always send a cover letter to accompany your resume.
15. Do not include names of references on your resume.
16. Do not mention salary on your resume.
17. Keep everything positive in what you say about yourself—stress your strengths, not your weaknesses.
18. Use feedback from friends, relatives, and interviewers as to how your resume is coming across and modify where necessary.
19. Your resume should not be longer than two pages. One page is usually enough, especially if you have limited work experience. When mailing resumes, do not staple any documents together.
20. Include a Special Skills section where you can note languages you speak, read or write; computer hardware and software you can use; and machinery or equipment you can operate, build or repair. Do not use military terminology!
21. Emphasize credentials (licenses or certifications) obtained if they relate to the job that you are seeking. They can either be included in the “Highlights of Qualifications” section or in the “Education and Training” section.
22. Information you should not include on your resume:
• marital status
• names, ages, and number of children
• spouse’s job
• photograph of yourself
• religious and political affiliations
• height and weight
• salary for each previous job
23. Be Dynamic. Use the action verbs on page 74 to begin each sentence in your resume. Avoid using the phrase “responsible for… .” Most interviewers interpret that phrase to mean you did not
complete the action yourself. It is recommended that you use present tense for current jobs and past tense for jobs you have previously held.
Resume Worksheet Building a good resume takes a lot of time and thought. You will not be able to do this quickly or in one sitting. Try to see it as a process taking one step at a time, so that it will not seem so overwhelming. You will discover just how well the time was spent when you have a good resume. As you prepare
your resume for each application, make sure you know how the employer wants to receive it. Do they want it mailed via U.S. Postal Service? Do they want it e-mailed? Submitted online? If a resume is submitted in a form that does not meet their expectations, it may not even be considered. Once you feel the resume looks and reads well, have a professional review it for ease of reading, spelling and grammar. Make sure you use
terminology that is common to the industry in which you are applying. Do not use military terms and acronyms. For example, do not make employers guess what a M1A1 Tank Crewman is and how that position relates to the job applied for. Your responsibility is to interpret for the employer the skills you have to match their needs. Format has to do with organization of information. This manual provides you with examples of how to
organize the same information using the three resume format styles. Refer to the example resumes further along in this section to see which best fits you and the position you seek.
Name: Use your complete name, not a nickname, as it appears in your normal signature.
Address: Make certain it is complete and spell out Street, Avenue, etc.
E-mail: Make sure that it is a professional address i.e. MarySmith@email.com versus MaryLovesBubbleGum@email.com
Phone: Include area codes and use numbers where you can be reached personally, by voice mail, or by a professional message on an answering machine. Never leave a number for a machine that has something “cute” or “funny” as a greeting.
Employment/Job Objective: The most effective, well-written job objective is a targeted job objective that is for a specific job (bookkeeper, medical transcriber, diesel mechanic, etc.) with a specific company (for General Motors, Johnston automotive, etc.). Since you may need a different resume for each opening you
locate, you will also need to change the job objective and especially the specific company for each resume. Be sure that you know the actual title of the job when you apply. If you put down that you are seeking a position that is not open, then you may not be considered. For example, if a line position is open and you are asking for a management job, then you may never get the interview that you want. Your objective can also
be repeated in the body of the cover letter. Make the objective short and to the point. Consider this the title of your resume. The rest of the resume must convince the hiring authority that you have the background and skills to do the job and are well worth an interview. Do not assume that any job objective is better than no objective. If your objective is vague and unfocused, you appear indecisive and unable to make
decisions and set goals. This is not a description of duties or a vague description of a job. Avoid statements such as “a position that will utilize my broad talents and allow me to grow.” If this is your objective, better to leave it off your resume.
Using a job objective has been an optional issue on a resume in the past, but in recent years it has become more important. There are times when you absolutely need a job objective, such as:
• When applying online. Often jobs are sorted by objectives and directed to the correct department for review.
• When applying to large companies, to avoid the human resources department deciding the position you should fill.
• Posting resumes on job search sites. Employers decide whether to review your resume based on the job objective.
• Resumes for scanning. The objective becomes a key word in the screening process.
Targeted Job Objective: When you know the name of the company, it is always good to mention it in the objective.
Examples of Good Targeted Job Objectives
• Seeking a position as a Licensed Vocational Nurse for St. Mary’s Hospital
• A position as a Bookkeeper for M&M tax consultants
• Position as a Security Guard for Brinks International
General Job Objective: Occasionally you do not know the actual company you are sending your resume to and a general job objective is most effective in these circumstances. When you do not know the name of the actual company or are going to a job fair and will hand out resumes to several companies, then the objective
needs to be more generic. Often jobs that are posted on the Internet are blinds ads from head hunters and you will not be able to find the company name.
• Entry level position in multi-image production company
• Position as a Health Educator
• Project management position in Marketing
Summary of Qualifications: Write a summary that highlights your professional background as it relates to the needs of the company. This normally appears at the top of your resume and is intended to draw attention to specific personal qualities and skills you possess that make you a unique and qualified candidate. Hiring
managers need to see immediately you have the skills and experience they need. If an employer has to figure out what you can do for him, the odds are you won’t get an interview. Do not repeat the same statements used in your resume, but you may summarize some information. Your company research will be invaluable here to help you relate your qualifications to the needs of the company. This can be in the form of a paragraph or
a short list, with 4-5 one line bullet statements. Remember a resume is a sales tool and this is a good place to catch someone’s interest and to “brag” about your best qualities.
If, for example, you are applying for a position as an Administrative Assistant, you might want to list things such as:
• Five years experience in customer service
• Organized and efficient
• Ability to relate detailed information to the overall project for improved customer service
Some other examples include:
• Over 15 years of diverse and challenging experience, combined with powerful presentation skills, a disciplined approach to the task at hand and the innate ability to anticipate potential obstacles are attributes that contribute to a strong record of excellence and acknowledgment for “getting the job done.”
• Over three years experience ordering and maintaining a complex four million dollar inventory of parts. Filled orders in a timely fashion with 100% accuracy.
Skilled at operating inventory control software.
• Five years experience in heavy equipment operation. Knowledgeable of related OSHA regulations with a perfect safety record. Experience in both commercial building and road construction.
• Over 12 years of technical sales and marketing experience including:
• electronic component sales
• knowledge of Unix, Pascal, Sun work station, Fortran
• new software business start-up and market presentation
• international marketing penetration
Employment History: This portion of the resume is probably the most important.
• Depending on the style you select, it will dictate where and how you will organize the information. To make this process easier to understand, there are several examples of each format in the TAP manual.
• There are many books that provide example resumes. See the transition website for specific recommendations.
• To begin exploring your employment history, write down everything you can about what you did in a specific job. Include:
• machines you can operate;
• computer software you can run
• improvements you suggested or made in a process or system.
• Try to include specific and quantifiable data. Refer back to section 1.4 and look at the skill statements you made and incorporate them.
Once you have written a paragraph or pages of information, find qualifications relating to the job you are seeking. If the job you are seeking is an entirely new field, but uses a lot of the specific skills from your past experience, consider putting information into categories. An example would be if you have been a Military Police Officer and want to go into private investigation,
you could group bullet statements under categories such as investigation, case management, and security to create a combination resume.
Or, if you were an electronics technician for the past four years in the military plus worked in the same field for two years prior to joining, and want to go into the same field of work, then you would write a chronological resume to show stability and progressive job responsibilities.
Quantify your Experience, Responsibilities and Accomplishments: The next step is the basics of every resume. List all results/achievements you have produced that relate to the position desired. Results sell, job descriptions don’t! Refer back to the skills section and expand on these to use when writing your resume.
Employers need to see accomplishments they can relate to with regard to the open position. The question that must be answered is, “What is this individual going to do for me?” Achievements that relate to the specific position will answer that question. Describe what you accomplished with numbers, percentages, etc. Explain how many times annually, what percentage of increase or decrease you produced, how large a group you
supervised or trained, etc.:
• Supervised 14 member staff to complete $5.4 million project three months ahead of estimated date.
• Produced 150 percent of quota for eight consecutive months resulting in $400,000 additional savings for the department.
• Administered travel budget of $15 million dollars.
• Reduced inventory loss by 20 percent over six month time period resulting in first ever decrease in inventory loss.
• Developed training program for a 600 person organization.
Education: Make sure you include education that is relevant to the job you are applying and start with the most recent.
• List colleges, trade schools, military training schools (if you are applying for a job as a security guard, then your specific firearms training would apply, but if you want to work as a supervisor in a pre-school, this would not fit), correspondence courses, etc.
• List the location of the school but you do not need to include dates attended, especially if your knowledge of the technology is not current. Normally you do not list grades or specific classes; however, if you want a job where you have little experience and have a specific course that would directly relate, then you may want to point this out somewhere in the education section.
If you have recently graduated and took classes at night while working full-time, then the fact you graduated Magna cum Laude might be important to some employers. Always relate the information on the resume to the job. Resume writing takes a blend of creativity and skill. If you create a resume on a computer you can tailor it to the requirements of the different jobs
you apply for.
Resume Writing The purpose of including accomplishment statements in a resume is to create a visual value statement in the mind of the reader. This statement a snapshot which enables the employer to SEE you in action. It is
important that you describe yourself with effective statements that create that picture. Accomplishment statements become the basis for answers to questions in the interview. This will be discussed later in the interview portion of the TAP manual. An accomplishment can be described is a series of actions (skills) that you took to complete the task or project, overcome
the challenge, solve the problem or meet/exceed the goal you set and that ended in a positive, measurable result.
Creating Accomplishment Statements
Step 1: Think of this as a story with a title. Identify the Scenario. Some topics (titles) may include:
• A task you performed alone.
• A project you worked on as a team member/team leader.
• A challenge you overcame in the job setting.
• A problem you solved.
• A goal you set.
Step 2: Identify the action you performed to tell the story. Use the skills you identified on pages 17-21.
• Planned, organized and directed a 4 day training exercise. . .
• Troubleshot, disassembled and repaired mobile over 300 pieces communications equipment. . .
• Recorded, documented and tracked daily, weekly and monthly reports.
• Formed, created and lead special security force.
Step 3: Which resulted in: End with a positive and measurable conclusion.
• Which reduced accidents from 30% to under 2% in two weeks.
• Which enabled constant communication in 4 different states.
• Which increased the training rate of employees by 45%.
• Which provided search and recovery support for disaster victims.
Resume Review The next few pages contain example resumes showing the format styles:
Take the time to review these resumes to help assist you in the writing of your own. These resumes are not to be used for you personally. That is to say, you can not just put your name on one of these and say it is yours. Everyone’s resume is unique and different containing skills and education that you alone possess.
These sample experience statements are provided as examples only. You must craft your own experience statements to reflect your actual work experience as appropriate for each of your targeted resumes.
Verb tenses in your experience statements should be consistent with the rest of your resume. If you start writing in the present tense, stick with it. If you used the past tense for the rest of your resume, use it for the experience statements too.
These statements are generalized. Your statements need to be targeted to the position you are trying to obtain. The most effective statements are those that are both targeted and results-oriented. To effectively write experience statements you must also include statements that emphasize your results.
Enlisted Experience Statements US Air Force DEFENSE ATTACHE
• Managed and maintained organization budget of $1.2 million
• Managed and maintained fiscal data, along with internal information files
• Coordinated with host country officials for aircraft over-flight and landing clearances and official maritime visits
• Provided direct personnel support, including records maintenance and benefits counseling, for 40 embassy officials
US Air Force VEHICLE MAINTENANCE CONTROL AND ANALYSIS
• Reviewed maintenance schedules and notified mechanics about 45 vehicles’ service needs
• Verified work performance by comparing maintenance schedules to records of work actually performed
• Prepared charts and reports to track maintenance activities
• Calculated how many mechanics and spare parts were needed to maintain equipment in good order
• Operated computers and other office equipment to input and access maintenance data
US Army ARMAMENT REPAIRER
• Repaired and maintained various advanced military weapons systems valued at up to $500,000
• Cleaned and lubricated electro-optical fire control components to ensure proper maintenance
• Repaired and maintained sophisticated weaponry such as missile mounts, platforms, and launch mechanisms
• Tested and adjusted weapons firing, guidance, and launch systems
US Army MOTOR TRANSPORT OPERATOR
• Determined best travel routes, confirmed arrival dates, and verified cargo types resulting in a 20% increase in on-time arrivals
• Ensured vehicles are properly loaded to meet required safety standards
• Checked engine oil, fuel, fluid levels and tire pressure for vehicle safety inspections
• Drove vehicles over a variety of road types, traveling alone or in convoys transporting both personnel and cargo
• Performed routine vehicle maintenance and repairs for six different types of vehicles
US Coast Guard MACHINERY TECHNICIAN
• Operated, maintained, and repaired internal combustion engines, boilers and main propulsion power transmission equipment for assigned vessel
• Operated, maintained, and repaired auxiliary fireroom, refrigeration, air conditioning, electrical, and machine shop equipment
• Organized and lead emergency response drills for 25 personnel
• Performed maintenance related administrative functions such as inventory, ordering supplies and completing required reports
US Navy AIRMAN
• Assisted in the maintenance of aircraft aeronautical and support equipment
• Performed maintenance service, cleaned aircraft and assisted in aircraft handling
• Operated sophisticated aircraft communication and radar equipment
• Maintained and operated aircraft defensive weaponry and in-flight refueling systems
• Operated helicopter hoists to lift equipment and personnel from land and sea
US Marine Corps PERSONNEL CLERK
• Organized, maintained, and reviewed 75 personnel records including pay documents
• Entered and retrieved personnel information using an automated information system
• Prepared organizational charts, wrote official correspondence, and maintained reports
• Assisted assigned personnel and their families with pay and benefit issues
• Provided current information about personnel programs and procedures to
employees and administrators
US Marine Corps MACHINE GUNNER
• Operated and maintained sophisticated equipment designed for tactical operations
• Operated communications equipment and various support vehicles
• Supervised 20 personnel in special work groups ensuring completion of assigned tasks
• Performed emergency maintenance on three different weapons systems
• Worked effectively in groups with diverse team members
Officer Experience Statements
US Air Force DEVELOPMENTAL ENGINEER
• Performed studies of how workers and tasks were organized in large operations
• Measured workloads and calculated how many people were needed to effectively perform tasks at optimum efficiency
• Provided detailed instruction for performance improvements and proper equipment utilization
• Planned and carried out the purchase of equipment and services for maximum productivity in reorganized operation
• Directed internal quality control and production control programs for
organization of over 1,500 personnel
US Air Force EXPERIMENTAL TEST NAVIGATOR, OTHER
• Directed course of multiple aircraft by using radar, sight, and other navigational methods
• Operated and maintained sophisticated communications equipment for four different aircraft
• Inspected and tested pre-flight navigation and weapons systems
• Guided large tankers and other aircraft during in-flight refueling operations
• Provided other pilots with instrument readings, fuel usage, and flight information
to ensure safety standards were maintained and to increase efficiency
US Army PHYSICIAN ASSISTANT
• Ordered diagnostic X-ray and laboratory procedures and wrote patient consultations to specialty clinics
• Directed services, taught and trained medical technicians, and performed as medical supervisor for designated units of up to 125 personnel
• Managed personnel, facilities, and equipment required to operate medical clinics
• Functioned as senior staff person to the Director, advising on medically related matters pertinent to the success of the unit
• Participated in the delivery of health care services to patients
• Prescribed courses of treatment and medication when required and made appropriate medical record entries
US Army MILITARY POLICE
• Provided leadership for various law enforcement activities including physical security, arrest procedures and criminal investigations
• Planned, coordinated, directed and updated law enforcement procedures for assigned jurisdiction of 220 personnel
• Directed and supervised the administration and operation of confinement and correctional facilities and hospital prisoner wards
• Supervised and administered the development and operation of an ongoing criminal investigation program for a large installation
US Coast Guard DATA PROCESSING
• Prepared data processing plans and budgets for an organization of 150 personnel
• Developed and monitored $1.4 million in contracts for data processing equipment and services
• Translated specific objectives and needs into computer systems requirements
• Designed and maintained computer software and databases
• Planned and supervised the installation of new processing equipment, surpassing previously set performance goals by 30%
• Directed various teams of computer systems specialists and computer programmers
US Coast Guard BOATSWAIN SPECIALTY
• Planned and managed various seaboard-operating departments to ensure full efficiency
• Arranged and supervised various training exercises for hundreds of personnel to reach and maintain peak performance levels
• Supervised 16 personnel and provided individual evaluations on a routine basis
• Directed search and rescue missions in training and in actual emergencies
US Navy ELECTRONICS ENGINEERING OFFICER
• Directed daily operations for a large electronics department including upervision of 4 administrative personnel
• Provided technical and engineering assistance to resolve complicated problems
• Directed design, installation and testing of electronic equipment
• Developed test standards and operating instructions for electrical and electronic systems
• Ensured satisfactory and timely completion of assigned tasks
• Inspected all electronics system installations
US Marine Corps AMMUNITION OFFICER (II, III)
• Supervised and coordinated ammunition supply and renovation functions, including, procurement, receipt, storage, issuing, handling, shipment, salvage, and renovation of ammunition
• Operated static ammunition supply points and established field supply points in forward areas
• Advised senior leaders on matters related to the development of ammunition allowances for both training and combat operations
• Directed the daily activities of 15 assigned personnel
Salary History The purpose of a salary history when required by the employer is to determine a salary and compensation fit. This information SHOULD be given if the employer asks for it specifically in a job announcement or on an application. DO NOT give this information unless asked, as current career managers agree that
providing prospective employers with your salary history can work against you. When a salary history sheet is required you should calculate your actual salary by factoring in your Base Pay, Basic Allowance for Subsistence (BAS), Basic Allowance for Housing (BAH) and any other special pay allowances. Remember to calculate the rate for the non-taxable value of the tax-free portions of your pay, and any other money added to your
pay. Although you are creating this sum based on different items, only write one total sum on the salary history sheet or application that you give to the employer.
Resume Review Before you start using your resume for job search, have someone familiar with resumes review yours. Possible resources could be:
• Transition offices
• Human Resource Personnel
• Employers you can ask for feedback as to how your resume could be improved
• College Career Centers
• Disabled Veterans Outreach Program Representative (DVOP) and Local Veterans Employment Representative (LVER) located at state employment offices It is more important to know where you are going than to get there quickly. (Mabel Newcomber)
RESUME CHECKLIST An employer-ready resume must be OK in every category.
Order of Information Does the most important category come first? Is the organization logical and clear?
Completeness Are all major topics emphasized by the employer covered? Is each area concise yet complete? Are duties and achievements described in specific terms?
Relevance Is there a clear reason for each piece of information? Has the information been tailored to a targeted field and job?
Word Choice Are action verbs or nouns (key words for scannable resumes) used? Are inappropriate jargon and military abbreviations avoided? Is the language clear and straightforward?
Mechanics Are there any errors in spelling, grammar or punctuation? Are there any typographical errors?
Layout Is the resume appealing and easy to read? Does it use headings effectively? Does it use white space, indentation, underlining, capitals effectively? Does it have a professional look?
Consistency Are layout features—headings, spacing, type face, ink—consistent throughout? Is the wording consistent throughout?
References A reference is someone who can attest to your ability to perform a task, substantiate your training, document your measurable results and/or confirm your qualifications. Some employers prefer to contact references by phone rather than by letter. List 6-8 people who would agree to be a reference for you. Use
previous supervisors, professional acquaintances, teachers, etc. You may be asked to include both personal and professional references. If you use a personal reference, make sure they are employed, and preferably in a responsible position. Personal references should not be members of your family. Supervisors, coworkers and teachers are persons to consider when assembling references. For people who will not be physically
available (on deployment, moving to another location, overseas, retired) ask them to write a letter of reference for you. Make certain letters are written on letterhead from a company. Employers prefer being able to contact a person by telephone as opposed to a letter. Never relinquish an original letter of reference, always supply a copy. Always ask permission to use a person as a reference. Give a copy of your resume to
each reference. Make sure you know how each person wants to be contacted. Have current phone numbers. Recycle the list if you send it out several times. Remember to add your list of references to your career catalog. Type your list in advance so you can mail it out upon request. See following page for an example.
Different Ways To Send A Resume Once the resume content has been determined, the next important step is to determine which method of delivery will be required. It is the goal and responsibility of the applicant to meet the employer’s expectations. The procedure may be stated in the job announcement. A quick call to the
employer may answer the question. The following information will describe the different ways in which resumes and cover letters can be sent in to an employer. This will enhance the speed in which you can deliver the resume to the employer in the most ‘appropriate’ and preferred form. The most traditional ways in which resumes are sent are by post office or express mail delivery. The electronic methods include:
• E-mail as an attachment or inserted as text
• Electronically generated forms supplied by the company Each has advantages and disadvantages. Resources which give more information, publications and tutorials on these methods are available through the transition website.
E-mailing Resumes Pay close attention when submitting a resume online. Applying for job openings online is a great way to find a wider base of job openings, but there are several techniques and tips for doing this effectively.
• You can search a company directly. They will often have you fill out an application online and then have you submit a resume. Most large companies even have a resume builder on their web site. For this information look under “employment,” “occupations,” “jobs” or “careers.”
• You can create a resume with a word processing program and then cut and paste it into the body of an email to submit. Realize that it will often not look the same after you have pasted it into the site. Try to use basic fonts such as Times Roman that are somewhat universal to all systems. Bullets frequently create
random spacing, so it is best to leave them out. Text can automatically be left justified and make the beautiful resume you created look unorganized and messy. Bold rarely transfers. You need to look at the text after it is pasted and correct it carefully before submission. Companies may ask that you submit a resume directly through email. Use ASCII text format to submit your resume in this manner.
• Some job search sites will not accept attachments. Be sure that you are submitting your resume in the format preferred by the employer.
• Recognize that many postings on the Web are from headhunters who will contact you if they feel your resume is significant in terms of placement potential. In this situation, it will be impossible to determine the company to which you are applying.
• Keep in mind that submitting resumes online requires the same concentrated effort in terms of targeting information, researching the company and focusing on the specific job description. A well-written resume is just as important here as when faxing or sending through the mail.
Scannable Resumes Some larger companies may have a scanner system to read resumes. Its function is to change the resume printed on paper into an electronic format. The information or ‘data’ can then be processed, compared, assessed or extracted as needed to determine if the applicants are qualified. This is primarily
used as a screening technique. Special formatting and keyword or skill sets are required for maximum success. Scannable resumes are used by companies as a method to determine qualifications compared to their database. The format allows the employer to search for key words contained in your resume. The resume writer needs to research and gather information from sources that use specific job descriptors, personal traits and
experiences. Use job announcements, industry publications and other profiles which would meet the companies standards, jargon and criteria for that position.
7 Points To Keep In Mind When Creating Scannable Resumes
1. Your name should be the first item on a scannable resume. Scanners will file resumes under first line information.
2. Use nouns: production scheduling, network management, etc., more than verbs: organized, scheduled, maintained, etc.
3. Minimize the use of abbreviations and jargon.
4. Always send originals. Use a laser printer whenever possible. Do not use dot matrix.
5. Do not fold a scannable resume, do not use staples, and avoid compressed space between letters. Use standard sized business paper, no legal or other odd sizes.
6. Use “fine mode” when faxing instead of “regular.”
7. Some employers will ask that you send your resume as a text file, or inserted into the body of an e-mail message. To accomplish this, save your resume in ASCII text format.
WRITE COVER LETTERS
The purpose of a cover letter is to introduce yourself and sell the employer on how well your specific skills, abilities and attributes match the organization’s needs. It is critical that you take the time to prepare a creative, hard-hitting cover letter that gets the attention of the reader immediately. This is the first document a potential employer will see about you and it has
to do much of your initial marketing. The cover letter is a chance to “speak” to the reader or the interviewer. By developing skills- and achievement-oriented letters, you will give yourself a competitive edge. Each letter needs to be individually developed for each position. All effective cover letters have three main parts.
• They identify the specific job and how you learned about it.
• They match your skills, training, and experience with those required for the job, using your specific knowledge of the company.
• The last line should emphasize your interest in the job and indicate your plan for follow-up.
Cover Letter Guidelines:
1. The cover letter should not repeat your resume.
2. Use standard business letter format.
3. Type the letter on bond paper that matches your resume.
4. Proofread carefully. Make sure that there are no typographical errors (typos) and that the proper grammar was used.
5. Sell yourself! Make the reader want to speak with you. Be formal, polite, honest, and assertive.
6. Keep the letter to a page or less.
7. Sign and send the original. Keep a copy.
8. Address the letter to the hiring authority and include their title. If you are answering an ad that does not give a person’s name, call the company and find out to whom it should be addressed. If you cannot get a specific name, start the letter with “Dear ________________(manager of department/title of position).”
9. Do your homework on the company.