Yesterday I enjoyed a conversation with a resume reviewer
who has a senior level position in a government organization.
He shared several poignant remarks about his experiences
when he often reviews resumes to bring in candidates to
interview for technical positions.
He expressed disbelief that some resumes seem to be
unrelated to the “must and wants” described in the
USAJobs.gov requirements. To him, it seemed they were
applying simply based on their degrees.
Some resumes contain typos or do not meet the specifications
listed in the instructions to authors. Others list out extensive
biographies with many bullets unrelated to the description.
Some are three and more pages long and don’t realize how
their resume will be evaluated. [They don’t read the
evaluation criteria listed in the description.]
There are some positive things he reinforced that can be
a master resume, but do not use it for your submission
as it is too long with unrelated TMI (too much information]
items. Use a “targeted resume” for your application.
Why have the master resume? Well, because you will need
a little more detail to include in your federal positions, like:
- month/date for starting and ending roles
- details on your personal history, military service, VISTA
city, state and ZIP of employers, hours per week worked,
level of experience via roles and responsibilities, reverse
chronological order, specific keywords in the description.
[see the above link.]
Master resumes provide a useful resource that each of
us can use throughout our careers. It is not what we
actually submit. It is a data resource that needs to be
regularly updated and refreshed … think about former
companies who have changed names, and addresses
of your references, keywords, list of projects some which
were shorter term and even incomplete.
Targeted resumes are “marketing documents” that may
be read by people who without the formal technical
background. Appearance makes a difference, so avoid
using ‘fill in the blanks’ forms. and software that does
not always translate when uploaded.
(.doc, for example– .pdf or .txt may work better).
Honesty is always expected and it is easier to verify
things via the Internet.