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Highlight Relevant Experience on Federal Resumes

Highlight Relevant Experience on Federal Resumes

Kathryn Troutman, Federal Career Coach and President (

Last week NBC produced a segment titled “De-Age Your Resume” (see video below). It’s a great topic, and I’d like to give you some additional Federal Resume de-aging strategies as well.

As we all know, the US government is an equal opportunity employer. Nonetheless, one can observe trends in government hiring strategies which reveal hiring hot-spots; if your qualifications, education, and skills constitute a profile which matches one of these hot-spots, your chances of getting the job will increase significantly.

This article will help you tailor your resume so it corresponds more closely to recent government hiring trends.

The Government is hiring more upper level new hires from private industry and other sources, ages 44 to 54.
A recent report published by Merit Systems Protection Board. The project was managed by Ligaya Fernandez, Senior Personnel Policy Analyst (now retired). In Search of Highly Skilled Workers: A Study on the Hiring of Upper Level Employees From Outside the Federal Government. March 25, 2008.

Who Are the New Upper-Level Hires?
In 1990, 20% of government hires categorized as Upper Level Professionals were Age 45 to 54. In 2007, the percentage was 35%.

Strategy: Lessen What Is “Too Old”
Federal human resources specialists and supervisors are looking for senior, upper-level, mid-career managers and experts to replace many of the retiring GS 12 and up managers and specialists. But there is a fine line between “management, mid-career, senior” and “old” by a group of dates from the 1970s.

Solutions for people over 50:
If you are over 50, it’s possible you could list positions, internships in the early 1980s and 1970s. NO – don’t do that. You do have to keep in mind that the new competition will have employment dates from 1995 to present and college graduation dates from the 1990s. I’m not trying to depress you, just help you to be realistic when writing your federal resume.

The Desired Look:
Mid-Career, Management, Upper-Level, Senior Professional (not old), just expert, experienced, a solutions person for your organization.

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