Career Guides >> Browse Articles >> Military-to-Federal


10 Big Mistakes Vets Make Applying to Fed Jobs

10 Big Mistakes Vets Make Applying to Fed Jobs

Kathryn Troutman | Federal Career Coach

Mistake 10: I can’t take personal credit for the work of my team, so what should I write?

The “team mentality” of federal employees and supervisors is not going to get you hired. It’s time to take credit for your contributions as a leader. Before you apply, ask yourself the following questions: Would the project have been successful without you? Did you set the agenda? Establish priorities? Assign tasks? Solve the problems as they occurred? Brief senior executives on status? Manage resources throughout? Create reports and analyze progress? Lead the team members to meet deadlines and review the quality of their work? Did you “babysit” the group on occasion? Then you need to take credit for leadership, innovation, new ideas, methodologies, policies, procedures, project management strategies that YOU developed and implemented. You are the leader of the team, program, project or group. Write about your leadership and the outcome of the group you lead.

The government has on average 100,000 jobs everyday posted on the main website: USAJOBS.GOV. Consider these positions seriously. They are worth your time and patience. There are good books on federal resume writing and federal job search strategies. Samples of federal resumes and KSAs can help you master the federal job search process and result in a career that can change your life.

To search for federal jobs or to connect with veterans that work in the public sector, visit our Jobs Channel.

The Ten Mistakes:

Mistake 1: I only apply for jobs on USAJOBS.

Mistake 2: I only apply for jobs that don’t require KSA’s.

Mistake 3: I have never written a resume, I don’t know how to get started.

Mistake 4: Sometimes, I sell myself short.

Mistake 5: My job is too unique to summarize.

Mistake 6: I’ve uploaded my resume, but heard nothing back .

Mistake 7: I didn’t tweak and edit my resume for each announcement.

Mistake 8: I have accomplishments embedded in the duties section.

Mistake 9: I didn’t realize that my five or 10 point preference really made a big difference.

Mistake 10: I can’t take personal credit for the work of my team, so what should I write?

  • Photo_user_blank_big


    about 4 years ago


    Her love life is so sad. But she can thru all of that and still look great on the stage. architectural rendering, Indonesia architect, The Community Engine

  • Photo_user_blank_big


    over 4 years ago


    thanks for your i am more confident of my interview.
    have a nice day.thanks .

    Nike dunks

  • Photo_user_blank_big


    over 4 years ago


    Very true list.I would like to list one mistake which is very common "Telling the employer what the company can do for you instead of what you can do for the company. This mistake is particularly common among new college graduates and other inexperienced job-seekers.
    argos vouchers

  • Photo_user_blank_big


    over 4 years ago


    You have made a good design on it. You made it looks simple but it has a great skill inside. I like it very much. Buy Backlinks

  • Photo_user_blank_big


    over 5 years ago


    Kathryn Troutman,

    You list is correct on the "Ten Mistakes" people make but your #4 "sometimes I sell myself short" should be #1. Also, #5 "my job is too unique to summarize" is likely the killer of 95% of the people who apply in that they focus their resume too specifically instead of writing it broadly using specific examples. I would rather go hunting duck with a shotgun than a rifle. If you throw up enough bird shot, something will fall out of the sky.

Govcentral School Finder

Save time in your search for a degree program. Use GovCentral's School Finder to locate schools online and in your area.

Get Info

* In the event that we cannot find a program from one of our partner schools that matches your specific area of interest, we may show schools with similar or unrelated programs.