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10 Big Mistakes Vets Make Applying to Fed Jobs

10 Big Mistakes Vets Make Applying to Fed Jobs

Kathryn Troutman | Federal Career Coach

Mistake 2: I only apply for jobs without KSA narratives.

If you limit your search to applications that do not require KSAs, you will cut out many job opportunities with the Departments of HHS, VA, Interior, Commerce, Justice, Labor, Transportation and others. You will need to learn how to write KSA narratives and questionnaire essays for a successful federal job search. KSAs are just examples that demonstrate you have a certain Knowledge, Skill or Ability. You can use the KSA Builder developed by this author to write your “stories” that will demonstrate that you do have a certain knowledge, skill or ability.

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?

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

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    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.
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    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.

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