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 5: My job was totally unique and I can’t write about all that I did in the last five years, etc.

This is a challenge because there is a unique military language with your own acronyms. But, you can write about the skills that you have, including instruction, planning, leading a team, mentoring, personnel operations, administrative operations, problem-solving, negotiations, advocacy, interpersonal skills and technical skills. The military-to-federal resume requires a translation of skills to the new agency. Your past mission may not match, but the skills CAN match. And you can prove one-year specialized experience, as long as that one year doesn’t require special mission knowledge. In other words, if you change from military to transportation, the transportation announcement may require experience in transportation.

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


    over 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.