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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 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?


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