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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 7: I didn’t know I had to tweak and edit my resume for each announcement.

With the Army website,, you could apply to 10 jobs in one day very easily because this system is a Resume Only application with a Self-Nomination online form. But you really should slow down and read the announcement carefully to find the keywords for your resume. The Army, Navy and DoD builders still use Resumix as their resume automation system. The HR specialist will look for keywords in your resume. If you haven’t edited each resume with keywords, your resume may not get referred. You can apply quickly, but why bother if you don’t edit and tweak the resume to make sure the keywords are included?

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.
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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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