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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 8: I have accomplishments imbedded in the duties section.

Military personnel will write one huge “block of information” for their duties and include the accomplishments somewhere in the middle of the paragraph. This type of content will be difficult to read and difficult for the busy human resources specialists who want to find the best qualified applicants. There is a difference between a regular duty and an accomplishment. They are both important on the federal resume. But the accomplishments are critical if you are to stand out as the most qualified candidate.

If you have been in a job for two or five years or more, then you have probably been involved with special projects, problem-solving, new programs, new initiatives, new computer programs to improve efficiency, and staff changes. Accomplishments might include your assignment to a task of managing a special operations, situation or program, implementing new processes and achieving a result. These accomplishment should be written separately from the duties, so that it is clear you have performed more than your position description and you are worthy of a promotion. Also, that you’re a federal employee who can resolve problems, take care of customers very well, and achieve and exceed support to the mission.

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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