Federal Resume Writing Workshop

Workshop Objectives
After completing this course, participants will be able to:
 Identify the three basic types of resumes and the benefits
 Write clear, brief, and complete descriptions of work experience
incorporating the PAR approach--Problem, Action, Result Model
 Recognize and use high impact words
 Write accomplishment statements in resume highlighting skills
and abilities to perform the job
 Review vacancy announcement questionnaires and discuss
response strategies
 Hands-on resume practice
What is a Federal Resume
 A document for starting or advancing your
government career
 Marketing piece, career summary, and personal
 Focused, well-written, and clearly organized
 Professionally presented career package
Basic Types of Resumes
 Chronological Resume
 Functional Resume (Skills)
 Combination Resume (Functional and chronological)
 Targeted
 USAJobs
Chronological Resume
 Advantages
 Most recent experience is listed
first, followed by each previous job
Simplest and quickest resume
style to write
Good style to use if you have a
good work history in jobs similar
to those you want now
 Disadvantages
 May display your weakness
 Quickly show an employer things
like gaps in employment, frequent
job changes, lack of work experience
related to your job objective, recent
graduation, etc.
Functional Resume
 Advantages:
 Allows you to present
 Emphasizes skills that your job
requires than a chronological
accomplishments from all of
your life experiences
 Presents your strengths and
avoids showing your weaknesses
 Disadvantages:
 Hides details that can be used to
screen people out
 Some employers may not like
this type
 Can be much harder to write
Combination Resume
 Includes elements of both the chronological and the
functional formats
 Good type of resume to use if you have a reasonably good
work history, but want the advantages that are contained in
using a functional resume
 Emphasize your most important responsibilities
Targeted Resume
 Any of the 3 styles –Chronological, Functional,
 Resume is tailored for a specific agency/company or
Automatic Format
USAJobs Resume builder
 Name
 Address
 Cell Phone, Home Phone,
Country of Citizenship
Veterans’ Preference
Contact Current Employer
 Job Type
 Work Schedule
Desired Locations
Work Status
Work Experience
Job Related Training
Additional Information
Resume Format
 Job Information
 Announcement number, title and grade(s) of job
 Personal Information
 Name, mailing address, and telephone number
 Social Security Number (XXX-XX-1234)
 Reinstatement eligibility (Attach SF-50 to show proof of your career or career conditional
 Education
 College or university include name, city, state, major, and year of degree(s)
 Report attendance or degrees from accredited institutions recognized by the U.S.
Department of Education
 Other Qualifications
 Job related training courses (list with title and year)
 Job related skills (languages, computer software/hardware)
 Job related certificates and licenses (list current relevant information)
 Job related honors, awards, and special accomplishments
Resume Format
 List Dates But Do Not Send Documents for:
 Performance Awards, Publications, or Memberships in Professional
 Work Experience – include paid and non-paid work experience related to
the position during the past 10 years
Job Title (include job series and grade/level for Federal positions)
Employer’s name and address
Supervisor’s name and phone number
Capture how your experience/background matches the
competencies and/or knowledge, skills, and abilities required for
the job.
 Identify your accomplishments/outcome
How to Write a Resume
 Customize your resume to each job
 Focus on areas where your experience or
education overlap with the experience or
education described in the Job
Opportunity Announcement
 Provide sufficient detail, but use concise
 Must have information to write a good
 Information about jobs held in the past
 Information to select the most relevant
accomplishments, skills and
experience for this position
 Note: The more you know about the
 Avoid information that does not add
 Clearly focus on a specific job title and
position, the more you can tailor your
resume to fit the job
 Resume has to sell you in short order
address the employer’s stated
requirements for the position
 Use headings to guide the reader
How to Write a Resume (Continued)
 Read the vacancy announcement
and note the required
qualifications and the
occupational questionnaire
 Remember the resume is
evaluated on what is written so
describe your duties and
accomplishments thoroughly
 Use clear, concise statements
written in first person that
highlight the qualifications you
possess relating to the position
 Positions held in the past should
be described in the past tense
 Include special assignments
(e.g., details, tasks forces, and
 If relevant, include voluntary
 If possible, quantify your
accomplishments (e.g.,
decreased overtime usage by
20%, manage budget of $20M)
How to Write a Resume (Continued)
 Don’t use words from your position
description when writing resume
and supporting statements
 Don’t describe work of others or
that of the organization
 Don’t exaggerate
 Don’t be humble
 Don’t cross-reference items in your
resume or application
 Don’t just state the kind of award
and when it was received, provide
a brief description
 Don’t make it challenging for the
reviewer – you will not get full
credit if it cannot be read
 Don’t attach unsolicited material
such as letters of
recommendation, training
certificates, copies of awards, or
examples of work (unless
How to Write a Resume (Continued)
 Include recent education
 Avoid the use of agency or
 Absolutely no typos or
 Think in terms of
and training that enhance
your qualifications
grammatical errors
 Use “strong action verbs”
sometime referred to as
“buzz words” to effectively
describe your experience in
plain language
industry specific acronyms
(when used make sure you
explain at least once)
transferable skills,
examples include
Research and Investigation
Oral and Written
Human Relations and Interpersonal Skills
Management and Administrative Skills
Identify Transferable Skills
Transferable Skills
Writing, speaking, listening, using
communication tools like email
Critical thinking
Analysis, problem-solving, strategic
planning, decision-making
Good time manager, organized,
motivated, responsible, reliable
Understanding, diplomatic, discreet,
supportive, assertive
Transferable Skills Examples (Cont’d)
 Occupation: Web designer
 With exceptional organizational skills. These skills
would be important for organizing and retrieving web
files. You can use these skills not only in web design jobs
but other jobs as well.
 Occupation: Project Manager
 Want to become a project manager. In that case, your
great organizational skills would be a major selling
Benefits of a Federal Resume
 Highlights your background
 Target the announcement
with your relevant
experience, education, and
 Provides a flexible format
(word processing program)
to create a resume instead
of a form
 Emphasizes
accomplishments and
results of your actions
 Highlights critical job-
related information
 Looks attractive and is easy
to read
Top Resume Strategies
 Sell Yourself and Your Brand
 Identify Transferable Skills
 Highlight Your Accomplishments
 Use Keywords Effectively
Sentence Impact Words
Action Verbs
 Pivotal words expand ideas by
including the:
 Method
 Result
 Scope
 Association
 Clarification or
Pivotal Words
Based on
Valued at
Specializing in
Includes (ing)
Consisting of
Dealing with
In (response)
Pivotal Words Example
sales 45%
• establishing key contacts throughout the Washington market
• improved the store’s ranking from #56 to #3 in the nation.
• three consecutive years.
• the #1 marketing manager among 75 others company-wide
Using the PAR Approach
 Accomplishments and
outcome statements
should be written using
the PAR Approach
 Problem-Action-Result
 Problem—State the
problem that existed in
your workplace
 Action—Describe what
you did about it, and
 Result—Point out the
beneficial results.
Par Model
Example 1
Dissect the sentence
 Transformed a disorganized,
 Problem -- Transformed a
inefficient warehouse into a
smooth-running operation by
totally redesigning the layout.
This saved the company
thousands of dollars in
recovered stock.
disorganized, inefficient
warehouse into a smoothrunning operation
 Action -- by totally
redesigning the layout.
 Result -- This saved the
company thousands of dollars
in recovered stock.
Par Model
Example 2
Dissect the sentence
 Improved an engineering
 Problem -- Improved an
company’s obsolete filing
system by developing a
simple but sophisticated
functional-coding system.
This saved time and money
by recovering valuable,
previously lost, project
engineering company’s
obsolete filing system
 Action -- by developing a
simple but sophisticated
functional-coding system.
 Result -- This saved time and
money by recovering
valuable, previously lost,
project records.
Par Model
Example 3
Dissect the sentence
 Identified significant time lags
in the issuance of employee
evaluations which led to
employee dissatisfaction and
managerial frustration. Under
my direction, the staff developed
an automated electronic system
to remind managers of
deadlines. As a result of
initiating this tracking system,
100% management compliance
was achieved in providing timely
performance feedback to
 Problem -- Identified significant
time lags in the issuance of
employee evaluations which led to
employee dissatisfaction and
managerial frustration.
 Action -- Under my direction, the
staff developed an automated
electronic system to remind
managers of deadlines.
 Result -- As a result of initiating
this tracking system, 100%
management compliance was
achieved in providing timely
performance feedback to
Exercise –PAR Model & Impact Words
 Prepare a statement to
support your level of
proficiency for this
Ability to
information to a
variety of audiences
and prepare written
documents for
meetings, and
What are Accomplishments?
 Your accomplishments
 Are what set you apart
from all other candidates
 Show the hiring
authorities that you are
the most qualified
applicant for the job
 Form the foundation of
your “skill sets”
What are Accomplishments? (Continued)
 “Headlines” of your career experience and the measure
of how well your current skills and abilities fit the
 They are anything you have done or are doing:
 work, projects you have completed,
 classes you have finished, or
 volunteer programs you are involved
 Note: In short, accomplishments are descriptions of
anything you have done and the results of those
What are Accomplishments? (Continued)
 Improved operations by making
things easier or better.
 Resolved a problem/situation with
little or no increase in time, energy,
dollars, people, etc.
 An activity is an
accomplishment if you
 Effectively acted as a liaison
between departments which helped
to make things run more efficiently.
 Produced reports/data that enabled
management to make more
informed decisions.
 Note: First identify the results of
your work efforts in terms of
contributions, impact and skills,
rather than position, titles or job
Highlighting Accomplishments
Beth was asked to look
at the company’s online
project file system,
which was disorganized
and hard to use.
She analyzed the
system and reorganized
it so information was
more logically arranged
and easier to find.
She made consultants’
work easier, which
saved them time and
allowed them to serve
customers more
Highlighting Accomplishments
 “Led a project to streamline and reorganize the
company’s SharePoint project file system, making it
easier and faster for consultants to find information
and serve customers.”
Guidelines for Writing Accomplishments
1. Be Specific.
 My proactive and inclusive leadership in this position
resulted in an engaged, peak-performing team that worked
together to achieve multiple organizational successes.
Under my leadership, the teams completed audits within
150 days (115 days less than and far exceeding the
department-wide average of 265 days). We also reduced the
time required to complete investigations by 50%, and
issued high-quality investigation reports within 90 days.
These improvements in efficiency and productivity led to a
monetary savings of approximately $5.5M, in man-hour
dollars, across the future years Agency budget.
Guidelines for Writing Accomplishments
2. Describe your accomplishments in measurable and
quantifiable terms whenever possible.
 SMS UPGRADE: Led the project team tasked to upgrade
from SMS 2.0 to SMS 2003 with minimal interruption to
the production environment. Developed and executed a
detailed project plan and led a 15-person technical team
through the configuration, integration, pilot, and rapid
deployment stages to upgrade 80 SMS servers providing
enterprise management for over 250 servers and 5,000
client workstations (2005).
3. Target the vacancy you are applying.
Accomplishment Statements Using PAR
 Orchestrated a change to a
 Problem
 Action
 Result
longstanding operational practice
that changed the facilities multiple
runway operation to a single runway
 Prioritized and encouraged two
research groups to explore different
options of moving the tower forward.
Held weekly information sessions to
monitor progress and maintain
currency with each group’s ideas.
 Ideas were accepted and approved by
all officials including receiving
headquarter approval to implement
ideas. Controller workforce was
more respective of the change they
help to create and all safety
concerns were sufficiently
Accomplishment statements using par
 Problem
 Action
 Result
 At the Tower, overtime and
unscheduled leave usage were high
with $0 for overtime budget.
 As the Front Line Manager, I
developed a schedule with a
combination of 10 hour and 8 hour
days rotating days off. After
successfully negotiating with the
union, they agreed to the schedule.
As the Acting Air Traffic Manager, I
managed the schedule
 Controller unscheduled leave
reduced by 40 percent and the
schedule saved the Agency $7,550
in overtime from FY09—FY10 and
$1,922 in first quarter of FY11.
Accomplishment Statements
Original Accomplishments
Improved Accomplishment
 Was outstanding manager.
 Received three promotions
 Coordinated with all
department to ensure
customer satisfaction.
and ten pay raises in ten
years. As supervisor, rate in
top 25% for last three years.
 Coordinated with all
departments nationwide to
ensure customer satisfaction.
Result was an average of six
customer commendations per
Accomplishment Statements
Original Accomplishments
 As part of team, successfully
completed project ahead of
schedule and under budget.
 Administered labor contract
effectively with minimum
Improved Accomplishment
 As part of management
development team, successfully
completed performance
appraisal ahead of schedule and
$10M under budget.
 Administered complex union
contracts involving travel,
transfer, seniority, wages and
benefits. Negotiated settlement
of 70% of labor grievances at my
Accomplishment Statements
Original Accomplishments
 Successfully implemented
recognition and tracking
procedures for 50
 Proven track record for
system sales bringing in
high revenue.
Improved Accomplishment
 Successfully computerized
recognition and tracking
system for 50 employees.
Project involved extensive
data changes and resulted in
saving $15,000 a year in
clerical time.
 Sold telephone systems and
brought in $50,000 revenue
each month.
 Work individually to write a narrative about a task you
performed on the job using the P-A-R behavioral
 You will have 10 minutes to do this!
Occupational Questionnaire
 Automated on-line assessment of determining the
best qualified applicants for the position
 Occupational questionnaires contain statements
related to the specific competencies that are
required for the position
 Competency is a measureable pattern of knowledge,
skills, abilities, and/or other characteristics needed to
perform the work in the occupational functions
Occupational Questionnaire
 Usually applicants are requested to rate themselves on a proficiency scale of 1-5
for each individual question.
 Example:
 I have no education, training, or experience in performing this task.
I have some experience performing this task, either in training or on the
job under close supervision.
I have performed this task as a regular part of a job, independently and
usually without review by a supervisor, manager, or senior employee.
I have extensive experience and demonstrated expertise in performing this
task, or I have trained or provided technical guidance to others in
performing this task.
I have extensive experience regularly performing this task as part of my job
and I am considered as an expert by others in performing this task.
Occupational Questionnaire
 You may be requested to provide a “supporting statement” to
demonstrate the level of proficiency you have claimed to help the
agency determine your qualifications for the position.
 Do not state “see resume”.
 Do not provide a resume or job description like response or state
“please refer to above” from previous statements which does not
provide adequate support or address the self-rated question.
 Each statement response should be tailored to the specific task
 Responses should include sufficient detail to clearly describe all
relevant aspects of education and/or work experience that
support the self rating.
Occupational Questionnaire
 FAA Form 3330-42 – Request for Transfer
Consideration and Acknowledgement
FAA Form 3330-43-1 - Rating of Air Traffic Experience
for AT Movement
Note: These forms are used for applications for
Certified Professional Controllers (CPC) positions only
Must be submitted to your rating official on or before
the vacancy closing date (if applicable)
Must be submitted in a stamped envelope, addressed
appropriately per the vacancy announcement
Conducting a Job Search
 FAA WEBSITE: http://jobs.faa.gov/Allfaajobs.htm
 USAJOBS WEBSITE: http://www.usajobs.opm.gov
 Use USAJOBS site to search by series, location, and
agency. Create and store your resume at the site to
streamline your application process.
 If you’re a first timer visiting USAJOBS, then visit this
site that has tutorials and step by step instructions for
using USAJOBS.
 https://my.usajobs.gov/SpotlightsAll/SpotlightDetails?contentID=66

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