J M Advisory Services, LLC - Resume Writing and Career Counseling
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Benefits of Working for Uncle Sam

  • Job Security -  In this uncertain economy, job security is a valuable commodity.  You have a much higher risk of being termined within the private sector.  

  • Good Salary - Federal employees receive competitive salaries

  • Health Insurance - Several health insurance plans to choose from - and Uncle Sam pays about 70% of the premium.  Take this into retirement with you too!

  • Generous Pensions -  federal employees have access to retirement through the Federal Employee Retirement System (FERS).  Retired employees receive an annuity, complemented by Social Security benefits and participation in the Thrift Savings Plan (TSP), which offers 401(k)-type investment options. 

  • Life Insurance - no physical - no question - you're covered.

  • Long-Term Care - yep - it's available, and at a reasonable cost.

  • Flexible Spending Account - choose an amount (up to a maximum) for health costs (not covered by insurance) or childcare costs - and those costs are reduced from your tax base, thus reducing the amount of taxes you pay.

  • Vacation and Holidays -  During the first 3 years of service, federal employees receive 13 days of vacation per year.  After 3 years and until 15 years, they receive 19 days per year.  Once they have 15 years of federal service, they begin receiving 26 days of vacation per year.  This, in addition to the federal holidays adds to the time off.   Additionally, federal employees accrue 13 days of sick leave per year - which can be used for their own illness/medical appointments or the illness/medical appointments of their family members.


Is a Resume All You Need?

NO!  In an efforts to make the application process easier, federal agencies must now accept resumes, and may not require any additional information from applicants.  The good news is that it does make it easier...but the really bad news is that you have far less chance of getting hired if all you submit is a resume.  Sorry...sad, but true.

Keep in mind that ONE person in the agency HR office is reviewing ALL of the resumes for the job for which you are applying.  That one person might have 300, might have 600 resumes to review...AND he/she has a short timeframe by which the review must be completed.  The first step is to rule out all of the applicants who do not appear to be qualified. 

How is that done?  The vacancy announcement lists the "minimal qualification requirements".  The agency staff person looks at your resume to see if  you have indicated anywhere in your resume information that shows that you meet the required minimum qualifications.

That's Step 1.

If it is determined that you meet the minimum qualifications, then a review is determined to see if you are "minimally" qualified or "highly" qualified.  Some agencies have three buckets:  minimally qualified - highly qualified - best qualified.  These determinations are based on your application and how well it addresses the assessment tools (often the KSAs or knowledge, skills and abilities).

The agency can NOT require you to address these - but they still need the information!  SO, it either has to be included within the body of your resume (making your resume far too long) OR you must address each of the requirements - in order to ensure you make the cut.

Contact me for assistance - Click on Applicant Services and Fees for a breakdown of my services and related fees.  

I can develop a professional resume that highlights your highest level of skill and experience, AND I can develop an addendum that addresses both the minimum qualification requirements AND the KSAs.

I can do the work for you for the first job - and you can use that work as a guide to developing the  entire application yourself for future jobs.

I need a job!

Whether you are currently employed or not, you need a change.  Maybe you need more money, maybe you want to climb the corporate ladder, maybe you just need a change - a new challenge.

Applying for a federal job is cumbersome and confusing.

Want to get hired fast?  That's not going to happen.  Federal agencies have hundreds of regulations to comply with, requiring a thorough review of all applications by one person.

You can conduct your own jobs search for entry level to executive level positions.  Go to www.usajobs.gov and search for the job you want in the areas you want.  The search is the easy part.

Review the qualification requirements carefully, and develop a professional resume that clearly ties your skills, experience, education and expertise to the job you want.

There are hundreds of vacancies in the federal government and getting a federal job is possible.

Contact J M Advisory Services, LLC for assistance.  Click on Applicant Assistance....on www.jmadvisorysvcs.com.

Getting a Job Takes Work!

So many people out there without work - and many would like a federal government job..and they should - it's good pay, it's generally very secure, and the benefits are phenomenal.

But the resumes I see are not going to get them there.  Some tips:

If you answer phone calls, that's great, but not impressive.  Talk about what types of inquiries you handle

For example:  Instead of "I answer phone calls" use:  "I handle inquiries pertaining to client portfolios.  I proactively acquire customer information in order to expedite their requests".  

If you greet customers, that's nice too - but not going to get you a job other than receptionist.

Include details about what you do - not generalizations.

If you develop Excel spreadsheets, that's great because that's a good skill.  But it would be even more impressive if you analyzed the data and prepared reports for review by a high level executive.

Do you ever have good ideas that are adopted?  Then say, "My input on the XXX project was incorporated, which facilitated the completion of the project (or reduced error rate) - or whatever benefit it brought.

Call or email me.  I can make your resume shine by using your actual experience.  



Applying for a Federal Job

Sure, the federal government can now accept just a resume...you aren't required to address any of the qualification requirements...isn't that good news?  No!  It's bad advice!  This was done in an effort to reduce the burden on federal applicants - which is a good thing - but if you don't address the qualification requirements, how can you expect the resume reviewer (HR Staffing Specialist) to know whether you are qualified or not?  

Take a good look at the minimum qualification requirements AND the assessment factors (which are often called Knowledge, Skills and Abilities (KSAs) or the "nice to haves")...and make SURE that they are addressed either in your resume or in a separate attachment.  Otherwise, it's very easy for that reviewer to set your resume aside and declare you NOT qualified.

The Importance of Onboarding

As a newly retired Chief Human Capital Officer I can now offer some suggestions to agencies.  My first suggestion is to ensure that new employees are welcomed properly to the agency.  Done properly, onboarding should take 3-6 months - beginning with a full first day, to a few hours a day, then weekly information and finally monthly.  The first day should include the paperwork review and a general walk-around.  Every employee needs to learn the value of their position and how it relates to the overall mission of their office, their organization, and finally the agency.  Executives from each department should take the time to meet new staff once a month and describe the work of their department and how they will work together.  Strategic Planning staff should review the agency mission, vision and goals.  First line supervisors should discuss individual performance goals, job expectations, and the linkage to the agency.  This should not be done by the end of the first week on duty.  And supervisors who do not get this done timely need to be admonished.  Onboarding is more than getting a new hire in place - it's about orienting them to the agency as well as to their position.


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