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JBSA News
NEWS | Oct. 25, 2019

Classes explore resume writing for civilian, federal jobs

By Robert Goetz 502nd Air Base Wing Public Affairs

Those seeking a strong resume for civilian and federal jobs can learn more in classes set for Nov. 12 and 15 at the Joint Base San Antonio-Randolph Military & Family Readiness Center.

“Basic Resume Writing,” scheduled from 9:30-11 a.m. Nov. 12, is geared to those who need a one- to two-page resume for a job in the civilian sector, while “10 Steps to a Federal Resume for Spouses,” from 11:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. Nov. 15, provides military spouses seeking a federal job with a 10-step approach for preparing an effective resume and applying for jobs via usajobs.gov.

A resume is often called one of the most crucial steps in a job search, said Terry Wise, JBSA-Randolph M&FRC community readiness consultant.

“Resumes are used to make a favorable impression on a prospective employer,” he said. “Your resume is often the first impression a potential employer has of you.”

One of the biggest mistakes people make when they compose a resume is not covering the basics, Wise said. “The goal of a resume is to best represent your relevant skills and accomplishments.”

It’s also important that prospective employers quickly understand an applicant’s work experience, Wise said.

“Format your experience as a list of short, scannable statements rather than writing out dense paragraphs,” he said. “Numbers and data bring your work experience to life and help hiring managers envision the potential impact you could have in their organization. When you can, back up your achievements with real data to boost your credibility and add informative detail to your resume.”

A job seeker’s credibility suffers if their resume has errors, Wise said.

“Unfortunately, a single typographical or spelling error is sometimes enough to get your resume discarded early in the game,” he said. “Proofread your resume multiple times, doing a thorough line-by-line, word-by-word edit. Reading content backwards – awkward and time-consuming though it may be – is a great way to catch minor mistakes that you might otherwise miss.”

Wise recommends getting an outside perspective on the resume.

“Ask a friend, mentor or family member to review your resume for you before you begin submitting it to employers,” he said.

The same principles of resume writing are taught in both classes, Wise said, but the class for spouses also addresses Military Spouse Hiring Authority, EO 13473, a presidential executive order from 2008.

“This EO authorizes a hiring manager to select a military spouse candidate for a federal position without going through the full application process,” he said.

Wise, who facilitates the classes, said his best advice to attendees is to “do the work to get the work.”

“What I mean by that is you have to put forth effort composing your resume to ensure you are presenting yourself in the best possible light to a prospective employer,” he said. “A resume is fluid and needs to be adjusted with each submission for an announcement.”

He also advises them to keep up with current technological trends.

“The fundamental principles of resume writing have remained constant for generations, but evolving technologies mean more aspects of the application and hiring processes take place online than ever before,” Wise said. “By staying up to date with current best practices, you’re better able to put your resume to work for you.”

The M&FRC is also offering related classes in the coming weeks: “Federal Resume/USAJOBS,” from 9-11 a.m. Nov. 21 and Dec. 19; “Salary Negotiations,” from 9-10:30 a.m. Dec. 6; and “Interviewing Skills,” from 9-10:30 a.m. Dec. 13.