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What am I doing wrong? Accepting any and all suggestions and recommendations.


Richard Lowery Clarksville, TN

I will try to keep the background to a minimum for this question. You see, I spent 13+ years in the Army and was abruptly medically/honorably discharged. It took a little time but I eventually landed a government contract interview and position. From there, I have luckily remained in the government contract world for the last 13+ years. In that time, I have attended college (BS in Marketing & MBA in Corp Financial Mgmt), received a few IT/technical certifications (still valid, PMP and Windows 7, Desktop Support Tech.), and continued to work with and train our soldiers for their deployments overseas.

I have been job searching for the last year plus and got really serious, after attaining my PMP this past May, about attempting to attain a position that was more career based on my 26 years experience in and around the government, my Top Secret/SCI clearance with CI-POLY plus my MBA and PMP. It is tough to know that all that stuff does not equate to much in the civilian world with the exception of the MBA and PMP. Even then, the MBA and PMP mean very little without the translated experiences.

At the end of all of that information, I am left with the following professional summary on my numerous resumes which I received assistance from HireHeroes on:

Calculated Senior Project Management Professional and Advisor/Leader/Veteran with a Top - Secret Security Clearance and 26+ years of proven experience in client facing programs and projects management, strategic business operations leadership, and analytical problem solving utilizing quantitative and qualitative data to drive innovative, complex solutions development and implementation with a reputation for creating dynamic, organized results. Recognized as a catalyst and driver of organizational effectiveness throughout career, championing a variety of successful programs and initiatives. Record of success heading multi-million-dollar budgets to expand organizational objectives, develop capabilities, support growth, and contribute to the ongoing improvement and organizational alignment. Exceptional ability to lead cross-functional teams in order to identify project and program capabilities, assess resources, and collaborate with internal and external personnel ensuring projects delivered on time and within scope of budget and objectives.

What is it?
Is it age (only 45 this year and same age as retirees)?
Is it the "26+ years experience"?
Is it the correct years in IT and technical project/program management?
Is it operations or lack of understanding?

I will openly admit that the government contract world is not for the "faint of heart." I cannot even accept that I have successfully "transitioned" right now because of being a government contractor not being able to release my "blankie" of a TS/SCI clearance. Contracts come and go just about as often as IT and technical updates. I have conducted many operations in many different realms and environments; classified and unclassified. I have traveled to quite a few areas and speak 2 other languages. I have used resources and my network but nothing. I have exhausted my own network and have built new relationships as much as I could within the limitations of my time outside of work.

I had to edit this question because it was emotionally charged and should not have been.

4 October 2019 6 replies Military to Civilian Transition



Henry ("Dr. Hank") Stevens Fort Lauderdale, FL

Sorry to hear about your plight - tain't easy getting rejected when you KNOW you're a good guy. I have three main thoughts for you to act on / ponder:

First, it is all about target presentation - and YOU are the target. Just where are you presenting your target outside of the government? Who is now employed & doing what you want to do? Get in front of them, or their managers and request/secure an informational interview. Where do they gather - professionally and out of the work environment? Go there. Circulate. Make friends. Be interested in them.

Second, instead of trying to sell your experience and education, tout your TALENTS. To me, TALENTS have always trumped experience and education - for lots of reasons I'll not bore you with here. Point being, just what ARE your talents and how do they dovetail with your sought occupation. Here is a FREE web site that does a pretty good job of helping identify talents. IF you would like my take on the assessment (also FREE), please let me know the 4 letters and associated percentages at

Third, explore hospital employment. They are intricate and complex organizations that are, for the most part, good employers.

Let me know of your progress . . . . Dr. Hank

5 October 2019 Helpful answer


Richard Lowery Clarksville, TN

Ms. Harms,

Thank you for taking the time to respond to my inquiry. I will revisit my initial outline and resume and see where I can make cuts. As for the additional information, like the clearance, and the lengthy explanations of "how great I am at..." is tough. Numbers and data is the only thing that should be applicable.



Richard Lowery Clarksville, TN

Mr. Schreier,

I will definitely have to check out your website. As it concerns my perception of your honesty, it cannot be anything but good. Honest feedback is needed, otherwise, my question is irrelevant. I believe your recommendations are based on evidence and that is probably exactly where my issues could be best explained. RESULTS are what people need to see and if I were on the other side (hiring side) of this event, I would pick my resume apart. Great stuff! I will also check out your resume. Thank you for taking your time to respond.



Rachelle Harms Oklahoma City, OK

Richard, my response is short and sweet kind of like your resume needs to be. It might be helpful to write an outline using bullet points to name your talents and accomplishments before writing the resume. Review the outline and trim it down. Does the job your seeking require Top - Secret clearance? Do they know what your abbreviations stand for?
I think writing an outline first may help you tighten up your resume.
Wishing you the best!


Steven Mathews Spring, TX

I have a proven free step-by-step process that integrates all the suggestions provided by the other two respondents. Historically, individuals who have diligently employed the principles contained in the process have a job within 2-4 weeks, even when the economy was in the toilet a few years ago. Contact me if you are willing to work hard to help yourself with my free coaching.


Jim Schreier Milwaukee, WI

I don't want you to view my response as anything but an honest attempt to help -- it's a core philosophy of my website -- There's too much advice that is not as honest as it needs to be in such a highly competitive job market.

Your summary is about experience and skills -- but I see nothing about "RESULTS" or what's I'd rather speak to as specific, measurable accomplishments. I see several things where I would ask, e.g. "What is your most recent accomplishment "heading multi-million-dollar budgets to expand organizational objectives?" What were the "organizational objectives" you accomplished. Imagine my "peeling the onion" on your most significant accomplishment for about ten minutes in an interview. Everything you do in your search, resume, letters, LinkedIn profile, interview prep, needs to be about accomplishments and specificity.

Here's one of my articles on this site -- there are more on the 212 site.

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