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100+ RESUMES/APPS SUBMITTED; STILL CANNOT FIND WORK.

Veteran

Dwright Fowler-Davis Philadelphia, PA

I’m a former clinical mental health professional & former business owner. I’ve been submitting apps to all types of positions since November, but to no avail. I’m looking for an advisor to look over my resume/CV to provide feedback. Thanks in advance.

13 April 2022 5 replies Mentoring

Answers

Advisor

Matt Johnson Chicago, IL

I can provide some general advance that I picked up at business school, but in reality, your resume should be targeted enough that it shouldn't be used for different roles and different industries because each usually seeks a different skill set.

1. Determine what skills you need to showcase (as defined by the employer / job listing) and ensure you have a good mix of those skills showcased in your resume.

2. Use the following formula to create an outstanding resume bullet to show you excelled at your job:
Action Verb (conveying a skill) + Situation or Task (conveying fact-based context of the magnitude of task or responsibility, free of unnecessary adjectives/adverbs) + Quantitative Result or Qualitative Impact (ideally quantifying as a dollar value and providing benchmarks to differentiate your achievements - eg. saving $x M in cost, ranked X out of Y, % higher than median, achieving top x percentile performance)

3. Ensure your resume is readable - make the font simple Arial or Calibri, size 10-12, do not let bullets run over 2 lines or allow large blocks of text (hiring managers usually skip these). You rarely get points for creativity in non-creative roles since you just make the hiring manager work harder to digest your content.

4. Avoid common mistakes - listing responsibilities alone in your bullets (won't show if you even were good at your job), using an objective statement (many recruiters use this to weed out candidates who don't perfectly align, using industry jargon (ensure it reads like something your grandma would understand - this is a huge issue for vets who feel like they're diluting their experience by not using military language).

From all the folks I know who do the recruiting and hiring, I can say confidently that the vast majority of decision makers do not consider candidates who simply drop their resume and have no contacts at the company. Maybe your problem really is the resume, but most people screw up the networking portion of hiring process - or they come off as unprepared, unenthusiastic, or abrasive - and thus don't make it to interview. Consider how many people know you're applying next time you do. Hope this all helps.

14 April 2022 Helpful answer

Advisor

Timothy Bowman Laguna Niguel, CA

Hello Dwight, I see some other advisors have offered to provide resume advice, so use it to gain some ideas. I recommend checking for federal positions on the Office of Personnel Management website usajobs.gov. You can build a search query for positions in which you are interested and that suit your qualifications. Don't be afraid to expand out a bit into something new, as my former agency, U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services, is hiring. If you want to stay in the mental health field, the VA is also often hiring. Also, be prepared to move to another location to gain the opportunity you seek.
Best wishes, and contact me if you would like further advice or assistance.

Advisor

Gail Baccetti Lake Geneva, WI

Dwight, it looks like you've had some good responses, but I'd also be happy to review your resume. If interested, please forward to me in a Word Document at gbaccetti@hotmail.com.

Advisor

Jeff Martin Ashburn, VA

I’d suggest that you network at the target company or industry. Use LinkedIn to find people already working there and reach out to them. Ask them the process they used to get hired and ask them to help you navigate the hiring process and if they are willing, ask them to submit you as a referral. These activities require much more time on your part but in my opinion would greatly increase your chances for success. Good luck!

Advisor

Lex Levin Ellicott City, MD

Hi Dwight, send me your resume and I'll review.

I'm a full-time professional resume writer and a former Fed specializing for the last 13 years in working with Active Duty and Reserve Service Members, Veterans, and Military Spouses transitioning to Federal or private sector work. I can guide you through the process of creating a Federal resume, learning to use USAJOBS, figuring out which Federal job series and grades are the best fit for you, and translating your military experience into civilian language..

You can best get in touch with me through my website contact page: https://lexlevinllc.com/contact/.

Just answer a few questions about your goals, upload your current resume, and I'll review and advise (for free, of course).

Best regards,

Lex

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