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Federal Resumes: The One Thing You Should Do

When it comes to a job market like the one we are having these days, it's advisable to be ready for anything that might happen. A departing supervisor whose position you are qualified for, an agency restructuring affecting your position, or a job termination are all situations for which you could easily be prepared if you do this one thing I recommend.

Keep your resume up to date!

As a Federal Career Coach, I frequently get calls from individuals who suddenly need to get an outdated resume into competitive shape as quickly as possible. Shaking my head, the first questions I ask the worried jobseeker are, "How old is this resume? How many jobs have you held since you wrote this resume?"

At this point, the individual usually admits that they had become complacent and not "touched their resume in years." (Note: "Years" can often mean 10 or more years have gone by since they have looked at their resume!)

Don't get caught unprepared. Be ready for the next opened or closed employment door now, because it could happen when you least expect it, and you may have very little time to get your ducks in order.

Make it your resolution in 2013 to review your resume at the beginning of every year and update it, so that when you need to use your resume, you will be able to get it into great shape as quickly as you need to. Your recent work accomplishments are best remembered and recorded when they are still fresh in your mind.

Here are some steps for updating your resume:

  • Find your resume.
  • Find your position description (if you have one). Read it and make sure it sounds like your real job. Edit this and add this to your resume.
  • Find your annual evaluations (if you have those), and use the accomplishments from the evaluations in your resume.
  • If you don't have an annual evaluation, write a few accomplishments for the last 5 years.
  • Add your most recent training programs or college courses.
  • Update your LinkedIn Profile with the new information you just wrote.

After you have taken these steps, you will have an updated resume that is ready to be targeted for your next career move. When you use this basic resume to apply for a job, make sure to include the keywords from the job announcement in the resume before you submit your job application.

Be prepared for anything to happen with your job. There is a good chance you might need your resume in the next couple of years. You can easily manage your career with confidence by taking this one simple step!

Related Topics

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Kathryn Troutman is the creator of the popular book and curriculum, Ten Steps to a Federal Job. This is a proven formula for researching, applying for an landing federal jobs. This curriculum is taught in in AF, Navy, Army, USCG and USMC Miltiary Transition Centers around the world. This is a step-by-step system for learning about federal job search through the interview preparation. Consider a free estimate or federal resume review to improve your federal job search results at  Kathryn has written a SAMPLE book for military personnel seeking federal jobs, the Military to Federal Career Guide (also on CD-ROM). Kathryn has free samples of veteran federal resumes at

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