Applying The Intelligence Lifecycle To Your Resume Development Process
Intelligence Series, GS-0132
Many parallels exist between the intelligence lifecycle and your resume development process. After all, your resume is simply a method by which you share intelligence about your professional experience. To create your appeal, you must turn your daily tasks and accomplishments into actionable intelligence that can be disseminated to, and understood by, a wide-audience. Thus, your resume is not much different than a report about target cells or a human terrain map.
Consider the steps that intelligence analysts and specialists take in developing intelligence products:
1. COLLECT DATA: When developing your resume, create your portfolio of accomplishments. Brainstorm your ideas -- that is, collect raw data about your accomplishments. For each of your positions, develop two to three solid value statements pertaining to your actions. Ask yourself, “How did I positively affect the mission of my organization or impact a critical objective?”
Examples of accomplishments – the raw data:
- Recognized for ability to lead team of intelligence analysts. Assisted team members throughout the intelligence lifecycle.
- Developed greater regional, political and social awareness of region and knowledge of regional threats.
- Recognized by government authorities for delivering high-quality reports.
- Received an award as a team leader using language skills and interpersonal skills to promote cooperation and information sharing.
- Provided briefings to the SECDEF and CJCS.
2. ORGANIZE AND VERIFY DATA: Organize these accomplishment statements by defining what actions you took to make the accomplishment. Did you conduct extensive research or work collaboratively with a diverse team of technicians? Essentially, delineate for each accomplishment the skills you needed to use to make the accomplishment come to fruition. Now, add facts and figures. Quantify this data and check for accuracy. Reach out to former team members and get their input regarding the impact of your work effort.
Examples of skills:
- Knowledge of the Intelligence lifecycle
- Research and analysis skills
- Studied geographic region
- Verified intelligence data
- Cooperate with external agencies; language skills; interpersonal skills
- Write 18 reports for senior officials
- Communication skills; delivered high profile briefings
3. FORMULATE ACTIONABLE INTELLIGENCE: Now that you have the facts and figures about your work effort, you can exploit your professional intelligence by matching your intelligence with the key words and phrases found in the job announcement. Analyze, evaluate and integrate your raw data relative to the functional areas or job requirements described in the announcement. Write to the requirements ensuring that you respond to the specialized experience and/or the knowledge, skills and abilities criteria. Use the language of the announcement and write clearly and concisely – all fundamental requirements of a solid intelligence briefing or report. By using the phrasing of the announcement, the human resource personnel evaluating your resume will understand your role, skills, and accomplishments making your intelligence digestible. This is critical in moving you forward through the evaluation process and getting you qualified and referred.
- SUBJECT MATTER EXPERT IN INTELLIGENCE LIFECYCLE
- IDENTIFIED AND COLLECTED NEEDED INTELLIGENCE DATA
- BUILD PARTNERSHIPS with key officials
- APPLY CRITICAL THINKING SKILLS in formulating actionable intelligence
- REPORTED FINDINGS
4. DISSEMINATE FINISHED INTELLIGENCE: This is the final resume and interview step. Your objective is to ensure that all of your experience and skills are known. As in an intelligence briefing, communicate the facts about yourself. During interviews, rely on your intelligence data that you collected in step one. This is your professional portfolio from which you can provide evidence of your effectiveness. Speak clearly and not overly technical. Demilitarize your way of speaking to appeal to a broader audience. Use technical terms when appropriate.
- SUBJECT MATTER EXPERT IN INTELLIGENCE LIFECYCLE. Execute all functions of intelligence lifecycle with in-depth understanding of the Intelligence Community mission needs and objectives. Apply principles, techniques and methodologies of intelligence research. Collect and interpret raw data; synthesize data from various sources and formulate information; produce actionable intelligence products. Identify trends and relationships; make inferences and draw conclusions. Disseminate information to decision makers.
- IDENTIFY AND COLLECT NEEDED INTELLIGENCE DATA using regional knowledge, foreign language skills and political-military relationship building techniques. Provide vital data for planners.
- BUILD PARTNERSHIPS WITH EXTERNAL COUNTERPARTS: Focal point for communication among local and state authorities, DoD components, and executive agencies. Network/build partnerships among law enforcement agents at the local, state, federal and international levels. Ensure information sharing among key personnel to promote resolution of criminal events.
- APPLY CRITICAL THINKING SKILLS to manage complex problems in a highly dynamic environment. Work independently and achieved safe, defensible solutions and recommendations in facilitating operations.
- REPORT FINDINGS using clear and concise language. Describe politico-military situation. Information drove decision-making and relationship-building efforts. Wrote 18 critical documents pertaining to aerospace issues supporting senior air analysts. PREPARE BRIEFINGS including centerpiece, US-only briefing for the Secretary of Defense and the Chairman, Joint Chiefs of Staff.
Resumes are, in fact, your intelligence report. Your objective is to convey as much key information about your abilities and expertise as possible in a limited space. To meet this object, you must collect as much data about yourself as possible and then exploit it as you would when formulating an intelligence briefing about a suspect or when supporting an operation. Critical to the intelligence specialist resume is that you convey an understanding of the life-cycle of the intelligence collection process. Communicating intelligence whether orally or in writing is what an intelligence specialists and analysts do on a regular basis. The only difference during the resume process is that the content is about you.