Resume Tips for Prospective Presidential Management Fellows (PMFs)


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This presentation was hosted as a Google+ On-Air Hangout on November 15, 2012, to help applicants to the Presidential Management Fellow (PMF) Program in preparing their resume.

The recording is found at

  • In my freshman year of university I found it really hard to transition from my high school grading system to doing university course work. If i were to go back to high school and tell myself that i’ll be ordering essays online i’d say i was talking bull, but no. provided me with a solace and a way to get used to the amount of work that my professors gave me.
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  • Should students include salary for summer and part time jobs?
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  • Where would you suggest I put on my resume information regarding my most recent background check?
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Resume Tips for Prospective Presidential Management Fellows (PMFs)

  1. 1. Resume Tips for ProspectivePresidential Management Fellows (PMFs)Paul BinkleyFormer Director of Career Development Services, George Washington University,Trachtenberg School ( of Student’s Federal Career GuideVirginia HillPMF Program Manager, National Institutes of HealthPresidential Management Fellow, Class of 2007
  2. 2. Our Time Together Today…1.  Overview and Introductions2.  Tips from a Career Advisor / Resume Expert3.  Tips from a PMF Agency Coordinator / PMF Alum4.  Guidance from the PMF Program Office5.  Open Q&A 2
  3. 3. Overview•  Tweeting? Twitter Hash Tag = #pmf2013•  Questions? Use the chat box below.•  Recording? Yes. Google+ records it. ▫  We’ll embed the recorded version here and on•  Technical Issues? The program is embedded on right now. Check it out there as well. 3
  4. 4. Meet Our Experts Paul Binkley Virginia HillFormer Director of Career Services, PMF Program Manager The George Washington University National Institutes of HealthTrachtenberg School of Public Policy PMF Class of 2007 and Public Administration Co-Author, Student’s Federal Career Guide 4
  5. 5. Special Shout Out Rob Timmins Senior Program Analyst U.S. Office of Personnel Management PMF Program Office 5
  6. 6. Before You Start•  5-7 seconds to capture attention•  Focus on content, not length: ▫  KEY WORDS in current position descriptions at fedclass•  No tables / templates 6
  7. 7. Organizing Your Résumé•  Try a “modified chronological” or “outline” format•  Tips and Tricks o  Be in a “project management mindset o  Try the CAR method o  Context: details that provide some flavor to the information o  Action: how did you accomplish the task? o  Result: show the concrete impact of your actions•  Do they pass the “So What?” test?•  Use quantity, when applicable 7
  8. 8. Organizing Your Résumé 8
  9. 9. Leveraging Your Education•  Experience first, education second•  Turn education into experience 9
  10. 10. “Key Accomplishments” Are Critical•  Include a “Key Accomplishments” section for every position you’ve held•  Flesh-out details from bullet points that may have been buried in the project management style of writing. 10
  11. 11. Standing Out 11
  12. 12. Show Projects, Volunteering, Associations, etc.•  Show how your background fits perfectly with the needs of the position.•  Include courses you have taken, class projects, research papers related to the opportunity, volunteer activities, or work with professional associations.•  Don’t forget awards and other recognition•  Everything in your resume should relate back to the opportunity. 12
  13. 13. USAJobs Resume Builder•  You may use the resume builder function of USAJobs to make sure you include comprehensive information*•  Federal HR professionals complain that candidates do not include all necessary information on their resumes.•  Upload Microsoft Word documents or PDFs instead, but starting with the USAJobs resume builder helps you include everything that is needed. * For PMF, using USAJOBS is not necessary, just helpful! 13
  14. 14. Tailor to the Opportunity•  Consider mapping your experience to the 7 core PMF competencies: •  Adaptability •  Personal Accountability These competencies are •  Motivation to Serve outlined in the “2013 PMF Assessment Preparation •  Problem Solving Guide” found at: •  Interpersonal Skills assessment-process.aspx •  Oral Communication •  Written Communication 14
  15. 15. Polishing Your Résumé•  Consistency considerations: o  formatting (spacing, date, bullets) o  tense (grammar) o  punctuation•  Make sure your contact information is accurate!•  Use a professional email address, preferably with name•  Print it. Read it. Proof it. Leave it. Read it again later.•  Have someone else do the same. 15
  16. 16. Advice from the PMF Program•  Include all contact information (e.g., email address and home/cell phone numbers)•  Identify your full name, including middle name•  Citizenship: Are you a U.S. Citizen or eligible to be legally employed in the United States? Yes/No•  If claiming veterans preference, reference in your resume•  Selective Service: Yes/No •  all adult males born on or after January 1, 1960, must have registered for Selective Service between the ages of 18 through 25 • 16
  17. 17. Advice from the PMF ProgramFor privacy concerns, you should NOT includethe following: •  classified information •  full Social Security Number •  other personal or sensitive information you do not wish be made visible to agency recruiters 17
  18. 18. Advice from the PMF Program•  If you ever worked for the Federal Government (e.g., as a student), include it as work experience•  For work experience: include month/year and salary ranges•  For education entries: include honors, relevant coursework, licensures, and certifications•  Include 2-3 references with names, titles, phone numbers, email addresses, and reference type (professional/personal) 18
  19. 19. Advice from the PMF Program•  Include affiliations, volunteer work, professional publications you have contributed•  Include an additional information section covering awards, leadership activities, public speaking engagements, skills, languages, and availability•  JOB FAIR •  Use an abbreviated resume (1-2 pages) •  Have a writing sample on hand, just in case 19
  20. 20. What are agencies looking for?•  The resume is about YOU, not past jobs.•  Good writing skills, concise and clear language•  Something stands out; not generic•  Demonstration of how you: ▫  Saved time or money ▫  Met deadlines ▫  Worked efficiently to achieve results ▫  Are a good fit for the agency and/or position ▫  Work as a member of a team 20
  21. 21. List of References•  References can make or break a deal - choose wisely!•  Notify them you are applying for an opportunity•  Send your résumé so they can use it for talking points•  Let them know what you are applying for•  Remind them about an accomplishment or project•  Bonus: Have your references write a recommendation for you on LinkedIn, BeKnown, and BranchOut 21
  22. 22. Questions from PathtoPMF.com1. Should the resume be in USAJOBS, word document, or pdfformat? If so, do you attach this resume at the beginning orend of the online application?•  You are able to upload the following: gif image (.gif), jpeg image (.jpg), png image (.png), rich text format(.rtf ), Microsoft word (.doc, .docx), adobe pdf (.pdf), word perfect (.wpd)•  You can complete your resume using the USAJobs Resume Builder, then convert it to PDF and upload it.•  You could also create it in the Builder, then copy and paste into Word, get the formatting how you like it, and submit as .doc.•  Upload your resume any time before 11:59p ET Nov 19, 2012. 22
  23. 23. Questions from PathtoPMF.com2. Can we change our resume after you submit theapplication? The USAJOBS application specifies "Applicantswill not be able to make changes to their resumes after theclosing date of this vacancy announcement."•  Your resume for the PMF Application will be locked in through the process of being named a Finalist.•  Once named a Finalist, you will be able to revise and submit more targeted resumes for agency job opportunities –•  Hint: You will want to do so as you apply for specific openings to be more competitive. 23
  24. 24. Questions from PathtoPMF.com3. Are PMF resumes supposed to be tailored to a specific job?All guidance I’ve seen for federal resumes suggests writingexperience to reflect key words and KSA’s from the posting.Since the PMF is not for a specific job, is it suggested that weuse the seven competencies?•  You could tailor this first version to PMFs 7 core competencies to organize it.•  You are not required to have keywords or KSAs.•  Should you advance to the Finalist stage, at that time I would target / tailor your resume to a specific job. 24
  25. 25. Questions from PathtoPMF.com4. The USAJobs resume requests more information than astandard resume (including pay, specific addresses of placesof employment, etc.). Is it okay to just upload a .pdf of thissame resume, or is it better to copy & paste into word andedit out those details?•  It might not be worth the time to extract those elements from a Word doc.•  PDF looks good - you might just want to upload that version.•  The folks looking at these resumes will be used to seeing the USAJOBS version and the added detail wont seem excessive. 25
  26. 26. Questions from PathtoPMF.com5. I gather that a federal resume should touch the past 10years of (relevant) work experience. Is it worth includingpart-time jobs or should I leave them out?•  Include all relevant work experience - not just past 10 years.•  Map your work experience to the opportunity. 26
  27. 27. Questions from PathtoPMF.com6. In terms of the "References" section of the USAJOBSresume builder, is it OK to list one or two of the supervisorsthat are already listed under the "Work Experience" section,or should they all be different?•  Its okay to put the same supervisors 27
  28. 28. Submit via chat in the Google+ Event 28
  29. 29. General Remindersa.  Check, including the FAQs, throughout the application and assessment process for updates.b.  Don’t post personal or sensitive questions/comments on social media.c.  Provide enough details in your resume for agency HR staff to evaluate/confirm.d.  Adhere strictly to the non-disclosure statement when completing the on-line assessment and essays.e.  During the review stage of the application, you may check to see if: •  all required pieces have been completed •  all required documents have been submitted, •  any supporting documents have been submitted (e.g., in regards to claims for veterans’ preference and reasonable accommodation), and •  whether the on-line assessment has been completed. 29
  30. 30. Shameless Plug J Students-Federal-Career- Guide-2nd/dp/0982419058 30
  31. 31. For Further AssistanceOfficial:•  General Inquiries:•  Application Support: Click on the “Help” link ▫  OPM has a dedicated team monitoring technical issuesUnofficial:•  Andrew:•  Ginny:•  Paul: Good Luck! 31