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A Basic Checklist for Your Cleared Resume

Posted by Patra Frame

Resume basics. Everyone knows those, right?

Based on the resumes in any company’s applicant tracking database, the answer is more likely, NO.

Your personal resume checklist:

__ Name.
__ City and state. Street address isn’t necessary.
__ Email address. Only one, nothing ‘cute’ or ‘funny’. Use your name. If it’s common add some numbers.
__ Phone number.  One, not work #, with a short professional message.
__ Social media links. LinkedIn or Twitter.
__ Security clearance.  If you apply for a non-cleared position remember to delete this.

BAD: OBJECTIVE STATEMENTS

Employers want to know what you can do for them. They don’t care much about what you are seeking. Most objectives are the ‘same old, same old’: an X position where I can use my demonstrated expertise to assist humanity in a company which offers safety, security, and big bucks.

BETTER: PROFESSIONAL SUMMARY

This is a short paragraph or 3-4 bullet points that clearly show what you offer an employer. It needs to be relevant to the specific work and employer. Skip all the trite words: leadership, expertise, interpersonal skills, blah, blah. Do not talk about years either.

Do give achievements or recognition that are the most valuable items you can think of. Examples:

* Operations: Negotiated multi-million contract with two companies which decreased costs by 10% while reducing delivery time by 20%
* Analytical skills: Selected to research and write multi-source syntheses on ‘hot topics’ for national command authority.
* Project manager recognized for building superior client relationships.
* Safety training professional with record of significantly reducing accidents rapidly and over the long-term.

OPTION

A resume used for networking or posted online can often be more effective with a headline immediately following your name and contact information. This reminds the connections you send it to, or tells those seeing it online, what type of work you are interested in. Example:

EXPERIENCED FEDERAL IT BUSINESS DEVELOPER

Next up: SELECTED ACHIEVEMENTS

This is the bulk of your resume – often recommended at 70-80% of the total. Here you show what you actually accomplished in your jobs. See Strengthen Your Achievements or our Cleared Job Seeker Guide for more details.

EDUCATION

If it’s a recent relevant degree and is what you are offering an employer, it goes near the top and can replace the Professional Summary. If you’re an experienced person and your degree is two or more years old, you are more likely to be selling your experience. Then your education and any relevant professional development go after all your achievements.

The exception is when you are changing careers and have a degree relevant to the new work that is relatively recent. Then you put that at the top even though you have a lot of experience. And you recast your experience to support the new career field!

Remember, a resume is an advertisement for you. What goes into it is directly related to the work you are seeking and the employers you are targeting.

Patra Frame is ClearedJobs.Net’s HR Specialist. She is an experienced human resources executive and founder of Strategies for Human Resources. Patra is an Air Force veteran and charter member of the Women in Military Service for America Memorial.

This entry was posted on Monday, July 15, 2013 7:00 am

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