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Have a Happy New Year, Stop Making USAJOBS Application Mistakes
Kathryn Troutman - Federal Career Coach(r) Kathryn Troutman - Federal Career Coach(r)
For Immediate Release:
Dateline: Baltimore, MD
Sunday, January 3, 2021


December 31, 2020 by Kathryn Troutman
President, Resume Place, Inc. and
Ten Steps Certification Director

Have a Happy New Year
and Watch Out for the Pitfalls with your next USAJOBS Application in 2021!


  1. Applying for a federal job with the USAJOBS Resume Builder Format. Don’t do this. Why? Because the resume builder resumes are 7.5 type. TOO SMALL to read! Solution: Copy the resume out of the builder; copy it into a Word file; make it 11 point type; SUBMIT!
  2. NOT looking at the Self-Assessment Questionnaire before you apply for the job!   Why? The questionnaire will give you more information about the position that you must read BEFORE you apply. Solution: Take the questionnaire TEST before you apply to see how you measure up!
  3. Not writing accomplishments or specific examples of your projects into your resume to prove your past performance with the KSAs required for the position. Why? Because the HR Reviewers like the examples! These can help you get REFERRED and selected for an INTERVIEW!
  4. Not adding month and year to month and year and hours per week to your Work History section? Why? Because the HR specialists need to see your “one year specialized experience” for the position!
  5. Adding your new college degree at the end of the resume. Put it at the top ! WHY? Because if it is at the end, the HR specialist will see it LAST ! You want it to be seen FIRST!
  6. Not adding your courses that you completed in your degree program in the resume – that will be relevant for the position. Add them to the resume. Why? The transcripts are not forwarded to a supervisor! The supervisor will want to see your course titles for your recent degree!
  7. Writing your job duties section in one large block of text. Why not? This format is hard to find the Specialized The Outline Format (in the Federal Resume Guidebook, 7th) is the BEST format.
  8. Not matching the resume toward the QUALIFICATIONS section in the resume. Why? Because the HR specialist will be specifically looking for these qualifications in your resume to hopefully find you Best Qualified and maybe even REFERRED to a supervisor.
  9. Deflating your score on the questionnaire and getting less than 90% at the highest level. Why? You need to get a score of at least 90% on the questionnaire to get Best Qualified.
  10. Waiting until last minute to apply (deadlines are very tight now, sometimes 4 days). Why? The short announcement opening time is due to the high volume of applications that the human resources specialists will have to read. Cut-offs can be 50, 100, 250 or 1,000. Many announcements can result in 2,500 or 5,000 resumes!

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Kathryn Troutment, Federal Resume Coach(r), Author, Federal Resume Guidebook, 7th Edition. Expert with Federal Jobs for Competitive USAJOBS.gov applications, Political Appointee Resumes and Cover Letters, Senior Executive Service Applications. Expert knowledge of the jobs, application systems, how to write the correct federal resume! Creator of Ten Steps to a Federal Job(r) Certified Federal Job Search Trainer and Certified Federal Career Coach programs. Train-the-trainer programs for career counselors, employment counselors and veterans employment representatives.

News Media Interview Contact
Name: Kathryn Troutman
Title: Author, Speaker and Trainer
Group: The Resume Place, Inc.
Dateline: Baltimore, MD United States
Direct Phone: 410-744-4324
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