This much we know: President Trump has ordered a limited federal hiring freeze and a broad review of the federal workforce with an eye toward reducing headcount. But we don’t know many specifics regarding potential furloughs or layoffs in individual agencies, programs, missions and budgets.
This much we know: President Trump has ordered a limited federal hiring freeze and a broad review of the federal workforce with an eye toward reducing headcount.
But we don’t know many specifics regarding potential furloughs or layoffs in individual agencies, programs, missions and budgets.
True, given the president’s emphasis on immigration, homeland security and defense, a number of federal agencies are likely to maintain or even expand their workforces. DoD, ICE and other departments and agencies were enumerated in the president’s executive order as exceptions to the hiring freeze. Employees of the Environmental Protection Agency, on the other hand, know that they need to prepare for the possibility that their positions will be eliminated.
DON’T WAIT. Even if you’re in a department that hasn’t been mentioned as a target for workforce reductions, don’t just wait and see if you will be affected. It’s prudent to be prepared to act as soon the pending workforce plan of the Office of Management and Budget and the Office of Personnel Management is announced.
So what’s the immediate upshot for federal workers? The time to update your federal resume and other application materials is right now.
How to update your resumes (2 resume formats) to prepare for changes in the federal workforce:
FIRST – FIND YOUR LATEST RESUME AND PERFORMANCE EVALUATIONS! ADD ACCOMPLISHMENTS!
To be ready to launch a job search at any time, first find your most recent resume and assess what aspects of it need to be updated.
To maximize your chances of having your federal application designated “best qualified” or “referred,” bolster your resume with details of three professional accomplishments from the last five years. In about 75 words per accomplishment, describe how your employer has benefited from your KSAs (knowledge, skills and abilities).
SECOND – FIND OTHER DOCUMENTATION, LATEST SF-50 AND TRANSCRIPTS
Then do a review of your supporting documentation. Your checklist should include performance evaluations, a job description for your current position, transcripts for recent education or certification, and so on.
THIRD – UPDATE YOUR USAJOBS ACCOUNT, SET UP SAVED SEARCHES
With your revamped application materials in hand, take a little time to update your account on USAJOBS.
THERE ARE EXEMPT POSITIONS POSTED ON USAJOBS
Yes, with the partial federal hiring freeze, vacancies currently posted on USAJOBS are somewhat limited. But it still makes sense to set up saved searches now and monitor job openings that might be a fit.
OR … Considering a move to the private sector?
If pending changes to the federal government’s workforce strategy have you considering a move to the private sector, now is the time to prepare.
FIRST – TRANSLATE THE RESUME LANGUAGE
You’ll need to translate any agency-specific wording – jargon, that is – into terminology that’s native to the private sector. Resume keywords, especially, must make sense to corporate recruiters, human resources folks and hiring managers.
SECOND – FIND A FEW RECRUITMENT ADS
Consult private-sector postings and job descriptions to double-check your choice of keywords.
THIRD – WRITE A COVER LETTER
Then create a cover letter that communicates how your federal employment experience and skills apply to the private-sector role you seek. Be as specific as you can.
There’s no denying that these are trying times for the federal workforce. But regardless of the swirl of uncertainty, it’s time to get your resume up to date, whether you want to stay in government or consider bringing your skills and experience to the private sector.
TAKE A COUPLE OF WEBINARS TO LEARN THE LATEST FORMATS.
Learn more here.
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