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Resume writing class stresses keywords, highlights accomplishments

A member of the 137th Air Refueling Wing looks up federal jobs on the USAJobs website. (U.S. Air National Guard photo by Airman 1st Class Tyler Woodward/Released)

A member of the 137th Air Refueling Wing looks up federal jobs on the USAJobs website. (U.S. Air National Guard photo by Airman 1st Class Tyler Woodward/Released)

WILL ROGERS AIR NATIONAL GUARD BASE, Okla -- Airmen at Will Rogers Air National Guard base and Tinker Air Force base can learn how to format their resume's to achieve the best possible exposure on the U.S. Governments official job website, USAJobs, and how to word their resume to best highlight their skills and abilities. This resume writing/job search workshop is coordinated by the Will Rogers Career Transition Assistance Program at the 137th Air Refueling Wing.

The workshop covers tips from the "10 Steps to a Federal Job: Navigating the Federal Job System, Writing Federal Resumes, KSAs and Cover Letters with a Mission" by Kathryn K. Troutman. The objective of the class is to give participants the best chance to land a federal position.

"My main goal is to make them understand they have abilities and accomplishments they've never thought of that will help them get another job, or get into a career field they didn't think they could," said Jennifer Lain, 137th ARW airmen and family readiness program manager. "Some people think if they're an aircraft mechanic that's all they can do, but that's not true."

The workshop is held every two weeks.

Reviewing a Federal job announcements Knowledge, Skills and Abilities section is a key step for job seekers. KSA's list the specialized experience a person needs to qualify for the position. Also, KSA's carry keywords that job seekers need to include in their resumes to highlight their experience.

"The keywords are the skills and abilities the employer is looking for," said Lain. "So, when you put those words in your resume, you're showing the employer the skills and abilities you will bring to the job."

One important tip Lain recommends is making sure job seekers highlight their career accomplishments in their resume. People tend to list their daily duties in their resume, but never mention what they actually accomplished. Listing their accomplishments makes a job seeker more appealing to the perspective employer because they see the caliber of work they can expect from that person.

Listing her accomplishments is a step she never considered, said resume writing attendee Senior Airman Audrey Mitchell.

"It's hard for me to brag about myself," said Mitchell. "So, I never thought it was a good idea to list them in my resume."

Master Sgt. Barbara Baldwin, 137th ARW command post superintendent, said she learned valuable information during the workshop and now knows the specific areas she needs to improve her resume.

"Stating accomplishments in your resume is a key point they went over that I enjoyed," said Baldwin. "The hiring company already knows what my duties are, but what have I done to contribute to the organization's performance?"

Mitchell and Baldwin are also excited they attended the workshop since Will Rogers Air National Guard base is hosting a job fair March 7, 2015 that will include representatives from multiple federal agencies and organizations in the private sector. Having the opportunity to improve their resumes prior to the fair has both members excited about the prospects of finding a new position.

"I also took a lot of notes to share with my younger airman who I think can use this advice," said Baldwin. "So, it was definitely good to have attended the workshop."

The next resume writing/job search workshop will on Feb. 11, 2015 from 2-4 p.m. in the Communications Flight classroom. To register for the course, contact Jennifer Lain at jennifer.lain@ang.af.mil, and Senior Master Sgt. Christina Tippett, Information Assurance Manager, at christina.tippett@ang.af.mil.