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  • Resume Question

    I am currently in the process of applying for the NCIS Special Agent position and I was hoping to get some pointers on my resume which I will compile through USAJobs.com resume builder. I would like to know what everyone thinks of adding irrelevant work experience to their resume. Basically, I have experience going back over ten years that I would like to have in my resume. The only problem is I have several periods of transition between jobs. For instance, after the military I worked as a sales person and a security officer for over a year. I then worked in the IT field for about three years before being laid off. After being laid off, I worked as a police dispatcher for a year before finding another job in the IT field. After another year of working in the IT field, I then transitioned into the law enforcement field for which I have been employed as a police officer over the past five years. In summary, I would like to list my military, IT, and LEO experience in my resume and leave out the few short term jobs that I had while transitioning. Would it be okay to have some gaps in my resume since some of the work I performed was not relevant to the position I am applying for? Any tips would be greatly appreciated.

  • #2
    Originally posted by cowbucs View Post
    I am currently in the process of applying for the NCIS Special Agent position and I was hoping to get some pointers on my resume which I will compile through USAJobs.com resume builder. I would like to know what everyone thinks of adding irrelevant work experience to their resume. Basically, I have experience going back over ten years that I would like to have in my resume. The only problem is I have several periods of transition between jobs. For instance, after the military I worked as a sales person and a security officer for over a year. I then worked in the IT field for about three years before being laid off. After being laid off, I worked as a police dispatcher for a year before finding another job in the IT field. After another year of working in the IT field, I then transitioned into the law enforcement field for which I have been employed as a police officer over the past five years. In summary, I would like to list my military, IT, and LEO experience in my resume and leave out the few short term jobs that I had while transitioning. Would it be okay to have some gaps in my resume since some of the work I performed was not relevant to the position I am applying for? Any tips would be greatly appreciated.
    Do not leave anything out. When your background investigation is performed, those "minor" positions are going to come up in a report and you do not want it to look like you were trying to omit some history. Even if you had the best intentions of making it easier on the person reviewing the resume, it will not look good to omit employment history. Besides a sales position will show that you have the ability to communicate / read people and the dispatch position will further reinforce your ability to perform under pressure. Whatever you do, do not omit those positions.
    CBPO East Texas
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    Drug Test: 4/17/09 -Passed
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    • #3
      Echoing what USMC0844 said, for the SF86, do not leave anything out. If you don't know or remember where you worked, you can request the information from Social Security. Here is the form: http://www.socialsecurity.gov/online/ssa-7050.pdf

      That aside, when doing resumes for job hunting purposes, let me tell you what recently happened to me:

      I just had a job interview with a three letter government agency (which I have been selected for the position after the interview)

      Two things that surprised me that they asked about from my employment history was when I worked doing IT for a K-12 school district for a few years and when I worked as a paramedic for a few years.

      They liked knowing I had very good computer skills, with both hardware, software and project development.

      They also thought that being a paramedic would be highly useful for missions in theater overseas.

      These were not tasks which are directly mission-related, but make me a more well-rounded applicant and presented as useful skills.

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      • #4
        Thanks for the info guys and congratulations on being selected for the position that you interviewed for the constant. Semper Fi USMC0844. I was in the Corps from 95-99 as an 0351.

        While waiting for a reply for this post, I found some information while browsing the web. According to what I found, I should omit the short term jobs that are not relevant to the position from the resume. However, all work experience dating back ten years should not be omitted from the SF-86. I will probably leave out the sales position because 1) I only had the job for a few months and 2) I sucked at it. I want to include my IT experience for the exact reasons that the constant explained.

        Here is a link to the info I found:
        http://federalsoup.com/forum_posts.a...ork-experience

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        • #5
          Try to have a 1 or at the max 2 page resume.
          Last edited by thermal; 11-22-2010, 10:52 AM.

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          • #6
            There is a difference between a resume and a BI.

            On your SF86, which you have to turn in with your application for the NCIS app, put everything on there.

            For a resume I don't know that I'd list everything. If you have significant relevant work history I'd just go with that.

            I omitted one or two irrelevant jobs from the resume, putting only the relevant stuff AND my most recent (tho irrelevant) employer.
            "I am a Soldier. I fight where I'm told and I win where I fight." -- GEN George S. Patton, Jr.

            "With a brother on my left and a sister on my right, we face…. We face what no one should face. We face, so no one else would face. We are in the face of Death." -- Holli Peet

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            • #7
              Originally posted by tanksoldier View Post
              There is a difference between a resume and a BI.

              On your SF86, which you have to turn in with your application for the NCIS app, put everything on there.

              For a resume I don't know that I'd list everything. If you have significant relevant work history I'd just go with that.

              I omitted one or two irrelevant jobs from the resume, putting only the relevant stuff AND my most recent (tho irrelevant) employer.
              I'm with tanksoldier. My USAJobs resume only includes my "real" jobs. I didn't list my jobs at Old Navy and Best Buy following high school. I was actually fired from my job at Old Navy (for being 5 minutes late, go figure. I think they were downsizing after Christmas), which I've had to list on every SF-86 I have ever filled out.

              Only put relevant experience on the resume, then list all that apply in the 10 year timeframe on the SF-86. I somehow doubt that slinging clothes at Old Navy and slinging car stereos at Best Buy buys me any points with the feds.
              Big Brother is watching

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              • #8
                tell them that you are related to GIBBS!!
                "We sleep safe in our beds because rough men stand ready in the night to visit violence on those who would do us harm" -George Orwell

                "It's 106 miles to Chicago, we've got a full tank of gas, half a pack of cigarettes, it's dark, and we're wearing diapers." - Blues Brothers

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                • #9
                  My resume for Federal jobs is about 9 pages long. The entry for one law enforcement position alone is a full page.

                  The advice I have always been given is, "If you don't write it, you didn't do it." Since most of the jobs I apply for also have KSAs or self-rating factors, it's important that the resume itself support those factors. For example, if you put, "I successfully coordinated schedules for work groups of 10 or more people," but you don't back that up somewhere in your resume, you can theoretically lose credit for that question.

                  So yes, I do include non-LE work if I can articulate its revelance to performing the job, or it gave me some sort of specialized skill, etc.

                  And if something's a temporary job, for example you're only hired for Christmas sales season... put that down. I got jammed up at an interview for having a bunch of short-term (3 - 9 month) jobs in a row, which typically looks bad. Except, they were paid internships while I was in college, and only had set funding -- when they were out of money, I was out of a job. It made a lot more sense to the interviewers, when I actually explained it. But if they just took the resume at face value, they could have said, "This guy has poor work history," and deposited the resume directly into the circular file.

                  Originally posted by Jarhead_FBI_SA View Post
                  I somehow doubt that slinging clothes at Old Navy
                  You mean providing one-on-one service to a diverse range of clients in a fast-paced, high-volume sales environment to assist them in selecting the personal environmental protection garments which best suit their needs, and which are also in line with the most current design trends in the industry?

                  and slinging car stereos at Best Buy buys me any points with the feds.
                  Oh. You mean you: Educated clients about the various features of highly technical radio receivers and other integrated automotive technology. Questioned the client to determine his or her needs, assessed the client's financial solvency as it related to a long-term technological investment, and evaluated the client's existing hardware to determine whether the recommended products were compatible.
                  Last edited by Squirrel; 01-13-2010, 02:44 PM.

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                  • #10
                    I don't disagree that you can spin things, but as a long-time Fed: they see right through that fluff. Do you want to be remembered as the guy that did a good job of spinning his menial part-time jobs or do you want to make your real work experience pop?

                    Sure, you can go either way, but if you think you are fooling anyone with good use of adjectives to cover up a menial job, then you are only fooling yourself.

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                    • #11
                      Originally posted by 1811orBust View Post
                      I don't disagree that you can spin things, but as a long-time Fed: they see right through that fluff. Do you want to be remembered as the guy that did a good job of spinning his menial part-time jobs or do you want to make your real work experience pop?

                      Sure, you can go either way, but if you think you are fooling anyone with good use of adjectives to cover up a menial job, then you are only fooling yourself.
                      I exaggerated, but only slightly.

                      In my agency, the online application includes a rating system that asks you lots of questions in the "Have you ever..." format. Many of these questions have little or no direct bearing on whether you can actually do the job or not, but if someone else says "yes" when you say "no," they wind up with a higher score; they make the cert and you don't. You have to be creative with your interpretation and look at what you really did.

                      Is a janitor really an "environmental sanitation engineer?" Nah. But a janitor may be able to put down that they, for example, "observed industry-approved safety standards when handling hazardous materials such as cleaning solvents."

                      Likewise, your Best Buy electronics guy probably did "answer questions from the public, explain complex technology and concepts to end-users using simple terminology, keep abreast of changes in the consumer electronics industry," etc.

                      Those examples aren't fluff, they're very real parts of the job. People may think the jobs are menial. The employee himself may think the job is menial. But frequently there are very useful skills, perhaps even make-or-break qualifiers, that get omitted when the applicant answers a job description as "I was a janitor" or "I was a sales representative at Best Buy" because he thinks it was "just a menial, part-time job."

                      The HR person doesn't know exactly what the job entails unless you spell it out for them. Again, if you don't write it, you didn't do it. You are selling yourself to the agency in your resume. Show them what you've done.

                      And frankly, 1811, I take a bit of offense to you implying that "menial, part-time jobs" aren't real work experience. If someone's out there doing a job, even if it's serving burgers 20 hours a week, that's a REAL job, and they're gaining REAL experience. It's this attitude society takes, telling them that their job isn't "real work experience" that gets people to sell themselves short. There are hard-working, dedicated employees in ALL jobs, from minimum-wage, blue collar, part-time positions, all the way up through government. Likewise, there are useless loads who do nothing but ride on other's coattails and have nothing to show for themselves at all levels, too ... from minimum wage to upper management. Series, grade, tour of duty -- they have nothing to do with it.

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                      • #12
                        Should include all jobs or only relevant jobs depends on who is reading the resume. If there is a human being that is screening the resumes, definitely only include relevant and professional level jobs. No PT college jobs or 3 month temps. Keep the resume to under 2 pages and make sure you include results (not responsibilities) of task that you had to accomplish.

                        If the resume is being read by Resumix (PC software), then make it as long as possible. If you are allowed 12,000 words, then your resume should be 11,999 words. Go through the job description and pull out keywords, put every one of those keywords in your resume. If you have a short resume then Resumix will rate your resume low and your application will never make it to a Human being regardless of your experience. After you make a 11,999 word resume, make sure your KSAs are excellent because those will be read by a Human after resumix forwards your application.

                        I don't know how the resume is being screened. It may say in the announcement or if you have the inside scoop you should ask. It makes a big difference if it's Human or Resumix.

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                        • #13
                          Yeah, thats a big difference too: If you are submitting your resume to a human or a robot.

                          If its a robot, go as much as possible. If its a person, you need some finesse.

                          My agency uses Resumix as an initial screen, then reviews those who make it through Resumix on to the cert list of eligibles and then rate the resumes utilizing our own rubric and then call those people for interviews.

                          Just also be aware, omitting information can hurt you. USSS required 3 years F/T work experience to pass the initial interview point in the process. Doesn't matter what it is: local LEO or local walmart.

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