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Old 06-24-2011, 03:24 PM
2,633 posts, read 2,965,129 times
Reputation: 1669


On your resume:
- Use the format in USAJOBS. Yes, it sucks but hiring managers are "psychologically conditioned" on how to use it.
- Get "Ten Steps to a Federal Job" by Kathryn Troutman. It is the best non-gov resource on how to apply and get hired in the FED.
- Unlike non-gov resumes, there's no restriction on how long you resume can be. The ones I see are typically 5 - 6 pages long. That said, use the length to give your qualifications and accomplishments; I can spot BS and buzzwords a mile away. Be direct, honest, use active voice, and reuse the language from the announcement where possible.
- On the questionaire, always select the "you are an expert..." option. This section is complete BS and rewards people for inflating their answers. Everyone hates it.
- If you have a security clearance and any certifications, put these clearly in the Additional Information section.

On UNIX, most announcements are put together by HR weenies who don't know what UNIX is. Don't expect to see an explicit requirement for "Solaris 10g" or something similar. A good SA should be at least able to move to a different flavor and not #rm -rf /
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Old 06-25-2011, 07:05 AM
12 posts, read 51,677 times
Reputation: 10
I have the book by Kathryn Troutman "Federal Resume Guidebook Third Edition" and this is how I based my resume on. However I would like your opinion. I read in that book I believe to include work exp for the past 10 years...not further back as GOV is not interested more than 10 years. My resume goes back to 15 years but job description is heavily back 10 years. My resume is 4 or 5 pages. I will need to check. I have been pondering only going back 10 years and expanding my last 10 years.

Tips you give are good:
-reuse the language from announcement where possible.
-always select "you are an expert" where possible (does this disqualify me if they do not see this in the resume?)
-I have clearance and certs: Solaris/Security+/ITIL and I have them on my resume but may need to see if I can move this to a better location.

You brought up another good point. My resume mentions Solaris 9 and I been thinking of removing Solaris 9. I included Solaris 9 because I always thought GOV loves detailed resumes LOL>

Here is one question for you...my resume was developed by myself although I heard some people state to get a professional to develop my resume but to the tune of $600. IMO a professional probably has done a resume but they sure as heck do not know about UNIX stuff. But I think they may have done resumes before and when a client lands a job in say IA...they may use the cut/paste for other clients. Do you know if a resume developed by a professional will be a benefit?

IMO...I believe I am the ONLY one who can develop a resume for MYSELF...so I have taken the long way but you learn something along the way.

Thanks for your tip!
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Old 06-25-2011, 06:37 PM
2,633 posts, read 2,965,129 times
Reputation: 1669
On the "resume professional": keep your money. There are enough good guides out there that you can write a decent one yourself.

On length: My personal resume goes back 14 years since that's how long I've been in the IT business. I've seen resumes that go back almost twenty years. There's no penalty for including 'too much' information since a hiring manager could read the whole thing or just focus on your two latest jobs. We don't know what you don't tell us. Furthermore in IT, you never know when some 'obsolete' work you did 15 years ago may come in handy. I've personally seen TurboPascal and Cobol apps still running since these are too "mission critical" to update.

I'd keep the Solaris 9 reference but also show work in other systems and some attempt to learn Solaris 10/11 in both SPARC and x86 environments. SCNA/SCSECA certification is a huge plus. Make sure you have both "UNIX" and "Solaris" in your resume since the automated grader or HR weenie may not be looking for Solaris, not knowing it's a flavor of UNIX...
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Old 06-28-2011, 11:39 AM
12 posts, read 51,677 times
Reputation: 10

Thanks for all of your helpful tips. Certainly something to think about since hardly no one comes back with tips.

I have one question to ask you and hopefully will be the last time I pick your brains.

I have someone from EEO/Navy office tell me to keep applying for positions in the Navy. This was 3 or 4 months after I sent my Resume and Schedule A. I was actually surprised that he sent this email to me as most of the time they are bombarded with too much to do something that they did 3 or 4 months ago.

When I looked at on the NAVY/CHART website...I see very few positions (but I know this probably changes weekly) but one question I would like to ask for a certain position. In one of the IT Specialist 2210-13 advertisement...one of the requirements for this particular position is a CISSP certification. I normally would not bother applying for this position because I do not have a CISSP cert and feel this is mandatory. However...I have worked at a few agencies as a contractor and hardly see any Federal Civilian have a CISSP cert. Maybe the Fed Agencies are trying to change that and hire those who have CISSP.

Also typically those who have positions with a requirement of CISSP are probably managers (in the private company fields and probably in GOV too) and may have been out of securing/hardening and applying IA principles to servers. I am stating this because servers are vendor-specific and a CISSP Certification will not really benefit when hardening a server.

So my question is...since I do not have a CISSP, should I not bother applying for positions that state a requirement for CISSP? I know my company does not hire those who have CISSP and I see a few jobs listed on my company's intranet with government agencies and many of these positions require a CISSP. To be honest, those who have CISSP "expert" more money and my company does not pay that much so they are not getting hired. I think this may be the same with the Fed Gov....paying in the range of $90K may not lure applicants. Should I attempt to hire for these positions that require CISSP? It may be a waste of my time but often times the Federal will train people on the job etc.

Thanks for your input...
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Old 06-28-2011, 03:57 PM
2,633 posts, read 2,965,129 times
Reputation: 1669
Ahhh, my favorite topic. The CISSP is a mixed bag. The military swears by it because they require their uniformed personnel take a bunch of certs as part of the 8570 program. This has the dubious effect of creating a bunch of 'paper' CISSP's since they don't have the experience to back up the test. Back in the day the CISSP was more rigorous in accepting applicants; now they'll accept anyone if they can show the most tenuous security responsibility (Reads logs? Applies patches? Can write an ACL? You're in!). Any certification without a mandatory lab component is questionable; the CISSP is getting a bad rap as being 'gold-plated'. I've spent most of my careeer in hardcore INFOSEC/CERT/NOSC environments and don't have a CISSP; I've found people with the CISM and SANS/GSEC to be much more knowlegeable...

Back to your question. I looked on USAJOBS and saw three Navy INFOSEC GS13 jobs, none required a CISSP. The Navy is wierd because they'll announce an opening on CHART and USAJOB, and the language will be different. I'd apply anyway through USAJOBS. If the cert is absolutely necessary for the job, some agencies will give you a 6 month 'probationary' period where you can get the cert. 'Mandatory' is not as absolute as you may think.
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Old 06-29-2011, 01:49 PM
12 posts, read 51,677 times
Reputation: 10
I could swear I saw a Navy Infosec or Security position list a CISSP as a requirement. I looked on the USAJOBS website and see two positions (InfoSec and Security) and neither of them list CISSP as a requirement. I tried to open CHART and it appears to be hung up...running forever. I will check the job description when I get home this evening.

I agree with you somewhat when you state that some CISSP's are paper-certified. We had one of the ISSO or IAO Officers here who was a contractor and he was the one who did the ATO for this-at-that-time agency and I asked him how he got his CISSP. He stated he was a former MCSE Windows Admin and moved to another company and they paid for him to get his CISSP and this is what he does now. From that point of view...I think he would have the tech know-how to secure Windows systems. But when someone crams at a boot-camp to get their CISSP and look for jobs requiring CISSP without having any experience in hardening a server then that is a different matter.

I have used DISA's Retina SRR scripts to scan servers to find "holes" and use their recommendation to fix servers. I feel this gives me a hands on approach and think may be more valuable in a job market. That is..if only someone will hire a hearing impaired person LOL.

I am thinking I may go ahead and buy Shon Harris's 5th edition book and look it over and think about bucking down and see if I want to pursue the CISSP certification although I keep hearing on the internet folks saying its a '1 mile wide 1 inch deep' information and recently saw someone state its a '10 mile wide and 1 inch deep' collection of information. I will see....

As for getting a job with the GOV and the GOV stating its mandatory that I get my CISSP certification in 6 months...that is a huge undertaking for me. Heck...when I get home and eat a bit and help/play with my youngish kids...and they hit the sack at 9:00p...I am plumb worn out haha. That is what happens when you deal with work AND traffic in Northern VA.

Anyway I will check CHART and see if this is the place where I saw a requirement for CISSP in a security position. And I think I will go ahead and apply to those positions...cannot hurt and they can always say "No".
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Old 09-02-2014, 09:37 PM
2 posts, read 1,660 times
Reputation: 10

I tried to pm you, but. I am told I reached my limit.... which is odd since I never sent one before. . PM me if you can, thanks.

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Old 09-03-2014, 09:01 AM
3 posts, read 7,051 times
Reputation: 10
Veterans' Preference doesn't apply for federal positions above the GS-11 level, in both the competitive and excepted services. If you're aiming for a position at the GS-12 or GS-13 levels, you're evaluated based on your qualifications. The majority of the entry to mid-level positions are swept up by veterans, but you have a decent chance if you're an experienced professional.

Competitive service positions are just that: you compete with other applicants for a publicly posted vacancy, whereas excepted service positions allow the government to hire (and fire) at their discretion (and without the public notice requirement). CIA, NSA, and TSA are examples of excepted service agencies.
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Old 09-03-2014, 10:56 AM
2 posts, read 1,660 times
Reputation: 10

Thanks, I did not know that there was such a thing as "excepted service agencies". They can fire you whenever they want... doesn't sound like a healthy situation.

I "think" I am qualified, and should be superior and all that, but who knows.

My major concern is once you get the tentative offer what you need to negotiate. Salary is obvious, but what about:

1. PCS. It was not prohibited in the announcement, so do you have to ask for it, or is it automatic.

2. Do I have to negotiate my active duty military time to gain more vacation, or is that automatic?

3. I heard there is the ability to have student loans paid for... Something like $500/mo with a max of $10k/year? I know, math doesn't work out. Is this negotiated or is it automatic?

4. Signing bonuses? I heard this is possible as well. How "possible"?

I don't want to stick the manager up or make him me get a bad taste for me at the start, but I don't want to leave anything on the table either.
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Old 09-03-2014, 12:43 PM
Location: West Hollywood, CA from Arlington, VA
2,770 posts, read 2,521,605 times
Reputation: 1533
Originally Posted by snoopy_ View Post
3. I heard there is the ability to have student loans paid for... Something like $500/mo with a max of $10k/year? I know, math doesn't work out. Is this negotiated or is it automatic?
This depends on the agency. In the era of sequestration and budget cuts, you would be lucky to get anything at all. If they did give you money, you would have to committ to several years at the agency.
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