Monthly Archives: March, 2009

How to make the cut

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When you apply for your next federal job, your application will likely first have to impress a computer. Before a human resources professional or selecting official decides whether to call you in for an interview, a computer scores your responses to short-answer questions to determine whether you have, in government lingo, “made the cert.” Your answers to these questions — which will be formatted as true-false, check-the-boxes and tiered-response answers — may make or break your application. Here’s why: Each potential response has a certain point value; the more types of experience and the more advanced experience each answer represents,…

Your top networking tools

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How not to respond when professional or social contacts ask you about your job: “I am a press secretary. I write news releases and develop media strategies. I am looking for a new job because my boss is a pain in the neck.” To be ready when asked about your career and your career goals, you need what I call an elevator speech — an energetic summary of your achievements, a description of your target job if you are job hunting and any relevant credentials. Most important, your speech needs to be concise — short enough to deliver during an elevator…