Monthly Archives: March, 2009

How to make the cut


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


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…