Author Lily Whiteman

Lily Whiteman is a federal communications expert and author of “How to Land a Top-paying Federal Job,” and a trainer of career advancement skills and communication skills. Her website is IGotTheJob.net. Ask your career questions by email to lwhiteman@federaltimes.com or by Twitter to @Lilymwhiteman.

You’ve probably been asked what you do for a living and where you work innumerable times during job interviews, meetings, varied professional events and social gatherings. But have you ever carefully prepared compelling answers? If not, consider doing so, because, no matter what your job is or who you discuss it with, describing your work in zesty, impressive terms may help you open professional and social doors, or at least spark interesting conversations.

Here are 10 experience-based tips to help speed your career ascent: 1. Serve on hiring panels. A great way to learn how to impress hiring managers is to serve as a hiring manager yourself. You might be able to volunteer to help your supervisor screen applications and interview applicants.

If you’re aching to leave your current job, you might be tempted to lunge at any seemingly reasonable job offer. But if you accept an offer without fully understanding its pros and cons, you might only end up jumping from the fire to the frying pan. Some questions to help you identify the advantages and disadvantages of a job offer: Do you really understand the opening? Many vacancy announcements for federal openings are written in vaguely generic terms that fail to specifically and realistically define the responsibilities of openings. And the demands and challenges of openings aren’t necessarily covered in…

The next time you prepare a job application, don’t hastily dash off a generic, sloppy cover letter in the last minute like most of your competitors will.  Instead, take the time and trouble to tailor a concise, error-free cover letter to your target job. Why? Because a great cover letter will probably make a great first impression to hiring managers and help you land an interview. One way to craft an A-plus cover letter is to include in it a fast-read table that proves that you meet the requirements of your target job. Here’s how to do so: Identify the…

1234 Yellow Brick Road City, State Zip Code June 4, 2016 Mr. John Doe Personnel Specialist U.S. Mint 801 9th Street NW Washington DC 20220 Dear Mr. Doe: Subject: Marketing Manager Position (HR-503-78) As a Marketing Specialist at ABC Marketing Corps since, 2012, I have been tracking the U.S. Mint’s record-breaking sales and marketing successes. I would welcome the opportunity to contribute to the Mint’s innovative marketing strategies.  YOUR NEEDS  MY QUALIFICATIONS Knowledge of business principles Seven years of experience as Marketing Specialist at ABC Marketing Corps managing sales accounts valued at $8.45 million annually, and a B.A. in Business…

If you’ve ever started a new job where you knew no one, you may have felt like a stranger in a strange land for some time. But when you hire new employees, you can probably transform them from strangers to integrated productive members of your team relatively quickly if you introduce them to their jobs thoughtfully and carefully. During the weeks before your new employee’s start date, make a concerted effort to inventory procedures, terms, acronyms, the nuances of key relationships with other organizations and lessons learned that you now rely on but would be helpful for your newcomer to…

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