What Travis Kelce and Taylor Swift Can Teach Veterans About Federal Resumes

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Kansas City Chiefs tight end Travis Kelce and Taylor Swift walk together after the AFC Championship Game between the Chiefs and the host Baltimore Ravens on Sunday, Jan. 28, 2024. The Chiefs won 17-10. (Julio Cortez/AP Photo)

The one part of my job that never gets old is teaching military job seekers how to write a federal resume. Ninety-nine percent of the time, beginners turn up to coaching sessions, master classes and Zoom meetings with their corporate resume "tweaked" for a federal job.

Tweaking never works. The tweaked resume never yields an invitation to interview, no matter how well a veteran or spouse is suited for a job.

The secret to federal jobs that veteran job seekers must know is, the federal resume and the corporate resume are as different as Kansas City Chief Travis Kelce and 2023 Time Person of the Year Taylor Swift.

If you want to land a federal job without submitting countless resumes, sign up for our newest FREE master class, The Undeniable Federal Resume, on Thursday, Feb. 29, at 4 p.m. Eastern.

Let's say Travis Kelce showed up at the Super Bowl in one of Taylor Swift's glittering, high-waisted costumes. It would be, well, epic. At 6 feet, 5 inches tall and 260 pounds, no matter what he wore, Kelce would still be one of the greatest tight ends of all time. However, officials probably would not let him on the field until he suited up in regulation gear.

Ditto Taylor Swift. No matter what she wears, she is still a legendary singer-songwriter. She would look equally epic performing in Kelce's football gear, but she might very well break a leg in those size-15 cleats -- which would be the end of an Eras tour. (Ouch.)

Swift and Kelce are remarkably skilled, talented, ambitious people. They still suit up to do their jobs.

Your federal resume has to suit up, too. You are still the same amazing person with the same skills and talents. By putting your resume in the right federal layout with the right federal vocabulary, you make sure the human resources specialist who evaluates it can see right away whether you are following the rules of applying for a federal job. To them, the visual is as different as Swift and Kelce.

HR specialists, bless them, do not have time to crawl through your resume trying to figure out whether you have experience with the Naval Sea Systems Command, or NAVSEA, or if you have ever worked on the waterfront, led academic studies, created a budget or carried out a security detail. It is your federal resume's job to suit up so you can clearly demonstrate your experience required in the job announcement.

That is why I am so excited to be teaching our newest FREE master class, The Undeniable Federal Resume: How Veterans and Spouses Can Land the Federal Job Offer. The class will be held on Thursday, Feb. 29, at 4 p.m.

In our 60-minute class, you will learn:

1. How to identify likely federal jobs before you ever sit down to write a federal resume.

2. How to find the hidden core competencies that make the difference between an invitation and rejection.

3. How to help the HR specialist see your qualifications and refer you for an interview.

4. How to use the USAJOBS Resume Builder to make your resume goof-proof -- and then make it stand out from the crowd.

Federal employment offers so many great opportunities for transitioning military members, veterans and military spouses. Find out how you need to suit up and get on the field.

Jacey Eckhart is Military.com's transition master coach. She is a certified professional career coach and military sociologist who helps military members get their first civilian job by offering career-level Master Classes through our Veteran Employment Project and on her website, SeniorMilitaryTransition.com. Reach her at Jacey.Eckhart@Monster.com.

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Transitioning military, veterans and spouses may be qualified for the job, but they are missing the secrets of civilian hiring. Find out everything you need to know with our FREE master class series, including our next class. You can view previous classes in our video library. Questions for Jacey? Visit our Facebook page.

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