August 20, 2011 Leave a comment
How do I write a “Narrative Resume?”
You can build a federal narrative resume using your one-page resume. Here’s how I’ve had massive success in getting just about everyone I know a federal job. I take the standard one-page resume and I expand each bullet. This is probably the opposite process anyone takes when they created the bullet in the first place. I take the first bullet from the first job description and really read it.
Is it talking about how a sales territory increased by 56% within the first 5 years of employment? Does it say ‘responsibilities include…’. Whatever it says, you’ve probably polished this first bullet like a shiny little rock. It’s compact, and it’s probably only 10 words long. I create a little story out of each bullet from the one-page resume.
This is a lot easier if you already have a job announcement in mind.
How do I get started?
A great question. Each job narrative should be a paragraph or two, try not to give them a choppy laundry list and DON’T just copy and paste the job announcement. I’ve never gotten
good results from bullet after bullet. I don’t want to read it and I doubt anyone else does, either. If you are going for a job announcement that doesn’t fit the exact job titles you’ve held in the past, narratives can give you the break you need. Think ‘transferable job skills’. That means putting the things you’re already good at to work for you but with a job title
you’ve never held.
Really, just talk about your experiences. Include solid details that support the Knowledge Skills and Abilities (KSAs) questions so people reading your resume will get an understanding of your job and how your skills are similar to those advertised in the announcement. Make sure you add training you’ve received for this skill.
Percentages are great. If they are in your bullet format (which they probably are) then they should be here, too. Just expand on what you already have. There’s no need to start all over,
but make sure you don’t fib. Use examples from your industry and from the announcement but write it out like a little story or ‘a day in a life’.
Let’s go back to the one-page resume. Let’s practice rewriting the bullets into narratives. I’ll give you a little secret:
People in federal-job world have had their job for 10+ years and have no idea what you do.
The narrative resume is a way for them to understand how great you are, how much you’ve contributed, and how you can contribute at their agency, too.
You should write your job experiences with specific examples that relate back to the job announcement.