Help Me Keep My Job
June 17, 2012 5:01 PM   Subscribe

What should I include on my resume?

I am an employee of the Government of Canada, working on electronics. The wonderful people at the Prime Minister's Office have decided that there are too many people working in my department and the Federal Public Service in general. I am having to submit a resume for position mapping at this time. I have been in my position for 14 years and it has been about that long since I have had to apply for anything.

So, hive mind, what do I put in this resume? I am thinking that any systems/products that I have had experience with would be relevant to this resume, but I am not sure whether I should include all of the courses/seminars I have taken while in the organisation.

As an added bonus, if not enough people in my field volunteer to leave, I will have to submit an application for Selection of Employees for Retention or Lay Off in the next couple of months, so things to include in that resume would be handy as well.
posted by anonymous to Work & Money (4 answers total) 2 users marked this as a favorite
If it's anything like the provinces: Your resume should include anything and everything you've ever done, ever. No matter how useless you think it is. Also, look at job descriptions for jobs you've done and would like to do and anything that you can even plausibly claim to have done even once, include it. Use the language that the job description uses.
posted by Yowser at 5:30 PM on June 17, 2012 [1 favorite]

I figure that, like the provinces, the feds should have an employee assistance program that you can access for resume writing advice?
posted by foxjacket at 5:34 PM on June 17, 2012

Put everything on, in as readable a format as you can. Appropriate headings. Bullet points, no paragraphs.

Of course put the seminars on: all you need is a section titled "Courses & Seminars Completed" and a bullet point list under that. You spent your time and effort completing those, didn't you? Why forfeit the benefit? Don't lose your job to someone else just because putting the list together is a chore.

And like Yowser says, scan the job descriptions of your current role and also any other role you're interested in, and make sure your resume includes the buzzwords they're using.
posted by fingersandtoes at 10:14 PM on June 17, 2012

I also work for the federal government (for now, I'm moving to the province next week, yay!), and while my position is unaffected by workforce adjustment, I can share some things that it sounds like you missed out from this question.

First of all, if it's position mapping, yes, include everything you've done, but emphasize the parts of your work history that you enjoyed doing the best.

Secondly, your HR dept and union should be providing you with information sessions about format, pro-actively looking for alternation opportunities (PIPSC has done 3 such sessions in Edmonton already, and I imagine across Canada, and I've heard from PSAC members that they are also doing workforce adjustment information sessions), and applying for any advertized competitions in other federal departments. You also know about alternation and the forum where alternating and affected employees are posting, right?

Thirdly, our HR dept (well before WFA was even comtemplated) gave some info sessions on how to apply for federal competitions in general, and much of the advice should still apply:
1) You do not have to write a traditional cover letter when applying for federal competions, all you want to do is demonstrate that you should be screened out in the most concise way possible. I've gotten several interviews (and success in the acting position I'm now leaving) by simply copying and pasting the bullets in the SoMC in point form and stating how I meet them. For e.g. "Providing advice to senior management." "In my position as ___ of ___ program, I regularly briefed our Deputy Minister and Minister on issues such as ____ and ____." That's it. No other text at all. (This is very different from the private sector and other levels of government.) Another e.g. "Language profile: BBB" "I tested CBB on ___ __, 2009 and maintain it through Canada School of Public Service Oral Maintance/Proficiency courses." (Except that those are being cut now, but you get the idea.)
2) Your CV should support the statments in your covering "letter".
3) If you can possibly answer any question in the application with "Yes", do so. A "No" on some questions will screen you out automatically by a computer with no human being even reviewing your application. If your explanation of a "Yes" answer is too much of a stretch, you will still be screened out later, but do no automatically screen yourself out with a "No" unless you really, really cannot say "Yes" to the question at all. (The number of applications will determine whether the computer screen is used.)

And thirding that copying language from the SoMCs of positions you're interested in will go a long way.
posted by Kurichina at 10:51 AM on June 18, 2012 [1 favorite]

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