By Alex Harrington, Executive Director
Our ‘all-volunteer’ cadre of Federal subject matter experts and hiring managers work hard to provide individuals in career transition with the best federal employment resources and information, all through monthly virtual workshops and office hours, along with special events like “Fireside Chats,” at no cost. And even though we would like to provide more help to job seekers with other career services – i.e., resume review, coaching, job search strategy, etc. – our volunteers do not have time due to life’s obligations (e.g., working full-time jobs, taking care of family needs, and spending time with loved ones).
Now, you may be thinking, “Then why should I use Federal Career Connection!?”
If Federal Career Connection is the only resource that you are using to help with your federal job search, then you are doing a disservice to yourself. What you should be doing is not only attending our virtual workshops, asking questions during office hours, and reading our blogs, but also taking advantage of other federal job-seeking resources that are available to you — both free and at cost. These resources, combined with ours, will no doubt boost your job search campaign, and hopefully, lead to more interviews.
One of my favorite movies of all time is The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring. There is one scene that stood out to me. It is when Frodo Baggins, a young hobbit who inherited the One Ring from his uncle Bilbo, volunteered to take the Ring to Mount Doom to destroy it. But, before he left, he was joined by Aragorn, Gandalf, Legolas, Boromir, Sam, Merry, Pippin, and Gimli; all of whom became the Fellowship of the Ring.
So, just as Frodo did … It’s imperative that you form your own Fellowship of the Ring, composed of job-seeking resources and groups to help you through this difficult time of your life.
Below are various links that I compiled for you that include both federal job resources and other career-related information. These resources will help boost your job search campaign while giving you access to individuals and groups who are able to better help you in areas that Federal Career Connection is unable to at this time.
Community job club support programs
Career Network Ministry – CNM is an outreach ministry of McLean Bible Church, and is the largest jobs ministry in the region; with over 100 participants served each week and a LinkedIn membership of over 5,000. For more information email email@example.com. For prayer requests, email firstname.lastname@example.org. Learn more about CNM’s story.
Bridgepoint Connections – Bridgepoint provides opportunities for those who are in transition or unemployed to gain encouragement, support, and training as they seek a new chapter in their professional lives.
Career Prospectors – Career Prospectors is an organization serving the greater Richmond area, focused on helping people find job opportunities since 2002. For more information email email@example.com.
Needle’s Eye Ministries, Inc. – Needle’s Eye serves and ministers to the unemployed and those in career transition. For more information please contact Kathryn Dixon at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Urban League of Hampton Roads, Inc. – The League brings together human resources personnel and managers to explore ways to improve race relations in the workplace and provide more living-wage jobs for the League’s clients. The League also addresses barriers to employment, such as transportation, childcare, and limited work history. In addition, the League provides workshops on how to assess your employability skills level, employment strategies, life skills, job development, and employment follow-up activities.
JLink – Adas Israel Congregation – JLink’s team of professional career coaches and social workers provides consultation on initial needs assessment, a short-term action plan and, as needed, links to community resources and services including Employment and Career Services, Job Search Boot Camp, One-on-One Career Coaching and Assessments, Job Development and more.
In 2009, Robert Brandau and some of his colleagues rallied around the idea of using their backgrounds as professional recruiters and career coaches to start an organization to help people in job transition, with no expectation of being paid or of acquiring business through our efforts. Their vision resulted in Beltway Job Search Partners, the precursor to Career-Confidence.org.
Today, the mission of Career-Confidence.org is to improve individuals’ lives by providing expert job search skills, education, and genuine encouragement while expressing Christian compassion. For more information about Career-Confidence.org, email email@example.com. Check out Career-Confidence.org’s story.
Britepaths’ Workforce Development Program helps job seekers navigate the job search process and find meaningful employment. If you live in Fairfax County contact Jill Beres, Workforce Development Manager, firstname.lastname@example.org, or phone: 703.273.8829. If you live in Alexandria or near the Route 1 corridor contact Sally Meyer, FECSoCo Workforce Development Manager, email@example.com, or phone: 703.704.6101.
Online DIY resources for resume writing
My team and I have received numerous requests to review and provide comments on individual federal resumes. While this is a critical need among many job seekers, Federal Career Connection does not review federal resumes at this time. However, the following links provide solid “DIY” information on how to develop a marketable federal resume:
Federal job search books with resume how-to examples
The following list of federal job search books does not constitute an endorsement or recommendation by me. It’s just a sample of what is out there in the market.
Recommended blog on federal hiring
Career Matters – This blog, published under Federal Times, is one of my favorites. Authored by Lily Whiteman, a retired federal hiring manager, supervisor, and federal communications manager, provides a practical, down-to-earth type of career advice. A must-read!
Leveraging career-related information provided by professional associations is a great way to not only enhance your understanding of the federal workforce but also take advantage of job search information on their websites.
Professional resume writers and career coaches
While Federal Career Connection does not review federal resumes at this time, fortunately, if you choose to use their services, there are a lot of individuals who are standing by to provide their resume and career coaching services, but for a fee. With this in mind, I am not going to recommend anyone. The last thing that I’d want is for you to use a recommended service and the final product does not meet your expectation, or for that matter, the quality is way below the price you paid for! No, I rather not be on someone’s $!&% list…if you know what I mean.
However, as a Certified Career Services Provider and Global Career Development Facilitator, and a member with the National Career Development Association, I would make sure that the resume writer you plan to use is certified as a professional writer with the Professional Association of Résumé Writers & Career Coaches and the career coach is accredited with the International Coaching Federation (ICF).
There you have it! I have provided some nuggets of information that will no doubt boost your job search campaign. To find a local job club in your area check out this locator. Also, check out online resume courses on Udemy here. Finally, check out federal resume writers at cost (Disclaimer: Federal Career Connection or I do not recommend nor endorse these resume writing services).
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To get updates on upcoming workshops and career coaching sessions, visit https://federalcareerconnection.com.
Author: Alex Harrington is currently a federal civil servant and a Certified Career Services Provider and Global Career Development Facilitator. He served in the U.S. Marine Corps and is a Persian Gulf War veteran, and is currently fighting Stage IV Melanoma Cancer.