SIX AUDIENCES™: How to Avoid the Resume “Black Hole”

by | Federal Resumes

So, you’ve decided that you’d like to serve in a federal job. And, you’ve spent hours and hours perusing over your past. You have read every article you can find on federal résumés. Every night you sit at the computer and try to incorporate everyone’s advice on your federal résumé. Then, you ‘im’patiently navigate the application process to apply to an exciting federal job—perhaps even your dream job. You may have even heard something about targeting your résumé to Six Audiences™, but the deadline was looming and you didn’t have time to learn about them.

Now, it’s been a few months since you submitted your federal résumé and application. The status of your application hasn’t changed. Crickets. Nothing. No phone call, or email.

That’s a sinking feeling!

Did your résumé land in the black hole? Is it floating in cyberspace?

The Federal Resume Black Hole

Did it ever make it to a human for review?

After all, the goal is to have your résumé land on the desk of the hiring official so you can be selected to interview, right?

I believe the most frustrating part of the job search is when you aren’t selected to interview. And, after doing this over and over for months on end, you probably feel like giving up. I know I did!

You thought you followed an outline, template, or the advice of a friend. Maybe even someone on the inside is giving you tips, but why didn’t you get selected to interview?

Actually, there could be many reasons.

But, let’s focus first on how to avoid the black hole altogether.

The #1 way to avoid the black hole is to know the Six Audiences™.

Your résumé must speak to the Six Audiences™—a term I coined many years ago while describing my successful strategies for the federal hiring process to my clients. Everyone else calls them the gatekeepers, but my clients will tell you to jump on board and learn all about these Six Audiences™ who are reading and scoring your résumé if you want to be successful in landing a federal job…faster!

Therefore, I’d like you to consider changing your mindset from gatekeepers to the Six Audiences™—and for a good reason.

When you write your federal resume as if you are speaking to the Six Audiences™, it will set a positive trend for your entire hiring process—from your résumé to LinkedIn and even at your interview. It’s THAT powerful!

This mindset shift that will make a big impact on your success!

MAGNETIC TIP: When you change your mindset, everything shifts. When you write and strategize your federal résumé as though you are speaking to these Six Audiences™, you suddenly become the irresistible candidate that must be interviewed!

Congratulations! You can avoid the black hole forever!

How would that feel? You have been selected to interview! Federal interviews are a huge milestone. And, it should be celebrated!

You are no longer trying to claw your way in, but rather, you are strategically preparing for your audition to speak at your interview. #Exhale!

Seriously, can you already feel the difference in your mindset shift?

These Six Audiences™ are your federal résumé’s checkpoints.

And, these checkpoints are where your federal résumé could get stuck…or is stuck. Therefore, being stuck means NO interview and NO job offer!

In the Federal Government world, it’s important to know and understand each of the Six Audiences™. Your federal résumé must ‘speak the lingo’ of each audience so that your application moves through the federal hiring process…faster!

Without a doubt, you want to give each audience exactly what they need to check their boxes off to keep your federal résumé and application moving to the next audience.

When you withhold details, such as your GPA or supervisors, for example, you are making it harder for the Six Audiences™ to qualify you and give your federal résumé the highest score.

And when that happens, your application is most likely to end up circling the proverbial black hole!

Here are some mistakes I’ve seen happen at each of the Six Audiences™ checkpoints:

  • If you don’t write a keyword-optimized federal résumé, your résumé will never get past the first audience.
  • When you don’t spell out acronyms and answer each qualification requirement, your résumé will never get past the second audience.
  • The third audience needs many details to score your resume, things you would not put on a private sector resume.
  • Your experience needs to be validated with your accomplishments or your résumé could stay stuck at the fourth audience.
  • Soft skills are one way to help to demonstrate your ability to perform the work as outlined in specialized experience or you won’t appear qualified and your résumé won’t get to the fifth audience.
  • Last, but not least, when you don’t provide the necessary details to account for your time from high school to college to perhaps military service and your employment, you will not make it past the sixth audience.

As a result, you will most likely have wasted your time applying as well as the time of all Six Audiences™.

And, that’s just one application!

There are many more mistakes, but they aren’t difficult to fix when you know what to do.

Therefore, it may be worth your time to learn about the Six Audiences™ and what they need to see on your résumé to keep your résumé moving through the process!

When you know who the Six Audiences™ are, it will significantly improve your approach to landing a federal job. Knowledge IS power!

And, this is not the time to skimp on information or leave something to interpretation. Thus, the myth of a two-page federal résumé.

If you have submitted your résumé and haven’t landed an interview, I am 100% positive it is stuck with one of these Six Audiences™.

Knowing these Six Audiences™ is the foundation for a successful résumé.

For instance, let me share a quick success story of Mark who landed his dream job.

Mark was a well-educated college professor with amazing experience and credentials, yet his applications were continually rejected. He was smart and thought he could figure out the federal hiring process on his own. Five long years passed and he hadn’t landed one interview. He was frustrated, depressed, and living a thousand miles from his young daughter.

It was agonizing for him to be so far away and unable to find a job close to her. His relationship with his girlfriend was on the rocks because he was so discouraged and depressed. Mark was discouraged that he reached a dead-end in his job. He said it felt like he was doomed to stay in it forever. He didn’t think his dream job was ever going to be within reach.

His dream was to be a Historian in the Federal Government. He even dreamed about where he wanted to work and what he wanted his office to look like. Although he was well qualified and his credentials were outstanding, he couldn’t seem to achieve a “best qualified” or “superior” rating.

After learning about the Six Audiences™ and creating a finish-line focused résumé, he landed multiple interviews!

In fact, Mark told me this:

“I about did backflips when they called me to interview for my dream job!”

Mark aced the interview and was offered his dream job! Mark’s whole life transformed! His new job was more than he ever expected. And his new office faced the beautiful view of the Washington Monument, which was his dream—and most important, he was finally within driving distance of his young daughter.

He credits his success to my proven federal résumé strategies starting with knowing and understanding the Six Audiences™.

In conclusion, if you are trying to land a federal job or promotion, I recommend writing your federal résumé to speak to the Six Audiences™.

In other words, you will land even faster!

Would you like results like Mark’s? It IS possible for you, too!

It all starts with our Federal Résumé Game Plan.

You can now download it here.

Camille Roberts
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