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Laid-off federal employee becomes new entrepreneur

I can earn a true living wage again, and most importantly, do work I genuinely enjoy that makes a difference! It wouldn’t have been possible if I hadn’t found the downtown Metro Career Center and Zuri!

How to Not Fail a Phone Interview in 10 Ways

How to Not Fail a Phone Interview in 10 Ways.

Preparing For An Interview

Originally posted on Autumn Smith:

Interviews can be scary, but stepping in there prepared can help ease your nerves. During my early college years, I was completely lost when it came to preparing for interviews. Now, that I’ve had many interviews since then, I know what to expect, and hope some of this information can help you out.

Keep reading for my interview tips.

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QUIZ: What Type Of Employee Are You?

Originally posted on Diamond Hospitality's Blog:

August 25, 2014

TypeofEmployeeYou’re SUPER awesome at your job, but have you ever wondered what your boss REALLY thinks of you as an employee?

Of course you have!! Who hasn’t?

Take this quiz to find out what type of employee you are at work!

1. At work, you’re typically:

(a) Serious and intense about getting things done.

(b) Excited to work on projects with your team.

(c) Unhappy and unmotivated.

2. Your mantra is:

(a) Time is money!

(b) Be good, do good.

(c) I’ll do it myself.

3. When the boss praises your work, you:

(a) Brush it off and move on to the next project.

(b) Give credit to your team.

(c) Praise? You never get credit for your hard work.

4. Your co-workers:

(a) Look up to you.

(b) Go to you for help and support.

(c) Generally don’t work with you unless it’s absolutely necessary.


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Five Tips on Managing Work and Family: Here Is How She Does It

Originally posted on Sara Rickover, Behind the Corporate Veil:

51dDweLYrsL._SX329_BO1,204,203,200_There’s a new book out on working mothers—I Know How She Does It, by Laura Vanderkam. Ms. Vanderkam took a data-based approach to the issue of how women manage both a career and children. She asked women in highly paid professional jobs who also have children to keep hourly records of what they did every day for about three years.

Her book makes the case that the women she studied—all of whom were mothers with children still at home who earned at least $100,000 per year—actually don’t have such rough lives. While they may not “have it all,” they have a lot. They are not stress-free, but they are pretty satisfied with their lives.

Ms. Vanderkam’s website promotes the book as follows:

“I Know How She Does It offers a framework for anyone who wants to thrive at work and life.”

So what is the framework? How…

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KRA/San Diego Provides Hiring Solutions for Balboa International Group

KRA/San Diego Provides Hiring Solutions for Balboa International Group

Mr. Hamed Seyedi, Business Services Representative, San Diego Metro Region American Job Center–operated by KRA for the San Diego Workforce Partnership–reported, “Some Expanded Subsidized Employment (ESE) participants have difficulty finding work because of  language barriers.  So, I started contacting local businesses, one of which was Balboa International Group, that serve the needs of our international communities.

ESE Coordinator, Deona Dorsey, commented , “Balboa was extremely receptive to a Business Services  partnership, and the screening and referral process progressed quickly.  Of the first 15 ESE candidates referred, 10 were hired, with four pending hire.”

According to Hamed, “Currently, Balboa relies on KRA/San Diego and ESE for most of its hiring needs at Balboa International Market, as well as a Balboa-owned restaurant, Sufi Mediterranean Cuisine.  Staff are often cross trained to work at either establishment, which enhances participants’ skill sets.  We are very excited that our relationship will be expanded soon to include other Balboa businesses throughout San Diego.”

San Diego - Balboa Inside - 594x182Farhan Heidar, Balboa General Manager, stated,  “Working with KRA and the ESE team has brought tremendous value to our business. The professionalism and the attention paid to the details of our requirements are the cornerstones of this partnership.  I look forward to expanding our relationship beyond the ESE program in the future.”

Source: http://www.kra.com/company-news/krasan-diego-provides-hiring-solutions-for-balboa-international-group

Writing a Federal Resume Using the SAR Method

Writing a Federal Resume Using the SAR Method

The process of writing a good resumé or information essay (also known as KSAs) is best started by doing your own self-assessment.  You will be using feedback you have received from a variety of sources including your last appraisal, your supervisor’s and co-worker’s comments, and communications from your customers both internal and external.  This self-assessment phase is your first opportunity to begin writing powerful statements about your performance, in other words, your accomplishments.  An activity is an accomplishment if you:

  •  Improved operations by making things easier or better
  •  Resolved a problem/situation with little or no increase in time, dollars, people, etc.
  •  Effectively acted as a liaison between departments which helped to make things run more efficiently
  •  Produced reports/data that enabled management to make more informed decisions
  •  Identified the results of your work efforts in terms of contributions, impact and skills

Using a behavioral model to describe your accomplishments will help you clarify your work strengths and successes and increase your awareness of your marketable skills.  Writing down your accomplishments helps identify skills, talents, capabilities and your potential for solving problems.  Your past accomplishments play an important role in convincing a selecting official that you can use these skills to be successful in a new position.

Situation you faced

Action you took 

Result(s) of your effort 


SITUATION: new administrative personnel need training in local office procedures

ACTION: create training module

RESULT: efficient administrative team

  •  Put your accomplishments into a sentence(s). Writing the sentence is important to:
    •  Communicate that you demonstrate the required skills and knowledge
    •  Show how your skills and abilities can make a positive contribution to a new position
  •  Use action verbs.  Begin to write the answers to the S-A-R into sentences using action verbs.
  • Select verbs that best capture the action described in “the action you took” and “the result of your effort.”  Be specific.
  •  Use “I” statements to clearly describe your accomplishments.  When describing work on a team or in a group, describe your personal actions as part of the team and results you contributed.
  •  Quantify whenever possible – use numbers and data points to illustrate success  Edit to reduce fluff and make every word count.
  •  Check for misspellings and typographical errors
  •  Ensure all required information listed under the “How to Apply” section of the announcement is complete.


SITUATION: During my time as a recruiter, I noticed that attendance at our community events had dropped off by 30% over the past 3 years.

ACTION: I designed a new promotional packet to go out to the local community businesses. I also included a rating sheet to collect feedback on our events and organized internal round table discussions to raise awareness of the issue with our employees.

RESULT: I used some of the great ideas we received from the community, improved the efficiency and visibility of our marketing strategy which raised attendance by 18% the first year.


To solve a problem with document flow, I encouraged creative thinking from my work team. They proposed a solution which resolved the problem and increased productivity by 20%.

Sample Resume:

Jane Doe

111 Narrow Street

Any Town, CA 92655

Home: (619) XXX-XXX

J. W. Associate, LLC                                                                        02/1997 to Present

2222 Avila road, Suite 333                                                             $69,000 per year

Laguna Niguel, CA  92677                                                               40 hours per week

Contact: Shirley Gonzalez (Manager)

(949) 360-XXXX

Executive Assistant – Prepare proposals, manuscripts and reports; draft executive level documents and key correspondence.  Administer telecommunications, travel and calendars for three executives.  Lead support staff and develop employee training to facilitate understanding of roles and responsibilities within the organization.  Results include positive teamwork among employees and their active participation in developing process improvements.

Coordinate projects and events exercising ability to improvise, improve procedures and meet demanding deadlines.  Plan and coordinate corporate luncheons, and develop presentations for related on-site and off-site meetings.  Manage capital purchases, direct vendor relations, generate and maintain equipment tracking records.  Create Standard Operating Procedures that are used by all support staff for cross-training purposes and as back-up when designated employees are not available.  This reduced backlog of records by 80%.

In the Latest Issue

Originally posted on TIME:

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18 Tips for Writing a Federal Resume

18 Tips for Writing a Federal Resume

  1.  Whereas a private sector resume may be 1-2 pages, a Federal resume requires more detail and may be as long as 3-5 pages.
  2.  Be descriptive but keep paragraphs short.  Use simple, straightforward, and essential information.  This makes your resume easier to read.
  3.  Don’t be vague – emphasize nouns, action verbs, and provide concrete information
  4.  Be clear and concise about what you do
  5.  Use action words in past tense, “ I designed and implemented”
  6.  Describe what you did, especially if you’re performing work above your level
  7.  Use plain English, not jargon and acronyms – spell acronyms out at least once
  8.  Include paid and volunteer work experience (include number of hours)
  9.  List On-Job-Training (OJT)
  10.  List recent training and awards
  11.  Include your education (include units or semester/quarter hours)
  12.  List vocational courses taken
  13.  List college degrees and any relevant courses taken – include year completed
  14.  Experience you’ve gained in your specialized field
  15.  Total number of hours you attended courses
  16.  Military Service
  17.  Courses you’ve taken while in military
  18.  Remember to spell check your resume

NOTE: Be sure to read the job announcement carefully and PAY ATTENTION to the wording.  Though it is not advisable to cut and paste directly from the announcement (managers can spot that a mile away), it is important to respond to the needs of the position.  For example, if an HR Specialist job announcement says “Able to provide advice and guidance to managers and the walk-ins” you want to show experience giving great customer service to both higher level supervisors and the general public.  The phrase “provide advice and guidance” is one you can use for your resume, but the experience should be all yours.

For more tips and information on how to write an effective resume, go to https://help.usajobs.gov/index.php/Tips

KRA/San Diego’s Leon Nominated for 2015 Latino Champions Award

Santiago Leon PhotoRecently, Santiago Leon, a KRA Workshop Facilitator, was one of three finalists nominated for the Latino Veteran of the Year Award, in recognition of his dedicated service to the Wounded Warrior Support Network (WWSN).

At the Loews Coronado Bay Resort, more than 200 attendees celebrated the altruistic achievements of San Diego County businesses, individuals, and volunteers that positively impact the Latino community in one of 10 Latino Champions Award categories.

One of San Diego’s leading Latino professionals, Santiago assists Veterans in their military-to-civilian life transition, in addition to serving as an active member of the WWSN Board.  He volunteers Career Guidance and Job-Readiness Training services, and referrals to various Veterans support programs, including KRA’s Metro Region Career Centers/American Job Center of California, which is operated for the San Diego Workforce Partnership.

Santiago commented, “When it comes to what we do for our Veterans, we cannot afford to have a ‘bad day’. We need to be more than individuals who teach others how to find work.  We must be the source that inspires them, helping to generate hope for the future.”


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