The last two posts have been about very important areas of your federal resume. If you haven’t viewed them and need to go back or just need to review the material, here are the links. RESUME POST 1 WORK EXPERIENCE and RESUME POST 2 EDUCATION. Moving forward to Job Related Training, this continues to provide more areas to set yourself up for success and to make sure you’ve covered all of the bases in to ensure your application gets the highest visibility from a Federal HR professional in order to get in front of that hiring manager. I will hedge a bet that you’ve got some work related training that you’re not aware of and that could make a difference moving forward. Value is always what you want to bring to the table and I have been fortunate to receive a ton of great educational opportunities while working for the federal government.
Typically as many feds will tell you there are always annual requirements that you have to maintain and there is always a push to have them done sooner than later. In fact, with one of my positions we were awarded for our work section being the first to be able to say we were complete will all of our annual training. While the annual training probably doesn’t make you shimmer and sparkle like a unicorn at least you can say you have maintained the standard, which is always a positive and also that you are aware that your position will have these requirements to fulfill in the future. Some of the mandatory training I have had the joy of participating in follow below:
Privacy and HIPAA Training, Privacy and HIPAA Focus Training, Information and CyberSecurity Awareness Training for DOD (this is a video game.)
Within the Job Related Training area, I have made it a priority to maintain all of those records and update them yearly for example, my Privacy and HIPAA Training reads 2015-2017 currently. Here is also where all of your various licenses should be listed as well as your certifications in the following format: Title, License/Certification #, and then expiration date.
Beyond the annual required training is where you need to evaluate what could be important to that hiring manager in your next career or in your ability to getting that next step increase. My career has been in mental health for the last few years and I am consistent in making sure that all of my courses I have taken as a result of job specific training, annual training, and of course the ever increasing amount of courses that would/should be beneficial in the eyes of the DoD. I was also very lucky in my first position with the Department of Veteran Affairs where I was encouraged to take initiative with extra VA training as long as my charts and patient referrals were up to date.
Big VA leadership created a new policy that mandated that we had to have working emergency walk-in hours during the business day. This may still be in effect but only for CBOC’s (Community Based Outpatient Clinics) as we didn’t have an emergency room for those veterans experiencing mental health emergencies. Thankfully I wasn’t busy every time I had my emergency hours. As I made it my goal to maintain my patient records I really didn’t have much to keep me busy so I naturally asked my Team Leader if I had time that wasn’t taken up with my evaluations or notes, could I take some of the courses the VA put out into the talent learning system. I was given full authority to take whatever I wanted as long as it didn’t interfere with my scheduled hours and had an emergency to attend to.
This is something I would encourage anyone to do if they have the ability or blocks of dead time that can’t be used for work purposes because of course you’re squared away and always keep your charts, referrals, etc up to date. This serves you as the employee well in two different ways. The first reasons is that your leadership see that you’re trying to educate yourself above and beyond the training/certifications you already hold. For example I chose Leadership courses along with several mental health courses that interested me and would provide me education/training in areas that I hadn’t learned in my coursework. The second reason it serves you well is that obviously as time goes by and you complete these courses, you’ve got some great potential to make that next GS step and of course, what manager/team leader doesn’t like to brag that they have employees that are trying to distinguish themselves by furthering their education.
I have been able to grow that list in Job Related Training to over 18 different completed courses. I also didn’t have to pay for any of them and over the course of a few months you can complete several if you have the habit to keep going back and learning the course material. Many of the courses are on various leadership training, suicide awareness, motivational interviewing, mindfulness, and sexual assault, powerpoint, everyone needs extra Excel training…all of which continue to serve me well in my career. Initiative is something every employer would like to see, however I wouldn’t make this a first priority when you begin a new position, as you can always benefit from shadowing your colleagues or peers. Get your feet wet, learn your role and team, then go for gold when you can make it work for you. But don’t neglect to take some courses when you can as long as they will benefit your professional growth especially if they’re easy to access.