Saturday, August 22, 2020
Forgive me, my chuckaboos. Since 2013 I’ve been writing weekly serials, that you can read here at no charge. It would be nice to live in any of the worlds I’ve created… but this writer has a real world mortgage and utilities to pay — and more importantly, prescription cat food to buy. I’m working on a time sensitive real world, intensive editing project. So, I had to put my stories on hold for a little while.
That said, I thought you might like to know about this part of my “past life.” I held a very unique position. While I wasn’t anywhere near the top of the food chain of federal government jobs (USA), for most of my career I worked with Senior Executive Service staff. I was an editor and writer for them (everything from communiques, to user guides, to presentations, and any written product you can imagine — and images too). Editing is considered a higher-level function than writing there — that’s not a topic for this post. However, I was not in a typical editor-writer role at all. I won’t try to describe how federal jobs are structured. It’s so complicated that your eyes would cross and your stomach hurt. Just accept that my job wasn’t typical.
My point is that my unusual position gave me the right experience and insights to create the job application packages to help executives land those high-level jobs. No, no… doing that wasn’t part of my actual job. However, after hours I sometimes did that kind of work, to help candidates I felt could shine in those senior leadership roles. I helped shed light on their brightest qualities, putting them in the best context. I’m pleased to say that most of their applications resulted in interviews. (I couldn’t resist the “light” puns. This landmark is near my former agency. Many years ago, the federal “Department” under which the “Agency” exists provided the equipment for lighting the exterior of the building and tower as an aid to aviation. It seemed like a suitable photo.)
This is not ordinary resume writing. Horsefeathers! The things are books. They must conform to a particular structure and content, and meet all sorts of requirements. In reviewing these huge applications, most Federal Agencies give part of the preliminary tasks to people who have never held such a job, for arbitrary “scoring,” based on key word searches. So, the applications also have to include certain wording.
Creating the application package takes more than spiffing-up the job-seeker’s resume. In addition to specific form-type information and employment histories, there are essay questions. How many varies depending on the agency and the job. This one had eight essay questions.
To do this well, writing and editing isn’t enough either. Insightful interviewing of the person is critical. You have to ask them the right questions to pull out the best stories and find the challenge, context, action, and result for each essay. I also want to know as much as they can tell me about the people on the board or committee (group reviewing and selecting candidates to be interviewed for the position). That helps me present their qualities in a more relatable context.
Now you know what I’ve been doing the past two weeks, and my excuse for not being at the river today. The Delta Pearl will be here next weekend. We have to find out what happened to Victor, Jet, and Cal… and if Emeraude ever gets dressed or ends up being seen in her nightgown by the entire riverboat. I hope you’ll come back to the steampunk riverboat next weekend. Hugs on the wing!
PS: I remind everyone that this is my sanctuary. As I would not come into your home and disrespect or insult you, I demand that in return. I take insults to my integrity seriously. I am a blog-tater. And yes, I am absolutely a bitch.
This serial is made possible in spite of (not because of) the deplorable lack of Internet service from TDS Telecom. They are even worse than the government about claiming no problem exists in the face of failure. TDS Telecom meets every complaint and service call by saying they find no problem. Their technicians come to my home and refuse to do any work or replace equipment, even when their offsite managers have instructed them to do so. They brought equipment that they openly state does not work properly. They refuse to let me talk to a manager. They refuse to promise to send someone other than the previous do-nothing tech. They refuse to make sure the technicians have working hardware with them. My letters, emails, and tweets go unanswered. Dear readers, please do not comment here in response to this paragraph. Just be aware of my awful experience with this so called provider.
This is a work of fiction. Characters, names, places, and incidents are either the product of the author’s imagination or are used fictitiously, and any resemblance to actual persons, living or dead, business establishments, locales, or events is entirely coincidental.
Copyright © 2016 and 2020 by Teagan Ríordáin Geneviene
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