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Resume Help/Puting skills on resumes


Hi Ralph,

I have a quick and fast question that I would like to ask you. I am going to try and apply for a job with the U.S. Forest Service. I am having some trouble applying for it because I don’t know how to take my current skills and abilities that I have learned and “change” them so that they fit for the position at the Forest Service.

This is a problem that I am having in the private sector as well. I don’t know how to take my skills and change them so that they fit what the current employer wants.

Do you think you can help? Thank you.


Hi Daniel,

In direct answer to your question, yes, I'm sure I can help.  My company does this sort of thing routinely.

You don't say what your "current skills and abilities" are but I am assuming that you are in a field (military perhaps?) where the skills need some translation into the private sector (as well as non-related government entities like the Forest Service).

I think the best thing for you to do is write me at the email address below; send me (as an attachment) either a current resume or a list of the abilities that you need to have translated.  We'll work from there and it will give me a better idea of the task that needs to be accomplished.  Put "Resume" in the subject line so I don't accidentally delete your message.

Looking forward to hearing from you.

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Ralph D. Converse, Ph.D.


I can answer questions about general job searches, resume construction, crafting an effective cover letter, and how to prepare for, and conduct, a winning interview. My speciality is the field of education, but I also have extensive background in business and administration. I know what works and what doesn't work and I can make your application package stand out from the rest ... because that is what you have to do.


I have interviewed for, and held, dozens of jobs in a career going back more than 42 years. I have taught at all educational levels including middle school, high school, community college, and university. In more than 42 years of experience on both sides of the job-search process, I have interviewed hundreds of applicants and have reviewed literally tens of thousands of job application packages. I am the author of 12 Mistakes That Got Your Job Application Rejected ... And How To Fix Them! I conduct workshops for job seekers in a variety of locations every year.

Music Educator's Journal, Teaching Music, Music and American Culture (forthcoming, 2013), Last Teacher Standing: The Job is Yours Now! and 12 Mistakes That Got Your Job Application Rejected ... And How To Fix Them!

B.A. New Mexico State University; M.Mus. Southern Illinois University; Ph.D. University of California and University of North Texas

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