FORT RUCKER, Ala. -- Fort Rucker's gate guards are the post's first line of defense and officials want to make sure the most qualified candidates are guarding the entrance to the home of Army Aviation.

Fort Rucker will host a Gate Guard Job Fair Jan. 20 at 9 a.m. at Bldg. 5700 where applicants should come prepared to interview for a job as officials will be making offers by the end of the day, according to Mike Kozlowski, Army Community Service employment readiness program manager.

"It will be a one-stop shop where every agency involved in the hiring process will be there and, by the end of the day, they'll have made offers with the goal of hiring for all of the vacancies," he said.

In order to help people prepare for the job fair, ACS will host a special resume workshop Dec. 12-13 at Troy University's Trojan Center in Troy that will be geared toward people interested in gate guard positions. The workshop will be held in two sessions: 9-11 a.m. and 2-4 p.m., and space will be limited to 30 people per session.

During the sessions, Kozlowski said he'll offer his federal job workshop, which is typically a four-hour workshop, and compact it down to the first hour, followed by educational exercises to help better prepare potential applicants.

"That first hour is when I'm going to talk about (how to build their resume), and after I finish that process, I'll get them to work on a couple of practical exercises," he said. "We'll conclude that portion and open up the floor to a (question and answer session), and we'll have a couple of representatives from (the Fort Rucker Directorate of Public Safety) to answer any questions."

Additional workshops are in the works, and details will be announced as they're ironed out, he added.

One of the issues that the workshops hope to address is poorly constructed resumes that don't properly identify the qualifications of applicants, resulting in too few hires, said Kozlowski.

"In the past, (DPS) has received a slew of applications or resumes -- hundreds of them -- and out of that stack only (a couple) might get hired," he said. "They asked me to teach these folks how to write a resume because the major glaring thing that they noticed is that people wrote (inefficient) resumes."

One of the main culprits of a poorly constructed resume that Kozlowski said he noticed were that people tend to focus more on themselves than their accomplishments.

"People pretty much created autobiographies, or what I call chronological obituaries," he said. "They talked a lot about themselves, but did not connect the dots between their experiences to the job requirements."

Because of this, many applicants who may have been qualified might be overlooked because they weren't able to properly word their experience to showcase their ability to fill the position, said the ERP manager.

"There probably were a few that might have gotten tossed out of the pile because they just didn't voice it correctly," he said. "If you're applying to be a gate guard, you'd better have some sort of security background or at least have some level of expertise in that area.

"You've got to think outside of the box in some cases, and think how your experiences at your current employment or past employment fits the job that's been posted -- not the other way around," Kozlowski continued. "Too many people place themselves at the center of the universe, and when you focus on yourself, your tendency is to create that autobiography that doesn't make a connection between your skills and the job requirements."

That's where the workshop comes in, he said. The workshop will help people reverse the tables and look at their own resumes from the eyes of their employers and ask the question, "What's in it for me to hire you?"

"I always tell my clients to ask yourself that question every day," said the ERP manager. "The job announcement should be the center of your universe, so we'll perform a little bit of heart surgery on that job announcement and find out what it is they need to do. You're the best person to toot your own horn on your resume."

For more information, call 255-2594.