In his discussion about "How to Build an Effective Resume," Robert Moore, deputy to the commanding general of Security Assistance Command, told attendees at the Blacks In Government meeting Oct. 18 to focus on what you are currently doing, be the best you can be at doing it, but also have a plan for two, five and 15 years down the road.

Moore explained that building a resume is a lot like planning for a major military operation: you have to prepare to be successful. "You cannot wait until that day you are applying for a job to build your resume," he said. There are things you need to be doing along the way.

"You first have to get through the human resources review," he said. "Keep resumes at five pages or less and address the skills that are listed in the job announcement. Write in English; not everyone will understand jargon. Those things will get you referred. If you are selected to be interviewed, that is your opportunity to present yourself and your skills."

Moore said you should look at your personal life and career and identify how you can prepare now for what you need to do. "It is not just what you put on the paper."

"I think the Army values are where it starts," he said. "These serve as a template for personal traits you should have and a code of conduct to follow."

He likened diversity to the Rosetta Stone.

"The Rosetta Stone is important because if you are looking at different cultures and languages, the Rosetta Stone represents that. I encourage you to learn about other cultures and languages," Moore said. "It is something that helps build your resume. We are in a global society now. The more you have respect of different cultures and backgrounds is important.

"Build relationships and networks," he said. "I cannot stress how important that is. When reviewing resumes, there may be a relationship that gets you the job. It could be someone you go to church with or play sports with."

Some other tips he suggested when preparing to build a resume include:
• Focus on the objectives, not the things that are in your way.
• Be mindful. Do not confuse activity with results -- just busy and nothing happens. Do not get caught up in the trivial.
• If you do not already have a reading list, institute one. Keep current on what is going on. It builds your knowledge base.
• To be a great leader, you have to be a great teammate.

"Focus on the job you have, not the next job," Moore said. "But have a plan for where you want to be in the next two years, five years, 15-20 years. When I ask that question in an interview, I am looking for whether or not you put some thought into it."

He said: Be the best you can be. Pursue excellence. Demonstrate dignity and respect. Be sincere in your behavior. Truly listen; sometimes we do not take enough time to listen. Take on tasks so that you will be the person who is recognized. Think about what sets you apart. Have confidence in yourself.

The next scheduled (bi-monthly) general membership meeting of Blacks In Government is scheduled for Nov. 15. Time and location will follow in the Redstone Rocket. All age groups and professions are welcome.

BIG supports the well-being, education and professional development of African-Americans and others in federal, state and local government by providing members and friends with personal and professional development opportunities. BIG's goals essentially are to promote equity in all aspects of American life, excellence in public service and opportunity for all Americans.