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CPOL (Civilian Personnel On-line) - US Army Employment Website

By Diane Hudson Burns

The Civilian Personnel On-line / Army information and employment portal allows job seekers to learn about Appropriated Funds (AF) jobs and Non-Appropriated funds (FAF) jobs working for the Department of the Army.

The CPOL website has information for current federal employees working for the Department of the Army, a page for job seekers, and various pages for general information.

Job Seekers
If you are seeking a job as a federal employee for the Department of the Army, you can locate vacancy announcements on USAJOBS.OPM.GOV and on http://cpol.army.mil/ (click onto the Employment page, then scroll to the bottom on the left hand column to 'Search for Jobs' to view a list of open vacancy announcements).

Build A Resume
From the 'Employment' page, you can also build your CPOL resume. You need to open an account and then you can either fill in the worksheets to complete your resume or copy and paste your resume into three main sections: Employment, Education, and Additional Information. Each section has character limits (Employment/12,000 characters; Education/2,000 characters; Additional Information/6,000 characters). There are other fields to fill in, including employment preferences, hiring categories, and other profile questions, but the content for the resume is restricted to a total of 20,000 characters.

Tracking Your Resume
CPOL allows you to track your resume progress including: Resume Status, Tracking History, Self Nominate History, and view Resume & Supplemental Data in the Central Resumix Database. Just click on "Go to Answer" to track your applications.

Analyzing position Descriptions
As with any federal application, it is imperative to include keywords and relevant information in your resume, targeted to the job for which you are applying. CPOL provides a source of looking up specific positions:

1. On the Employment page, click "Useful Links" from the left hand column
2. Click on CPOL Policy and Guidance Library - Helpful Links
3. In the left hand column, click Position Classification and FASCLASS
4. In the top bar, click on FASCLASS and Search Position Data
5. Input a position title, federal series, or other position duties to pull up a position description.

Analyzing a Position Description
Once you pull up a list of position descriptions, review several to determine a cross-section of minimum qualifications for positions you might like to apply for on the CPOL employment portal. Then, incorporate keywords and competencies into your resume to ensure a good fit match between your experience and the posted requirements. For example, if the position description states the following minimum qualifications:

"Is responsible for overseeing projects and programs, making decisions on work problems and administrative proposals, and coordinating with others within and outside the organization on program accomplishment and collaborative efforts. Manages budgets. Assigns work to team leaders, subordinate supervisors or employees."

Then integrate these competencies into your work experience description (sample description):

As Project Manager (PMP) at ABC Company, directed 8 simultaneous projects at various project stages from highly complex / multi-year to short-term. Formulated and executed project budgets up to $2.7 million and operational budgets up to $80,000. Supervised 20 subordinate managers and project leads, determined workflow, project assignments, and timelines. Facilitated team meetings to discuss and resolve project issues, heighten team motivation, and monitor project timelines and budgets. Led video-teleconferences with project team members and consultants from external Companies, joining efforts between 6 organizations in 3 countries, for implementation of a multi-phased ERP project.

Accomplishments: Completed all projects within deadlines and under budget. Received 2 awards from customers for superior project completion and implementation. During FY09, our largest client saved over $4 million in operating costs within the first 6 months.