Going from Non-Select to Select (From a 17OT02 Select)
This is one of my follower’s story in his own words. He was a civilian select from the 17OT02 board.
Find a Google Drive here with tools and resources mentioned within this document: https://drive.google.com/drive/folders/0ByhsA4Q1GurkXzRuYXQ4XzAteFE?usp=sharing
BOT Profile – Going from non-select to select
It took 18 months to go from the time I started the process to become an officer to the time I was finally selected. I applied to three different boards. For the first I was a non-rated non-select. For the second my recruiter messed something up and my packet never made it to the rated board. For my third I was selected as a Civilian RPA Pilot. Between boards I didn’t retake any of the tests, receive any more awards, or do anything super special. The only two things that I did different was get six hours of flight time and pour over my BOT profile. Here is what I learned and did.
First, for a reference, my scores (click for larger image):
I don’t mean to boast, but those are good scores. But remember, I was not selected my first time. You’ll hear about the “whole person” concept over and over. Scores don’t mean everything; they are just a small portion of your whole packet.
I received feedback from many people about my first application. The thing that was said the most was that I was too wordy, and didn’t say a lot with the words that I used. There was too much fluff. You can see that when you compare the “Career Achievements,” “Personal Achievements,” “Personal/Outside Interests,” and “Work Experience” portions of the application. Remember that the board members are looking at hundreds of applications. If yours is too wordy, they will just start glossing over it without really reading it.
When I revised my “Career Achievements” and “Personal Achievements” sections I made sure that every line was short and concise, and I packed as much into it as possible. Luckily I was prior National Guard, so I had a few awards that I could put on there. I also made sure it looked like I was constantly “achieving” something, no matter how big or small it was. There was not a year that went by where I didn’t have some kind of “Achievement.”
When it came to the “Work Experience” portion, I again was plagued with having too much fluff and not enough substance. I had heard about the Air Force Tongue and Quill guide, and I decided that I was going to follow the bullet statement part of that perfectly for my work experience. Bullet statements are like a math formula. It goes:
- Action verb
- Impact Element
See Chapter 19 of The Tongue and Quill for full instructions.
Air Force e-Publishing Link:
Since the formula for building bullet statements is the same, I made myself an Excel spreadsheet Bullet Builder tool. You can find that tool in the Google Drive. This tool built every single one of my bullets for my work experience. I tried to make sure I had at least two per job. The Tongue and Quill have a list of action verbs that can be used, so I borrowed directly from there.
Below is an example of before and after I used The Tongue and Quill: