The need to wordsmith a resume for contract bids

The need to wordsmith a resume for contract bids

Most contractors spend all their time preparing a technical proposal, and neglect to spend quality time preparing the resume of the personnel who they are proposing to do the work. Contractors must devote time to wordsmith the resumes that the agency will evaluate, or else risk losing the opportunity.

Protesting contractors: The Kenjya Group Inc. and Academy Solutions Group LLC, Columbia, Md.

Contracting agency: National Security Agency

Protest issue: Whether failure to articulate the experience of personnel properly on a resume should lose companies the contract.

GAO decision, April 11, 2012: Denied.

Post-mortem: Kenjya, and Academy protested the award of a contract to Advantage Engineering & IT Solutions Inc., after their offers were deemed technically unacceptable because the resumes they submitted for key personnel lacked the required experience.

The submission of resumes for key positions in contract proposals is common place. The government wants to ensure that the people proposed to do the work actually have the skill and experience to fulfill the technical requirements of the contract. In this case, the NSA solicitation required offerors to submit resumes for key personnel in three different labor categories who had at least five years of very specific experience. Of the three proposals initially submitted by the companies named above, none included resumes that met the minimum requirements for experience. The NSA amended the solicitation to better describe what they required and gave all three companies the opportunity to resubmit proposals. Kenjya proposed new personnel entirely while the other two companies reedited the resumes they had submitted with their first proposal. Only Advantage’s offer was technically acceptable.

Who knows whether the personnel pitched to NSA actually fell short in experience or just had a poorly written resume. Just as job applicants must craft a resume to convince an employer of their qualifications, a contractor must take the time to develop a technically acceptable resume for your key personnel to ensure proper consideration by a government agency.