Tag Archives: federal resume



There are plenty of opportunities within the federal government, but job applicants need to know the method for landing a position within the federal government is completely different than what they are used to in the private sector.  Here are some tips job seekers will need to utilize when applying for a federal position.


First time Federal job applicants receive disappointing ratings on their application, despite being highly qualified for the position.  The low rating is usually not a result of their qualifications, but of a poor application package.

Many job seekers descend into the same trap that countless first time Federal job applicant’s encounter. The applicants resume package must showcase details of their applicable experience and relate it to the position they are seeking.  Once they perform this, a high rating will result.


Your strategy should be to make qualified list most of the time!  When the Federal examiners review your resume application, they see your resume and a copy of the Vacancy Announcement for the position you are seeking. It’s the examiners job to check off each item listed under the Basic Qualification and Ranking Factors listed on each job announcement.  They will begin by taking a glance at your resume to see if your have placed those qualifications on your career documents. So it’s imperative for you to list these Knowledge, Skills and Abilities on your resume.


So even though your resume may sound great, it won’t do the job until it clearly states that you have the qualifications sought for the position. For example, let’s say the job announcement states a candidate needs to have excellent writing and editing skills.  Your resume needs to reflect that you have an expert knowledge of grammar, spelling and punctuation. Another example may be the announcement states you need to have experience in scheduling.  However your resume doesn’t state you have made travel arrangements. It’s important to list each qualification and KSA sought so as you will receive the highest rating possible. 


To ensure fairness across the board, the federal government’s hiring process is highly regulated.  When applying for a position you will encounter questions in your federal application.  Your replies to the questions have a major impact on your candidacy.

The Federal job announcements comprise of screening questions and affect how you will be evaluated. Always ensure your responses are supportive and tailored to each announcement. The reason being is that the agencies will evaluate a job seekers relevant experience based on the keywords in the job announcement to the keywords in the candidate’s application.


So to sum it up, ensure you obtain a copy of the Vacancy Announcement for each position you seek.  Ensure you meet the qualifications to the full extent and that you are able to perform the position.  In addition, identify each and every KSA and qualification being sought.  Then revise your resume and apply with confidence. Instead of being aggravated you’ll have excellent ratings, be landing on the referred list and quite possibly an excellent government job offer to think about!


If you still have any questions regarding your federal application process feel free to drop us a line! We’d love to hear from you!

Dannielle Ramos Rash is an Army Veteran and Founder of First Class Resumes & Career Services.  http://www.first-classresumes.com/.  She is a Certified Federal Career Coach (CFCC), Certified Federal Job Search Trainer (CFJST), and a Certified Professional Resume Writer (CPRW) and member of the Professional Association of Resume Writers and Career Coaches.  Dannielle provides dynamic resumes & career documents for job seekers around the globe. 

Uncle Sam wants YOU!


Forget about what you know about creating a resume for the corporate world.  The career documents you use to apply for a federal position are unlike the civilian resumes.  Federal resumes use the same information from a corporate resume, but they go more in depth about your past career accomplishments and skills and duties. Below are some tips to set up your Federal Résumé.

1.  Candidate Information:

Ensure you provide your basic contact information to include your name, citizenship, and if you qualify for veteran’s preference based on active Duty in the Armed Forces.  Don’t leave out your availability and location preference especially if you are in the middle of your transition.

2.  Design:

A federal resume has its own unique format that differs completely from a civilian career document.  The outline format is highly recommended when writing your federal resume.

3.  Length:

Corporate resumes are generally 1 to 2 pages in length. However, your federal resume should be roughly 3 pages but no more than 5 pages in length for a position.

4.  Tweak your Resume:

Your federal resume contains detailed descriptions of your work experience or the application will most likely be rejected.  You want to ensure you list all your accomplishments in detail. You have to carefully read over the job announcement that you are applying to.  There may be specific keywords all throughout the announcement and they need to be incorporated into your federal resume.  Take the time to tweak your resume to include any keywords within the job announcement.  By doing so, it may just get your referred!

5.  Work Experience: 

Only list the positions you have held in the past ten years.  Ensure you list the employer, location, title, position start and end date and average hours you worked at each position.  There is also a section that asks to include your supervisor’s name and if you wish to utilize them as a reference.  You may also include your salary in this section as well.

6.  Tailor your resume: 

Time and time again candidates use a generic resume to apply for each position. One size typically never fits all when applying to federal positions.  If you utilize the same career documents when applying for a federal position, you will simply keep spinning your wheels.

7.  Education:

List all your College coursework and ensure to list only the degrees from an accredited university that meet the OPM’s standards.  This will ensure suitable credit for your educational background.  List the university you attended and the degree obtained or expected to receive.  You can also list your grade point average, papers you may have completed and other important projects or presentations.

8.  Get Selected: 

The biggest challenge in submitting federal resumes is being selected.  Many candidates “give up” after numerous tries to get their resume through the system.  To ensure your federal resume gets “Best Qualified” and forward on to the HR manager ensure you read the job announcement over and have completed all that was asked for the application.

9.  Additional Documents: 

Upload your required documents to be eligible and qualified.  Your required documents could include a resume, veterans’ preference documentation such as a DD-214, SF-15, SF 50 and many others.   The application may also require you to submit your transcripts and evaluations.  Make sure your application doesn’t get kicked back from lack of submitting these documents.

10.  Questionnaire: 

Most Federal job announcements have numerous multiple choice questions listed on the announcements.  When applying an applicant should initially look over and view the Occupational Questionnaire for your reference. Make sure you answer the questions to the best of your ability.  This will ensure you know if you are indeed qualified for the position prior to applying.

**Military Translation**

If you’re a Veteran transitioning into the civilian workforce this especially applies.  Look over your resume and make sure the military abbreviations and terminology are translated.  Civilian hiring managers may not understand military acronyms, ranks, jargon and other military terminology.

 If after reading this you are still unsure what to include in your federal resume.  Take advantage of the Resume Builder available on usajobs.  It will walk you through step by step to ensure not to leave out vital information for your federal application.

Uncle Sam Wants You!

If you still have any questions regarding your federal application process feel free to drop us a line! We’d love to hear from you!

Dannielle Ramos Rash is an Army Veteran and Founder of First Class Resumes & Career Services.  http://www.first-classresumes.com/She is a Certified Federal Job Search Trainer (CFJST), Certified Federal Career Coach (CFCC), Certified Professional Resume Writer (CPRW) and member of the Professional Association of Resume Writers and Career Coaches.  Dannielle provides dynamic resumes & career documents for job seekers around the globe.