SO YOU WANT TO APPLY TO A FEDERAL JOB?
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.