Writing Your Federal Resume: Part 1

Writing Your Federal Resume: Part 1

As spring job hunting season approaches, the federal government is one area that may hold promise for soon-to-be graduates.  According to www.federaljobs.net, the federal government employs over 2.1 million workers plus 617,000 Postal employees. The U.S. Government is the largest employer in the United States, hiring over 2% of the nation’s workforce, and the average annual salary for full-time federal job holders exceeds $81,258.

But in order to be hired, there’s a specific process applicants must complete. During a recent video conference, Todd Floersheim, Senior Recruitment Advisor from the Office of Personnel Management, gave tips for navigating the process and creating a successful federal resume and application.

The first step in getting hired by the federal government is to familiarize yourself with the application process and explore available opportunities. Start with www.usajobs.gov and navigate to the Pathways Graduate Programs for a list of internships and jobs for recent graduates. From there, you can search available jobs by title or agency.

Once you see a job that interests you, clicking on the job title will bring you to the JOA, or Job Opportunity Announcement. The JOA contains all of the information you need to know in order to apply. Floersheim recommends keeping a copy of each JOA you apply for, as well as the resume you create for each one.

The JOA will detail the location(s) of the position and the opening and closing dates of the position. The opening and closing dates will depend on the number of applicants the agency wishes to receive.

The job overview contains a summary, which is a kind of mission statement for the agency posting the JOA. The “Duties” section details a “day in the life” of this job. You aren’t expected to be able to do all of the duties listed–they are there to give you an idea of what the job will be like.

Next is a list of the job requirements, the first of which is “Qualifications.” These are extremely important and non-negotiable. Your resume must show that you have achieved all of the qualifications listed on the JOA. It’s not a wish list.

If you are qualified and click “apply,” you will begin the application process by creating a resume.

Our next post will focus on tips for creating a federal resume.

Click here for a list of applicant-resource-links from the Federal Office of Personnel Management.

To visit with an OPCD career counselor, click here.

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