Writing Your Federal Resume: Part 2

Writing Your Federal Resume: Part 2

This is the second of two posts about applying for jobs with the federal government.

In order to be hired for most jobs within the federal government, there is 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.

Floersheim focused on three important facts about writing your federal resume.

Fact 1: The Federal Government does not require does not require a standard job application. Your resume is your application.

This means your resume must be impeccable. Your resume should contain start and end dates for each job and the number of hours per week you worked. It should also include the level of experienced you achieved. For instance, you should list whether you served as a project manager or a team member to illustrate your level of experience. You should also include examples of your experience and accomplishments.

Fact 2: Hiring agencies state the qualification requirements in the Job Opportunity

Announcement (JOA). You must meet the requirements in the JOA to be considered for the job.

Unlike many private sector jobs postings which contain a “wish list” of qualifications, the federal government’s JOA lists non-negotiable qualifications. In other words, don’t bother applying if you do not meet every one of the qualifications listed.

Fact 3: After applying, the hiring agency who made the post uses the information in your resume to verify if you have the qualifications stated in the JOA.

This means your resume MUST be tailored to the specific job posting and list concrete examples of when and how you obtained the necessary qualifications.

Other federal resume tips

  • There is a resume builder on the USA Jobs website. This is a good option if you are starting from scratch.
  • Use reverse chronological order (most recent experience listed first) to help agencies evaluate your experience.
  • Emphasize your strengths. Include everything you’ve done that relates to the job you are seeking, but leave out experience that isn’t relevant.
  • Include your experience and accomplishments under the job in which you earned it. Where it makes sense, present your achievements and accomplishments with numbers, percentages or dollars. For example: Improved efficiency of document processing by 25% over the previous year.
  • Customize your resume. Pay close attention to the JOA job description and tailor your resume accordingly rather than sending the same for every job.

After you post your resume, you will be given several short-answer questions about your experience and accomplishments. Keep copies of your answers to these questions. They may be useful should you be granted an interview.

Although the applying for a federal job may seem daunting, carefully following the instructions on the USA Jobs website will make your work easier.

To speak with someone at OPCD about applying for jobs, click here.


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