Monday, April 30, 2012

Your Resume for a Federal Government Job

A resume for Federal government employment, like a private sector resume, contains a summary or listing of relevant job experience and education. In other aspects, however, it is quite different. 

A standard private-sector resume should not be used to apply for Federal positions. Not only is the format different in terms of structure, length and content, but a Federal resume must include all the information required by a job announcement — not following these guidelines will irremediably get you eliminated. Federal resumes are written in chronological resume format. Specific information is required to be included on federal resumes so that applicants can be rated uniformly. This additional information is not typically requested on private sector resumes, and resumes that do not include it will likely be rejected. This information includes:

Job information (announcement number, title, series and grade of job for which applying), personal information (full name, mailing address w/ zip code, day and evening phone numbers w/ area code, social security #, country of citizenship, veteran’s preference, reinstatement eligibility, highest Federal civilian grade held), education (high school: name, city, and state, date of diploma or GED, colleges or universities: name, city and state, majors, type and year of any degrees received), work experience (job title, duties and accomplishments, employer’s name and address, supervisor’s name and phone number, starting and ending dates, hours per week, salary, indicate whether we may contact your current supervisor), and other qualifications (job-related training courses, skills, certificates and licenses, honors, awards and special accomplishments; for example, publications, memberships in professional or honor societies, leadership activities, public speaking and performance awards).

The USAJOBS website offers an online resume builder. Job counselors for the federal government recommend that you use the builder to create your online USAJOBS resume for two reasons: 1) the resume builder will help you ensure that all required content is included, and 2) your resume built through the system is "searchable" by HR specialists. It is recommended you build your blocks of text for each position you want to include in MS Word or a compatable text editor and to cut and paste it into the resume builder tool at the USAJOBS website. The site will allow you to have up to 5 resumes loaded as well as to upload other documents needed, such as a DD Form 214 for veterans, or non-official copies of college/university transcripts. {Read the announcement carefully to determine what documents to attach to your package.}

For a tutorial on how to build your Federal resume, go here.

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