As a Federal Career Consultant and Federal Resume Writer, I am consulting with many federal job applicants who have submitted 100 to 400 job applications for federal jobs on USAJOBS by uploading their private industry resume.
If you want to get Best Qualified for a federal position and hopefully get referred to a supervisor, you have to write a very specific style, content and format federal resume.
Applying for a government job â€“ as doing any business with the government â€“ is complicated. Of course, the federal resume is NOT the same as the 2 page resume that a person uses for private industry job searches.
Kathryn Troutman is a Federal Career Consultant, Author, Government Trainer and Industry leader in the Federal Resume Writing and Federal Career Consulting industry.
Kathryn is seeing more and more first-time federal job applicants and reviewing their resumes to troubleshoot their lack of success in their federal job searches. Many jobseekers are applying as many as 400 times with no interviews or referrals to a supervisor.
14 OF THE MOST IMPORTANT TIPS FOR WRITING A SUCCESSFUL FEDERAL RESUME
1. LENGTH: Most Federal Resumes are 4 to 5 pages long. Mid-career professionals with 15 to20 years experience will have a 5 page federal resume. A 2 page private-industry resume WILL NOT WORK.
2. MORE DETAILS: You need to include more details about your duties and accomplishments in your last position or the most relevant position. The typical private-industry resume will have 8 to 10 bullets of information about each position. The federal resume duties section spells out what you did, usually in complete sentences. The position that is most relevant for the federal position could be an entire page long.
3. FORMAT: Make sure the resume is readable for human resources specialists who have hundreds of resumes to review to determine who is most qualified for their positions. Many private industry resumes consist of short statements with bullets. Many current federal employees write their resumes in huge block of type based on position descriptions. The best format is a reverse chronological Outline Format. The Outline Format features the top skills needed for the position. For a Public Affairs Specialist, the top skills could be: Media Specialist, Writer-Editor, Researcher / Analyst, Media Events Coordinator.
4. TYPEFONT: Feature the Top Skills in ALL CAPS, so that the busy human resources reviewer can find the skills they are seeking.
5. KEYWORDS: Add language and keywords from the vacancy announcement Duties and Specialized Experience into your federal resume. You can find the keywords by search for words that are repeated multiple times in the announcement; these could be technical terms or phrases that describe specific skills.
6. PROVE YOUR EXPERIENCE: You will see the USAJOBS vacancy announcements will tell you that they want to see One Year Specialized Experience in a certain field in your resume. The announcement will also suggest types of examples that can help to prove your experience.
7. 10 YEARS EXPERIENCE: The federal HR specialists typically read / scan the last 10 years of experience in your federal resume. The years before 10 years can be added to the resume, but keep that information shorter.
8. RECENT AND RELEVANT: The HR specialists will be looking for recent and relevant experience in your Work Experience Section.
9. MONTH, YEAR AND HOURS PER WEEK: It is imperative that you add the month and year and hours per week for your jobs. Since they have to see that you have One Year Specialized Experience in positions and level that are similar to this job, you will need to add this information to your resume.
10. SALARY: The federal resume in USAJOBS asks for your salaries for the last 10 years. They need to see your salaries in order to see your experience and judge the grade level that you could be qualified for in a government position.
11. COVER LETTER: You can add a cover letter into the USAJOBS account now, after Federal Hiring Reform. We recommend a cover letter to emphasize your specialized experience and most relevant training or experience for the position.
12. RECENT AND RELEVANT JOBS: You do NOT have to add every job into your USAJOBS Resume Builder. If you have short-term positions which were taken to earn cash for bills, you can leave it out. Yes, it will leave a little bit of blank time, but the HR specialist is really seeking the specialized experience.
13. 5 USAJOBS RESUMES: USAJOBS will allow you to upload 5 resumes. Create multiple resume versions for each announcement. Your original resume can be changed slightly to match a few keywords for each new announcement.
14. FEDERAL RESUMES MUST BE FOCUSED TOWARD AN OCCUPATIONAL SERIES WITH DIFFERENT KEYWORDS: If you are seeking a Program Analyst position, use the keywords and skills for the position. Keywords for the Program Analyst will be: Analyst, Research, Studies, Efficiency and Effectiveness, Quantitative and Qualitative Analysis, Briefings. If you are also seeking an Administrative Officer position, your keywords will be different: Operations, Budget Management, Supervision, Customer Services, Project Management.
The federal cover letter becomes your introduction to the recruiter. Any flaws in this letter can create a negative impression thus increasing the chances of not getting any considerations. Hence, even if you draft an exceptionally well federal resume, your cover letter makes the concern person decide whether to take a look at your resume or not.
There are several points to be considered while writing a federal cover letter. These points then include the format of your letter, distribution of paragraphs, use of words, etc. Below are some points that will further guide you in writing an efficient federal cover letter.
FEDERAL COVER LETTER WRITING TIPS AND GUIDELINES
- Start with your federal cover letter with your personal details including full name, mailing address, phone number, and email address. Followed to this mention the date on which you are writing this letter. If you have detailed information about the concerned person, mention his/her name and job profile.
- Mention in the subject or the reason you are writing this letter. Since you are writing it for a job position, mention the exact profile you are applying for.
- Now start you letter by greeting the reader. Your first paragraph should be an introduction that should state the reason behind the letter, the position you are applying for, and how did you got to know about the job opening.
- The next paragraph or the second paragraph must include your skills and proficiencies that make you eligible for this job. Try and use prominent keywords within that particular industry to showcase your knowledge about the industry. However, make sure that you do not mention in all the skills that you have already mentioned in your resume. Keep it short yet compelling.
- If you are an experienced candidate, the third paragraph in your cover letter will mention in the details of your total experience, your current employer and the duties performed on your current job.
- You can conclude your cover letter with the fourth paragraph. Thank the reader for his/her time and consideration. Also, request for a personal interview where you can elaborate more about your eligibility for the applied position.
Hope the above federal cover letter writing tips and guidelines help you in coming up with an efficiently drafted and error free letter. The below federal cover letter sample will further clear all your doubts.
FEDERAL COVER LETTER SAMPLE
1898 Joyce Street,
Rocky Mount, NC 27804
September 26, 2014
The Federal Government
The United States of America
Subject: Application for position in Administrative/Personnel and Security Field
I am writing in reference to the advertisement published by you in the U.S. Employment Times dated September 26, 2014 for the positions in the Administrative/Personnel and Security Field. I have attached my personal resume addressing the position requirements.
I am a self-motivated and result oriented professional with 12+ years of experience within the U.S Air Force. My expertise includes foreign and domestic policies, conflict resolution, regulatory compliance, and emergency response and planning.
Currently I am working as Air Control Manager with the U.S. Department of Special Interests and liable for coordinating and implementing the air control program, provide leadership and guidance to the nine regional directors for aviation operations, serve as an authority on aspects, and more.
I look forward for an opportunity for a personal interview where we can discuss more about my eligibility for the applied position.
Thanking you for your time and consideration.
Hope the above federal cover letter sample helps you in understanding the different aspects to be included in your letter to make it all the more effective.
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