3 Secrets for Preparing the Best Federal Resumes
As part of a recent interview for the Jeff Altman Show, I discussed three main points and differences between the standard resume and the federal sector resume.
The rule of thumb for Federal resumes is to include everything. For each position, within each company, list your functional duties. What does this mean you ask? This means DO NOT just copy and paste a job description. It means to lay out your duties, responsiblities, as carried out on a daily basis. This is a much more detailed description than the standard resume, which requires an overview or encapsulation to stay within the requisite one page guideline. Even though the goal is to get everything in, there are several ways to streamline your federal resume. First, are there any functional duites to which you can pair with others? Second, write, read, re-read, revise, re-read again. Last, with each re-read, revise to create a more concise statement. This will help you "trim the fat" from an already robust resume and create a more tailored document.
How to Tailor Resume
In general, the rules are the same for tailoring a federal resume as with the standard resume. However, one difference is, the federal sector deals with job classifications or job series. This series is located in the job announcement and the number corresponds with a class of positions. When tailoring your federal resume, it is important to review the job announcement very carefully. First, look at the position duties and responsibilites, this will help you identify the proper "buzzwords" to use to insure that you meet the minimum qualifications for the position. Second, write your resume in the proper tense and active voice. Third, make sure that your descriptions demonstrate how your experience lines up with the specialized experience needed for the position. Lastly, list accomplishments that are pertinent to the knowledge, skill, or ability sought for that particular position/series of jobs. Additionally, there are items that must be included in the federal resume that are not required for the standard resume.
What information MUST be included
The following information must be included for federal resumes: Veteran status; the job announcement number should be included on every page of the resume; social security number; security clearance, if any; whether your positions were part-time, full time, contract, etc.; and current supervisor's name and contact information.
Job hunting can be daunting; but not having the knowledge to make sure that you are competitive can lead to long term unemployment. In this area, my typical clients are persons who are seeking upward mobility and need a stellar resume to get them in the door. They already possess the requisite skills, but lack the ability to present those skills in the way described here. We work with clients to get their resumes to the minimal qualified levels based on a class of positions. Be encouraged, if you find yourself stuck we are here to help!
Now that I've shared the secrets with you, how do you construct your resume? What's the best advice you would give someone seeking federal employment? Do you have a question or comment? Let's dicsuss tips, tools, questions, and feedback in the comment section below!
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