9 Critical Things to Ensure in Your Federal Job Resume

Federal resume writing is not for everyone. No wonder a plethora of such aspirants trust a professional federal resume writing service for the same.

If you have made your resume, ensure that you follow the guidelines stated below to improve your chances of getting selected.

P.S. - Don't have time to read? Click here for a free federal resume analysis by our experts.

For most people, the term 'federal job' connotes working in a public office or for an elected official. While this is true to some extent, the federal industry is actually a diverse industry covering many different jobs that call for all levels of skill, education, and experience.

Federal jobs are highly competitive, and given this nature, agencies are very particular about who they choose to hire. If you're interested in applying for a federal job, the best way to increase your chances of getting hired is to find a job that fits your strengths. With that in mind, here's a list of what to do and not to do when applying for a federal job position.


Confirm the accuracy of your qualifications

As mentioned, federal jobs are highly competitive. That's because a single vacancy can attract hundreds and even thousands of individuals from all over the country.

Hiring managers whittle their applicant field by making a 'most qualified' list, and then further narrow it down by carefully selecting who to interview from the record created.

So how do you become one of the 'most qualified?'

By meeting all the minimum qualifications identified in the job announcement. For example, if a listed qualification calls for a minimum three years' experience in data analytics or visualization, name the company that hired you as an analyst in your resume.

Also add the number of years you spent on the job (which should at least be three).

Hit the right keywords

Nowadays, everything is about keywords-Google results, social media results, online shopping results, even resumes. Scanning resumes for keywords is one-way federal hiring managers weed out the least suitable applicants.

If your resume doesn't contain the search terms they're looking for, you best believe your name won't make it to the most qualified list.

To help you find out which words to target as keywords, go over the job announcement and pay a closer look at the required skills and abilities.

Do you see any repeated words, capped words, technical terms, or uncommon phrases? Make sure to include them on your federal resume.

For example, if the phrase Senior Project Management Experience figures prominently in the listing, it's a good bet that the HR manager will be looking for that phrase in your resume.

Customize your Resume to each job you apply to

When it comes to resumes, a one-size-fits-all approach does not 'apply' (no pun intended). Sending the same resume to multiple jobs may sound practical, but it decreases your chances of being called in for an interview.

That's because no job has the same requirements, and so the same resume won't be a match for the different positions and different keywords they underscore.

Of course, you can always create a 'master' resume, one that includes all your education, skills, training, and qualifications. You may then subtract or add to the information on this master resume to make it relevant to the job position you're applying for.

Highlight your relevant experiences

Typically, you'll want to trim the fat on your personal information so you can keep your resume to just one page. However, you need to do the opposite with your federal resume and go all out with your list of relevant experiences.

When it comes to your education, you need to go beyond your degree and internships, and include additional coursework, training, volunteer work, and accolades you may have received.

When detailing responsibilities, make sure to include results.

For example, instead of saying 'acted as the main researcher of a project,' say 'acted as main project researcher to ensure the sample represents the population accurately.'

Though federal resumes are wordier than their non-federal counterparts, it's still a good practice to be clear and concise with your descriptions.

No need to limit yourself to just one page

The one-page rule does not apply to federal job resumes, so there's no need to worry about cramming all that valid and relevant information in.

In fact, it's not unusual for federal job resumes to extend to five pages. There's no actual limit to how long a federal resume should be, but if the personal information you put in is reasonable, the hiring manager won't have a problem seeing that you are a good fit for the job.


Using only one agency or website

There are many federal agencies and websites that you can send your resume to, such as CPOL, DONHR, Military.com, USAJobs, and WHS. If you're using only one of these, then you are grossly limiting your options.

Applying only for jobs without KSA narratives

You need to learn how to write knowledge, skills, and attitude (KSA) narratives and answer essay questions if you want to broaden the field for your application.

Limiting yourself to job announcements that do not require KSAs means you cut off access to lucrative jobs within the Departments of Commerce, Justice, Interior, HHS, and Transportation, among others.

Not knowing how to tailor your resume for each announcement

It bears repeating that you should customize your resume to each job position you're applying to. If you don't do this, your resume could very well end up in the trash.

If you don't know how to tweak and optimize your resume to make sure it contains all the relevant information and keywords it needs to get noticed, Resumeble can help.

Writing a resume that doesn't read well

Federal Resume Writing need to have a nice flow of space and information, and the way the details are arranged must make sense. For instance, when you're writing down the responsibilities you held at your previous job, don't include your accomplishments.

Awards and accolades should have its own section and not bunched up with others.

A resume without flow will be difficult to read, and you can bet that the busy HR specialist going over it won't take the time to sort or understand what you've written down.

Distinguishing between your personal information and cohesively arranging them will give each detail proper emphasis, help your professional federal resume stand out, and make you as the most qualified candidate.

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