Applying for a job with the Federal government is a daunting task.
Whether you are trying to break into the federal arena or are currently a federal employee hoping to make a job change, I can help with the process and improve your chances of getting a call.
Applying for federal employment requires one to have knowledge, tools, and techniques not required to land private sector employment. Don’t rely on just any resume writer to help you prepare a federal resume and application package – by partnering with me, a trained and certified federal resume writer, you can rest assured that you will receive expert advice and guidance from the point of identifying a job opportunity to submitting a completed resume and application package.
Following are some essential things you need to know before you get started:
- Opportunities may be hiding. The majority, but not all federal employment opportunities are posted on USAJobs.gov. Many agencies, including the IRS, CIA, DHHS, and others, post job announcements on the agency website.
- Federal and private sector resumes are not the same. A federal resume contains information one would not put on a private sector resume, including your citizenship, veteran’s status, employer addresses, supervisor names and phone numbers, salaries and hours worked per week. Although applicants are given an opportunity to upload a resume to the USAJobs site, if it does not contain all the required information, it will not make it through the initial screen.
- KSAs have fallen to the wayside. Federal hiring reform under the Obama Administration did away with the requirements to prepare and submit lengthy KSA “essays.” Many agencies have replaced these with detailed questionnaires that can be viewed from each specific job announcement prior to applying.
- Grades count. Federal resumes and applications are evaluated by real people and assigned a numerical score. The higher your grade, the stronger your likelihood of getting the interview. Many opportunities give Veterans Preference, so if you qualify, this may add 5 or 10 points to your score.
- Questionnaires do not stand alone. Questions are framed around the essential job requirements. Each positive answer must be supported by content in the resume. Read the questionnaire before you decide to apply. If you can not include sufficient information in your resume to substantiate you having the required knowledge, skills and abilities, it may be best to move on.
- Open and close dates matter. Federal job announcements list specific “close dates” and many announcements have very restrictive open and close dates. Allow yourself time to properly prepare your application materials – an absolute minimum of two weeks.
- Price is an important consideration. Developing a federal resume and ensuring it aligns with the specific job announcement is time intensive and requires a certain level of expertise – if you really want the job, expect to pay a higher price for services. Don’t be spoofed by websites that advertise unbelievably low prices and fail to reveal the name of the writer you will be working with.
If you’re still on board with going after a federal job – and I hope you are – then here’s what I can do to help:
- Interpret a specific job announcement and provide you with direction on what résumé format and additional documents you will need to apply
- Reformat your private sector resume (or draft an initial Federal resume) to include all the information required of applicants
- Help you create your USAJobs or other federal accounts and set up “job alerts” to keep you up-to-date on new job postings
- Coach you on how to navigate the various Federal résumé builders and application systems, including those featured on USAJobs, Department of Defense, and various agency websites.
- Guide you through a required questionnaire, solicit your answers, and ensure they are supported within the context of the resume.
- Help you complete the resume builder and upload all your required documents.
- Make sure that no details are overlooked and every “t” has been crossed an “i” has been dotted!
Federal resume writing and job search coaching is complex and tailored to specific job postings and agency requirements. Contact me so I can assess your needs and quote and appropriate fee. Depending on the grade level of the position and the complexity of the application, prices range from $575 to $900+