En Route: A Career Blog

Tips for Federal Resumes

AUTHOR: Darlene Zambruski
CATEGORY: ,
POSTED: December 6, 2011 at 11:19 am

With so few jobs being available in the private sector, many of you might be thinking of working for the federal government. Before you begin your job search there are a few things you need to know to make your efforts as successful as possible.

A Federal Resume Has Specific Requirements

1. A federal job search is not like a private sector job search. Let’s say you’re seeking a banking job in the private sector. You tailor your resume toward that industry and send it to all the banking institutions in your area or in other states if you’re agreeable to relocation. A federal resume doesn’t work that way. You can’t write one resume and send it to various agencies (eg: DOD, FDA, FHA, etc.). Every federal job has a vacancy announcement (job position) with a unique number and requirements for it. Therefore, your federal resume will be submitted to one agency or institution only…not all of them.

2. Federal jobs may require additional documentation. These may be KSAs (Knowledge, Skills, Abilities), MTQs (Managerial and Technical Qualification Statements), or ECQs (Executive Core Qualifications). These are essay type questions that you must answer indicating how your background meets the requirements of the position.

3. Federal resumes are formatted for the Resumix system. Unlike formatted Word resumes that go to employers in the private sector, a Resumix resume does not have bolding, italics, special fonts, etc. It is unformatted, looking like an ascii or plain text resume (the kind you send in the body of an email). Some federal resumes may be formatted. It depends upon the job and the agency requirements.

4. Federal resumes may be lengthy – more than 10 pages – or they may have a strict word count.

5. They contain information you would never put in a private sector resume. That would include your Social Security Number, supervisor’s name, contact #, high school information, etc.

The above are just some of the major differences between a federal and private sector resume.

Before you begin your federal job search, it’s important to familiarize yourself with these differences. If you fail to follow guidelines, you will not be considered for the position.

Darlene Z.

Darlene Zambruski is a resume writing expert and CPRW (Certified Professional Resume Writer) with more than 13 years of industry experience. She has authored 10,000+ resumes in every industry and at every career level.

» Read Full Bio

Sign Up for the En Route Newsletter

Career articles, resume advice, and interview tips delivered every month!

Propel Your Career

Get to the next level faster with professional Resume Writing or Editing products.

My writer took the time to give me practical tips on resumes and what prospective employers look for. She explained her suggestions and allowed me to give feedback as well. Her approach to resume writing is fantastic.

— Anna G.
Information Technology
» See All Testimonials

We're Busy Little Bees

279
Resumes Written This Month
100,000
Resumes Written Since 1998