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Tips for applying to the Federal Government

AUTHOR: Darlene Zambruski
POSTED: January 3, 2012 at 2:41 pm

Now that we have the holidays behind us, it’s time to gear up for that all important job search.

Many of you might be considering application to the federal government. It’s a good move for solid employment; however, application to any government agency can be as complicated as doing your yearly tax return.

Federal Resumes Follow Strict Formatting and Content Guidelines

Here are some tips to remember:

1. You must have a job vacancy announcement to apply. Unlike the private sector, you cannot simply send a resume to every federal agency and hope to be considered. You won’t. You’ll be spinning your wheels. You need to look at job openings at the government’s website (you can do a google search for it). The vacancy announcement must still be open. If it’s closed, you’re out of luck. And, you must meet the requirements for the position. You cannot state that you’re willing to learn. Agencies want individuals with the required skills.

2. You must submit a resume in the format each agency requires. That might be Resumix (plain text unformatted) or by copying/pasting your resume into fields onto an online form. Each agency has their own requirements and you must meet them. If you do not, your resume won’t be considered.

3. Your content must meet the agency’s requirements. Unlike private sector resumes, federal resumes include vast amounts of data such as your supervisors’ names, work addresses, contact numbers, your social security number, high school data, etc. Be prepared to include everything the agency asks for.

4. You may have to answer questions such as KSAs (Knowledge, Skills, Abilities), ECQ (Executive Core Qualifications), etc. These are questions that require essay type answers. Not including them with your resume, if they’re asked for, will take you out of the race for the job.

5. Meeting every agency guideline when composing and submitting the resume, KSAs, ECQs, etc. If you do not, you won’t be considered for the position.

Many individuals feel overwhelmed by all that they must do in order to work for the federal government. However, that’s no reason to give up. If you feel you cannot do an adequate job of composing your federal resume and essay questions, then use a professional resume writer who’s trained to know the ins and outs of the federal application process.