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Federal Resume Writing Tips

Preparing a Federal resume is much difficult than preparing a regular resume. While you might have been able to make a few references to experiences or skills on a private sector resume, you really have to provide lots of details for the Uncle Sam. From qualifications to focusing on keywords that were listed in the job announcement, everything needs to be explicitly stated on a federal resume, even if it seems redundant.

Whether it’s because the government is too busy for conjecturing, or just not sharp enough to assume what you’re trying to say, they want you to show them everything. For example, if the job announcement calls for management abilities, you need to explicitly state that you have supervising experience due to…. Don’t just say you were a supervisor. Also, if the job announcement asks for Office experience, don’t just mention spreadsheets in your resume. Talk about Excel. Use these keywords to bring the focus and attention of the reader to your resume.

In the end, you should treat your Federal resume writing like a more detailed description of your regular resume. It’s very much similar to the interview that you have in the private sector, in that they want to know everything. While there is a page limit, you need to list the experience the job announcement calls for as well as a clear picture of what you can do for the reader. Using the words from the job announcement will show the hiring manager that you are capable of doing the job.

Jobs at the federal level are more rigorous, and so is the application process. When writing a federal resume you must prove to the reader that you have what it takes.

Unlike most civilian companies, Uncle Sam does not have the time to interview people to weed out the less qualified applicants. They need to focus only on the right candidates and will only interview the most qualified. You can help them make the right decision by giving lots of details and showcasing you are the best candidate for the position.

Another reason that so much detail is required in federal resume writing is that many government hiring managers don’t conduct interviews. Consequently, if you gibe them what they want to read, you could land a job simply by submitting a resume.

Obviously, preparing a Federal resume takes more time than a traditional private sector resume. After all, you’re going to be working for the government, so you should prove you’re dedicated to giving 110% by providing a thorough resume and meeting all requirements listed in the job announcement.

To summarize, government resume writing may seem complicated, but it does not have to be. Just keep this in mind, and you should be fine. Remember the following elements:

  • Details, details, details —be concise and provide a thorough explanation of your past experience
  • Use keywords — use the buzzwords listed in the job ad in your federal resume to show exactly what you are capable of
  • Attention — make sure that you write your federal resume in a way that catches the attention of the reader and showcases that you are the best candidate for the position.
  • Too much is always better than not enough when it comes to providing information on a federal resume.
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