Writing a federal resume involves knowing what’s required, and understanding the basis of the requirements. A Federal resume isn’t like ordinary resumes, and it can be a significant learning curve for those writing one for the first time.
The fact is that writing a Federal resume is pretty easy to do, provided you research the information requirements. There are plenty of guidelines from the Federal agencies, spelling out exactly what they want, and you should check the Federal resume tips provided by the agency when you apply for a Federal job.
- There are requirements for specific types of information from all applicants.
- A Federal government resume is structured differently in many ways from an ordinary resume.
- Federal resume help is always available from government agencies. You can always ask for clarification of information requirements, if you’re not sure what information you’re being asked to provide.
Writing a Federal resume is straightforward
Writing a Federal resume should be done systematically, one section at a time, and you should check each section to make sure you’re providing the right information. All you need to do is be patient, and be thorough.
These are the basic, must-do things for all federal KSA resumes:
- You must use the full references as shown on the job application, including the job title, when making your application. These references are required for internal processing, so make sure you’ve got them right.
- KSAs are very important when filling out your resume. All Federal government resumes include special sections for KSAs. Check the job’s essential requirements, when completing your KSA resume sections, and make sure that you address each essential requirement.
- When writing your resume, be clear about your exact range of knowledge, skills, and experience. If you do work like customer service, explain what you do, don’t just put “customer service”. Describe your duties, and spell out your role briefly but sufficiently to define what your work involves.
- Academic qualifications and certifications need to be listed exactly according to their official titles, including the name of the institution awarding and the year of award. (This isn’t as much of a no-brainer as it might seem. Leaving out the year, the institution, or the full name of the qualification is quite common.)
- If you’re applying for a job requiring official licences, you must list the full license title, statutory license number, and the agency issuing the license.
- For certifications, like IT system certifications or other professional certifications, the issuer, the full title of the certification, and relevant references must be cited.
- All Federal government resumes require you to provide information regarding your technological skills. This is a separate section on the resume. You need to include basic computer skills, software, like Windows software, or Apple software, and state which software you use. For Windows, you’d include Office, Word, Excel, etc., for example.
- You are required to provide at least three employer references on a Federal government resume. If this isn’t possible, ask what other forms of reference are acceptable. Don’t make the mistake of guess what might be accepted, ask the agency for clarification before submitting your resume.
- While standard information requirements for Federal jobs are the same, each job may have its own specific requirements. Again, if you’re not sure what information you need to provide, ask. Do not submit information if you’re not sure whether it’ll be accepted.
Check your information before you submit your resume
After you’ve finished writing your Federal resume, you need to double check your information against the information requirements provided by the agency. If you’ve ever sent in an application and realized after you sent it in that you’d left something out or got something wrong, this is how you avoid that problem.
- Step by step, check your information and match it with the guidelines you were given. You really do have to do this. There’s a lot of information, and you won’t get it 100% right first time.
- No typos? Run spell check again, just to make sure.
- Most importantly – Does the resume look good, and you’re happy with it?
When you’re satisfied that you’ve provided the information as required for writing KSA and with the quality of the information, you’re ready to submit.