Page updated 12/1/2013
The federal resume
and KSAs provide selecting officials their first impression of
the applicant through their application and federal resume composition, format, and content.
I personally reviewed and rated thousands of federal resumes during
my career. Resumes and KSAs that are
tailored to the job announcement receive higher
Your application makes a lasting impression on the selecting official and it
tells them a lot about your attention to details, desire, qualifications, and
motivation. There are essential first steps that you must take to write a
resume that will help you attract the attention of the rating and selecting
officials. Use our Federal Resume Guide to make your federal resume stand out in
To gain federal employment, candidates must be aware of two very specific
First, They must read the entire vacancy announcement
and the position description if available. All too often, applicants
transitioning from the military or private sector to the federal government
do not read the entire announcement. Rather, they look at only the salary
and the job description; if they like what they read, they decide to apply.
Many of those same people end up disappointed when, during an initial
consultation, they realize that other mandatory elements were overlooked in
their haste to find federal employment — elements they’re unable to fulfill.
Further, in reading the entire announcement, you will gain an up-front
understanding of what supporting documents are required for the
announcement. In many cases, we have seen candidates — who were perfectly
qualified for a job — end up being rejected by the government because they
failed to include a document requested as part of the How to Apply section
of the announcement
Second, candidates must tailor their résumé to the
position description or the vacancy announcement. The federal government
does not want to hear that an applicant thinks he/she can do the job;
rather, the government is looking for specific examples that demonstrate
that he/she can do the job. For example, being self-taught in setting up a
home computer network and having successfully set up one in a home is not
the same as setting up a Local Area Network (LAN) for a multi-location
agency spread over a 500-mile radius.
When you complete your résumé online read the instructions carefully.
When tailoring your résumé to a specific job description or vacancy
announcement, it is important to mirror what the announcement is looking
for, as best as possible. There is no such thing as “too much information” —
the more examples of your success in fulfilling the job description you can
provide in accomplishment-focused statements, the higher your application
package will be rated.
A federal style résumé is completely different from the simple one-page
private sector résumé. There are over 40 specific informational data
elements required and much of it repeats for each work experience. Before
attempting to complete your résumé online, review the samples in this
chapter and use the next section to complete your résumé. You must include
all requested information and forms, and answer occupational questionnaires
if required in the job announcement.
I suggest writing your federal résumé using a word
processor program prior to attempting to post it online. Some agencies still
require hard copy submissions, and this way you can produce both a paper
hard copy and electronic format. You will be able to spell check your résumé
and you will have time to compose coherent work histories tailored to the
job announcement or position description without time limits. To submit your
application online simply copy and paste each section from your draft into
the online résumé builder.
This process can dramatically improve your résumé, resulting in higher
ratings, and you will be able to keep your résumé updated on your desktop.
When you bid on other jobs in the same or similar occupational group you may
be able to simply change the job announcement number and title and send it
in. However, review each job announcement carefully. Even occupations in the
same job series within the same agency can have significantly different
requirements, and you must tailor your résumé to those criteria to improve
Applying for federal jobs can be frustrating and the federal resume has to be
targeted to the job announcement and highlight your qualifications to be rated
"Best Qualified." Only applications rated best qualified are forwarded to the
selecting official for consideration. Federal resume writing services can give
you the edge that you need if you work closely with them to highlight your
qualifications for the position applied for.
You must work closely with the federal resume writer to provide detailed information.
Federal resumes and KSAs must be specific and the only way the federal resume writers
can get this information is from you, so be prepared. They will need lists of
your awards, detailed work history, military service job descriptions, rank and
time of service if applicable, education and training, special skills and
certifications, volunteer work, and temporary details and promotion information.
Only you can provide the details.
Professional Resume Quote & Consultation −
A professional federal resume service uses only certified writers. They will work with you to ensure
that your federal resume, KSAs, or ECQs are thorough, grammatically correct, properly
formatted, tailored to the job announcement, and in a file format suitable for
the job you are applying for.
Applicants can also write their resume /
application independently with the proper resources and knowledge. Many are
able to complete their application using these excellent resources. If you don't have the time or inclination to do it on
your own, this highly recommended
Resume Writing Service is available to a assist you. The service you select
will be based on several factors including:
- Complexity of your resume and application
- Grade level that you are applying for
- Personal contact − ability to talk with the professional you hire
- The time you have available to work with the writer, and
- Cost of service - what you can afford
selecting a resume writing service, make sure you
will have phone contact with your assigned writer
before you sign up.
Career Pro Global provides an initial
phone consultation and works with their clients
by phone and email to professionally complete your
resume. They tailor it to the specific job announcement. A number of low cost services
offer only online contact through a resume desktop.
These services can be difficult to contact if you
experience problems with your
resume or billing and they may not tailor your
resume to the job announcement.
Resume Writing Service offered by Career Pro Global is the only
ISO 9001-2008 Certified Career Management Service
in the industry. Their
one-on-one personal service is highly desirable and necessary especially for mid
to higher grade, management, and SES positions. They will discuss your personal
needs and fees by phone once you provide them information about your work
history, education, and qualifications, and upload a copy of the federal job
vacancy announcement of interest.
Based on their FREE review of your background, previously prepared documents,
and position specifications, they will propose a federal resume package quote to
meet your individual requirements. If you would like to proceed, an invoice will
be generated for your approval and your certified federal resume writer will contact you for an
introduction via email and telephone. Project development will be discussed and
any additional documents that might be required will be requested by your
writer. This Federal Resume Writing Service offers personal one-on-one service
and tailors your resume to the job announcement.
Your federal resume and/or KSA drafts will be submitted for your review via
email and you will have the opportunity to request any changes or provide
additional information to your writer. You will have 14 days to finalize your
federal resume package with your writer. Expedited service is available if
needed to meet a short notice closing date.
- FREE initial consultation and assessment of your submitted documentation
- Personal one-on-one service by telephone and email
- Tailors federal resume/application to exact specifications required by job
- Responsive and easy to reach customer service if problems arise
- Federal resume samples available for your review prior to signing up
- Completes ALL application formats from entry level to SES
- 14 days to finalize resume package with writer (Quick turnarounds
- Toll free customer service number during business hours
- All writers have multiple federal resume writing
- Over 31,000 customers served
- Completes federal resumes, KSAs, and SES ECQs
- The only ISO 9001-2008 Certified Career
It depends on many factors. With the proper
resources you can write your resume
yourself, time permitting. If you hire a
resume writing service you will have to work by phone and online with the
resume writer. The
service we recommend provides a free telephone consultation after reviewing
your current resume or work history and the job announcement that you send them
Quick Quote online form. Only you know the details they need to write your
resume. An entry level federal style resume is typically 3 to 5 pages long and
you must tailor you application and work experience to the job announcement's
required qualifications. One advantage of hiring a professional service is that
once they complete your resume for you can use that same resume, with minor
modifications, for other government jobs within the same occupational group that
you apply for. Just change the job title and announcement number and review the
new job announcement to check for additional or different required duties and
responsibilities. If these changed you will have to incorporate them into the
Chapter Six of
of U.S. Government Jobs walks you through this process. There are many
factors to consider; the time necessary to complete your resume if you write it
yourself, the cost of a
service and whether or not you can afford it, and your writing ability. The
resources that we offer provide abundant examples
and step-by-step instructions. However, you must devote the time necessary to
read the application sections, understand the concepts, tailor your resume to
the job announcement, and compile the data logically, spell and grammar check
your work in a word processor, and then apply.
When writing your resume you have to consider many things and include all
required information. Format is also important
especially with RESUMIX and online submissions. If you are good at putting your
thoughts down on paper and have the time available you can complete your resume
application as long as you fully understand the application process. I wrote
many federal applications during my 35 + years of government service with great
success. I was also a trained and certified federal rating official and reviewed
and rated thousands of job applications.
COPY of The Book of U.S. Government Jobs
(Federal Resume Guide)
SPECIAL OFFER ($27.95 NOW ONLY $19.50)
Call 1-800-782-7424 or
This resource has everything you need to find and
land high paying and secure
government jobs. Learn how to prepare
professional federal style resumes that will get the
attention of rating officials.
Includes a step-by-step
federal resume and KSA guide with numerous examples.
The application and federal resume process isn't formidable, however it is detailed
and you have to tailor your federal resume
to the job announcement so that rating officials will be able to easily find
the key duties and specialized experience that is required for the job. With a
little coaching and the comprehensive federal resume samples that are provided in
The Book of U.S. Government Jobs, you too can get though this. Entry level job applicants
can expect to spend at least 4 to 8 hours on their application. Midlevel
applicants can easily spend several days just compiling key information in
preparation for completing their federal resume. This is why I encourage all who apply
to complete their resume OFF LINE. I don't recommend completing your resume
through an agency or USAJOBS resume builder because of their limitations. It is
best to write your federal resume and/or application on your word processor and take
your time to compile the info you need, draft your work experiences, spell check
and insure that you have ALL information that is required in the Job
Announcement. Your federal style resume MUST be
tailored to the job announcement
to improve your chances of landing the job. After you complete your federal resume offline, it is a simple matter to copy and paste your
federal resume data into
online resume builders.
A word of caution. Once you have your federal resume completed and posted on USAJOBS, it's easy to submit that same
resume to apply for other job vacancies. That can cost you a possible job.
Before resubmitting that same federal resume for another job vacancy READ the job
announcement thoroughly to insure that other duties and specialized experience
are not required for the new position. If you find different requirements, and
you possess the new duties or specialized experience, incorporate them into your
resume. It is not unusual to apply for the same job series and find other
requirements, or new or additional KSA statements.
Federal Resumes, KSAs, ECQs, and Cover Letters
Return to Top of Page