So, I just got finished with my federal resume and applied for my first job opening through Veterans Affairs. It started off at 9 pages but I had to edit it down to 8 pages so I could highlight only the greatness that is me. I’ll be honest; it was a huge pain in the arse. I love working with veterans, and I love federal benefits, so hopefully, getting a job with the federal government is the right move for me. If you are thinking of a career in the federal sector, you will find it to be a different process than any other job you may have applied for. In order to apply for jobs in the federal government, you need to go to www.usajobs.gov and create and submit a federal resume. Below is a link to an example resume that you may want to take a look at:
One of the main differences between a regular resume and a federal resume is that the federal resume needs content….a lot of content. Whereas it is recommended that a resume for a civilian job to be 1-2 pages at most, a federal resume is on average 6-10 pages long. Part of the reason is that the resume is first screened by a computer program that looks for key words and phrases associated with the job description. The more hits the program gets, the better rating your resume receives and in reality, only about the top 5% even get looked at by a human resources person.
Another reason is the Government’s use of Knowledge Skills and Attributes (KSA) Statements. These ask you to explain how your experience gives you the qualifications needed for the job.
Here is an example of a question, along with poor responses and good ones.
Factor #1 Skill in written communication
Example of a poor response:
My verbal and written communication skills are excellent. I am often asked to help out in this regard and have been commended for my work by my supervisors.
Example of a good response:
In the past 10 months, I have taken over a number of writing assignments previously held by my supervisor. These include:
(I) Drafting monthly reports on leasing activities under the purview of our office. These are routinely approved by my supervisor without change and are circulated to 10 field offices and regional directors.
(2) I have assumed the responsibility of reporter for the quarterly meeting of the bureau’s research directors. Reports of these meetings are reviewed by the Director’s Office prior to distribution to all participants.
In January 1996, I completed the course, “Writing Analytical Reports,” offered through the National Independent Study Center. This was a six-month course involving 24 hours of training and covering such areas as: planning an analytical report, collecting and analyzing data, identifying possible solutions to problems addressed in the report, and organizing, writing and editing the report.
You can see that having to write these paragraphs can take a lot of time and space on the resume. They are also a pain in the ass to write. But don’t worry there are online resources out there to help you write KSAs on your own, but it’s ultimately up to you to do the work. After all….you’re the one who wants a job.
Allen St. Quote of the Week:
Dealer- “Hey man, wanna buy some weed?”
Me- “Sorry, I don’t do drugs” (I don’t know why I was so polite about it.)
Dealer- “That’s cool man…..wanna buy some yeyo then?”