FEDERAL RESUMES

FEDERAL RESUME APPLICATION TIPS
There are plenty of opportunities within the federal government, but job applicants need to know the method for landing a position within the federal government is completely different than what they are used to in the private sector. Here are some tips job seekers will need to utilize when applying for a federal position.

BEING HIGHLY QUALIFIED FOR A FEDERAL POSITION:

First time Federal job applicants receive disappointing ratings on their application, despite being highly qualified for the position. The low rating is usually not a result of their qualifications, but of a poor application package.

Many job seekers descend into the same trap that countless first time Federal job applicant’s encounter. The applicants resume package must showcase details of their applicable experience and relate it to the position they are seeking. Once they perform this, a high rating will result.

Your strategy should be to make qualified list most of the time! When the Federal examiners review your resume application, they see your resume and a copy of the Vacancy Announcement for the position you are seeking. It’s the examiners job to check off each item listed under the Basic Qualification and Ranking Factors listed on each job announcement. They will begin by taking a glance at your resume to see if your have placed those qualifications on your career documents. So it’s imperative for you to list these Knowledge, Skills and Abilities on your resume.

QUALIFICATION SOUGHT FOR THE POSITION:
So even though your resume may sound great, it won’t do the job until it clearly states that you have the qualifications sought for the position. For example, let’s say the job announcement states a candidate needs to have excellent writing and editing skills. Your resume needs to reflect that you have an expert knowledge of grammar, spelling and punctuation. Another example may be the announcement states you need to have experience in scheduling. However your resume doesn’t state you have made travel arrangements. It’s important to list each qualification and KSA sought so as you will receive the highest rating possible.

THE SCREENING QUESTIONS:
To ensure fairness across the board, the federal government’s hiring process is highly regulated. When applying for a position you will encounter questions in your federal application. Your replies to the questions have a major impact on your candidacy.

The Federal job announcements comprise of screening questions and affect how you will be evaluated. Always ensure your responses are supportive and tailored to each announcement. The reason being is that the agencies will evaluate a job seekers relevant experience based on the keywords in the job announcement to the keywords in the candidate’s application.

TAILOR YOUR RESUME TO THE POSITION:
So to sum it up, ensure you obtain a copy of the Vacancy Announcement for each position you seek. Ensure you meet the qualifications to the full extent and that you are able to perform the position. In addition, identify each and every KSA and qualification being sought. Then revise your resume and apply with confidence. Instead of being aggravated you’ll have excellent ratings, be landing on the referred list and quite possibly an excellent government job offer.

Dannielle Ramos Rash is an Army Veteran and Founder of First Class Resumes & Career Services. http://www.first-classresumes.com/. She is a Certified Federal Career Coach (CFCC), Certified Federal Job Search Trainer (CFJST), and a Certified Professional Resume Writer (CPRW) and member of the Professional Association of Resume Writers and Career Coaches. Dannielle provides dynamic resumes & career documents for job seekers around the globe.

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COVER LETTERS

Here is some simple advice:

1. Include job- and company-specific content that shows you did your research.

Think of writing your cover letter as a sales pitch. You’re essentially selling yourself, your skills, and your knowledge to the company. Therefore, hiring managers are looking for details that show you’re familiar with the company and that you would make a good fit.

You don’t have to go all out with these details. But by customizing your cover letter for each job description and making note of any industry-related news, new products, or recent announcements, it shows you’re paying attention.

2. Share actions and results from your work experience that relate to that position, not your personal life.

Hiring managers truly want to know the details of your past work experience that pertain to the job at hand. This means you don’t need to highlight all of your great skills and experiences. Again, this is where your strategic thinking should come into play.

If you’re not sure where to begin, consider examples of times when your top skills came in handy and consider how that sets you apart for this particular job. Don’t forget: Hiring managers don’t want to hear about your personal life, goals, or needs—only about how you can contribute to the company.

3. Write short paragraphs with succinct details.

While all the details above are great for a cover letter, hiring managers want to receive this information in short and succinct paragraphs. You should focus on making it easy for them to read your cover letter. Don’t get bogged down in the nitty-gritty details of a past project—simply share the most important details that get your point across. Situation, action, results.

4. Ensure it’s professional-quality and error-free content.

This last detail is so simple, yet you’d be surprised how often it’s ignored. When writing a cover letter, never forget to proofread your work. If you’re customizing each cover letter to every job description, it’s easy to miss some details here and there. But if a hiring manager sees an error, your cover letter will go straight into the “no” pile. The same goes for cover letters that aren’t written professionally. While creativity is great, keep your writing professional and politically correct.

Never forget your cover letter is about what you can do for the company and why you make a good fit for both the position and the organization—and nothing else. Hiring managers are reading your cover letter quickly, so make it short, professional, and give them the details they want to see.

shared by Heather R. Huhman