Federal hiring agency pro tips: Tailoring federal resume structure

I want to make this article today to provide some guidance on how to structure a resume when you’re applying for a federal government position. I have experience as a federal HR specialist, so I’ve been on the other end reviewing resumes and I understand the rules and qualifications for the hiring that we have to go through. So I’ll explain what’s required and why.

If you are a novice employee or a student with no work experience, pay attention to this article, which will help you in writing a resume: federalresumeguide.com/entry-level-government-jobs-with-no-experience-needed/ Below we will consider an example that implies the presence of some particular work experience for a given qualification.

First things first

So first things first, is resume structure. So every resume for your block of experience wherever you worked will need to be structured in a certain way to get credit for that experience. It’s gonna be a month in year, two month in a year or if it’s your current job, it can be to present. Then you also have to indicate, whether that job was full-time or part-time and if it was a part-time job, it needs to have the number of hours per week that you worked.

Now the reason for that is our qualifications are very specific and they read something along the lines of “must have one year of experience at the next lower grade doing specific duties”.

This means that you can expect a certain salary as part of your qualifications, as it’s shown here on the example of military salaries: https://federalresumeguide.com/highest-paying-military-jobs/  And so the way we get that one year which is 2080 hours is we have to actually count up the time that you have on your resume in your certain positions.

So if it’s full-time job, we automatically give you 40 hours a week each year and you’re good. If it’s part-time job, we have to count up the hours. So if it was 20 hours a week, it would take 2 years of experience with that position to qualify. And I’ve actually had instances where I’ve taken multiple blocks of part-time experience and added all the time up to reach that one year. So it doesn’t have to all be in one set of experience, but it has to be documented properly, so that it can be read and interpreted.

Content is king

And so the next part is content. So as far as content goes, a normal private sector resume might be limited to one page, a couple of catch phrases just to hopefully express yourself in an interview. Well for us with the federal government that doesn’t quite work. Because again with it saying “you must have one year of experience at the next lower grade doing certain duties”. You need to list out all the experience that you have in that block of time that you work there. So that we can match those duties to what we’re doing.

There’s been rumors, maybe other federal agencies use key word, screening the VA does not do that. I actually look at every document that’s submitted to your application and I go through your resume and even if it’s 20 pages, then I’ll have to read the entire 20 pages to see, if I can find what I’m looking for to qualify you.

So it’s not uncommon to get longer resumes two, three, four pages and there’s nothing wrong with that you want to fully explain everything that you’ve done for that position. So that it can be linked to your date range and given full credit for the job.

Be the tailor of your fate

Now also advice for the resume is that it needs to be tailored to every single position that you’re applying to. So if you have a generic resume that just says “I have leadership skills” or whatever the case is, you’re probably not going to qualify for any positions. Because it’s not specific enough to that job. So every job announcement has a block for required experience and what you need to do if you want have a generic resume? You need to then modify it to fit that particular job announcement.

So if it says “must have one year of experience at the next lower grade doing the particular duties”, those particular duties need to somehow be reflected in your resume, so that they can link up. Because if your resume doesn’t have enough of those duties in it that, then you won’t meet the specialized experience required for that job.

And when it says next lower-grade, if you don’t already work for the government, if the duties match, that’s considered next lower-grade. So you don’t have to worry about whether or not your experiences is relevant, it’s just as long as the duties match, then it’s considered next lower-grade.

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