Friday, July 12, 2024

How To Make A Resume For A Government Job

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How Does A Federal Resume Truly Differ From A Private Sector Resume

3 Resume strategies for a Government job

The biggest difference is in the experience section. A private sector resume includes the name of the company for whom you worked, your title, the dates you were employed, and bulleted achievements. A professional federal resume is more detailed. In addition to what youâll find on a private sector resume, youâll also find the number of hours worked per week and salary. Of course, there are other key differences. USAJobs has tips for not only writing your resume but also information about the federal hiring process.

Our goal at ZipJob is to help you navigate the confusion to find the right certified federal resume writer. These 7 resume writing services have very specific processes that help you climb to the top of the stack of federal job candidates.

Try Developing New Skills

Another way to bolster your résumé when you dont have any experience in your chosen field is to upskill yourself in relevant areas. Nowadays, there are several ways you can do this so you can find the learning style that best fits your lifestyle.

You could go to college to study, attending evening classes to fit around your current work schedule. Alternatively, you could complete an online course from the comfort of your own home and in your own time. There are thousands of low-cost courses available on sites like Udemy and Teachable, where you can learn almost any professional skill.

You could even start a side hustle alongside your current position to help you learn new skills. For example, if you want to move over to the design industry, why not practice and fine-tune your skills during your free time by freelancing.

Start With A Trusted Format

There are 3 typical resumes formats you can pick from:

  • Reverse-chronological: this ones the standard and it lists your experiences from most recent to the oldest one.
  • Functional. This one doesnt include work experiences and focuses solely on your skills.
  • Combination, a mix of the other 2 formats.

Since youre making a federal resume, though, you need to go with a reverse-chronological format.

Its the most common format in the US and is recognized by every single federal recruiter.

  • How Long Should a Federal Resume Be?

While a traditional resume is 1-2 pages max, the federal resume provides you with a LOT more freedom.

As we highlighted above, a federal resume includes a lot more detail than the conventional one. So, if you aim for 1-2 pages, youll just come off as lazy .

  • Which Format Should You Use ForYour Federal Resume?

Unless the job ad specifically asks for a specific format, we recommend you stick to PDF.

A PDF resume maintains its original formatting and will look just like you intended regardless of which computer you open it with.

The same, however, cant be said for a Word resume format.

  • Should I Use a Federal Resume Template?

Yep – if you use a resume template, your resume is going to be a lot more noticeable and at the same time, easier to create.

You can pick one of our hand-crafted CV templates and get started with yours in minutes!

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Free Government Of Canada Cover Letter Excerpt

You are ready to apply for your dream job at the Government of Canada. You fill out the resume section, you answer the questionnaire and then you see the dreaded space for the cover letter. Panic hits. How do you ensure that YOUR cover letter will stand out from the other thousands of applicants that want the same job as you?

I know how you feel, I have had many applications rejected by the Government of Canada due to a poorly written cover letter, even though I had the right education and work experience for the job.

Despite searching online and reading various books, there was no clear method to writing a cover letter for the Government of Canada that worked for me. However, you are unlike me, below I will provide you some insiders knowledge to ensure that your cover letter stands out from the others. This is the strategy that I used to get my first job interview and have successfully used variations of this format in several internal Government of Canada job competitions.

So, how do you make your cover letter stand out from the competition? Here is some insider knowledge to get you ahead:

What Is A Federal Resume


A federal resume is a comprehensive document used when applying for a job within a federal government. You need to provide more specific information both about yourself and your work experience than you would in a regular resume. The federal resume is tailored for federal hiring managers and human resources personnel and, like traditional resumes, still includes your qualifications, background and personal details.

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Identify Your Highest Gs Grade

All jobs within the federal government are graded within the General Schedule to determine pay rate and job responsibility. The GS scale goes from 1 to 15 with 10 steps within each grade that have a pre-determined pay increase at each step. If you are currently employed with the federal government, include your highest GS grade and current salary range.

Whats A Federal Resume

A federal resume, as the name implies, is the type of resume you need to make in order to apply for US federal positions.

It is similar to the conventional resume in the way you describe your experiences. You include all the must-have sections in your resume, and describe your skills and past experiences.

There are, however, some differences from a conventional resume that make creating a federal one a bit trickier.

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Problem # : The Usajobs Upload Resume Feature

The upload resume feature seems to work well for vacancy announcements where the questionnaire managed by

PROS: The resume that you upload can be formatted for plain paper reading. You can use bold type, centering, indentations, and other helpful styling techniques.

CONS: If the announcement is posted by NASA, DHS, or other agencies not using, the integration between the resume and the questionnaire may not be perfect.

THE FIX: I am starting to use the Upload resume feature, but when I do, I ensure that I include the critical compliance information, such as: month and year, hours per week supervisor name supervisor phone salary full address and location of the employer for each position for 10 years.

Key Components Of Your Federal Resume

4 Tips To Write An Effective Federal Resume

To create your federal resume, we strongly suggest you use the Resume Builder on USAJOBS to guide you through the resume-writing process to ensure you do not leave out anything important. You are permitted to create several resumes and tailor them to fit different positions. You may also create a searchable, master resume that enables HR specialists to contact you about an opportunity that might be a great fit for your skills and experience.

Building Your Federal Resume

  • Candidate Information

You will first be asked to provide your name, contact information, citizenship status and other basic information. Most positions require applicants to be a U.S. citizen to apply, but there may be some exceptions for hard-to-fill jobs. You also need to identify whether you have ever worked for the federal government and whether you qualify for veterans preference.

Note: You are eligible for veterans preference if you have served on active duty in the Armed Forces.

  • Work experience

List the required information fields for all relevant jobs youve held. Each part of the resume is essential to your resume meeting the minimum qualifications. Experienced workers may choose to only list jobs held in the last 10 years.

Required:Employer, location, position title, start and end date, average hours worked per week, responsibilities and accomplishments.

  • Education

Required:Schools attended, degrees obtained.

Optional Information to Include

Jobrelated training


Language skills

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Federal Resume Writing Services

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.

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.

  • 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
  • Describe Your Educational Background

    Education is another important facet of your resume. Be sure to only list schools and programs that are accredited through the Office of Personnel Managements standards. If youre an entry-level candidate, consider including more information, like relevant coursework from your education.

    Be sure to include these educational details for government recruiters to review:

    • Name of school

    • Awards, scholarships or special recognitions

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    Read The Job Description Carefully

    It is important to read the job description carefully before writing a cover letter to get all the necessary details. Make sure you know which skills and experiences are necessary for the position. Consider which of these requirements you have and how you can highlight them in your cover letter. The job description also informs you about other job requirements. Some job descriptions have specific requirements for a cover letter, so ensure you check for these and follow the instructions carefully.

    Problem # : Resumes That Are Too Long

    Pin on 3

    USAJOBS resume builder has no limit for length. You could actually put a 20-page resume in the builder, and we have seen people try to do just this. Its important that you TRY to limit your writing to a range of about 5 to 7 pages, even if your career is long and accomplished. Hiring officials will focus on the most recent 5 years of your career. They will also read and consider up to the last 10 years of work experience. Prior to 10 years, they will scan quickly.

    THE FIX: The USAJOBS builder does not automatically optimize the space of your resume content, so your resume could print out longer than you expect. Print our your current resume to see how long it is, and adjust it accordingly.

    Read Also: Government Jobs In Las Vegas

    How To Make The Move From Government To Private Sector Practice

    Attorneys working in the government often consider leaving for private-sector opportunities. Jeffrey Lowe and Deborah Ben-Canaan, partners and practice leaders at legal recruiting firm Major, Lindsey & Africa, discuss how best to go about transitioning to a law firm or in-house corporate position.

    Government lawyers enjoy great perksgenerous benefits, better job security, more predictable hours, and the intangible benefits that come with serving their country. But if and when the time comes to move to private practice, it is important to be strategic about your move.

    We typically see a higher level of interest in leaving during administration changes. This is a natural time for job evolution, as new administrations tend to want their own people and government lawyers may find themselves less aligned with a change in political philosophy.

    Problem # : One Year Specialized Experience Is Not Taken Seriously Enough

    The One Year Specialized Experience is a deal breaker for your application. This is a very simple, but sometimes overlooked, requirement. One of the very first sections I look at in the vacancy announcement is the qualifications section and the One Year Specialized Experience.

    THE FIX: Ask yourself, What is the best position in my experience that supports the One Year Specialized Experience requirement? I hope you have an answer to that question from the last 5 years of your work experience if necessary, you can go out to 10 years. At the Resume Place, we make it a priority to feature the One Year Specialized Experience in a resume with accomplishments that prove the level of that experience.

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    Tips For Formatting Resumes In Usajobs Resume Builder

    You can copy and paste text from Word documents into the resume builder. However, some formatting in these documents may not work in the USAJOBS resume builder. To fix formatting errors inside your resume, you must first save the original file in a .txt format.

    To copy and paste from Word:

  • Open up your Word document or other word processing tool.
  • Select the File tab at the top.
  • Go to the Save As option.
  • Choose to save it as a Plain Text file.
  • Open the new file and ensure the text appears in an acceptable format.
  • Copy and paste your resume text into the resume builder.
  • To edit your USAJOBS resume-builder resume:

  • Click on your username at the top of the page and select Documents from the menu.
  • Find the resume you want to edit and click Edit .
  • This will bring you to the first page of your resume.
  • Key Information For Each Position

    Federal resume writing for USAJOBS | USAJOBS PROFILE | KEYWORDS | Create Best Qualified Resume

    This is the information that you should include for each position on your resume.

    • Company/organization name
    • GS Level
    • Brief description of the organization
    • Brief description of the product/project/team you worked on or supported
    • List of relevant skills, tools, technologies used
    • Specific duties, responsibilities, accomplishments of the position

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    Important Facts About The Federal Hiring Process

    • The Federal Government does have a standard job application. Your resume is your application.
    • Hiring agencies use the job announcement to describe the job and list the required qualifications and responsibilities.
    • After applying, the hiring agency uses the information in your resume to verify if you have the required qualifications stated in the job announcement.
    • Once the hiring agency has determined who is qualified, they may use other assessments such as interviews or testing to determine the best qualified applications.

    Build Your Government Resume, the federal governments employment website, has an online resume builder. However, the tool has drawbacksit standardizes the order of resume sections and formats text in a small font size.

    As a workaround, Troutman says applicants can use the tool to build a resume, download the file, fix the formatting, and upload the new file. The system allows users to store and manage multiple resume versions.

    When reformatting a resume, review the order of sections. If you have a recent degree or the education is required by the position, education should be placed above work history. Sometimes I find a new MBA degree buried at the bottom of an otherwise great resume, says Troutman.

    Avoid getting creative, such as using a functional resume to hide a lack of experience. The only acceptable format for a government application is reverse chronological, says Dagliano, who teaches a resume writing course for the National Resume Writers Association, a nonprofit trade association.

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    Best Federal Resume Writing Services For Usajobs In 2021

    ZipJob Team

    5 min read

    Applying to a federal government job is far more involved than applying to a corporate position. The first major difference is in the layout and details contained in your resume. Traditional resumes usually max out at two pages in length. Federal resumes are often between four and five pages.

    That doesnât mean that your federal resume should simply have more bullet points. You still want to highlight your achievements and qualifications. To avoid being turned away from a federal position because of simple resume errors, we recommend hiring a professional federal resume writer.

    ZipJobâs team of career guidance experts has found the 7 best resume writing services for federal jobs in the country–including our US-based writers at ZipJob. A federal resume writer understands all the best practices to highlight achievements and can do so within the requisite format and detailed guidelines required by the federal government.

    Have Your Resume Reviewed

    Sample Resume For Government Jobs

    Your resume is such a large part of finding success, so why do the minimum when it comes to making sure its stellar? Not only does a review service ensure that it will be free of grammatical and structural errors, but it also helps to give it the extra edge that could make all the difference. You want your resume to be clear, concise, and well designed. At we offer different resume review services that are sure to give your resume the edge and promise you have been trying to achieve.

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    How To Write A Ksa For A Government Job

  • How to Write a KSA for a Government Job
  • The majority of government job announcements will require applicants to complete a KSA questionnaire. The acronym stands for Knowledge, Skills, and Abilities. KSAs for federal jobs collect information from applicants about their experiences that are directly related to the job.

    Knowing how to write KSA for federal jobs will greatly improve your chances of being asked to a job interview. Hiring managers consider the responses on KSAs as closely as resumes.

    The KSA government jobs questionnaire essentially serves as a preliminary job interview in written form. It supplements your resume although its acceptable to repeat information on a KSA thats already present on your resume.

    Follow these basic steps to write answers for your KSA:

  • List important keywords from the job announcement that pertain to requirements and qualifications. Youll want to incorporate these keywords in your KSA.
  • Identify factors related to job requirements within the job announcement. Check for special selective factors or special placement factors necessary to qualify for the job at all. Your KSA must address these special factors to gain an interview.
  • Spend some time thinking about all of your experience and skills. Pertinent experience, even from unpaid volunteer activities, counts as well as work history.

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