How Many Years Employment Should You Include on a Federal Resume?

How many years employment should be included on a Federal resume?  The short answer is all of them.  The Federal government, whether it is the Office of Personnel Management, the Department of the Army with a resumix resume, the Department of the Navy with their resumix, or the Department of the Air Force with theirs, prefer more information and not less.On a Federal resume length is less important than thoroughness and providing all information requested.   A Federal resume should not go over five pages in length, but the government does wish to have contact information, dates of employment and names of supervisors for all jobs held during a person’s career.  If necessary to avoid going over five pages, information can be condensed for older jobs, but as much information should be listed as possible.Of course the length limit does not include the KSA’s, or knowledge skills and aptitudes essay questions that go with most Federal employment resumes.  In these KSA answers all relevant information that can be included from all previous jobs should be listed.  If going back 20 or 25 years will be of benefit, don’t hesitate to go back that far.  And remember that if in doubt about length, about how far to go back in employment history, or in what is most important to include, a professional Federal resume writer can provide the answers and shorten your job search.


Including Salary and Supervisor Contacts on a Federal Resume

When preparing a Federal resume, whether it is for submission to the Office of Personnel Management or one of the military Resumix resume formats, notice that salary information and supervisor contacts are requested.  In a private sector resume this information is usually not asked for, or if it is then it will be requested during the interview process, when a candidate has actually passed through the first screening and is seriously being considered for a job.  The Federal process, however, requires that this information be submitted.  As a requirement, the job candidate is taking a chance on having the resume thrown out and all efforts in landing a Federal job placed in jeopardy by not including this information.  So, the smart Federal job hunter will include this information as with all information that is requested. Hint:  when the word requested appears in a federal application, think “required”.If a job is several years in the past and the candidate no longer knows the information required, then the best educated guess becomes the proper answer.  Estimating the amount of salary you received, or listing the hourly wage in that section with older jobs should meet the requirements.  The same with supervisors.  Come as close as possible.  If that person no longer works there, make a call to the company or stop by and get a contact name and phone number to list who could verify your employment.  Do the best you can to provide complete information and you’ll have a better shot at Federal employment.


Top Tips to Increase Your Federal Job Chances: Getting an Interview

Many people mistakenly think that a resume will land a job.  Whether it is a Federal or private sector resume however, getting the job is not the purpose of the resume.  Getting the interview is the goal.  If the resume results in an interview then it did what it was designed to do.  With a Federal resume, realizing that the government agencies involved require more information than is commonly found on private sector resumes, it is very important to give them all of the information they ask for.  Following instructions and providing such information as supervisor contact information and salary history is important.The next step in increasing chances of  landing a Federal job are in making your resume stand out in a stack of qualified applicants.  Grabbing the attention of the reader on the first page through listing of accomplishments, while still staying within the format restrictions of the Federal process, will ensure that your resume will be noticed.  This, in fact, is one of the main reasons for considering use of a professional Federal resume writer in preparing your resume.  A professional can often spot accomplishments and reasons to pay attention to your resume that you may have missed.Next, the information in the resume, whether it is job descriptions, education information or any other pertinent data should be clearly communicated.  Proper grammar, proper sentence structure, and zero spelling errors.  You may not get extra points for perfect spelling, but some people will take points away if you have errors.  Make sure that the document is as close to perfect as it can be, which is another good reason to work with a professional.


Applying for Army Positions: A Completely Different Process than OPM

Applying for federal jobs through the Department of the Army and becoming one of the thousands of civilian support personnel that keep the Army working smoothly is a different process than what is required for other federal positions such as those through the Office of Personnel Management.  Applying for these Army jobs requires use of Resumix, an automated resume storage systems.  The central Resumix database allows an applicant to submit just one resume that will be used worldwide.  The format is distinctive and must be adhered to in order for a resume to be considered when a candidate applies for a position. The resumix resume should be developed in a consistent, uniform manner and in the Army’s desired format for processing and entering into the central database, along with supplemental data sheets.Many job candidates choose to have their resumix resume prepared by a professional who is familiar with the process and format that must be used.  The best argument for this is the fact that the Army is filled with civilian workers who had their resumix resumes prepared professionally for just that reason.  Realizing that they were highly skilled in their specialty areas but not skilled in the specialty area of resumix preparation, many now happily employed Army civilians had their resumix resumes written by professional resume writers who understand, and specialize in the Army hiring process and the resumix format.


What is Resume Builder: The Mystery Uncovered

Resume Builder is a unique software application that allows simple, and uniformly formatted resumes to be created that meet minimum federal standards.  The resumes created using Resume Builder meet the requirements, are quick to create and are available to create free of charge. That’s the plus side.  On the downside however, they meet MINIMUM standards.  The best way to utilize Resume Builder is to have a professional resume created that goes beyond the minimum, presenting you in the best possible light and ensuring that you and your qualifications will be noticed.  Then through use of Resume Builder a professional resume can be easily uploaded, putting you several steps ahead of the rest of the crowd applying for that perfect job.The temptation when first looking at resume builder is to think that resumes are simple and through use of this software anyone can create one.  There is some truth to that.  But remember that writing a will is a simple process as well, but it is an important document and most wise people choose to spend a small fee with an attorney to ensure that the will is prepared correctly and will do its job.  The same is true with your resume.  It is just as important a document as your will is because your resume will help you get the interview that lands the job that allows you to make a good living, pay your bills and send your kids to college.  Doesn’t it make sense to have it prepared the right way, by a professional?


The Essential Parts of an SES (Senior Executive Service) Federal Resume

The Resume That Tries the Patience and Tests Your Knowledge of YourselfIf you’re applying for a position as a senior executive with the federal government, you need a top-notch SES federal resume in order to be interviewed for a senior executive position.When the Civil Service Reform Act (CSRA) of 1978 was written, the people who framed it envisioned the Senior Executive Service (SES) as a corps of senior executives with solid executive expertise that valued public service and had a broad perspective of government. They intended the SES to be a body of executives, not a group of technical experts. The point is that successful candidates for SES jobs should function well as executives—and executives are paid to oversee technical experts, not to compete with them.Leaving aside for the moment the Executive Core Qualifications (ECQs) that define the competencies required for entry to the Senior Executive Service and are used by many departments and agencies in selection, performance management, and leadership development for management and executive positions, let’s focus on the two most important parts of a federal SES resume:Your profile (also called a career summary) and your achievements.A profile or career summary is a short statement that highlights your abilities in a manner that makes it easy for anyone reading it to speedily pick up on them. Because a single job posting may easily draw thousands of applicants, your profile has to stand out from the herd to get noticed. Your profile should be a short professional biography in no more than 10 lines.For example, a good profile statement might read, “Master of Business Administration with substantial operations management experience. Demonstrated capability for supplying the highest level of corporate services while significantly reducing costs. Fully conversant with all facets of purchasing, security, managing staff, planning facilities and cost accounting. Trilingual English, Spanish and Italian. Reduced overhead by 25% by instituting new competitive bidding procedure that improved quality of service.”The achievement part of an SES federal resume should list your accomplishments in a brief, easy-to-understand format that avoids generalizations and uses numbers to describe the results of your actions.For example:· Designed and wrote new guidelines, policies, flow charts and employee handbooks that increased productivity and saved $40,000 annually· Received award for improving employee performance by 25%· Coordinated continuing education conference that improved management’s ability interact positively with workers· Reduced the number of grievances filed by workers by 60% by obtaining their input for and involving them in management decisionsWhatever your SES career objective, what matters most is concise, perfectly crafted SES federal resume copy that meets the criteria of the post for which you are applying in a fashion superior to those of your competitors for the job.This level of resume writing is best left to professional resume specialists who can take your information and package in a winning way.


Federal job postings require special resumes – are you prepared?

Resumes written for jobs in the private sector are geared to get the job candidate an interview. Resumes written in order to get a job with the federal governments must do more—they must clearly show that you can be certified as qualified by the Human Resources office because you meet the eligibility requirements for the job.

A federal resume needs to include a greater number of specifics than a resume in the private sector and should use language similar to that in the job posting because the HR personnel will be looking to see if you have the specialized experience required.

The federal government recommends constructing your resume in line with the requirements for presenting your experience that are stated for each job. Federal resumes should use a chronological format so that the staffing specialist who reviews your resume can easily see know where, when and how long you were in the positions you mention. A functional or skills-based resume does not work for federal positions.

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SF-171 is obsolete: Not the Correct Form of US Employment Applicaton

For years the only way to apply for Federal jobs was through filling out the Standard Form 171, or SF-171.  This form was hated by most job applicants as it was long, cumbersome, and made it difficult for originality and creativity to shine.  Professional resume writing services sometimes assisted in filling out SF-171’s, and could utilize creative writing skills in the some of the blocks of type on the form, but the eye catching appeal of graphics available to the users of private sector resumes were not available to those who used the SF-171.  And the benefits of using a computer with word processing software were not available then.  If a mistake was made on the SF-171, of if the writer wished to go back and change a sentence to something that might help the applicant more, then the entire form had to be retyped in a typewriter. A few software companies brought out software that allowed tying the form on a computer screen and printing it out on a laser printer, but this software was very expensive and didn’t work that well.Thankfully the new Federal hiring process has declared the SF-171 obsolete and it is no longer used.Applicants for Federal positions today will prepare a Federal resume which, while longer than those used in the private sector, is a vast improvement over the old standard form.  Also KSA’s or Knowledge Skills and Aptitude questions generally must be answered and must accompany the Federal resume.  For higher level positions the SES resume with ECQ’s will be required.  But with all of these new systems the chance to make an applicant look better and use professional writing and resume preparation skills now exists, good news for the Federal job applicant.


Competitive and Excepted Services: The 2 Classes of Jobs in the Federal Government

Getting hired by the Federal government is a process that has changed in the past few years.  In the old days the Office of Personnel Management maintained files of all eligible candidates and copies of their Standard Ford 171 job application.  These days many agencies allow direct contact and do their own hiring and the SF 171 is no longer used.  There are now two classes of Federal government jobs.  Competitive Service and Excepted Service jobs.

Competitive Service

These jobs are under the jurisdiction of the OPM.  Subject to the civil service laws created by Congress, these laws ensure that applicants and employees receive “fair and equal treatment I the hiring process.”  Selecting officials have broad authority to review numerous candidates before making the decision.

Excepted Service

These are agency jobs which in certain situations, have the freedom to set their own requirements.  They are subject to rules on areas of appointment, pay and classification  rules as set down in Title 5 of the United States Code.  They are also subject to veterans’ preference.  Some Federal agencies have only exempted service positions, such as the FBI and the CIA.  Other agencies have a combination of Competitive Service and Excepted Service positions.


The Anatomy of a Federal Job Posting: Understanding the Requirements

When seeking Federal employment and looking at Federal job postings, understanding the requirements of the job listed is key.  It does a candidate for a job no good whatsoever to apply for a position for which that candidate is not qualified according to listed requirements.  Pay careful attention to the posting.  First make sure that you actually do meet the listed requirements, and if you do, then make sure that your Federal resume writing covers all of the necessary ground in informing the reader of those qualifications.Also, a Federal job posting will probably, aside from a federal resume, require KSA’s, Knowledge Skills Aptitudes specific questions that must be answered.  Even though these questions will sometimes repeat information from the resume itself, following the old rule of “tell them what you are going to tell them, tell them, and then tell them what you told them” hold true for Federal applications as they do in other résumés.  In a competitive environment making sure that your qualifications  are not missed by the reader is important, just as it is important that you read the requirements very carefully and make sure that you have the experience, the education and the other attributes that are necessary to be hired in this position.