Have a Plain Text Version of your Federal Resume Ready for Some Online Application Sites

Are you trying to attain a coveted Federal position?  Along with following the various guidelines that apply to Federal resumes and applications, you should also have a plain text version of your Federal resume ready for certain online application websites.If you are applying online, it is necessary to have a resume formatted in plain text.  Although a resume prepared in a standard work processing program such as Word Perfect or Microsoft word may look cleaner and neater, there are also other programs for word processing and there is actually no particular standard that is used by everybody.  Because of this, the majority of online Federal job application websites require that you post your resume in .txt format, commonly referred to as plain text.  Your KSA (knowledge, skills and abilities) statements should also be submitted online in plain text format, whenever it is asked or required.To convert your Federal application documents into plain text in Microsoft word, go to “file”, select “save as” and then select “plain text”, then go into the file and verify the formatting was updated and delete any odd spaces or characters that may appear.  If you want to ensure your resume is properly formatted and submitted, hire a professional resume writer to take care of it.  Having a resume writer prepare your Federal application can mean the difference between getting the job you want or not even getting an interview.

What Happens When You Exceed Character Limits on a Federal Job Application or Resume

Federal job applications and resumes must follow a certain format and comply with the guidelines.  What happens when you exceed the character limits on a Federal job application or resume?  The Federal system immediately recognizes you did not follow the guidelines.If your Federal government resume or job application exceeds the character limit, you will not be able to complete the online application process.  You cannot advance to other sections of the Federal job application or resume if your document exceeds the character limit.  Spaces count and some systems do not have a character counting feature so you need to keep track of this yourself as you prepare your Federal job application and resume according to the specified guidelines.Each federal job you apply for has different requirements and a different number of characters you can use on your application and resume.  You need to carefully review these character limits so you can progress properly with your Federal job application and submit your resume.  If these Federal job application and resume requirements are overwhelming, consider hiring a professional resume writer to prepare your employment documents.  A resume writer who is familiar with Federal specifications can craft a resume that will get you noticed rather than rejected.

Including the Vacancy Announcement Number on All Federal Job Documents

Applying for a Federal job is not like looking for a job in the private sector.  When you seek a Federal position, your application, resume and related documents need to follow certain guidelines.  Additionally, there are many applicants for Federal jobs so every page of your application documents has to contain certain information such as the job vacancy announcement number listing in the job posting.Federal employers have many applications and resumes to review and will not be able to take the time to figure out what position you are applying for if you do not clearly indicate it on the documents you submit for consideration.  The job vacancy announcement number is the reference used by Federal employers so they know what job you want.  Other information must appear on your Federal job application, resume and KSA statement, such as your name, social security number and the name of the position you are applying for.If you feel overwhelmed by the Federal job application requirements, you are not alone.  Many people seek the assistance of a professional resume writer who is familiar with the Federal specifications.  Having a professional resume writer prepare your Federal resume, application and KSA is a solid investment in your future that could mean the difference between landing a dream Federal position or still trying to get your resume right.

A Reader Asks: Is the Federal Job Process Longer Than Private Sector?

Q.  Is the federal job process longer than private sector?A.  The federal job process is definitely longer than the private sector.  First of all, it takes more time and a greater effort to prepare a federal resume and the accompanying KSA statement.  The format and content of federal resumes need to follow specific guidelines and incorporate essential keywords from the job announcement so you cannot use a private sector resume to apply for a federal position.Once you submit your federal job application, you may have to wait a longer period of time for a response than if you were applying for a private sector job.  In fact, it can take months to find out about your federal job application because of the thorough applicant ranking process that is legally required.  However, agencies are working to minimize the time it takes for applicants to find out about federal positions they applied for.  Some agencies have already cut down the average initial screening time to just a few weeks after the closing date of the job announcement.  While you are waiting to hear about your federal job application, there are ways to check on its status.  If the federal agency uses an automated hiring system, you can find out your application status by logging onto the employment website.  If an automated system is not used by the agency, you can call the contact person about three weeks subsequent to the closing date to find out the status of your application.  A status check about the position is important to find out if a position is canceled or reopened.

Use Keywords in the Vacancy Announcement to Enrich a Federal Resume and KSAO

Your federal resume and KSAO outlining your knowledge, skills and abilities by using relevant keywords are the most important documents required to start or advance your career with the federal government.Federal resumes are much different from those used to apply for positions in private industry. Most federal resumes are longer than private sector resumes because they contain basic compliance information that is required for consideration by government personnel. A federal resume and accompanying KSAO are actually critical marketing tools that summarize your career and make an overall personal presentation of what you have to offer as a prospective federal employee. Organized in a reverse chronological format, a federal resume can encompass anywhere from two to ten pages.The best way to get your federal resume and KSAO noticed by government personnel is to use the keywords and core competencies listed in the job announcement itself. The strategic development of your federal resume and KSAO to include keywords used in the job announcement will get your resume noticed and put it at the top of the qualification selection.If the federal resume process presents a challenge, consider hiring a professional resume writer who is familiar with federal specifications to prepare your resume and KSAO. Having a federal resume and KSAO that follows federal resume writing guidelines and incorporates essential keywords may mean the difference between attaining a coveted federal position or waiting for a telephone call that never comes.

The Lo Down on Security Clearance in the Federal Government: Know Before you Apply for a Federal Job

Some federal positions requires employees to have a security clearance, usually when the personal will work for an organization that requires access to restricted information. The largest area of government employ that requires security clearances is the military, along with education, financial, medical and telecommunications employees.Having a security clearance federal job can give you increased earnings of up to $5,000 to $15,000 or more. There are about 3 million people with security clearances today participating in “sensitive” positions defined as “any position, by virtue of its nature, could bring about a material adverse effect on national security.” Security clearances are licenses issued by the head of a department, agency or division of the federal government. The types of security clearances are confidential, secret and top secret depending on the scope of the work involved.It can take up to a year for a personal to obtain a security clearance determination as there are usually more than 500,000 background investigations pending at one time. There is a detailed application process where you provide information from five to ten years in your past, a background check and investigation and an adjudication phase when attempting to obtain a security clearance and the gathered facts are evaluated based on thirteen criteria determined by the Department of Defense, such as criminal and personal conduct and allegiance to the United States.Knowing about the security clearance process will make it easier to apply for such coveted federal jobs. Consider hiring a Federal resume service who is familiar with the federal process to help you navigate the guidelines effectively.

Supervisors Names and Phone Numbers are Required on a Federal Resume

Federal resumes are quite different than the resumes used to apply for jobs in the private sector.  There are numerous applicants for federal positions and having a complete resume is essential to get consideration in the competitive federal job arena.For example, including the nature of your previous work experience and the places of your former employment is not enough information on a federal job resume.  You must also include the name of each of your supervisors along with a contact telephone number for that supervisor.  Unlike the private sector, federal employers will not even consider searching for this information on your behalf.  After all, there are many other applicants who may have included this information, making it more efficient for a federal employer to use their resumes and dismiss one without contact information.  If you have a supervisor that has a new contact number or a can no longer be reached, make sure to indicate such pertinent facts specifically on your resume.This is just one of the relevant guidelines that must be considered when you are putting together a resume to apply for a federal position.  In fact, federal government resumes can be up to three or four pages long to include all the required information.  If you are overwhelmed by federal requirements, hire a professional resume writer to prepare your federal resume.  A professional resume writer will have experience with federal guidelines and know the proper way to prepare your resume so it gets noticed rather than passed by.

Get Ready for the Federal Job Interview Process: It Takes a While and Can Involve Many Steps

Are you fortunate enough to be getting ready for a federal job interview? The newest federal interview is the behavior-based interview that does not follow a yes or no quiz format but rather questions are asked that lead you to talk and get an interviewer interested in your qualifications without boring them.During the interview, the focus will be on how your past experiences have prepared you for the federal position you want. Demonstrating your qualifications through specific examples and stories will put you ahead of the competition. Consider these tips for effectively preparing for a federal interview:

  • know the mission of the agency and related your past experience to their exact statement;
  • target the top five skills the agency is seeking and have examples ready to prove you have them;
  • tell a good, memorable story about your work performance without being long-winded;
  • examine the core competencies and have a heart-warming story or two about your ability to meet them, such as being empathetic to co-workers or developing systems to get the job done faster;
  • memorize your job skills and competencies by writing them on paper and repeating them or even taping them; and
  • be enthusiastic about the position you are interviewing for, be attentive and be genuinely helpful and likable.

Remember, you are to be congratulated if you get far enough to get an interview for a coveted federal position. Make the most of this opportunity by practicing and bringing an updated resume. Having a resume prepared by a professional resume service can put you even further ahead of other applicants in a competitive federal job market.

Top Tips for Conducting an Online Federal Job Search

Conducting a federal job search to find the right government position can be tricky because of certain requirements. The first place to start looking for a federal job is the official government website at USAJOBS, where the latest jobs are posted. Consider these top tips to find coveted federal position:

  • Carefully follow the instructions for application, such as entering a particular code number for the job, otherwise your resume may never be viewed at all;
  • Keep your resume very current because old resumes will be overlooked;
  • Detail your qualifications for the position very clearly and make sure that your qualification are described by the exact keywords used in the job descriptions – for example, if the federal job description states “five years of credit accounting experience”, put those exact words on your resume or application;
  • Never use a private sector resume in the public federal sector because it follows a completely different format that includes having information on every page such as the job number you are applying for, your social security number and your full name.

Having a properly written Federal resume can mean the difference between landing a federal position and never even having your resume viewed. Hiring a professional resume writer who is familiar with federal specifications is an investment in your future because they are familiar with the guidelines that will get your resume noticed in a competitive job market. The right words in your resume can get you that dream federal job so you are no longer on the outside looking in.

Keywords are Essential in a Federal Resume

Preparing a federal resume is much different than creating a resume to apply for jobs in the private sector.  When you put together your federal resume, it is essential to use the proper keywords to get your resume noticed.Because the majority of federal agencies use resume databases to manage job applicants, they use a few keywords to search for qualified candidates.  It is critical to know the right keywords and key skills to successfully seek a coveted federal position.  Formerly, keywords were known as buzzwords such as simple terms like manage.  However, because using a broad word such as as “manage” would yield too many results, federal employers search for terms that are specific to the job announcement.There is no single book or resource available to tell you the exact keywords to use.  By reading, research and carefully perusing the “duties” section of vacancy announcements, you can try to locate the key terms used to describe the position and the skills you need to get the job.  If you are unsure of the right keywords to use, your resume may get passed by and leave you wondering what happened to your application.  Hiring a professional resume writer who is familiar with the federal job application process is a solid investment in your future because they will know the proper format and keywords to use to get your application noticed.