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Writing Your Federal Resume – A FREE Virtual Briefing by OPM

Writing a Federal Resume

Many federal job applicants are unaware of the requirement to provide a detailed federal style resume with their application. The federal style resume is typically 3 to 10 pages or more compared to the one page private sector version. The best qualified are selected for interviews and to make that cut you must provide detailed supportive information that confirms your qualifications for the position. Basically, you must provide a work history that highlights what you did in your prior work history to achieved the knowledge, skills, and abilities (KSAs) required for the job.

The key to landing a federal job is tailoring your federal resume to the job announcement, now called the Job Opportunity Announcement (JOA). OPM is offering free (online) hour and a half long briefings to explain each section of the JOA to help applicants identify the right job. According to OPM, “These presentations highlight a 3 part process to assist applicants in writing their Federal resume. Attendees will be shown a real JOA and walked through reviewing the JOA to determine qualifications and interest, identifying the important requirements and then tailoring their resumes with that JOA. Lastly, it will provide a quick overview of the resume builder on USAJOBS.”

The agenda, meeting dates, and times are available on OPM’s web site. Four sessions are initially scheduled for July 28 and 29. Registration is limited to 1500 participants. Other dates will be announced on USAJobs so visit their site frequently if you would like to attend a session.

There are professional services available if you need assistance that provide a free review of your background, previously prepared documents, and job announcement. Those who can put their thoughts on paper logically and have the time to tailor their federal resume to the JOA are able to complete their application on the USAJobs resume builder. Our federal resume sample will help you focus on the task at hand. I suggest completing your federal resume off line on your desktop first. Simply copy and paste what you compiled on your desktop into the resume builder after spell checking and taking your time to compose your resume. Too many rush through the process on the resume builder leaving out key information and the final document may have typos and spelling errors.

If you are interested in a federal job take advantage of OPM’s online virtual briefings and research the process to ensure your application includes the supporting information required to be rated “Best Qualified” for the position.

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The information provided may not cover all aspects of unique or special circumstances, federal and postal regulations, and programs are subject to change. Our articles and replies are time sensitive. Over time, various dynamic human resource guidance and factors relied upon as a basis for this article may change. The advice and strategies contained herein may not be suitable for your situation and this service is not affiliated with OPM, the postal service or any federal entity. You should consult with school counselors, hiring agency personnel offices, and human resource professionals where appropriate. Neither the publisher or author shall be liable for any loss or any other commercial damages, including but not limited to special, incidental, consequential, or other damages.

About The Author

Dennis V. Damp is a retired federal manager, business owner, career counselor and veteran. Damp’s The Book of U.S. Government Jobs was awarded “Best Career” title by the Benjamin Franklin Awards Committee in 2012 and Foreword Magazine nominated it for “Best Career & Reference” title. Damp is the author of 28 books, a recognized employment expert, and a retired federal manager with 35 years service. He worked for the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) as an electronics technician, training instructor, project engineer, computer-based instruction administrator, training program manager, program support manager, and environmental health and safety program manager. Dennis held numerous supervisory and management positions and was responsible for recruiting, rating and interviewing applicants, outreach and hiring. His last government position was technical operations manager at the Pittsburgh International Airport’s air traffic control tower. Damp’s books and websites are based on his many years in management where he was responsible for recruitment, outreach, retention and career development. His 11th edition of The Book of U.S. Government Jobs is a comprehensive workbook that all can use to explore and find high-paying federal jobs stateside and overseas.