For many people, working at a US government institution, anywhere in the world, is a dream come true – for both expats and locals. The Federal Government can provide financial stability, job security and a relatively high salary. At the same time, a lot of people like the idea of working for their country and their people, contributing to the advancement of their nation.
But applying for a federal government job is completely different from applying to a job in the private sector. The Government must comply with a greater number of rules and regulations, and is often found under a lot more scrutiny than their private sector counterparts.
That’s why the job application process is different, and the resume that candidates need to prepare will look fairly different. In many cases, people make the horrible mistake of applying for jobs in both sectors with the same resume, resulting in them being deemed unqualified, despite impressive careers. So the question arises, “can I use the same civilian resume to apply for federal jobs"?
What format should your federal resume be in?
The truth is, when applying for a federal job, there is only one proper resume format. There is just one right way to craft your resume, and if you’re having trouble getting invited for an interview, you might want to consult a professional federal resume writing service in Arizona.
When submitting an application for a federal job through USAJobs.gov, the system will place you in one of these categories: eligible, best qualified, referred or did not meet minimum qualifications. You need to make sure you reach the best qualified category. You should also keep in mind that veterans have the advantage when applying for federal jobs, so even if you score the highest, there is still chance you’ll never get called in.
The differences between a federal resume versus a private sector resume
The first main difference is that all federal job vacancies are posted on USAJobs.gov site, and that is the only place where you can go to apply for a federal position. The biggest difference, however, is in the resume’s length. While in the private sector, there’s an unwritten rule that you shouldn’t go beyond two pages (there’s nothing to stop you, but keep in mind that the hiring managers have limited time and even more limited attention spans, with all the resumes they have to go through), but in the public federal sector, your federal resume can be up to, but no more than 6 pages in length.
Here are a few tips when writing federal resumes: they need to be anywhere between four and six pages long. Don’t overdo it and go for 20, but you should definitely make it more detailed than a private sector resume. Before deciding to apply, make absolutely sure you’re eligible for it. All federal resumes will go through the applicant tracking system, and if you don’t have the right skills, keywords, content, or layout, your application will never reach a human.
Usual mistakes in federal resumes
Which brings us to our next point – have a keyword-oriented approach. The federal resume is formatted in such a way that it places strong emphasis on keywords. Everything you’ve accomplished, all the places you’ve worked before, all the education and training you’ve received, everything needs to be presented in keyword fashion. That way, you are significantly increasing your chances of pulling through the ATS and reaching an actual human. If you have the desired skills in the first place, that is.
The biggest mistake people make when applying for a federal job is that they leave some fields in the USAjobs.gov resume builder blank. You should never do that – it means almost automatic elimination from the process. If you’re unsure what to write in some of these fields, consult a top rated federal resume writing companies located in Arizona, they will be more than happy to assist.
It takes time to get accepted into a federal job
Applying for a federal position is much different than going for a job in the private sector. In the private sector, all you need to do is have a proper resume which you will send to the right address and wait for the hiring managers to give you a call. Applying for a federal position is a tiresome, time-consuming process, but one which pays dividends.
First, you need to make sure you are eligible for the position you’re applying for. That means having the required skill set, experience and education. Then, you need to make sure your resume is in the right format, that it’s detailed enough and keyword-oriented. The usual resume for a federal position is anywhere between four and six pages long.
Finally, you need to know that all federal jobs are posted only on the USAjobs.gov site. It is vital to know all the differences between a private sector and a government resume, before applying. If you are having trouble properly formatting your resume for a government job, don’t hesitate to give us a call. Do My Resume.NET has been the best federal resume writing company in Phoenix, AZ.