Looking for a government job?
Brethren, I count not myself to have apprehended: but this one thing I do, forgetting those things which are behind, and reaching forth unto those things which are before… Phil 3:13
When I was unemployed. Looking desperately for a good government job, I was crushed by how many jobs I put in for without hearing anything. I was convinced USAJOBS was the devil. I found out later that there are ways to do it better.
Have you ever tried to get a position through USAJOBS? It isn’t easy but not impossible. After 7 years, I finally got one of my resumes through the gauntlet. It wasn’t luck or a celestial event. Someone gave me advice. I want to share some of that with you.
When you start or restart, create a professional profile for yourself. You email address should not be anything but your name. You will be judged later by RUMPSHAKER-123@ mail.com for sure. The key word here is professional.
Pay Attention to the Announcement
Make sure you see how the supporting documents can/should be submitted. Success is not in the number of resumes you send out, but in how thoroughly you address the employer’s needs and show your value in each submission.
In reviewing the basic qualifications and the job description – if you do NOT have similar types of duties, which make use of similar knowledge/skill/ability then you will not be considered for the position.
Don’t lie if you don’t meet all of the requirements. If you meet the basic qualifications but not the specialized experience, you will likely not be rated as well qualified by the HR team. Don’t dishonestly claim something you didn’t do or a skill you don’t have.
About that Resume
Match the language used in the posting. Do NOT spell out numbers (i.e., “ten” vs. “10”), even for small numbers. Get the dates right. This is important when HR is determining whether or not you have the 1 year of specialized experience (if that is part of the qualification requirements). Be thorough in your description of job duties for each position on your resume. HR can NOT ‘guess’ or ‘assume’ or ‘give you the benefit of doubt’ that you have the knowledge/skill/ability to do the job that is being advertised.
A typical federal resume is 4-6 pages. Make good use of your resume “real estate;” everything on your resume should be focused on the job you are applying for. Anything else should be eliminated. Ten years is the main focus. You are not likely to achieve success when applying for federal jobs with a 1-2-page resume.
Success is not in the number of resumes you send out, but in how thoroughly you address the employer’s needs and show your value. Don’t use full sentences, but start a phrase with a verb.
For the majority of the assessment questions, if you can say expert or near expert, when relevant, do it. But be able to back it up in your text afterwards. (i.e., examples)
You have the opportunity to save five resumes in USAJOBS. Use it. Do not submit the same resume for every opportunity. It may be easy but by using a cookie-cutter resume, you’ll make the same mistakes.
And finally, don’t give up.
If it doesn’t open, it’s not your door.
I finally got that good government cheddar in November. I hope this helps you.
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, Kenn has written.