Financial Aid Office

Federal Resume and Application Tips

1. Building Your Resume on USAJOBS
a. In an effort to drive the Federal hiring process toward a universal application format, the Office of Personnel Management (OPM) gathered together several agencies from around the government to create one resume format that would include all of the crucial data required for Federal application into one uniform resume format.
b. The product that resulted was the USAJOBS Resume Builder. The USAJOBS Resume Builder allows you to create one uniform resume that provides all of the information required by government agencies. Instead of creating multiple resumes in different formats, you can build your resume once and be ready for all job opportunities.

2. Responses To The Questions- Tips Pay Attention to Keywords
a. Whether you’re writing your first resume, updating an existing one, or answering a question, stop and think about which keywords you need to add.
b. When Human Resources personnel read the keyword “analyst,” he or she might assume you have experience in collecting data, evaluating effectiveness, and researching and developing new processes.
c. Just one keyword can have tremendous power and deliver a huge message.
d. Study the job announcement! This is the best way to determine important keywords.
e. First read the job announcement carefully and acquaint yourself with what the Federal agency is looking for.
f. Then check your resume to ensure its complete and includes all the required information for the job you want
g. Next, capture how your experience matches the, specialized experience required for that job.

Remember: Federal agencies base their decisions on merit so, follow these 10 tips carefully when describing you experience and skills.

Ten Tips for Letting Federal Employers Know Your Worth
1. Use words wisely. Today, the key to a good application is getting the right information to the agency representatives in a fast, readable style. How do you do this? By using minimum words to provide maximum information.
2. Keep sentences short and clear. Short, direct sentences help the agency get your point. But remember, don’t duplicate your resume.
3. Make your message stand out. Put important points first – where they’re most visible.
4. Focus on outcome. What occurred? Did you improve the workplace? How much and how many. Did you start new projects? How many?
5. Showcase your role. Did you work on your own? As part of a team? In a supervisory capacity? As a team leader? Let the agency know your role in the projects.
6. Remember – timeframes count. Timeframes count so be sure to address these questions: what were the dates or length of time you worked on a project or job?
7. Value your experience. Many experiences illuminate your significance as a candidate.
8. Show and tell. Telling about your experience is great but be sure to use examples.
9. Resist additions. You may be tempted, but please resist sending an additional package with copies of awards, publications, training certificates, letters of recommendation, lengthy job descriptions, writing samples, or a photo unless the agency specifically requests it.
10. Illuminate your resume – don’t repeat it. When writing about your experience to describe how it matches the experience required by a job, don’t simply repeat your resume but illuminate important facts.

1. Can a hiring manager see my main credentials within 10 to 15 seconds?
2. Does critical information jump off the page?
3. Do I effectively sell myself on the top quarter of the first page?

Of Critical Importance
1. Have I submitted all the requisite documentation? i.e. Transcripts if required (Unofficial at the time of offer, official before Entrance On Duty.) Veteran’s documents included (DD-214, SF-15, Veteran Administration letter- if applicable to receive credit for military service.) NOTE: Most applicants screen themselves out from consideration for positions due to lack of submitting the required documentation.