There is no short answer to this question. For starters, a federal resume is a completely different animal than your average two-page professional resume. There is a lot more work and expertise that go into the format and writing. If you are not familiar with the hiring process for a federal job, you may be surprised to find out how different it is. I have listed a bit of info for you here to get a better idea of what you are up against.
The Number of Applicants is Quite Different
While every job is different, a federal position can take up to thousands of applicants at a time. Jobs for Border Patrol or Customs and Border Protection can even accept up to 20 thousands. Your federal resume has to make it through the process alongside all these other people applying.
Screening Question are Important
All too often, federal job applicants don’t realize that the screening questions in the application process are extremely important. There are even certain questions that if not answered properly deem you as an unqualified applicant. Remember, if you do not meet certain requirements for a position, your federal resume
simply won’t make it through the process. For instance, if you are applying for an IT position and you have 10+ years of experience, but you don’t have the required certifications, you simply won’t be considered. Answering each question carefully is vital, as this is a large portion of how you are judged as qualified or not.
The Right Words
The first check of your resume is not a human. This is just not possible. Your resume is scanned for keywords and algorithms. Including the right words is vital. This is actually half the battle of applying for a government job.
Formatting is Important
It is impossible to use a private sector resume for a federal application. First of all, vital information is missing. Federal resumes require hours worked per week, a supervisor name and number and other info you don’t include on your average two-page resume. Secondly, certain aspects of the word document in a professional resume don’t translate well into the government scanning system.
It Doesn’t Have to be That Hard
All too often my clients ask, “Why is applying for a government job so hard?” These were just a few answers to a complex questions. If you want like to hand the process over to an expert, be sure to give me a call. I can help you reformat or write a brand new resume. If you need help with the application process or you want interview coaching, I can help with that as well. Contact me today for more info.