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Posted December 24, 2012 by

Securing Government Employment – Part 2: How Do I Apply to Federal Jobs?

CollegeRecruiter.comHow do military veterans apply for jobs in the federal government?  The following post helps them understand the application process.

Once you’ve found a government job you’re interested in (see Part 1: How Do I Find Government Jobs?), you need to understand the federal job announcements to be sure you are qualified for the job and to successfully apply for the position.


Securing Government Employment – Part 2: How Do I Apply to Federal Jobs?

Posted March 08, 2009 by

Federal Resume Writing

A federal resume is a tool for gaining or advancing one’s career in the government arena. At its core, it is similar to the standard private sector resume. However key differences exist in the type and amount of information provided. Therefore, in order to be successful with federal employment, it is necessary to be mindful of these differences.
Unlike the private sector, federal resumes are reviewed by people rather than software. Further, these individuals are seeking information that demonstrates that the application has direct knowledge or experience of the position he/she has applied for. Therefore, it is necessary to review the specific job announcement for the skills and knowledge required. A resume that speaks directly to the skills and duties of the position and uses key words related to the position is most effective. It should use previous experiences, often accompanied by quantifiable results and accomplishments, to directly show that a candidate can perform the duties of the position being applied for.
Information in a federal resume is most commonly presented in chronological format. However, a candidate’s educational history should be listed prior to the individual’s work history. The highest level of education attained should be listed first followed by earlier schooling including high school. If college coursework has been completed, but a degree was not received, the number of course hours completed should be indicated. Further, the work history should be listed in reverse order with most recent experience listed first. Finally, the resume should cover the candidate’s work history for at least the last 10 years.
Once the content of the resume is drafted, it is necessary to ensure that it is properly formatted. The resume is usually in a commonly accepted font such as Times New Roman or Arial with the main text in 11 point type. The margins of the document should be no less than 1 inch. Given the amount of information to be conveyed, a federal resume, which averages 3 to 5 pages in length, is typically longer than the private sector resume.
There are several key pieces of information that must be included on a federal resume that are not typically utilized on a private sector resume. The first of these is the placement of the announcement number, title, and grade of the job being applied for at the beginning of the resume. Additionally, it is necessary for the candidate to include his/her social security number and veteran’s preference. For each position listed on the resume the number of hours worked per week and the hourly or annual salary of the position should be indicated. Further, if it was a government position, the GS numbers and grades for current or past federal jobs. Finally, the supervisor’s name, phone number, and address for each position on the resume should be provided; whether the recruiter has the candidate’s permission to contact the supervisor must also be indicated. If a candidate specifies that a recruiter does not have permission to contact a supervisor listed on the resume, it is suggested that this issue be addressed in the cover letter that accompanies the resume.
In addition to the formal resume above, candidates for federal employment typically need to address knowledge, skill, and abilities (KSA) factors indicated in the job announcements on separate attachments submitted with the resume.
Jason Kay recommends visiting for lots more government job application assistance.

Posted February 25, 2009 by

How to Apply for Government Jobs

There are literally, millions and millions of government jobs out there and there is actually a specific process you need to complete in order to apply for such a job. The benefits, health, dental, paid vacation and holidays are outstanding and they are all provided through taxpayer’s money.
There are resources available online that make looking for a government job easier than hoofing around town looking door to door. Here are the steps you need to know:
1) Current Openings: You will need to look at the current openings in your area first and any job search site can help you with that. is the best place to search for a government job. From this you can decide which jobs are of interest to you.
2) Application: You can fill out an Optional Application for Federal Employment (OF612). This is a downloadable file in Microsoft Word (.doc) format. Once you fill it out you can print it. Optionally, you can write a federal resume. These resumes require more information than private sector resumes and are formatted a bit differently. Get more information at
3) Information: You will need to provide certain information as well:
a. Full name
b. Mailing address
c. Phone numbers, day, night, mobile
d. Social Security Number
e. Country Of Citizenship
f. Highest Federal Civilian Grade, if any
g. Education – school name, address, degrees, majors
h. Work Experience – fully detailed information
i. Other qualifications – job related training, skills, certificates, leadership, honors, awards, etc. etc.
4) Civil Service Exam: There are a number of civil service exams possible and each department has its own tests and how to administer them. There are written tests, essay tests, in-basket tests, assessment centers, performance tests, physical abilities tests, psychological tests and of course an interview. Not all of these tests are needed for each posting; this was just a list of what types of tests there are for various government positions. There are online resources for information on the individual tests.
a. These tests are scheduled to happen at certain times and you will be assigned a date and time to appear for your testing.
b. In order to be considered and possibly hired for a position, you must pass any and all tests given to you. If you are not hired during the valid date for the test results, you will need to re-take the tests at another time.
5) Interview(s): That’s right, there will probably be more than one interview and just like the Civil Service Tests, you must do well on all subsequent interviews to receive a job offer.
Just because you do well on everything, does not mean you will get the job for which you apply. As with any other employment offer, there are other people vying for the same job as you. Being that this is a government posting, the number or people applying is probably even greater than in the private sector. Be sure to really study up on the specifics of what will be expected of you throughout the screening process.
Lastly, depending on the position, some agencies may want you to undergo a physical examination, drug screening or a probation period before hiring and these periods can last anywhere from 6 months to a year. That’s it; now you know how to apply for government jobs.
Jason Kay is a professional writer offering advice in a number of areas including government resume writing and KSA writing. He suggests you consult resume service reviews before choosing a resume writing service.You can learn more useful tips at his resume writing blog.

Posted August 07, 2008 by

Writing Resumes for Federal Jobs

So you’re looking to land your first Federal job and are just about to start working on your resume. Stop right there. Before you put pen to paper (or fingers to keys), you should know that applying for Federal employment is different than the private sector.
Federal guidelines require that you provide very specific and detailed information to apply for a job by way of the OF-612 form or Federal resume (along with a KSA). Since the Federal resume carries the greatest influence of the two, let’s take a look at ways to create one that will help you get the job you want.
What You Need to Know
When applying for a Federal job, there are certain details that you must provide in order to be considered by a recruiter. They include job information (announcement number, title and grade), personal information (full name, address, phone, social security number, and country of citizenship), veteran’s preference or reinstatement eligibility (if applicable), education (chronological listing of high school and colleges with degree types, dates of acquisitions, major subjects, GPAs and total credits earned), and extensive work experience (with previous salaries included).
When detailing your work experience, you should keep the specific position you’re applying for in mind. The Federal government is strict about ensuring that applicants’ skills match the listed qualifications. So go into as much detail as possible regarding how you are qualified. This process will get you that much closer to getting hired.
Don’t Forget Your KSA
The KSA is also known as Knowledge, Skills and Abilities and is a series of statements written in a narrative format that you must include with your Federal resume. It is written in first person and is meant to showcase in greater detail how you are qualified for the job you’re applying for.
Jobs that require a KSA will usually list between three and five statements in the posting that you need to provide answers for. You want your answers to be as thorough as possible by disclosing your knowledge, skills or abilities that relate to each statement, as well as when, how and why you acquired them giving concrete examples. In other words, use up to a page to sell yourself for this position with each answer. Don’t make your KSA a carbon copy of your resume – make it original. And don’t forget to type your full name and sign it before sending it off.
Adding the Extras
As mentioned previously, acquiring a Federal job requires putting in some extra effort, which includes disclosing any information that will help showcase your ability to perform. If you have additional work experience that relates to the position, provide plenty of details (including salary info and who to contact to learn more about your work experience). Also, remember to list any software, training courses, certificates, professional memberships, or awards that might help tip the scale in your favor.
Knowing the rules of writing a Federal resume can get your foot in the door. But taking extra steps to focus specifically on the job position, and include a thorough KSA will get you one step closer to securing a great Federal job.
Heather Eagar is a former professional resume writer and owner of who is now dedicated to providing job seekers with resources and products that promote job search success from beginning to end.