It's all in the details when writing a federal resume

It's all in the details when writing a federal resume

When crafting a resume to apply for a federal job, the more detail the better.

That was one of the more important lessons for veterans and military spouses who tuned in to an online federal resume writing workshop sponsored by The American Legion’s Veterans Education & Employment Division on June 16.

“In the federal government, your resume is your application,” said presenter Renetta Bradford, veteran employment program manager with the VA’s Veteran Employment Services Office. “There is nothing additional that you will submit to prove to anyone that you can do the job. …

“If you cannot close the deal with your resume, that is the problem.”

That means providing relevant examples of experience that meet the qualifications required for the job one is applying for, but it’s also important to be concise, Bradford said.

Bradford’s tips for writing a federal resume include:

  • Tailor your resume to the job announcement. By focusing on the knowledge, skills and experience the job announcement calls for, job seekers can better match their resume to draw the attention of the human resources specialists who scan resumes for job candidates.

  • Use similar terms and address every required qualification. Those who don’t meet every required qualification listed in the federal job announcement won’t be considered for the position, Bradford said.

  • Organize your resume to make it easy to understand. It’s important to provide detail on one’s experience relevant to the job being applied for, and to use plain language to highlight that experience.

  • Be concise and review your resume. The hiring manager must be able to see the applicant’s main credentials quickly.

“There is no shortcut in writing a (competitive) federal resume,” Bradford said, noting that the federal hiring process can trim the field of applicants from 100 down to three before the hiring manager ever sees a resume.

The American Legion’s next online workshop will help attendees learn how to better use LinkedIn for networking and job seeking. The workshop will be from 12:30 p.m. to 1:30 p.m. ET on June 30. Click here to register.