Federal Resume

By Kathryn Troutman

Blog archive

Does your federal job search seem never ending?

I love being with my kids, but often after a long school break, I sure could use a few blocks to time to focus on work without the endless distractions of meals, activities, and arguments.

Following winter break this year, our January has consisted of 8 snow days, two sick days, one holiday, one teacher work day, and one delayed opening. Let’s just say that it feels like winter break never quite ended.

Does your federal job search also seem like there is finish line in sight? Have you submitted multiple applications without any positive results?

Here are a few ideas to help you cope, or help you get on the right track if you are just getting started with your federal job search.

Accept the Reality

The federal job search on average DOES take longer than the private industry job search. Though the federal government has significantly shortened the application processing time to less than 60 days, the waiting periods will seem like forever. On the upside, you WILL get an answer from human resources, which often is not the case when you send out your private industry resume.

Check Your GPS

The one way to check whether you are going in the right direction is to check your Notice of Results in USAJOBS to see the result of your applications.

Have you received multiple responses that you are either ineligible, or deemed eligible but did not receive Best Qualified?


Readjust if Needed

If you are not achieving Best Qualified, how can you find out where you need to make changes? We have several resources to help you do this:

Remember that the federal resume is essentially a government form, and you need to use the correct format (read my blog about Give Them What They Want.) Check out a sample federal resume in the Outline Format to use as a guide for preparing your resume.

Look at more sample federal resumes in our publications, such as the Federal Resume Guidebook 5th Edition, which provides 21 samples of successful formats for today’s USAJOBS application. If your resume is not formatted like one of these samples, you could improve your track record if you change the format and content.

Sign up for our new Resume Review service and let us give you a professional review of your current resume and inform you of its strengths and shortcomings. The cost is just $25, and you can apply this amount to any of our other services.

Let us write your resume for you. It’s the one way to ensure that your resume is the best that it could possibly be for that job that you would like to get. Contact us today for a free estimate for our services (Note: Our current sale ends January 31!)

Make sure you are not using the same federal resume over and over again. Read my blog about One Federal Resume is Not Enough and use the keywords from each announcement to modify your resume for EVERY submission.

Check whether you applying to the right jobs. We offer a consultation service to evaluate your experience and let you know which occupational series, GS level, and vacancy announcements you should target.

Finally, Don’t Wait!

We have had clients come to us after submitting hundreds of applications unsuccessfully. The costs to those clients of being on the wrong track for so long is much greater than the investment they could have made up front.

Each federal application submission requires your time and energy, and each time your resume fails to make the mark, you incur a lost opportunity cost. Every year that you don’t achieve your federal job goals means that you compound the potential financial losses for many years to come.

The bottom line is: Don’t let your federal job search become never ending! 
Be proactive!


Paulina Chen has a passion for taking the complex and making it simple for people to understand. Paulina has been a graphic designer, developmental editor, and webmaster for The Resume Place for over 10 years. Since receiving her Certified Federal Job Search Trainer certification, she has been eager to show federal applicants that writing your best possible federal resume is within your reach. If you need more writing help with your federal resume, contact us for an absolutely free estimate. If you need expert advice or training, Kathryn Troutman the “Federal Resume Guru” is still your best bet on the planet.

Posted by Kathryn Troutman on Jan 28, 2014 at 4:02 PM

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