You are previewing Federal Resume Guidebook.
O'Reilly logo
Federal Resume Guidebook

Book Description

This best-selling book explains how to navigate the federal hiring initiative and teaches people how to write winning federal resumes.

Table of Contents

  1. Cover Page
  2. Title Page
  3. Copyright Page
  4. Contents
  5. Index of Resume Samples
  6. Foreword
  7. Acknowledgments
  8. About the Contributors
  9. Introduction
  10. Part 1: Writing a USAJOBS Resume and Other Electronic Federal Resumes
    1. CHAPTER 1: Successful Writing Strategies for Your Federal Resume
      1. What Is a Federal Resume?
        1. Your Federal Resume Is Your Federal Application and Examination (and Sometimes the Interview, Too)
        2. Now KSAs Are in the Resume
        3. Your Federal Resume Should Be Super-Specialized to Compete
        4. Are You Qualified or Best Qualified?
      2. The Difference Between Federal Resumes and Private-Industry Resumes
        1. Length and Readability
        2. Writing Style
        3. Keywords
        4. Accomplishments Will Represent Mini-KSAs
      3. Federal Resume Formats
        1. The Outline Format Federal Resume
          1. The USAJOBS Resume Builder
          2. Department of the Army Resumix
        2. The “Paper” Federal Resume
      4. Federal Resume Case Study
        1. Double Occupational Series Objective
      5. Summary
    2. CHAPTER 2: What Happens to Your Resume and Other Application Materials
      1. Step 1: Determine Minimum Qualifications
        1. The Role of Minimum Requirements in the Assessment Process
        2. Occupational Qualification Standards
      2. Step 2: Identify and Apply Selective Factors and Quality Ranking Factors
        1. Characteristics of a Selective Factor
        2. Example of a Selective Factor
        3. Rating and Ranking Procedures: Category Rating
        4. Defining Quality Categories
        5. Examples
      3. Step 3: Apply the Assessment Tool to Determine the Applicants’ Numerical Score/Rating
        1. Example 1: How You Will Be Evaluated
        2. Example 2
      4. Step 4: Adjudicate Veterans’ Preference
        1. When Preference Applies
        2. Types of Preference
          1. 5-Point Preference (TP)
          2. 10-Point Compensable Disability Preference (CP)
          3. 10-Point 30 Percent Compensable Disability Preference (CPS)
          4. 10-Point Disability Preference (XP)
          5. 10-Point Derived Preference (XP)
            1. SPOUSE
            2. WIDOW OR WIDOWER
        3. Adjudication of Veterans’ Preference Claims
        4. Applying Veterans’ Preference in Category Ranking
        5. Names Referred to Selecting Official
      5. Step 5: Rank Eligibles in the Order of Their Rating Adjusted for Veterans’ Preference
      6. Summary
    3. CHAPTER 3: Work Experience and the Outline Format: How to Stand Out and Get Referred
      1. Quick Checklists for Writing Your Federal Resume
        1. Critical Content in Work Experience
        2. Time Management Strategies
        3. Typical Length
        4. Methods for Writing
      2. The Outline Format in the USAJOBS Builder
        1. KEYWORDS
      3. Before and After: Five Ways to Not Write Your Work Experience Section—and Solutions
        1. Example 1
          1. Before: Big Block, Too Many Is and Acronyms
          2. After: Outline Format with Keywords
        2. Example 2
          1. Before: Too Short
          2. After: Outline Format with Clear Skills
        3. Example 3
          1. Before: Laundry List
          2. After: Outline Format with KSAs in the Resume
        4. Example 4
          1. Before: Big Block and No Accomplishments
          2. After: Outline Format with KSAs in the Resume
        5. Example 5
          1. Before: Position Description in Big Block
          2. After: Outline Format with KSAs in the Resume
      4. Building Your Outline Format Federal Resume: A Match Between You and Your Target Job
        1. The Writing Concept: How Many Hats Do You Wear at Work?
        2. Example: Supervisory Transportation Security Inspector (Aviation), SV-1801-J
          1. Job Announcement Analysis and Keyword List
            1. KEYWORDS
      5. Summary
    4. CHAPTER 4: Matching Strategies: KSAs in the Resume, Keywords, Qualifications, Accomplishments, and Specialized Experience
      1. Overview of the Seven Matching Strategies
        1. Include KSA Accomplishments in the Resume
        2. Add a Keyword List
        3. Feature One Year Specialized Experience
        4. Add Accomplishments
        5. Highlight Specialized Experience
        6. Highlight the Most Important Positions
        7. Add a Critical Skills List or Profile Statement
      2. Federal Resume Samples That Match an Announcement
        1. Case Study 1: KSA Accomplishments in the Resume
        2. Case Study 2: Profile with Certifications, Core Competencies, and Technical Skills
        3. Case Study 3: Profile with Certifications, Expertise, and Significant Accomplishments
        4. Case Study 4: Profile with Specialized Functional Skills Targeted Toward New Position
        5. Case Study 5: Qualifications Summary Featuring Specialized Experience in Contracting
        6. Case Study 6: Profile for an Administrative Professional
        7. Case Study 7: Relevant Skills for a Biologist
      3. Summary
    5. CHAPTER 5: Education, Job Related Training, and Additional Information
      1. Education
        1. Considerations for Organizing Your Educational Background
        2. Education Section Samples
      2. Additional Information
        1. Work Experience Continuations
        2. Job-Related Honors, Awards, or Special Accomplishments
        3. Sports, Activities, and Special Interests
        4. Public Speaking
      3. Job Related Training
      4. Summary
    6. CHAPTER 6: Keywords for Federal Jobs
      1. A Professional Indexer Selects Keywords
      2. Announcement Analysis
        1. Where to Look for Keywords
        2. Keywords from the Announcement
      3. Nine Announcements with 4 to 13 Keywords, Phrases, and Skills
        1. Supervisory Police Officer, GS-0083-11/11
          1. Keywords for Your Federal Resume
        2. Management and Program Analyst, GS-0343-9/11, Department of Homeland Security, Office of Intelligence & Analysis
          1. Keywords for Your Federal Resume
        3. Accountant, GS-0510-13/13
          1. Keywords for Your Federal Resume
        4. Intelligence Specialist (Operations Support), IA-0132-03/03
          1. Keywords for Your Federal Resume
        5. Criminal Investigator (Special Agent), GL-1811-07/09
          1. Keywords for Your Federal Resume
        6. Park Ranger (Law Enforcement/Refuge), GL-0025-07
          1. Keywords for Your Federal Resume
        7. Attorney-Advisor (Contract), GS-0905-13/13
          1. Keywords for Your Federal Resume
        8. Supply Management Specialist, GS-2003-09/09
          1. Keywords for Your Federal Resume
        9. Smuggling Interdiction and Trade Compliance Officer, GS-0401-07/11
          1. Keywords for Your Federal Resume
      4. Summary
  11. Part 2: Plain Language and Value-Added Lessons
    1. CHAPTER 7: Plain-Language Writing Lessons
      1. First Principle: Use Plain Words and Write About What You Really Do at Work
      2. Second Principle: Use Short Sentences
        1. Before:
        2. After:
      3. Third Principle: Use “I” Intelligently
        1. Project example:
        2. Compelling example:
        3. In the Summary or Profile or Other Qualifications sections:
        4. First sentence in Work Experience after title:
      4. Fourth Principle: Use Powerful Words
        1. Creation
        2. First or Only
        3. Outcomes
        4. Employment
        5. Leadership
        6. Primacy
        7. Persuasion
        8. Success
        9. Authorship
        10. Newness
        11. Degree
        12. Quality
        13. Competencies
        14. Words to Edit Out of Your Resume
      5. Fifth Principle: Beware of Acronyms
      6. Sixth Principle: No Bureaucratese or Position Description (PD)–Style Writing
        1. Before: Bureaucratic writing style
        2. After: Active writing style that is more friendly and direct
      7. Seventh Principle: Tell a Story or Describe a Project
      8. Eighth Principle: Be Consistent with Verb Tenses
      9. Ninth Principle: Avoid the Passive Voice and Words Not to Use in Your Resume
        1. Before:
        2. After:
      10. Tenth Principle: Tell the Truth and Brag a Little
      11. Summary
    2. CHAPTER 8: Researching the Agency’s Core Competencies
      1. What Are Your Core Competencies and How Can You Include Them in Your Resume?
      2. Using Core Competencies as Transferable Skills When Changing Careers
      3. Agency and Company Core Competencies
        1. Core Competency Set 1: OPM’s 10 Competencies Most Important for Supervisory Work
          1. Technical Requirements
          2. Other Competencies Related to Leadership Positions
        2. Core Competency Set 2: Veterans Administration
        3. Core Competency Set 3: Department of the Interior, National Park Service, Universal Competencies
        4. Core Competency Set 4: Central Intelligence Agency
        5. Core Competency Set 5: Defense Logistics Agency
      4. Sample Resume with Leadership, Customer Service, and Teamwork Core Competencies
      5. Summary
  12. Part 3: KSAs, Questionnaires, and Essays in the Resume and Cover Letters
    1. CHAPTER 9: KSAs in the Application: Presenting Your Accomplishments
      1. Understanding the Role of KSAs
      2. Finding KSAs in Vacancy Announcements
      3. Using the Three KSA Formats
        1. KSAs in the Resume
        2. Questionnaires That Cover the KSAs
        3. KSAs for Interview Preparation
        4. The Context, Challenge, Actions, Result (CCAR) Format
        5. Examples of KSAs in Each Format
          1. Example: Social Worker
          2. Example: Federal Air Marshal
          3. Example: Accountant
      4. Writing Effective KSA Accomplishments in the Resume
        1. Before:
        2. After:
      5. Summary
    2. CHAPTER 10: Questionnaires That Assess Your Knowledge, Skills, and Abilities
      1. Understanding Questionnaires
      2. Responding to Self-Assessment Questions
        1. Multiple-Choice Questions
          1. General Self-Assessment Questions with Essays
          2. Specific Job Skill Questions
          3. Tricky Questions
        2. “Check All That Apply” Questions
        3. Yes/No Questions
      3. Answering Essay Questions
        1. Before:
        2. After:
        3. Before:
        4. After:
      4. Summary
    3. CHAPTER 11: Cover Letters for Federal Jobs and Networking
      1. Federal Cover Letter Basics
      2. Cover Letters for USAJOBS and Other Online Application Systems
      3. Cold-Call Cover Letters
      4. Networking Cover Letters
      5. Special Hiring Authority Cover Letters
      6. Summary
  13. Part 4: Navigating USA JOBS Announcements and Other Resume Builders
    1. CHAPTER 12: Understanding Vacancy Announcements
      1. Resume-Matching Example and Tips
      2. Step 1: Find Vacancy Announcements and the Occupational Questionnaire
        1. Agency Websites
        2. Private-Industry Federal Job Sites
        3. Civilian Job Listings with Defense and Military Agencies
        4. Your Network
        5. Reading, Listening to the News, and Keeping Your Eyes Open
      3. Step 2: Analyze the Vacancy Announcement and “How to Apply” Instructions
      4. SSA Announcement: USAJOBS and
      5. Census Announcement: Professional Position, GS 7/9, Target 12 with USAJOBS Federal Resume, Questionnaire, and Essays
      6. SBA Announcement: USAJOBS and Occupational Questionnaire with 67 Questions That Support the Knowledge, Skills, and Abilities
      7. Summary
    2. CHAPTER 13: USAJOBS and Other Federal Resume Builders
      1. Maximize Your Use of the Resume Builders
      2. The Most Popular Federal Resume Builders and Their Resume Headings
        1. USAJOBS Resume Builder
        2. Avue Central
        3. Resumix
          1. CPOL Resume Builder Headings
          2. CHART Resume Builder Headings
      3. Summary of Resume Builder Headings
      4. Summary
  14. Part 5: Special Insight for Targeting Occupational Series
    1. CHAPTER 14: Science, Medicine, and Health Policy: Converting a Curriculum Vitae to a Federal Resume
      1. CVs Are Different
      2. Hybrid CV/Federal Resumes
        1. Creating the CV/Federal Resume Hybrid
        2. The First Page
          1. Contact Information and Affiliation
          2. Objective
          3. Profile Statement
          4. Education
          5. Certifications
        3. Later Sections That Should Be Just Like a CV
        4. Modified Sections
          1. Employment
          2. Research Experience
          3. Teaching Experience
          4. Professional Activities or Service
          5. Continuing Education
          6. Extension and Outreach
          7. References
      3. Other Hints for Crafting Your Federal Resume
        1. Skill Lists
        2. Balancing Jargon and Clarity
        3. Graduate Students and Recent Grads Versus Established Scientists
      4. Populate Your USAJOBS Resume-Building Form
      5. Edit Your Hybrid for Academic Applications
      6. Sample Federal Resume/Curriculum Vitae
      7. Editing for Academia
      8. Summary
    2. CHAPTER 15: Information Technology Resumes
      1. Government IT Jobs in the 21st Century
        1. Industry Certifications
        2. Enterprise Architectures
        3. Systems Development Life Cycle (SDLC)
        4. Continuity of Operations (COOP)
        5. Business Process Reengineering (BPR)
        6. IT Planning
        7. Data Management
      2. IT Job Series: How the Federal Government Has Organized IT Positions
        1. Jobs in Series GS-2210 and Beyond
        2. More Details on the 2210 Series
        3. Competency Model for Cybersecurity: Cybersecurity Competencies by Grade Level
          1. Cybersecurity Competencies by Occupation, 2210 Information Technology Management Series
      3. Selecting the Right Job Announcement for You
        1. Analyzing a Sample Announcement
        2. When You Don’t Match the Requirements Exactly
      4. Frequently Asked Questions About IT Federal Resumes
      5. Focusing on Your IT Career
        1. IT Customer Services People Skills and Other Soft Skills in Addition to Technical Skills
        2. Required Core Competencies for Most IT Positions
          1. Attention to Detail
          2. Customer Service
          3. Oral Communication
          4. Problem Solving
        3. IT Specialist Core Competencies
        4. Top Ten List of Accomplishments and Projects
      6. Sample Federal Resumes for IT Positions
        1. Target Vacancy Announcement
          1. Keywords and Skills
        2. USAJOBS Project-Based Federal Resumes
      7. Summary
    3. CHAPTER 16: Contract Specialist and Acquisition Specialist Resumes
      1. OFPP Background
      2. Skills for Contracting and Acquisition Experts
        1. Federal Employees Seeking Positions in the Contracting Series
        2. Military Members with Contracting Experience Considering Federal Jobs in Contracting
      3. Competencies Needed for Contract Specialists in Government
      4. Examples of the Types of Contracts Negotiated and Managed
      5. Two Sample Federal Resumes for Contract Specialist Series
        1. Keyword List for the Outline Format Federal Resume
        2. Keywords:
      6. Summary
    4. CHAPTER 17: Management Assistant and Administrative Work Experience
      1. Ways to Remember Your Accomplishments
      2. Write Your Accomplishments with Numbers and Percentages
      3. Management Assistant Federal Resume Case Study
        1. Big Block Without Accomplishments
        2. Bullet Format (Laundry List)
        3. Outline Format Without Accomplishments
        4. Outline Format with KSAs in the Resume
      4. Correspondence Analyst Federal Resume Case Study
        1. Outline Format Without Accomplishments
        2. Outline Format with General Accomplishments at the End of the Resume
        3. Outline Format with KSAs in the Resume
      5. Administrative/Staff Assistant Federal Resume Case Study
        1. Outline Format Without Accomplishments
        2. Outline Format and KSAs in the Resume
        3. Outline Format and KSAs in the Resume
      6. Summary
    5. CHAPTER 18: Management and Program Analyst Resumes
      1. The Management and Program Analyst, According to OPM
        1. A Selection of Management Analyst Job Announcements
        2. A Significant Management Analyst Skill: Qualitative and Quantitative Analysis
        3. Create a Project Map of Your Accomplishments and Projects That Match the Top-Level Skills
        4. Use Projects and Accomplishments to Prove Your Top-Level Skills
        5. Top 10 List of Program Analyst Accomplishments
      2. Federal Employees Seeking Career Change with Career Ladder Management Analyst Positions
        1. Transitioning from Specific Positions
        2. Changing Levels
      3. More Hints for Writing a Management and Program Analyst Resume
        1. Research the Mission of the Office or Agency
        2. Add the Numbers and Quantify Your Information
        3. How Does Your Private-Sector Job Involve Management Analyst Skills?
      4. A Sample Management and Program Analyst Resume
        1. Keywords and Skills for Three Occupational Series
          1. Administrative Management/Policy, 0301
          2. Management and Program Analysis, 0343
          3. Medical and Health, 0601
      5. Summary
    6. CHAPTER 19: Administrative Officer Federal Resumes
      1. With Hiring Reform and KSAs in the Resume
        1. Think Executive Core Qualifications
        2. Your Accomplishments Will Get You Recognized and Promoted
      2. Administrative Officer Federal Resume Case Study
        1. Job Analysis and Keywords
          1. Keywords
      3. Summary
    7. CHAPTER 20: General Engineer and Project Manager Resumes
      1. The General Engineer, According to OPM
      2. A Significant Government Engineer Skill: Acquisition Management
      3. Create a Project List of Your Engineering Accomplishments and Projects
        1. Use Projects and Accomplishments to Prove Your KSAs and Specialized Experience
        2. Sample Project Descriptions
      4. Summary
    8. CHAPTER 21: Human Resources Management Positions
      1. Necessary Competencies and Skills
      2. Applying for HR Jobs
        1. Resume Development: Your Personal Marketing Tool
        2. Putting It All Together: Writing KSAs in the CCAR Format
        3. Eight Emerging KSAs for the HR Career Field
        4. Interviewing: Practice Makes Perfect
      3. Sample HR Management Resume
      4. Summary
  15. Part 6: Special Federal Job Seeker Strategies: Executives, Military and Spouses, PPP/BRAC, and Schedule A
    1. CHAPTER 22: Senior Executive Service, Executive Core Qualifications
      1. A Profile of the SES
        1. The Changing Competition for SES Positions
        2. Who Should Apply?
      2. Requirements for Successful Applicants: Remember the Basics
        1. Read and Follow the Instructions
        2. Make the Length “Just Right”
        3. Balance the Strengths and Weaknesses of Your Background
      3. What Does the SES Announcement Require?
      4. Resume-Based SES Application Packages: The Five-Page SES/ECQ Resume (Senior Executive Service/Executive Core Qualifications)
        1. The Resume-Based Application Method (Five-Page SES/ECQ Resume)
        2. Accomplishment Record Narrative Method
      5. Job Analysis/Keywords and Executive Leadership Competencies
        1. Keywords and Leadership Competencies
      6. Writing Executive Core Qualifications
        1. Basic Principles
        2. Use OPM’s Recommended Format
          1. Challenge
          2. Context
          3. Actions
          4. Result
      7. The Anatomy of an ECQ
        1. ECQ 1: Leading Change
        2. ECQ 2: Leading People
        3. ECQ 3: Results Driven
        4. ECQ 4: Business Acumen
        5. ECQ 5: Building Coalitions/Communication
      8. Grow an Accomplishments List
      9. Sample ECQ Statements
      10. Describing Leadership
      11. Summary
    2. CHAPTER 23: Military to Federal Resume Conversions
      1. Translating Military Speak to Civilian Speak
        1. Translating Military Terms
        2. Keywords
        3. Uncovering and Quantifying Accomplishments
      2. Focusing Your Resume
      3. Triple Series Sample Resume—Military Officer Seeking Senior Management Positions
        1. Keywords and Skills for Three Occupational Series
          1. Administrative Management, 0301
          2. Management and Program Analysis, 0343
          3. Policy/Program Management, 0341
      4. Summary
    3. CHAPTER 24: Military Spouses and Federal Employment
      1. Military Spouse Employment Preference (MSP)
        1. Civil Service or Appropriated Fund (AF) Vacancies
        2. Non-appropriated Fund Vacancies
      2. Noncompetitive Appointments for Spouses of Certain Members of the Armed Forces
        1. Eligibility:
        2. General Hiring Provisions:
      3. 2010 Military Spouse Intern Program
      4. Derived Veterans’ Preference
      5. Filing Your Application as a Military Spouse
      6. Military Spouse Seeking Readiness Counselor Position at Fleet and Family Support Center, Rota, Spain
      7. Summary
    4. CHAPTER 25: Base Realignment and Closure Act (BRAC) and Priority Placement Program (PPP) Federal Resume Writing
      1. PPP Strategy Story: GS-11, Electronics Technician/IT Specialist
        1. The Beginning
        2. During the PPP Application Process
        3. Working with the PPP
        4. Next Job, 2210
        5. What Advice Would You Give to Others Who Are BRACCed or Downsized?
      2. The Importance of PPP Codes
      3. Federal Employee Changing Job Series with DOD Priority Placement Program
        1. Duties
        2. Other Occupational Series of Interest
        3. Keywords and Skills
      4. Summary
    5. CHAPTER 26: Applying for a Federal Job with a Disability: Using the Schedule A Federal Hiring Authority
      1. Which Agencies Employ People with Disabilities?
      2. Applying Under Schedule A
        1. Four Ways to Apply for a Federal Job as a Schedule A Applicant
        2. Why Do I Need a Schedule A Letter?
        3. What Does a Schedule A Application Include?
        4. Schedule A Application Tips
        5. A Tip from a Selective Placement Program Coordinator (SPPC)
      3. Pros and Cons of the Schedule A Process
      4. Networking and Knowing Your Agency—Chad’s Story
      5. Tips for Federal Job Search Strategies by Sandra Keppley
      6. Sample Documents
        1. Sample Schedule A Letter
        2. Paper Federal Resume E-mailed as Attached File to Agency Selective Placement Program Coordinator
        3. Introductory Cover Letter for Special Emphasis Program Officer
        4. Introductory Cover Letter for Human Resources Specialist
      7. Summary
  16. Part 7: Interviewing for Federal Jobs
    1. CHAPTER 27: Preparing for a Structured, Behavior-Based Interview
      1. Types of Interviews
        1. Structured, Behavior-Based Interviews
        2. Preliminary Screening Interviews
      2. Preparation for the Structured, Behavior-Based Interview
      3. Sample Competency-Based Interview Questions
      4. A Step-by-Step Approach to Preparing for a Behavior-Based Interview
        1. Step 1: Analyze the Job Duties Line by Line
        2. Step 2: Be Prepared; Write and Give Examples of Skills and Competencies
        3. Step 3: Study the Structured Interview Scoring System Used by Interviewers
        4. Step 4: Research the Agency and Office to Learn the Latest News and Challenges
        5. Step 5: Plan and Practice
        6. Step 6: Be Confident
      5. Summary
      6. Epilogue
  17. Index
  18. Footnote