It would be a mistake to assume that a standard resume can be used to apply to a Federal job opening. Not only is a Federal resume graded but both its format and content vary as well.
Federal Qualification Standards
Federal resumes are graded on a point system based on Federal Qualification Standards, which include general and specialized qualifying work experience as well as the required education. Qualification Standards will allow Federal recruiters to easily assess if you're eligible or not for the position.
Federal Resume Format
Federal resumes must be highly structured and feature all the information required by the vacancy announcement. Contrary to civilian resumes that are usually one-page long, Federal resumes are more detailed and longer.
A Federal resume must include:
The announcement number and the job for which you're applying
Federal Resume Keywords
Because Federal hiring managers use a scanning software called "Resumix" to select the most qualified applicants, it is imperative that your resume includes keywords relevant to the job vacancy otherwise your resume will never be seen by a recruiter, even if you are the best candidate.
Importance of guidelines
Whether you submit a standard Federal resume, an SES resume or the SF-171 form, not following the Federal Government strict hiring guidelines when preparing your application will get you irremediably disqualified, especially since interviews are optional.
Federal resumes must also often be accompanied by complementary KSA's, which answer specific questions listed in the vacancy.
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