An introduction to Federal resumes

A Federal government resume is like a regular resume, right? Wrong. Federal Government resumes are much more thorough and specific than traditional private sector resumes. There are many types of government resumes, documents and application forms, as well. They are:

Types of Resumes: Used for most Federal positions (GS-1 to GS-15 grades), Federal resumes are similar to traditional resumes, but they are more comprehensive and specially formatted according to government hiring guidelines. SES Resumes are Federal resumes used for the Senior Executive Service, which includes the top government jobs. They are comparable to regular Federal resumes, but they are much more detailed and must focus on leadership and managerial abilities.

Additional documents: KSA’s (Knowledge, Skills and Abilities) are first person essays about your abilities and how they relate to the job you’re applying to. MTQ (mandatory technical qualifications) narratives are short essays about the technical qualifications you have and how you got them. MPQ (mandatory professional qualifications) focus on the professional qualifications you have acquired that relate to the job you want to get. ECQ’s (Executive Core Qualifications) are essays that must focus on leading change, leading people, results driven, business acumen, building coalitions

Application forms: SF-171 is the normal application to get Federal employment. OF-612 and OF-306 are optional applications that can also be used for Federal employment.

Which of these documents you will need to provide for the position you seek will depend on what the job announcement calls for. If you’re looking for an SES job, you will need to submit a Senior Exexcutive Service resume. All of these resumes, essays and applications have a specific purpose and follow special requirements based on the job announcement that you are responding to.

Usually, a Federal resume will require detailed personal information, as well as clear objectives. In addition, you will need to list your experience, both work-related and extracurricular, as you would with a traditional resume. Your education is also important, but only if it is relevant to the job you seek.

The persons in charge of hiring at this level do not care about what school you went to; they only care about the degrees you have that make you the most qualified person for the job. beside offering specific information, you also need to be sure that your resume stands out. In such a competitive market, your resume should practically scream “I’m THE BEST person for this job”.

Government resumes are seldom prepared by the applicants themselves. At this level in your career, it is expected to use a professional government resume writing service to get the position you are applying. Professional resume writers have much more experience in Federal resume writing than you would. However, if you have already successfully prepared your resume yourself, then you can try it again if you feel so inclined. Just remember to follow the application guidelines to the very last detail; Federal resumes are not your average job application and not following these guidelines will get you disqualified even if you have what they need.


Gail Esparan