What is a Federal Resume?

The Federal Resume is one of three documents accepted as an official application for position vacancies within the Federal government. The other two are the OF-612 and the traditional SF-171. The SF–171 is considered “obsolete”, no longer available and some agencies prefer it not be used; however, some agencies prefer it. It is not always easy knowing which one to use. We recommend going with the “latest and greatest” Federal resume, as this tends to be the most widely accepted and it can help your image to go with what is current.Read the job vacancy announcement VERY carefully. Some agencies have their own requirements for presenting your experience. If a Federal resume is permitted, please read the format for constructing it as explained in this document. Federal resumes should be developed in the “Chronological” resume format. The Federal staffing specialist who reviews the resume for initial qualifications must know where, when and how long you were at the position mentioned, along with a lot of other information. The Functional resume format will not work for a Federal resume.What Information Must Be Included?The Federal Resume must include additional information that is not typically requested in the private sector and if you don’t supply this information, your application could be rejected. Required information is as follows:Job Information (Announcement number, title, series and grade of job for which applying)Personal Information (Full name, mailing address w/ zip code, day and evening phone numbers w/ area code, social security #, country of citizenship, veteran’s preference, reinstatement eligibility, highest Federal civilian grade held)Education (High school: name, city, and state, date of diploma or GED, Colleges or universities: name, city and state, majors, type and year of any degrees received)Work Experience (Job title, duties and accomplishments, employer’s name and address, supervisor’s name and phone number, starting and ending dates, hours per week, salary, indicate whether we may contact your current supervisor)Other Qualifications (Job-related training courses, skills, certificates and licenses, honors, awards and special accomplishments; for example, publications, memberships in professional or honor societies, leadership activities, public speaking and performance awards)More Specific or General?The purpose of the resume in the private sector is to get an interview and is more general in nature. In the Federal government, the purpose of the resume is to “show” your qualifications so that you can be “certified” by the Human Resources office, by meeting eligibility requirements. This means that your resume needs to include more specifics and similar language as the vacancy announcement because the Human Resources Specialist is looking to see if you have the “specialized” or directly related experience requirements of the position for which you are applying.How Far Back Should I Go?It is suggested that you develop a resume that covers about ten years, with lots of stories about what you did and how well you did it, or accomplishments. Focus on the position for which you are applying, in a way that best reflects your competencies for the position.How Long Should My Resume Be?The resume that goes into the application package should be no more than three to five pages; plus the pages for your knowledge, skills and abilities statements and any other announcement-specific information, such as performance ratings. There are exceptions to this, of course, but use three pages as a guideline. If you do not have the work experiences for three pages, then your resume may only be one or two pages long.

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