You’ve heard me mention Steven Rothberg and his incredibly useful employment information website at CollegeRecruiter.com before, and this week Heather Eager wrote a terrific post on a topic I never considered – how to get a federal job.
I never realized this, but the process of applying to work for the government is totally different than what you go through to work in the private sector. For one thing, federal guidelines require that you provide very specific information in an OF-612 form or “federal resume.”
A federal resume typically includes job details (announcement number, title and grade), personal details (full name, address, phone, social security number, and country of citizenship), education (chronological listing of high school and colleges with degree types, major subjects, GPAs and total credits earned), and extensive work experience (with previous salaries included). When detailing your work experience, you should keep the specific position in mind. The government is strict about ensuring that applicants' skills exactly match the listed qualifications. Also, remember to list any software, training courses, certificates, professional memberships, or awards that might tip the scale in your favor.
The KSA is also known as Knowledge, Skills and Abilities and is a series of statements written in a narrative format that you must include with your federal resume. Jobs that require a KSA will usually list between three and five statements in the posting that you need to provide answers for. Sell yourself for the position with each answer by using concrete, thorough examples and an original style that differs from your resume.
Customizing your application materials is desirable for any job, but it’s mandatory in the federal sector. As government jobs are becoming more plentiful and sought-after, this guidance is critical. Thanks to Steven and Heather for providing it.