. Military-Civilian: Hot Jobs, Events, and Helpful Information for Veterans Seeking Civilian Careers: Resume Building and What should I include in my federal resume?

Wednesday, May 13, 2020

Resume Building and What should I include in my federal resume?

Resume Building
Often Veterans will need some guidance on applying on USAJOBS.GOV, building the personal profile,  building a federal resume, and extra tips when applying. Very soon Paul Moore will be putting out a very comprehensive presentation for this and as I tell everyone, he is by far the authority on this and has taught this all over our catchment area to EDD and other vocational stakeholders.

Below you will find the details regarding how to set up a USAJOBS.GOV profile, build your resume (building it takes much more time and detail but will get much more positive results, I use this myself). I encourage Veterans to begin with this, take their time so it is not overwhelming.

Veterans should first watch some short introductory USAJOBS official videos below, to get the main idea, so that when they begin building the resume and applying they will be more knowledgeable and confident. Sort of like reading the instructions on assembling something before you actually assemble it.

First, creating a USAJOBS Account
USAjobs.gov: Creating Your Account Profile https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3uDp74z0tZY  

Brief USAJOBS Resume Tutorial

Five minute video below:
How to Apply for Federal Jobs

Next is the step by step process for building a resume in USAJOBS, I also attached this as a document in case it is easier to read, and so you can save it, print it etc. Also attached are tips as to what to include in the federal resume.

How to build a resume in USAJOBS, the attached document of this is easier to read and navigate, with active links:

Sign into USAJOBS.
Go to your Documents.
Make sure you’re in the Resumes section and select the Upload or build resume button.
Click Build resume.

Name your new resume and click Next.
Click Add Work Experience, enter the required information and click Save Work Experience. To add additional work experience repeat this step or click Next to continue with your education information.

Click Add Education, enter the required information and click Save Education. Repeat this step to add additional education or click Next to continue with your references. You may also click Finish if you don’t want to add more information.

Click Add Reference, enter the required information and click Save Reference. You may add up to five references on your resume. Repeat this step to add an additional reference or click Next to continue to the next step.
You can enter additional information on your resume such as job related training, language skills, organizations/affiliations, professional publications, and other information. 

Click the corresponding button under each section to add your information, enter your information and click Add or Save for each section once completed.

Click Finish to save your resume. Your new resume will appear in your Documents list.

Click View on the resume icon to preview your resume. To edit your resume click Edit on the resume icon and it will bring you to the first page of your resume in the resume builder tool.
Save your work periodically

For security reasons, your session will time out after a period of inactivity. We recommend you Save periodically so that you do not lose any work.

Updating your resume
In order to capture changes that you have made to your profile you will need to build a new resume. USAJOBS does not automatically update existing resumes. This allows you to easily keep a set of resumes to apply to different jobs and only apply changes when you desire.

Tips for formatting resumes in USAJOBS resume builder You can copy and paste text from Word documents into the resume builder. However, some formatting in these documents may not work in the USAJOBS resume builder. To fix formatting errors inside your resume, you must first save the original file in a .txt format.

To copy and paste from Word:

Open up your Word document or other word processing tool.

Select the File tab at the top.
Go to the Save As option.
Choose to save it as a Plain Text (.txt) file.
Open the new file and ensure the text appears in an acceptable format.
Copy and paste your resume text into the resume builder.

To edit your USAJOBS resume-builder resume:

Click on your username at the top of the page and select Documents from the menu.
Find the resume you want to edit and click “Edit” (located below the resume).
This will bring you to the first page of your resume.

Tips for submitting resumes to agencies

Some agencies accept uploaded resumes and resumes created using the USAJOBS resume builder, while some may only accept one or the other. Even though you may have both types of resumes in the Document section of your profile, the agency determines which ones to accept when you are applying online. The Apply button displayed on the job announcement page activates the process for a job seeker to complete an application.

USAJOBS automatically provides a list of available resumes and other documents to attach to your application, and will only display resumes and documents the hiring agency is willing to accept. For example, if the hiring agency only accepts resumes created using the USAJOBS resume builder, then your uploaded resumes will not be available to add to your application. Please pay special attention to the How to Apply section of the job announcement to find out which resume format and documents are accepted and how to submit them to the hiring agency.

Any questions feel free to contact myself, Paul or David.

Barry Davis
Coordinator, Community Employment Services Vocational Development Specialist

(909) 825-7084 ext. 4933  Pager 7324
VA Loma Linda Health Care System
11201 Benton Street
Loma Linda, CA 92357
Excellence is relentless

What should I include in my federal resume?
Whether you’re a current federal employee or new to the Federal Government, your
resume is the primary way for you to communicate your education, skills and
Before you get started
Read the entire job announcement. Focus on the following sections to understand
whether or not you qualify for the position. This critical information is found under:
• Duties and Qualifications
• How to Apply (including a preview of the assessment questionnaire)
• How You Will be Evaluated
Make sure you have the required experience and/or education before you apply.
Hiring agencies use the job announcement to describe the job and the required
qualifications, including:
• Level and amount of experience
• Education
• Training
What to include in your resume
Federal jobs often require that you have experience in a particular type of work for a
certain period of time. You must show how your skills and experiences meet the
qualifications and requirements listed in the job announcement to be considered
for the job.
Include dates, hours, level of experience and examples for each work
For each work experience you list, make sure you include:
• Start and end dates (including the month and year).
• The number of hours you worked per week.
• The level and amount of experience–for instance, whether you served as a project
manager or a team member helps to illustrate your level of experience.
• Examples of relevant experiences and accomplishments that prove you can perform
the tasks at the level required for the job as stated in the job announcement. Your
experience needs to address every required qualification.
Program Analyst GS-343-11
January 2009 - Present
40 Hours/Week
• Experience/Accomplishment
• Experience/Accomplishment
Include volunteer work and roles in community organizations
Don’t limit yourself to only including paid work experience. Include relevant volunteer
work or community organizations roles that demonstrate your ability to do the job.
Use numbers to highlight your accomplishments
Use numbers, percentages or dollars to highlight your accomplishments–you can find
this information in things like your performance reviews, previous job descriptions,
awards and letters of recommendation.
When explaining your accomplishments:
• Include examples of how you saved money, earned money, or managed money.
• Include examples of how you saved or managed time.
• “Improved efficiency of document processing by 25% over the previous year”.
• “Wrote 25 news releases in a three-week period under daily deadlines”.
• “Managed a student organization budget of more than $7,000”.
• “Wrote prospect letter that has brought in more than $25,000 in donations to date”.
These statements show in concrete terms what you accomplished.
More resume writing tips
Customize your resume
You should tailor your resume to the job announcement rather than sending out the
same resume for every job. Customizing your resume helps you match your
competencies, knowledge, skills, abilities and experience to the requirements for each
job. Emphasize your strengths and include everything you’ve done that relates to the
job you’re seeking. Leave out experience that isn’t relevant.
Use similar terms and address every required qualification
Your experience needs to address every required qualification in the job
announcement. Hiring agencies will look for specific terms in your resume to make
sure you have the experience they’re seeking.
For example, if the qualifications section says you need experience with “MS Project”
you need to use the words ” MS Project” in your resume.
Organize your resume to make it easy to understand
You need to organize your resume to help agencies evaluate your experience. If you
don’t provide the information required for the hiring agency to determine your
qualifications, you might not be considered for the job.
• Use reverse chronological order to list your experience–start with your most recent
experience first and work your way back.
• Provide greater detail for experience that is relevant to the job for which you are
• Show all experiences and accomplishments under the job in which you earned it.
This helps agencies determine the amount of experience you have with that
particular skill.
• Use either bullet or paragraph format to describe your experiences and
• Use plain language– avoid using acronyms and terms that are not easily understood.
Be concise
Hiring agencies often receive dozens or even hundreds of resumes for certain
positions. Hiring managers quickly skim through submissions and eliminate
candidates who clearly are not qualified. Look at your resume and ask:
• Can a hiring manager see my main credentials within 10 to 15 seconds?
• Does critical information jump off the page?
• Do I effectively sell myself on the top quarter of the first page?
Review your resume before you apply
Check your resume for spelling and grammatical errors and have someone else, with a
good eye for detail, review your resume.
Important facts about the federal hiring process
• The Federal Government does have a standard job application. Your resume is your
• Hiring agencies use the job announcement to describe the job and list the required
qualifications and responsibilities.
• After applying, the hiring agency uses the information in your resume to verify if you
have the required qualifications stated in the job announcement.
• Once the hiring agency has determined who is qualified, they may use other
assessments such as interviews or testing to determine the best qualified
Learn more about the federal hiring process.

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