August 7, 2018

Resume Place, inc. online forum and message board for discussion of issues in the field of resume writing, career development and federal employment.

Applying for a federal job requires lots of effort, just like preparing to jump hurdles in a track and field race: Hours and hours of practice – research, writing, editing, applications on USAJOBS, document uploads and follow-up.

GRAND PRIZE – a Federal Career for your Lifetime.*

The technical aspects of each hurdle that you have to jump
are extremely important to understand, or you will waste time, loose money, get discouraged and quit the race (stop applying)

Merit Systems Protection Board just published a study: Improving Federal Hiring Through Better Assessment, July 2018. The graphic of the various “Assessment Tests” inspired me to write this blog about the HURDLES a federal job seeker has to jump over to get Best Qualified, Referred, Interviewed and Hired!

Each hurdle has its own challenges,
but they are all critical to win the Grand Prize –
Getting HIRED!

Federal Resume – The federal resume is the ENTIRE APPLICATION for a federal job. Everything is in the federal resume: Work History, overall duties, dates, education, technical skills, projects. The resume content has to be carefully crafted to match the target position or occupation. The resume has to be readable for a federal human resources specialist to find the target knowledge, skills and abilities and specialized experience they are seeking in their position. Recommended length: 5 pages. 82% of HR specialists use the Federal Resume “to a great extent”. This is the highest hurdle of all! **

Accomplishment Record – The federal HR person is looking for accomplishments that will demonstrate your KSAs in the resume. The federal resume is on average 5 pages, and there is plenty of room to write 5 or 7 accomplishments in maybe 200 words to prove your past performance. 25% of HR specialists use the Accomplishment Record “to a great extent”. **

Occupational Questionnaire – The self-assessment questionnaire is another hurdle to jump over. You need to select the position that truly matches your KSAs and specialized experience. And you need to give yourself the most credit that you can on the self-assessment scoring system. And then you must match this to your resume for verification by the HR specialist. 42% of HR specialists use the Occupational Questionnaire “to a great extent”. **

Educational Level – if the announcement requires education or certain courses, the education has to be featured in the resume at the top of the resume. The HR person will be looking for this specialized education to prove the KSAs for the position. 40% of HR specialists use the Education Level “to a great extent”. **

Ratings of KSA Narratives – sometimes agencies will ask for written KSA narratives = separate from the resume. These are critical narratives to prove your experience. Sometimes the are 5,000 or 10000 characters. They might ask for these before you submit the application or after you are found Best Qualified. Be prepared to justify your KSAs in writing for the federal application. 44% of HR specialists use KSA Narratives “to a great extent”.

Structured Interview – The structure interview is another test (probably not the final test). This is an oral examination of your experiences and knowledge. The questions are open-ended and you must basically speak your accomplishment record in a convincing and complete manner. This is critical for the success of your application. 67% of HR specialists use the Structured Interview “to a great extent”. **

Situational Judgment Testing: Possible other on-line proctored or un-proctored tests involving avatars or other methods. Get ready for other tests to prove your qualifications. You cannot prepare for these or talk about these with others. But the agencies are giving more tests to qualify you for these positions. 19% of HR specialists use Situational Judgment Testing “to a great extent”. **

Last hurdle: Security Investigation/ Suitability Study: There will be one more hurdle: the Security Investigation. There is no way to prepare for this hurdle; the government has its own ways of researching your ability to hold a government job and handle trusted materials.

GOOD LUCK WITH THE FEDERAL JOB HUNT RACE! Do your research. If you can’t write, get professional writing help by a Certified Federal Resume Writing / HR Specialist from The Resume Place.


GRAND PRIZE / FIRST PRIZE – HIRED for a Federal Career
Second Place Winner – Interviewed
Third Place Winner – Referred
Runner-up – Best Qualified

* Federal Career for a Lifetime. MSPB Study, Improving Federal Hiring with Better Assessments, MSPB studies show that 80% of all hires in the government stay in the government.
July 2018, Page 3: Click to read» and scroll to Page 3.

** MSPB Study, Improving Federal Hiring with Better Assessments,
July 2018, Page 5: Click to read» and scroll to page 5.

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