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How Are Federal Resumes Different?

How Are Federal Resumes Different?

Monster Federal Career Coach by Kathryn Troutman

March 03, 2008

So you could send a resume and get a job offer from it?

Yes, absolutely.

What other forms do I have to fill out? I’ve heard about something called KSAs.

KSA stands for Knowledge, Skills and Abilities. These are narrative statements that the agency asks you to write to support your resume. The narratives provide examples supporting your ability to plan and coordinate, for instance. So you would give an example of how you planned and coordinated a meeting, conference or a travel schedule for someone, and you would write about that example to demonstrate that you can plan and coordinate.

How long are these, and how many do you have to fill out?

One page or less. Two-thirds of one page is OK, and there could be three to eight KSAs. But they’re not required for all jobs. Most federal announcements are two steps: Resume plus something else. The “something else” is sometimes KSAs, sometimes questions or a supplemental statement.

Originally published on

  • Photo_user_blank_big


    over 3 years ago


    fed resume content

  • Photo_user_blank_big


    over 4 years ago


    Is there not a change in the process, and how they view a resume now or in the short future?

  • Robin1a_max50


    over 4 years ago


    I have published an article on the subject, highlighted below:

    The resumes used to apply for United States Federal jobs are different than those in the civilian (corporate) workplace. Some of the differences are outlined below.

    1. Formats: Federal resumes have specific formats which differ depending on the announcement. These include specific information, order, character counts, page length requirements and fields. Many of these are online formats, which can be confusing, complicated, time consuming and difficult to comply with, due to space limitations and the number of fields which must be filled in.
    2. Required information: Federal resumes require specific information such as social security numbers; job start and end month and sometimes day; employer addresses; salary information; supervisor names and phone numbers; college GPA and graduation dates; high school education; all training, including course name, date and number of hours; and other information typically not included in corporate resumes. If this information is not included, an application may be rejected.
    3. Length: Federal resumes (3-15 pages) are typically much longer than corporate resumes (1-2 pages in general). They require detailed descriptions of duties: repeated for each job you did them in. They also must specifically spell out how the client meets all requirements and has done most of the duties for the job they are applying for or the application will be rejected. Like corporate resumes, Federal resumes must detail accomplishments.
    4. Additional documentation: Many Federal announcements require additional essay questions. These questions are 1-2 page statements specifying specific examples from an applicant’s experience related to the job announcement. There may be several of these statements per application. Federal resume applications will often ask applicants to send, fax or upload additional information, including transcripts, evaluations, personnel information forms, demographic information forms and military service forms.
    5. Additional questions: Many Federal announcements have additional multiple choice questions for applicants to apply for jobs. If an applicant cannot answer in the affirmative to most of the questions with experience, it is not likely for an applicant to be selected for the job.
    6. Who can apply: Many Federal announcements can only be applied for if a person has the right status: such as a current Federal employee or a Veteran. Most Federal announcements require an applicant to be a United States citizen
    7. How to apply: Federal resumes specify in their announcements how to apply for each job: and an applicant must follow the directions exactly. If an applicant does not apply by the required closing date, the application will generally be rejected.
    8. Must meet all requirements: If an applicant does not meet all requirements the announcement states is required for a job, by LAW the applicant will not get the position.
    9. Veterans Preference: If an applicant is a Veteran, an applicant may get preference (5 or 10 points) depending on an applicant’s service and disability status. In additional disabled Veterans may get additional consideration based on their status.
    10. Selection: Typically applications are scored based on the submission, if you meet the requirements. After adding Veteran’s points, applicants are deemed Best Qualified, Highly Qualified, Qualified or Not Qualified. Typically, the top 3 applicants are forwarded to the hiring manager - who can choose one of the 3 by interviewing or not interviewing the candidates

    Robin Schlinger, CFRW, CPRW, CARW

  • Photo_user_blank_big


    almost 6 years ago


    I found this very helpful as I had become overwhelmed by the idea of a federal resume. Thanks.

  • Photo_user_blank_big

    Account Removed

    over 6 years ago

    Chek the Federal Job Announcement. Most list desired skills or KSA's. Those need to be addressed in the resume. Alot of federal resumes also require additional supplemental information to complete the process.

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