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Federal Employment: Applying for a job using USAJOBS resumes

Updated on November 16, 2015

Landing a good Federal job using

There are always jobs available in the United States Federal Government. Many require you to be a citizen and there are positions for college grads and non-college workers alike. Also, if you are willing to relocate to another area, it improves your chances of landing a position.

Many of these pay well and are very secure. The benefits are good, especially these days. They include:generous leave policy (sick leave and vacation), health benefits, retirement, and life insurance. These benefits can easily add many dollars to the pay that a new hire will receive.

Currently using

I received a federal position eight years ago. I put in for many jobs using the tips that I write about here. I used these tips again about 18 months ago to find and land a different position.

Currently, I am searching out an office job to use my Master's Degree. So as I write this guide, I am using some of these same tips myself.

The only difference is that I am looking as an internal candidate with Federal experience. There are internal candidates and external candidate positions.

Building your resume with work history and education

First, you have to create an account with a password on This is easy, but it will take some time and effort on your part. The rewards of getting a nice job is worth the effort though. You have to do some research on your past work history and where you want to work. Also, think of what your skills are and what you want to work as.

You also will have to gather together things like: resume information, transcripts, and other information. This includes information on past jobs, what schools you went to, references, volunteer work, any veterans information, or any other special hiring information.

After you gather your information, you have to go to the USA JOBS website and go to the upper right corner and create an account. When you pick and email and a password, which you should write down, then it will walk you through the resume process.

There is a general information section, work history section, education section, and additional information. This section allows you to put in volunteer history, clubs, and other information.

Two thing to keep in mind, before talking about how to write your experience is do not lie and it is different than a traditional resume on the detail you can go into. First is never lie, it can get you fired months later. If you said you did something and they find out you don't know how, it will catch up to you.

Second, you have a lot of space to write in detail about the different areas. Most traditional resumes have you stick to the point and be concise. This resume allows more room to explain yourself. As I was told by one expert on this website, your resume is to be treated like an interview. Explain yourself in detail.

Searching federal jobs using WG, GS, Permanent, and Agencies

When you search, clicking on advance search is the best. When you do this it will bring up many options. You can pick from blue collar (Wage Grade or WG) or white collar (General Schedule or GS). there is also the option of picking a salary.

Another area on the advanced search is location. You can click on a location and put a certain mile radius around it. You can have many locations such as West Point, NY or Chicago, IL just to name a few. The more locations you are willing to move to, generally the more opportunities. It helps if it is a known Federal Government location such as Washington DC, Fort Leavenworth, or a national park.

There are also other options such as: permanent or temporary, full time or part time, and travel preferences.

You can even choose among the MANY individual agencies. This can help you not get so many jobs from agencies you don't want to work for.

There is an area where you can save all of the jobs you are interested in. I beleive the system will allow for 15 jobs to be saved. It will usually be saved according to the date when they don't accept anymore or expire.

Saving other documents

There is an area in your resume production area to save other documents. If you went to college and want that to count, you can enter your transcripts. If you are a veteran, you can enter where you served and other papers. These are just some of the documents you will need.

They will come in handy when asked to attach them to your resume.

Unique Federal Resumes and how to get an interview

The resumes have to be written a different way than most resumes. These resumes tend to be a lot longer and contain more information. It is not uncommon for a resume, like mine, to be eight pages long. You just have to make sure you get all the information that is relevant for the job.


It is wise to find out what they are looking for in the job description and copy and paste it in the resume. You can use the description itself and after copying and pasting you can decipher between the different duties of the job. For example:be able to type 40wpm, file folders, Break these two duties up between typing skill and filing folders. If you don't have the experience just delete it out of the resume.

You can also work into the resume what the questions will be in the questionaire. This can be found about two-thirds of the way down the job description. You want to mostly answer 5's and make sure you have where the proof is in you resume. You will answer a level of experience after you apply to the job.

You may want to make sure you will answer mostly fives in the questionaire before putting in for the job.

There are two ways I have looked for jobs:

The first, I have put a great deal of time into each job I was qualified for. If you don't have a lot of time, you could be putting all you effort into just a job or two.

Second, you can also blanket many jobs with your well written resume. It is not written for just one job, but is a general resume for many jobs of the same kind (office). You are putting it out for many jobs, which will give you a better chance.

Keep in mind there are six or so resumes you are allowed to have. This means you can have different resumes tailored for different kinds of positions.

The most important thing is do not lie. If you don't have the experience, don't say you have done it. Some managers will go back and catch if you lied.

The process for applying for jobs on

When you have written the resume like you want, then it is time to apply for the job.

I have to let you know that under your account you can save the jobs you are interested in after you searches. It will arrange them by the closest closing date to the latest.

When you apply, it takes some time, but it isn't very difficult.

1. Go to the job you are interested in and hit apply to job .Make sure you keep track of when you apply, they mostly close at 11:59 PM Eastern time. If you are in another time zone, make sure you apply by 11:59 PM Eastern Time and not your own. Also, do not apply last minute at 11:01 PM. it will not accept it.

2. Go to the job you saved and click on the right, where it says apply to job. It will ask you questions, which much of it is unique per position and your information. The questions are about what resume do you want to use, what job, and what additional files, like transcripts, do you want to include. These are the ones you saved earlier as other documents.

3. Then you go to the questionaire part. It will ask you to answer questions on your experiences. There will be a rating scale from I don't have any experience to I am considered an expert on this task. I you answer the expert, you have to let them know where it is in your resume. That is why I have you look at the questionaire information while you are putting together your resume. You might have a copy of your resume out while applying also.

4. Lastly, it will ask you if you have all the documents you want and that you answered to the best of your ability. You then hit apply and it will let you know if you were successful.

Ps: You can change your resume package if you are before the closing date and time.

Good Luck and patience

Good luck to applying for a Federal position. It is a secure job with many benefits. This guide will help lead you through this process.

Do your homework and put together a good resume and gather up other documents that the resume site asks for.

Keep tabs on what jobs are out there and save them often. After they are saved, don't forget to put in for the jobs. You will be passed over for the job every time, if you don't put in for them.

Allow yourself some patience and keep trying each week.

Good luck again.


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