Federal Resume Writing Virtual Workshop, OPM, 5/19/20

I attended a virtual workshop on writing a federal resume sponsored by the Federal Asian Pacific American Council yesterday. The speaker was DeShan Mingo King of the Office of Personal Management. I thought it was well done and appreciated learning some tips for not only developing a resume, but applying through USAjobs.gov.

I’ve attached the PPT that the speaker used and an OPM handout that I would recommend anyone applying for federal job to consider.

A couple of insights included:

  1. Before applying for a federal job, make sure you meet the qualifications. But if you are missing one or two, you should still apply.
  2. Use the resume builder on USAjobs.gov.
  3. Don’t not exaggerate your qualifications, but you can enhance them.
  4. Do not include a photo on your resume (you will not using the resume builder). Could lead to discrimination (unfortunately).
  5. Do not use jargon on your resume; this is especially a problem with military applicants.
  6. Proofread! Reading the resume aloud helps.
  7. Consider attending some of the free information sessions at USAjobs.gov (see the PPT).
  8. Technical skills are important, but be specific about them.
  9. A resume needs to be in reverse chronological order.
  10. Volunteer experience is really good. List it is a job (just note it’s volunteer).
  11. For all jobs, indicate the time period you worked at the job (this is necessary in determine qualifications such as the need for a year’s experience).
  12. Before you go online to USAjobs.gov, make sure you have all your documents ready to upload.
  13. Problem solving is good skill set: but explain how you’ve done it.
  14. Read the duties and responsibilities carefully. Make sure you do them.
  15. Complete the occupational questionnaire.

If you have questions about applying for federal job, contact outreach@opm.gov.

David J. Smith is a career coach, speaker and consultant based in Rockville, Maryland, USA. He is the author of Peace Jobs: A Student’s Guide to Starting a Career Working for Peace(IAP 2016). He is an official member of Forbes Coaches Council and member of career advisory board  PCDN Global.  David is also the president of the Forage Center for Peacebuilding and Humanitarian Education, Inc. and teaches at the School for Conflict Analysis and Resolution at George Mason University and the School of Education at Drexel University. He can be reached at davidjsmith@davidjsmithconsulting.com.


Published by David J. Smith

I am a career coach, consultant, and head of a not for profit - the Forage Center - that offers humanitarian education training. I also teach at George Mason University and Drexel University. A one time lawyer, I spent many years teaching in a community college where I was a Fulbright U.S. Scholar teaching in Estonia. I'm the author of Peace Jobs: A Student's Guide to Starting a Career Working for Peace (IAP 2016). I've been married to my best friend for over 31 years and we have two well adjusted adult children who teach me something new everyday. I live in Rockville, Maryland.

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