Federal Spouse Employment Part III: The Federal Resume

November 30, 2010

Federal Spouse Employment Part III: The Federal Resume

by Sophia Marshall, MHR, MSCCN Volunteer

This article is part 3 of a 3-part series on Federal Employment.

Are you ready to launch your career within the federal government? It might be useful to look at your endeavor as a career management initiative aimed at helping you to get your work history organized. This initiative will involve compiling your work history into one area, so that you may refer to it again if necessary. Therefore, you should invest in a journal to get started. Remember, the entries that you make in this journal will be very useful for creating your federal résumé and beyond!

The following entries should be a part of your journal:

Your current contact information:  This section should include your name, address, telephone number, e-mail address and social security number.  Your social security number is required on all federal résumés and usually an application will not be considered without it.

Job titles, company addresses and phone numbers: This section should include at least 10 years of past experience. If you do not have 10 years of work experience, this is not a problem as you can include as much as you may have. Remember to include any volunteer work you may have done. Federal résumés also request specifics in this area so it is important to include the exact address of each place you were employed. If you cannot remember this information, you can always search the internet and probably get relevant results.

Job Accomplishments: What did you do in this job? This should not be confused with your job description! Instead, it should be your accomplishments fused with your job description. Include tangible results which include numbers and percentages as much as possible. As another important step for the federal résumé, identify any keywords in the job announcement and place these words in your résumé. Using keywords will help you to stand out amongst competition.

Supervisor’s contact information:  This refers to the name and phone number of the person to whom you report. While it may be possible that your supervisor may no longer work in that position, it will still be important to list his/her name and phone number. 

Education and Training: This section will ask for school addresses, how many credits and/or units earned and if you are currently enrolled or have completed a degree program. Therefore, when finishing this section, it will be helpful to have your school transcript available. For training, list all courses and/or workshops you have taken and the dates of completion.

Awards and Recognition: If you have received any awards or were recognized for a specific accomplishment, it is important to list this information in this section. Be sure to explain what the award is and why you earned it.

Other information: This area should be used for any other qualifications which you would like the employer to know about you. On a civilian résumé, this section may be known as the summary or highlights of qualifications. In this area, you could include how many years of experience you have. In addition, you should also identify any security clearances and special preferences, including spousal preference, when eligible.

This career management initiative may take up to 10 hours to complete. This time might be spent doing a combination of writing, researching, compiling and finally reconstructing your entire work history. However, once it has been completed, you will be able to transpose the pertinent information to the OF-612 or another appropriate federal résumé format as deemed by the agency for which you are applying. Keep in mind that all of the information in your career management journal may not be relevant to all jobs for which you wish to apply within the federal government. Therefore, you must make sure that you always target your résumé to the job vacancy announcement.

Don’t think this career management initiative is for you? Think again. While today you may not want to apply for a federal agency, it is possible that tomorrow you may change your mind. Starting your career management initiative today can help you to be ready for tomorrow rather you are applying for federal employment or simply trying to get your career history in order.

Good luck!

The Military Spouse Corporate Career Network (MSCCN), www.msccn.org, is a designated 501(c)(3) public charity in good standing with the IRS. The MSCCN is dedicated to providing career opportunities and job portability for military spouses, veterans, war wounded and their caregivers, and transitioning military through a nationwide network of employers. MSCCN operates with MOUs from all branches of the Armed Forces as an employment partner. For more information, please contact the MSCCN at 1-877-696-7226 or askus@msccn.org.


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