There are many steps that one has to take to land a federal job, from figuring out how to navigate and utilize the not-so-user-friendly website, deciphering which jobs to apply to, putting the right information into your resume, to figuring out exactly how to present yourself when and if you reach the interview stage. It can be so difficult and overwhelming that it scares off many potential applicants. But you don’t need to be one of those people. Over the next few months I will present you with a walk through of the application process and its options that should help you figure out how to navigate the website, utilize the tools, figure out which jobs you should be applying to, and show you how to tailor your resume to specific jobs. All of which should make landing a federal job that much simpler.
Now that we have established what jobs you should be applying for, I will help you to understand how you should tailor your resume and application for that specific job to increase your chances of being considered for the position and ultimately hired.
The main difference between tailoring your resume for a government job versus any other job is details. You must include every little detail of every little thing you have ever done. We are talking 15-20 page resumes instead of the one page resume you would hand to a hiring manager for any other job. The good thing is that the website will save your resume so that you don’t have to keep redoing it every job you apply for. As mentioned previously, for forestry jobs there are two occupational series, which will have the openings you are looking for, Forestry Series-0460, or Forestry Technician Series -0462. I would say that even though these jobs are very similar, you should have a different resume tailored for each series.
When you pull up a job in these series’, you will see a list at the bottom entitled “How you will be evaluated.” You need to make sure you list on your resume all of your experience for each and every single one of the qualifications listed there. For example, a Forestry Technician job lists the following among others; knowledge of forested ecosystems, knowledge of management of a variety of forest types, knowledge of timber cruising techniques, tree identification, timber volume estimation, and recording techniques, skill in dealing with the general public/contractors and in public relations, and finally knowledge of health and safety requirements in order to use equipment, methods, and chemicals without jeopardizing self or others.
When you are piecing together a forestry resume, you might not think to include any public relations experience, or even your health and safety knowledge, but for this job you will absolutely need to. Each one of these topics needs to be addressed in your resume in as thorough detail as possible. It will feel like you are saying too much but with the resume for a federal position you simply cannot say enough. Most human resources workers will compare the list of how you will be evaluated with your resume. If your resume does not include examples for each item on the list, you will no longer be considered for the position.
When you pull up jobs in the Forestry Series, you will see similar but slightly different qualifications listed. You will need to make a different resume that reflects those specific qualifications listed under “How you will be evaluated.” Another thing that will help you tailor your resume is the questionnaire that you will answer for ever application that you put in, but that will be covered in the next post.