Reflections on Government Resumes

Yesterday, I spent some time working on my Federal resume in hopes of becoming employed by the Federal government. Most of it is finished, with one or two segments having yet to be completed. The good news about seeking Federal employment is that I do in fact receive notifications on whether I was or was not eligible for referrals, including a rejection letter. It may seem odd for me to mention, but the private sector in the US no longer send rejection letters, instead resorting to a practice known as “Ghosting.” Rather than inform an applicant with a rejection letter, it has become increasingly commonplace to not bother trying to contact a rejected applicant. This can happen in spite of having one or two interviews.

At least the Federal government has demonstrate the necessary courtesy to send me rejection letters, stating why I was not eligible for this or that government position. The best part about those rejection letter is that they provide some valuable hints as to why the rejection letter was sent and what compelled the Human Resources staff to deem someone ineligible. With that sort of guidance in mind, it then becomes natural to make the necessary adjustments and revisions to the resume in all future applications to other government positions. As part of my attempts to determine how process works, I already received two rejections, thus giving me some directions on how to improve my old resume, hence my decision yesterday to work on creating an entirely new one.

Government resumes are different from the ones intended for the private sector. Whereas a private sector resume tends to aim for a one page document with brief statements and keywords, a government resume is supposed to be more detailed, running upwards of about two, three, or four pages in length. Human Resources has to look at the resume as part of a manual review; they do not just use an automated system looking for keywords. While it is true that certain agencies in the Federal government use an automated system, they also have people in Human Resources evaluating the resumes as well. I have yet to ascertain which parts of the Federal government rely on a purely HR-oriented approach and those that have their HRs operate an automated system. Right now, I am thinking of getting back to refurbishing my resume before I send it out to other positions that I would like to apply for. If I have time later today, I might write another Blog post pertaining to other matters at the moment.

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