More from Karol about diligence and success

I welcome back Karol Taylor, of,  federal hiring expert, to share several thoughts about resumes.  She acknowledges that it is hard, that it takes special information to navigate the system, and that a little slip here or there leads to rejection by the system.  Likewise, defining your terms, following the links that lead to explanations or other kinds of help can further your chances of obtaining an interview and a job offer.

An application may call for Specialized Experience.  Examples of specialized experience are often provided.  Sometimes there is a link to OPM’s site, but I think their link does not help.  If the link is provided, I suggest you go to, and read the first paragraph of the series explanation to determine the skills they are seeking.

The series is the four-digit code you can find in the Overview section under Series and Grade.  They often say GS, then the 4 digits, then the grade(s).  Sometimes other letters are used, but every job has the four-digit code before the grade level.  Look up those four digits using the above link and you will be able to determine the skills you MUST have in order to apply for the job. (I did not know this – Anne)

Applying only for jobs for which you are 1) eligible and 2) qualified will save you lots of time (it takes up to 12 hours to apply for a federal job if you do it properly) and unnecessary stress.

Be sure to use federal terminology, not your own.  The first people to read your résumé are not subject matter experts.  They have a form they follow which has the words they use to assign your application package rating points.  These words are provided by the subject matter expert (AKA hiring official).

If you are able and willing to follow these instructions, you will be surprised at how quickly you will receive an offer of a federal interview.  If not, you will be asking this same question six months from now.


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