Understanding the Federal Resume Process
Many federal and civil service employers now require that resumes be
formatted for submission to a job database program, with the Resumix resume
being one that used extensively throughout the federal government. An automated
staffing solution that helps employers identify the most qualified candidates
for open positions, Resumix resumes automate many of the hiring steps that have
been traditionally handled by Human Resource personnel, through image
processing, knowledge-based software, and database technologies.
Applicants are required to submit hard copy resumes of up to five pages in
length to a person, office or address provided in the job listing. The resume is
scanned into the computer, then Optical Character Recognition (OCR) software and
the system extracts information like the name, address, phone number, work
history, years of experience, education, and skills. The resume is saved and can
be stored for later, so that when vacancies occur with qualifications that match
the applicants’ skills, those people will be considered for employment.
There are resume-building tools available on the Internet to help with
creating a resumix resume. One, at http://www.donhr.navy.mil, is designed for
those applying for Navy jobs, but there are others online as well. Once created,
your resumix resume can be scanned into a computer system and kept on file for
up to a year, and can be updated whenever you like.
While this system is great for employers, it also negates many of the
considerations that job seekers have had to wrestle with for generations. It
doesn’t matter what kind of paper you use, or the font or layout style, either.
The computer also doesn’t care how well you wrote the descriptions of your past
work history – it’s just looking for specific words and phrases.
Because of this, you should use action words and concrete descriptions on a
Resumix resume – don’t be vague. rather than vague descriptions. Use simple
verbs and nouns – “directs work,” “hires employees,” “trains new hires” are good
example. Be specific – don’t write “adept at publishing applications,” instead
write “used Microsoft Word, Excel and PowerPoint.” Also avoid acronyms or slang
terms – they might confuse the computer!
If your resume will be scanned, make sure you provide a freshly printed copy,
preferably from a laser printer, not a second or third generation document. The
crisper the printing, the easier the computer can read and understand the
language. For best results, use 1-inch margins, and standard 10 or 12 point
fonts such as Courier or Times New Roman. Don’t use italics, underlining, and
shadows, and don’t condense spacing between letters. Make sure your name a
Social Security number are on each page. And then keep your fingers crossed!
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