Don’t Wait Until It’s Too Late!


The deadlines on vacancy announcements are getting shorter and shorter.

I was quoted in this Baltimore Sun article about the new shorter-than-ever USAJOBS announcement deadlines and low application limits. From the article: “Troutman, whose firm offers federal job coaching and resume-writing services, reviewed the federal government’s online job portal and found applicant limits ranging from 15 to 300. Most fell in the 50-to-100 range.”

The vacancy announcements with low application limits have been known to close within hours!

What Does This Mean for You?

If you are thinking about applying for federal jobs, you MUST get the resume written ahead of time. You will not have enough time to find the perfect announcement and then write your resume.

Instead, we recommend that you first draft your resume towards a particular job series. That way, when your ideal job announcement comes out, the resume can be quickly made read for submission by picking up the specific keywords from the announcement.

Federal Job Search Process, BEFORE:

  • Search USAJOBS for a perfect job announcement that usually closes 2 weeks out.
  • Write your federal resume (a 5 to 7 hour project for our professional resume writers) and submit your application.

Federal Job Search Process, NOW:

  • Write your federal resume towards a job series.
  • Find the perfect USAJOBS job announcement.
  • Include keywords from the resume into your base draft and submit your application (1-2 hours).

How Do You Write a Resume Towards a Job Series?

The OPM Classification Standards provide the basic job description for each federal job series. It is the baseline for USAJOBS announcements, so we first use the OPM Classification Standards as the guide for creating our basic resume draft. We can find the keywords and the basic required knowledge, skills, and abilities from these standards.

The standards are available on the OPM website:


If you are considering having the Resume Place assist you with preparing your best possible federal job application, please be aware that, due to a high volume of federal resume writing requests we are currently experiencing, you must allow 2 or 3 weeks for your service to be completed.

If you are a Senior Executive Service candidate, please allow four weeks to complete your Executive Core Qualifications (ECQs) and/or executive federal resume.

How to Get Started With Federal Application Help

If you would like us to help you prepare your federal application, you can order our most popular services here:

We also offer our FREE and informative 7 TIPS WEBINARS. These webinars will help you get started on preparing your federal job application and are very well received by our attendees. Check times and register here.


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Kathryn Troutman is known as the Federal Resume Guru and is the developer of the Ten Steps to a Federal Job®. She teaches hundreds of career counselors each year about her highly acclaimed methods of federal job search and has published dozens of titles, including the recent award-winning Student’s Federal Career Guide 3rd Edition.

Posted in Blog, Federal Job Search, Federal Resume Writing, Student Internships, USAJOBS, Veteran Federal Jobs

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Our Certified Federal Resume Writers will translate your skills and experience; target specific occupational series; and write your resume to match a USAJOBS vacancy announcement.