The Application

Most government agencies require to you to fill out their official application form, and this is the primary document that is used to determine your qualifications. The application will essentially repeat the information that is on your resume. Some might consider this an example of needless bureaucracy. Nevertheless, the agencies do want both.


When applying for a job with the federal government, check to see if you can use a resume or if you can use the Optional Application for Federal Employment — OF 612. If you need the form, you can download it from the Office of Personnel Management Web site at

You must fill out the application to exact specifications. Of course, the information you supply must be accurate and must stand the test of reference checks and other scrutiny. If the space provided is not sufficient, you will have to add an attachment. In the space allotted, be sure to alert your reader that more material is being provided with a note that reads “See Attached” or “Attachment.” Neatness counts, as does legibility. This is the document that will be circulated among the various officials who make the hiring decisions, hence everything must be perfect.

If you're downloading the application from a Web site, print multiple copies. After you've completed your application, print it so you can see how it will look to potential employers. Most likely, you'll feel a need to change some of your answers for clarity. Make changes in pen or pencil on your printed application. Then, go ahead and type up the changes. Print out the new and improved application. Once again, take a look at it. Once you're happy with the final result, you're ready to send it to Uncle Sam.

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