Job Application Guidelines and Tips

The following information will assist you in applying for jobs with Fairfax County.

Note: The county uses for its hiring processes. In this process, you complete an application that contains the same sections of information found in a resume (Education, Work, etc.) and then answer a series of questions about your qualifications. You may, optionally, attach a traditional resume to your application; however, your application must be completed. Blank applications that state "see attached resume" will not be considered.

View and/or apply for county jobs using now.

What the county's Recruiters look for when reviewing your application

Your application will be reviewed against the job you applied for, based on the information in the job announcement—

Minimum Qualifications: It is mandatory that you meet or exceed the Minimum Qualifications in order to be considered for the job.

Special Requirements: Some job announcements include requirements for licenses, bilingual ability, certificates, physical strength, etc. It is mandatory that you meet these Special Requirements in order to be considered for the job.

Preferred Qualifications: Applicants who meet the Preferred Qualifications--in addition to the Minimum Qualifications--are a closer match for the job and are considered stronger candidates.

The reviewer will carefully assess the applications that have met all the Minimum Qualifications, all the Special Requirements (if applicable), and most of the Preferred Qualifications. From this group, the 10-15 resumes that are the closest match to the job announcement will be considered for interviews.

TIP: Read the job announcement thoroughly! Carefully read the Minimum Qualifications and Special Requirements, and if you do not meet them, understand that you cannot be considered for this job.

The building blocks to a good application


The Objective is an optional section in the Information section. Use this section to briefly introduce yourself by stating the type of work you are applying for, the relevant experience and education you have to offer, and summarize your knowledge, skills, and abilities. Describe your best/strongest qualifications and how they relate to the job. Stick to the facts; don’t overload with personality traits.


Complete this section completely and accurately to make it easier for the reviewer to confirm whether you meet the educational requirements for the job. Include credits earned and anticipated completion date if college degree has not been completed. For each school/degree you should include the following:

  • Name of school
  • Type of school (for example, high school; vocational school; military training; 2- or 4-year college)
  • Degree achieved (BA; BS; AA; MD; MS; G.E.D.; high school diploma; PHD)

Work History

List the following information for each job, starting with your most recent job and working backward through past jobs.

  • Dates employed (month/year -to- month/year)
  • Job title
  • Employer name and location
  • Description of work performed (duties)


  • The dates of employment are critical. They help the reviewer determine the number of years of work experience for which you should receive credit. Don't skip these!
  • Begin each job description with an opening statement about your primary responsibilities. Then highlight your major accomplishments after the responsibilities.
  • Use strong verbs.
  • Be brief; edit/rewrite sentences using concise statements.

Additional Information

This section capture any additional relevant skills, certifications, or professional memberships. Some suggestions are provided below:

  • Language skills
  • Professional licenses/certifications; for example: commercial driver's license (CDL), registered nurse (RN), professional engineer (PE)
  • Computer software proficiencies
  • Professional memberships; for example, American Library Association (ALA), Society of Human Resources Management (SHRM)
  • Equipment operated/driven
  • Volunteer work

Links for additional assistance

List of action-oriented verbs and phrases

Fairfax County SkillSource Centers (general job hunting resources & assistance)

The Department of Human Resources Application Center is located at 12000 Government Center Parkway, Suite 270, Fairfax, Virginia 22035. Phone 703-324-3311 (TTY 703-222-7314).  Directions to the Government Center.


24 Plumb Street
Fairfax, VA 22030
703-555-4567 (cell)


Professional project manager with over eight years of experience developing and implementing training strategies that provide the basis for total quality management.Seeking position in group that values organizational development skills. Proven track record of completing difficult projects on schedule and within budget. Excellent interpersonal skills, a professional attitude, and outgoing personality to see tough jobs through independently or as a team member. Computer skills include expert-level proficiency in Microsoft Excel, Lotus 1-2-3 and dBase III.  


State Polytechnic Institute, College Town, Texas
4-year college
Bachelor of Science in Computer Science, 2003

Course Work
Total Quality Management, Public Speaking, Education, Grammar for Publications, Desktop Publishing in Corporate America and Course Development Strategies, 1999  


Curriculum Developer, $35,000/year . . . 10/1998-Present
Some Large Company, Inc., Some Town, Virginia
Wrote training preparation guidelines for conducting training programs. Developed and taught classes on project management for programmers, designing effective presentation materials and using Aldus Persuasion for technical presentations. Developed and conducted Total Quality Management classes including Introduction to Total Quality Management, Statistical Process Control, Reward and Recognition in the 90s and How to Apply for the Malcolm Baldrige Award.

Software Project Leader, $22,000/year . . . 7/1993-1/1998
Any Corporation, Anywhere, Virginia
Enhanced mainframe operating system to set job-printing priority based on pages and priority. Provided mainframe operating system failure analysis from memory dumps. Implemented remote batch communications handler in assembly language in a one month period to meet contractual obligations with customer. Provided graphics and system software support for layouts and verification system on Apollo, Sun and Ultrix systems.


- Macintosh, IBM personal computer (PC) and PC clones, Sun Microsystems and Apollo workstations

- Microsoft Excel, Adobe PageMaker, MacDraw Pro, Lotus 1-2-3 and dBase III

- Fluent in Spanish

- C.I.S.A., Certified teacher of: Microsoft Excel, Lotus 1-2-3 and dBase III

Professional Organizations
- ASCE (American Society of Civil Engineers), American Society of Teachers and Women in Business 

Contact Fairfax County: Phone, Email or Twitter | Main Address: 12000 Government Center Parkway, Fairfax, VA 22035
Technical Questions: Web Administrator

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