General Things To Keep In Mind:
Explicit disclaimer: This resume format is what I chose to use in applying to 18F in the US Federal Governments General Services Administration. It is not the only acceptable format, but is what worked well for me. I currently work as a content designer at 18F, but put this together on my own time, using no government resources to do so. Using this formatting is not a guarantee of consideration. You still gotta do the work.
Want to chat more about this? Im on Twitter:
My comments below will all be in code demo backticks.
Include A Detailed Contact Information Section
Once youve picked your federal resume format, you should create a contact information section at the top of your resume.
That’s where you include the typical information youd put on a standard resume:
For a federal resume, also include the following essentials:
Heres how this would look like on a real-life federal resume:
Desired Job Type: Security Specialist
Highest Federal Pay Grade: GS-10
Desired Location: US, Massachusetts
Tr: So A Federal Resume Is Different What Does It Look Like
TP: First and foremost, you can expect a federal resume to be longer than a private sector one. A typical private-sector resume will be 12 pages in length, but to include all the critical data essential for the federal application process you might find yourself needing 3-7 pages for your resume, depending on the length and breadth of your work experience.
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How To Choose The Best Federal Resume Writing Service
A good tactic when evaluating any service provider is to send an email to customer support before buying anything. Judge the company by the promptness of its reply and quality of answers.
Seek answers to these questions:
- Do the writers understand my profession?
- Is there a work guarantee?
- How do I communicate with the writer?
- What are the turnaround times?
- Are the prices reasonable?
To make the choice of a professional resume writer easier for you, weve made a short list of the most essential characteristics to serve you as a signal of whether the writer is worth your attention or not.
Qualities to Look For:
- Professionally looking website providing information on fees, processes, guarantees, etc. in a usable manner.
- Reviews about a satisfactory experience, especially those including credible details and relatively recent dates.
- Previous resume samples available for your assessment before ordering any of their writing services.
- Appropriate resume certifications, for instance, Certified Professional Resume Writer , Master Resume Writer , National Resume Writers Association , etc.
Qualities to Avoid:
- Poor personal communication experience during the interview with the writer.
- Cookie-cutter resumes not tailored to a specific industry, company, and position.
- The tendency to exaggerate your qualifications, which might land you in a disadvantageous position during the .
- No satisfaction guarantee to ensure the writer will continue working on your bio until you are 100% satisfied.
Create A Stellar And Interview
The Headline format used by CareerPro Plus with USAJOBS applications has helped HR professionals in the federal government to hone in on the applicants qualifications. Additionally, 30+ years of information and expertise is shared with our clients so you get an even better leg up.
If youre transitioning into civilian life and looking for a job, browse our sample resume examples for the security, technology, government and other fields. CareerProPlus has helped thousands and thousands of military personnel transitioning to a federal job and submit job applications in every career field. No matter what your career goals, our team provides resume writing services, training and assistance submitting a job application that highlights your unique abilities. Contact us today to make your career goals a reality.
Americas Leading and Most Trusted Resume Writing, Career Coaching and Training Team!
- 30 Years of Writing Experience
- 65,000 Satisfied Customers
- Federal Keyword and Content Writing Experts
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Job History: Relevant And Specific
To get a job as a federal worker, its useful to have experience as a federal worker. But if it were impossible to get a federal job without prior federal job experience, then the government would have no employees. Everyone has to start somewhere. The employment section of a resume should list current and previous jobs in Reverse Chronological order . Include the name and location of the employers and when you worked there .;
Most important, list your specific achievements at each job. Avoid saying Was responsible for and use strong action verbs to describe what you actually did. Be as specific as possible, ideally citing any numerical evidence for your accomplishments . The U.S. government provides detailed guidance at USAjobs.gov on how to describe your past job experience on your resume. If applying for a U.S. government job, read this material carefully and do exactly what it says. In fact, the entire website at USAjobs.gov is extremely helpful to anyone seeking employment with the U.S. government. Rarely does any employer provide such detailed instructions on how to apply for one of its jobs.If you have any trouble navigating the site, theres a simplified guide here provided by the Bureau of Labor Statistics. So we have a federal government website explaining in detail how to use another federal government website. No wonder there are so many jobs!
Whats The Difference Between A Federal And A Non
Writing a resume to apply for a job in the federal government is extremely different from applying in the private sector. Federal HR may look for some of the same things that a private sector recruiter will, but their perspective is completely different.
Taylor likes to tell her clients, Leave everything you know about resumes at the door.
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Use Similar Terms And Address Every Required Qualification
Your experience needs to address every required qualification in the job announcement. Hiring agencies will look for specific terms in your resume to make sure you have the experience theyre seeking.
For example, if the qualifications section says you need experience with MS Project you need to use the words MS Project in your resume.
Introduction To Careers In The Us Federal Government And The Federal Resume
A good federal resume should clearly outline your key work, volunteer experiences, academic accomplishments as well as extra-curricular activities. It should also highlight the unique skills that set you apart and make you uniquely qualified for the position.;Department of Homeland Security Website
If you are interested in a career in the United States Government, its best to start by exploring USAJobs.gov, the federal governments job website. We also recommend that jobseekers explore Go Government, which has information about different federal government careers by field as well as comprehensive information about how to apply for a federal job through USAJobs.;
Legislative Branch jobs are found through a different process. Please see bottom of document.
To search and apply for federal government positions, please visit the USAjobs.gov webpage. This is where you will create a profile and submit your application for all federal positions. As mentioned above, it is important to read instructions in detail. There is also an option on the website that allows you to upload or build your resume as needed.
As you navigate your search, we strongly encourage you to schedule an appointment with the Career Education office to support you through this process.
How to Use USAJOBS.gov, makingthedifference.org
Here are some examples:
Reference Link: Federal Occupations by College Major
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Our Services Come With An Iron
Our goal is to help you reach your career goals. To ensure you are completely satisfied with our professional resume writing services, we offer a 5-Point Guarantee. Our resumes are proven to succeed because they are not cookie-cutter but custom, content-rich, and strategically developed to deliver a fast return on your investment. Additionally, we offer world-class customer service, as evidenced by our 99.6% customer satisfaction rate.
Are you tired of
- Applying for federal jobs, but never receiving interviews?
- Wondering how to develop your federal resume and KSAs?
- Performing in your current role, but ready to transfer to another federal agency?
- Getting passed over for promotions because youre not sure how to write your federal resume?
- Wanting to apply for a federal job, and getting sidetracked by USAJOBS?
- Being Qualified yet never Best Qualified?
- Wondering how to navigate the challenging Senior Executive Service application process?
- Navigating complex career transitions that keep you stuck in your current role?
- Never hearing back from your federal resume submission?
For a personalized consultation or to learn more about creating a federal resume, call CareerProPlus.com today at or click the button below.
Don’t Forget To Contact Your References
If you are making a federal resume, it is important to include your references. Before submitting your resume, contact your references to refresh their memory about your work. This will help you a lot. Your references will provide the recruiter with relevant and clear information about your experience at the past job.
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How To List Your Education On A Federal Resume
Does all this writing seem like a lot? Well we have good news: the education section of your resume is much simpler than the experience section.
To properly list your education, include the following information:
- Years attended
- Awards or special recognition received
- Membership to educational organizations or clubs
Additionally, if youre a recent college graduate, you can include the following optional information:
- Your GPA
You can also include relevant coursework on your resume to round out your work experience section.
Before You Get Started
Read the entire job announcement. Focus on the following sections to understand whether or not you qualify for the position. This critical information is found under:
- Duties and Qualifications
- How to Apply
- How You Will be Evaluated
Make sure you have the required experience and/or education before you apply. Hiring agencies use the job announcement to describe the job and the required qualifications, including:
- Level and amount of experience
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Tips For Writing Your Federal Resume
When youre writing your federal resume, be sure to:
- Use more detail than you think you should
- Include specific numbers wherever you can to show how your work improved outcomes by a specific number or percent
- Spell out all acronyms
- Provide detailed information about each task and skill without assuming the person reviewing your resume will understand technical or professional details
- Double-check the accuracy of dates, names and numbers
- Be honest about what you have achieved, but include every achievement
- Use keywords linked to the position you want
- Use action words, such as develop or achieve instead of passive language
- Use short paragraphs with headlines or bullet points and work backwards, with your most recent professional experience first
Since federal resumes are often multiple pages, it can be tempting to go on at length and include every detail. Instead, you should include the most relevant information and still stay concise. Use plenty of detail, but reduce wordiness to create a polished, professional impression.
When youre writing your resume, keep in mind that your federal resume is written for both computers and humans. Federal resumes are pre-screened for keywords. To make it past initial rounds, you must include keywords relevant to the job that youre applying for. Read the job ad to understand which keywords you must include. They may be the names of specific skills, computer programs, certifications or words such as organize or implement.
Whats A Federal Resume
A federal resume, as the name implies, is the type of resume you need to make in order to apply for US federal positions.
It is similar to the conventional resume in the way you describe your experiences. You include all the must-have sections in your resume, and describe your skills and past experiences.
There are, however, some differences from a conventional resume that make creating a federal one a bit trickier.
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Get The Interviews And Offers You Deserve
The federal resume writing service offered by CareerProPlus can provide you with the tools you need to hold your own in the highly competitive federal job market. Since 1986, CareerProPlus has proudly served candidates for jobs in both the private sector and federal government, military personnel seeking post-service employment, and current federal employees seeking a promotion or career change. Our professional federal resume writers have written more than 60,000 military, civilian, and federal resumes, resulting in many of our clients landing interviews that lead to job offers. If youre having trouble getting through the application process, CareerProPlus can refine your federal resume and get you in the right place at the right time.
The Government Wants Demonstrated Experience
For federal jobs, experience trumps almost everything. Hiring agencies arent interested in potential, or as Segal says, Its not about your journey. You should have already arrived. Federal HR wants to see proven success, role mastery, and expertise.
The entire federal job application process is about demonstrating that you are the ideal candidate by showing your experience and success. Experience even outweighs education for most jobs unless an applicants education is part of the value proposition, such as scientist or mathematician jobs.
Federal HR will not make any assumptions about your resume. Even things that seem very straightforward need to be explicitly spelled out. Federal hiring practices are highly regulated, so federal HR personnel cant make those assumptions. Every assumption could risk an EEO complaint or even a call from Congress.
As Segal puts it, From a federal perspective, if its not on the resume, you didnt do it.
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Skills: How You Excel
Every resume should include a section listing skills that are relevant to the job. Master chess player? Interesting, but probably not relevant. The skills section should typically include a mix of technical skills computer knowledge, advanced expertise in your field, etc. and soft people skills like customer service, a knack for sales or public speaking ability. Avoid clichés like Team Player or Self-Starter. Try to describe your skills in language that other resumes wont have.
Professional Federal Resume Writers
Your third option is to hire a federal resume writer. Since federal resumes are so complex, having an expert help you can be a great asset. Many experts dont just write your resume, theyll teach you how to tailor your resume for each position youre interested in or even show you the best ways to leverage the USAJobs resume builder.
Do thorough research when selecting resume writers. Levin cautions, There are a lot of opinions out there about federal resumes. Take them with a grain of salt. Look at that persons experience. Do they do this professionally or is this just their opinion? Be mindful of whos telling you what and what their background is.
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Include Your Citizenship Status
Whether you are a citizen of that nation or another, include your citizenship status to help with the vetting and identification process. For positions in the U.S., you are not required to be a U.S. citizen to apply for many federal positions. Other positions or those in other countries might require certain citizenship statuses. The required status is often listed in the job description, so be sure to check whether you qualify.
Follow The Proper Federal Resume Format
You can have decades of relevant work experience, but if you dont know how to properly format your resume for a federal job, youll never land the position you want.
Federal agencies have large hiring departments, and can afford to take an extensive look at your qualifications. So when formatting your federal resume, include as much detail as possible.
When formatting your federal resume, include as much detail as possible.
This means that your resume should be a minimum of two pages long if youre applying for an entry-level position, and closer to four to six pages if youre a mid-level candidate.
Additionally, what you include on a resume for a government job differs from what you would put on a standard resume.
Apart from the basic things you should put on your resume like your work experience, education, and contact information you should also include your:
For more information about these additions, read on below:
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List Your Past Work Experiences In Detail
Your work experience section is going to make or break your federal resume.
At the end of the day, this is what hiring managers really care about, while the rest of your resume is supposed to support this section.
Creating a convincing work experience section for a federal resume is a 2-parter:
First, you need to make sure that you include all the relevant work experience information.
Then, you need to present your path responsibilities and achievements in the most convincing way possible.
Let us teach;you how to do both:;
What to Include in a Federal Resume Work Experience Section
For each entry in your work experience section, start off with the employment information. This includes:
- Employer name
- Whether Its OK to Contact Supervisor
Heres how this would look in a real-life resume entry:
Supervisory Security Specialist
Average Hours Per Week: 40
Supervisor: Michelle Doe
Yes, you may contact the supervisor.
Then, in plain text or in bullet points, describe all your responsibilities and achievements right underneath each work experience.
If you had several roles for the same employer, bold out each role and put the corresponding responsibilities and achievements underneath.
Here, Its important to note that you want to be as detailed as possible, compared to when compiling a conventional resume.
For the latter, youd list out 4-6 bullets of your top achievements and responsibilities and call it a day. With a federal resume, you need to include more information.